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November 21, 2012

Otsego Manor tries to spread holiday joy to residents

There is no place like home for the holidays, but when that is not possible, why not bring the family or spirit to you?

That is what those at the Otsego Manor try to do during the holiday season.

For those unfamiliar with the Otsego Manor, it is not exactly run like most nursing homes.

“We don’t have a dining hall,” the events and activities coordinator, Amy Rose, said. “That can be so noisy.”

Instead, the Otsego Manor divides its 174 residents into five neighborhoods, and within each neighborhood, there are three households.

“There’s maybe 10 to 12 residents dining at a time in an open kitchen/living room area that has an island in between it,” Rose said.

Breakfast at The Manor is served during a four-hour time period, which allows residents to get up when they want, and the room where the meal is being prepared is very close to the resident’s bedrooms.

“It’s the smells that help you want to wake up,” Rose explained. “You smell coffee. You hear people moving around. I think that kind of encourages people to want to get up and come out.”

The Manor goes to great lengths to mimic the feeling of being at home. It’s an idea they stick with even during the holiday season.

“They can have as many family members as they want here,” Rose said.

The Manor is able to accommodate the extra people because of the kitchen/living room floor plan.

“You can easily, like at home, rearrange your room -- set up a buffet table or a banquet table,” Rose said.

The Manor does ask family members to make reservations for Thanksgiving and to help offset the cost of the extra food by either paying a small fee or bringing a dish to pass.

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