MIDDLETOWN – They pride themselves on being more a family than a care center. And well they can, considering everything the residents, employees and visitors do as a team at Care One Care Center on Route 36.
Activities Director Karen Cohen is high on praise for her staff, from Monique Wickerson of Red Bank, one of the newest employees to Melissa Reider, the Director of Nursing and openly admits the broad variety of programs offered would never be possible without the cooperation of each employee.
The ‘family team’ is now in the middle of a food drive for the Monmouth and Ocean County Food Bank and invites visitors to follow the lead of the employees and residents at the Center and drop donations off at the main foyer of Care One. Cohen said they are collecting everything from pasta and canned vegetables to cereals and canned meat and fish which will all be delivered to the Food Bank before Thanksgiving. “We are not collecting the turkey or fresh vegetables or cranberries that families will have on Thanksgiving,” Cohen said, “but we want to ensure families have plenty of food supplies for everyday meals after the holiday as well.”
The Care Center family just completed its drive during Breast Cancer Month and over-achieved their fund raising goal, collecting more than $630 for breast cancer. Cohen said they raised the funds “every way possible, whichever ways worked for everybody.” That included raffles, book sales, donation boxes, and involved everyone including family members who came for a visit and left donations. “The family members of our residents are just as generous and kind as our residents,” the director said, “and are always there to help wherever needed.”
A new fund raising activity is currently being launched to raise funds for awareness and cures for Type 1 diabetes, a diabetes that strikes people of all ages, race and size. In this type of diabetes, the body does not produce insulin, a hormone needed to move glucose from the bloodstream into the body’s cells. It is a disease, however, that responds to therapy and treatments, and those affected are able to manage diet and lifestyle and live long healthy lives.
The niece of one of our nurses has been diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes,” Cohen said, “so our Care One family wanted to do something special. The nurse is part of our family, and employees and residents wanted to show her that as a family, we are all in this together.” Cohen said the complete list of ideas for fund raisers for this project has not been completed yet, however, donations are always welcome.
“We always have daily activities ranging from games and music to outside entertainment,” the director said, “but our residents and employees also like to give to others. So our various programs to raise funds or awareness of some particular disease or problem is just as important, especially for our residents, to continue to live happy, useful lives.”