On Sept. 23 we attended the open house at Cherry Blossom, Yuba City. What an extraordinary event. High school Key Club volunteers, music, prizes, fabulous food and a decorated festive environment. The care and time put into the planning and execution of this event demonstrated the commitment of the administration and the entire staff and of the community to the well-being of our senior population.
While the day was laudable and cause for commendation, we want to share our thoughts on other aspects of our experiences at Cherry Blossom.
Our first exposure to Cherry Blossom was with Gregory Greene. He had a positive attitude toward residents and a willingness to help us understand this new experience in our and our mother’s lives. With a welcoming, kind and informative manner, he made the transition from skilled nursing to Cherry Blossom very manageable, if not easy.
Though the intake was important, it is what has happened since admission that has exceeded our expectations. From day one the staff has been wonderful. Every staff member who has had exposure to our mother, Norma Donaldson, has been concerned, affable, conversational and professional. They have gotten to know our mother, her idiosyncrasies, preferences, and have daily provided the familial care we would hope for those we love.
The staff work as a team, doing all that is necessary to ensure residents are well cared for. They are well informed about medical, social and emotional issues affecting aged residents. This type of cohesion and execution of mission only happens when there is outstanding leadership. Audrey Smith is the prime reason Cherry Blossom is successful. She is the force behind the organization and delivery of services.
This “force” is not exhibited in a demanding or overbearing manner, but in her focus, sincere care for residents, and amazing dedication. We visit almost daily at unpredictable times; Audrey is always there. She knows the residents. She knows how to keep us informed and calm as we deal with this new phase in our mother’s life. She is knowledgeable, caring, approachable and, if you ask us, one of Cherry Blossom’s most valuable employees.
As we said earlier, the day was a great experience. It exemplifies everything we have experienced to date: a dedicated staff; supreme leadership; and a caring environment where our mother can flourish.
The renovated building is only a facade, but it is a shining expression of a well-run facility in which we are proud to have our mother reside. It is a community resource worthy of recognition.
Lynn Donaldson Yuba City October 1, 2017