Growing up in the South, hospitality has always been a big part of my lifestyle. It was not just about bow ties and seersucker suits, mint juleps and sitting on the front porch in a rocking chair. But the front porch is indeed a symbol of opening our homes and our families to others. We were always taught to be gracious to those who crossed our path daily with no consideration for their station in life. This philosophy has served me well from my early years in senior services at Catholic Charities of New Orleans serving the poorest of the poor to later positions as Chief Executive Officer of multi-million dollar corporations. At the heart of my personal mission statement has been to care for, mentor and support those along life’s way who may need my help.
At Kensington Place, our focus is “to love and care for your family as we do our own.” A simple mantra but, when lived well, I believe it is the best road map for great senior care. When you entrust your loved ones to our care, you become part of our family and our home becomes your home. Our staff is carefully chosen with special attention to the humanity and compassion of each member of our team. You can always teach someone a skill or a job task but it is much more difficult to impact who a person is as a human being. Our goal is to provide excellent hospitality, life enrichment and “best in class” personal, clinical and medical care for those whom you would rather trust only to family.
For those of us whose families have been affected by memory loss, the landscape of our future can change drastically as dementia symptoms impact our loved one. While this is difficult to process, the core of the person we knew as mother, father, aunt or uncle, or wife or husband remains. The love, the compassion, the sense of humor and yes . . . sometimes the naughtiness of a college coed who listened to Tom Jones when such singing and gyrating was a bit risque! The point is, all of us have a myriad of facets to who we are. Discovery is the key to reaching the person for whom we care today and providing a foundation for family relationship when roles have been erased. The pillars of personality that remain are the areas deserving our most focus. For most of us, the past is gone and not to be recovered. If there is one positive thing about dementia, for many, it can bring back vividly the joyful experiences of our younger lives.
At Kensington Place, our specialized approaches to building relationships of trust and care, allow for the day to day rediscovery of those you cherish. Getting to know each resident, their unique gifts and abilities and their extended families allows us to appreciate who they are as individuals today. Our focus on their tastes, lifestyle and experiences of joy allow us to share this journey of coming to love our family members all over again. As we come to know a resident, we can sometimes reintroduce you to the person who lives inside. While the role of mother, father, pastor, teacher or caregiver may be long gone due to the disease, at Kensington Place, we strive to discover the many facets of your loved one.
Although the struggle of cognitive impairment will never be described as easy, there is the potential for experiencing the celebrations and milestones of the past, creating new memories to be cherished and perpetuating family traditions worthy to be preserved.
It is my honor to serve your families here in Redwood City, Atherton, Menlo Park and surrounding communities. I look forward to meeting you and learning more about your journey. We are here to serve you. My team and I consider it a special privilege to have the opportunity to be part of your lives.
-John Graham, Executive Director