Kennybrook Village Recognized for Improving Quality of Long Term Care

Grimes, Iowa – Kennybrook Village in Grimes was recognized by the American Health Care Association and National Center for Assisted Living (AHCA/NCAL) for its achievements in the quality of care they provide.

Kennybrook Village accomplished the following four goals:

  • Hospitalizations: Safely reduce long-stay and short-stay hospitalizations by at least 10% since Q1 2017, or maintain a rate of 10% or less.
  • ​Customer Satisfaction: Improve long-stay or short-stay satisfaction by 10% since Q1 2017, or achieve a rate of greater than 90%.
  • Antipsychotics: Safely reduce the off-label use of antipsychotics by at least 10% since Q1 2017, or maintain a rate of 8% or less among long-stay residents and 1% or less among short-stay patients
  • Functional Outcomes: Improve short-stay functional improvement or long-stay worsening mobility by 15% – or maintain greater than 75% on short-stay functional improvement or maintain less than 12% on long-stay worsening mobility.

“We are incredibly proud of the Kennybrook Village team for this wonderful achievement,” said Deb Jamison, clinical services director of Kennybrook Village’s management company. “They will continue to improve care for their residents; their commitment to quality will continue.”

Some of Kennybrook Village’s sister communities were also recognized: Westchester Village of Lenexa (Lenexa, KS), Prairie Vista Village (Altoona, IA), Northridge Village (Ames, IA), Linden Woods Village (Gladstone, MO).

AHCA/NCAL recognized long term care providers for their achievements through its Quality Initiative Recognition Program, which honors member facilities for their individual work in achieving AHCA/NCAL Quality Initiative goals.

“This achievement represents progress on important quality measures that will positively impact the lives of residents,” said Dr. David Gifford, Senior Vice President of Quality and Regulatory Affairs and Chief Medical Officer at AHCA/NCAL. “We applaud these organizations for their hard work and dedication to this significant quality improvement effort.”

Launched in 2012 by AHCA/NCAL, the Quality Initiative serves as a national effort to build upon the existing work of the long term and post-acute care profession. The Initiative aims to further improve quality of care in skilled nursing centers and assisted living communities by challenging member facilities to meet measurable goals in areas such as hospital readmissions, off-label use of antipsychotics, and customer satisfaction.

Kennybrook Village along with other achievers from across the country, will be honored at AHCA/ NCAL’s upcoming Quality Summit in Grapevine, Texas, on March 10, 2020.


Life is great at Kennybrook Village. Here, you can live life on the go, or just relax. Designed with active seniors in mind, Kennybrook Village provides a secure environment where you can enjoy the independence and privacy of your own apartment, free of the day-to-day burdens of home ownership. Everything you need is right here at Kennybrook Village

The American Health Care Association and National Center for Assisted Living (AHCA/NCAL) represent nearly 14,000 non-profit and proprietary skilled nursing centers, assisted living communities, sub-acute centers and homes for individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities. By delivering solutions for quality care, AHCA/NCAL aims to improve the lives of the millions of frail, elderly and individuals with disabilities who receive long term or post-acute care in our member facilities each day.

3 Resolutions You Need to Add in 2020

Did you know that despite the best intentions, only 8% of people manage to follow through with their New Years’ resolutions? This is due, partly, to the fact that many resolutions are too restrictive, not realistic for one’s lifestyle, and are focused solely on weight loss. Each January, roughly one in three Americans resolve to better themselves in some way. While about 75% of people stick to their goals for at least a week, less than half are still on target six months later, research suggests. Here are some small, but vital changes to make to your everyday routine in 2020.

Adopt An Attitude of Gratitude

Take some time out of every day to reflect on what you’re grateful for. A daily check-in or a gratitude journal is a great way to shift your focus and minimize negative thinking, which can lead to unnecessary stress. Reminding ourselves of small, everyday positives can help develop a sense of balance and well-being that can enhance well-being and overall health. Try making this time at the beginning of the day, or at the end, if you struggle to find time throughout the day. If you have trouble locating something positive in the day, try to make a habit of treating yourself to a relaxing activity for five minutes each day. Try going on a short walk or reading for a few minutes at a time. Make a list of quick relaxing activities and pick one each day.

Meditation is another great way to promote mental well-being and positivity. It has proven to be helpful especially to those who suffer from anxiety and depression. If you are technologically inclined, there are many great apps and podcasts that can help get you started with your meditation journey. Another great way to practice mindfulness is to become a plant owner. Research shows that just the presence of an indoor plant can lower human stress levels, and actively caring for plans can calm the autonomic nervous system and lower blood pressure.

Find Time to be Active

Getting the recommended 30 minutes of exercise each day can be as simple as taking a walk. If you find yourself with a busy day, or 30 minutes at once is a lot for you, take three 10-minute walks throughout your day. Or even make it a point to get up and move around every five minutes out of each hour. Make it fun, grab a friend or family member and turn your walk into a social visit. Spending more time outdoors can improve health by relieving stress, elevating mood and lowering blood pressure. A quick walk outside or simply enjoying the beauty of your own backyard are great ways to incorporate physical activity and nature into your daily routine.

Make Small Healthy Changes to Your Diet

One of the easiest changes that you can make to your diet to improve overall health is to eat more whole foods. Whole foods, including vegetables, fruits, whole grains, and fish, contain nutrients your body needs to function at its best. Research shows that a diet rich in whole foods may significantly reduce heart disease, obesity, and blood sugar levels. One of the easiest ways to make a resolution to cook more meals at home. Many people rely on convenience foods, such as frozen dinners and fast food for a quick and easy meal. Though these items may be easy to prepare and readily available, they can have detrimental effects on your health if eaten too often. Cooking for yourself and making a meal experience can be extremely therapeutic and can help you enjoy food more. This is especially the case once you’ve lifted restrictions and allow yourself to try out new recipes that include foods you previously wouldn’t have cooked. Buy a new cookbook and pick out one new recipe each week to cook at home!

Another small way to improve your diet is to cut back on sweetened beverages. The consumption of sugary drinks is linked to an increased risk of obesity, heart disease, and insulin resistance. Quitting cold turkey might be difficult for some, so consider gradually minimizing your intake, or reducing the amount of sweetener you add to coffees and teas.

By making small but healthy changes to your lifestyle, it will be easier to stay on track with your resolutions and have a happier and healthier new year.

How to Select A Senior Living Community

by Judy Baxter, Marketing Director • Westchester Village of Lenexa

The action of MOVING evokes a variety of thoughts and emotions. Some people view it as an adventure and look forward to the change, but others prefer routine and consistency and are reluctant to change. Some moves are cross country, across town, down the street; to an apartment, to a house or to a senior living community.

The reasons to consider moving to a senior living community are many. They can range from the desire to downsize, freedom from home maintenance and repairs, costs, health concerns, death of a spouse, proximity to family, safety/security, longing for friendship and community. I welcome the opportunity to meet with individuals as they begin to explore the idea of senior living. During our discussions, I ask, “What are your priorities in selecting a senior living community?” Often times that question is met with a puzzled look and a shrug of shoulders. Another perspective is “At the end of the day as you evaluate the several communities visited, what will be the points of comparison between the communities?”  These points of comparison then become your priorities.

While priorities will vary from person to person, here are some common points of consideration in selecting a senior living community.

  1. Is the community a Continuing Care Retirement Community (CCRC)? A continuing care retirement community offers independent living, assisted living, short-term rehab, and long-term care. When you begin to need more assistance you are able to relocate to the appropriate level of care without the need to find a different community. Moving to a CCRC gives you and your family the security of knowing that your needs will be cared for in the future regardless of what the future holds.
  2. Financial model. Communities have different financial models ranging from monthly rentals to entrance deposits (oftentimes hundreds of thousands of dollars) with monthly fees.
  3. Location of community/proximity to family. Oftentimes individuals desire to live closer to family, medical community, church, etc.
  4. Right-size. Sometimes referred to as downsizing, this is selecting a residence with the space an individual uses on a daily basis (i.e. bedroom, bathroom, living room, dining area, and den), not the 4-bedroom house for the extended family’s annual visit. There is always a guest room within the community or a nearby hotel for occasional guests.
  5. Sense of Community. Living alone can lead to social isolation and seclusion. A community provides an engaging environment with peers and an opportunity for friendship.

These are just a few points to consider when selecting a senior living community. Remember this is a personal decision, and there are many great choices to select from!

Stretches to Relieve Back Pain (Part Two)

Part two of a four-part series on getting rid of back pain for good

This month we are focusing on strengthening our backs. This is a part of the body that often gets neglected. We experience much of the world from the front, and therefore we have a higher awareness of the function and form of our front body. Back muscles can also be challenging to isolate when doing strength exercises, and often other muscle groups step in to take over even when our aim is to strengthen the back. It is important to strengthen the back because the muscles of the back stabilize the spine, but also because the complementary muscles of the core tend to be stronger and the unequal balance of strength can lead to posture instability and pain. Give these exercises a try, and see how much better your back feels with some focused strength training!


Seated twist

This exercise focuses on strengthening your upper back. Sit on a stool, exercise ball, the floor, or backward on a chair so you don’t have anything behind you to get in the way. Bring your right hand behind your head with your right elbow pointing directly to the side. Roll your shoulders down your back and focus on maintaining a straight spine. Now twist back while thinking about pulling your right shoulder blade toward your left hip. You won’t really be twisting down toward your back hip, but visualizing that movement helps activate all the muscles along your back. Be sure to really think about using those muscles between your shoulder blades as this movement can be simply a mobilization exercise if you don’t focus on really utilizing the right muscles. Once you’ve gotten the movement figured out, contract back into the twist on an exhale and release to neutral on an inhale. Do five sets each side.

Need a bit more support during the exercise? If you are facing backward on the chair, you can hold onto to the back of the chair with your opposite hand for stability. You can also do this exercise in water or lying on your stomach. If you do decide to try it on your stomach, turn your head the direction you are twisting to avoid discomfort in the neck and make sure you aren’t using the muscles on the top of the shoulders that connect to the neck to pull you around but truly those muscles between the shoulder blades. If you’d like a challenge, try the twist on all fours in a tabletop position. It will add the benefit of balance and core stability. Word to the wise: stretch your wrists before and keep a blanket handy for under your knees!


Cactus heart opener

While seated in your chair and facing the front this time with your feet flat on the floor and spine erect, extend your elbows out to the side with your hands pointed up at a ninety-degree angle. This is the “cactus” pose. Now bring your attention to the muscles between your shoulder blades, and shorten that distance by activating those muscles and pulling your shoulder blades together. You should feel similar muscles activating as your seated twist, but it may be easier to isolate the right muscles and leave your upper trapezius out of the mix. This time, inhale as you extend your heart forward and elbows back; exhale as you release back to neutral. Do this one 10 times if you can. If it’s too strong of a stretch in your shoulders, bring your hands behind your head like you did in the first exercise. Feel free to try this one standing or in water as well.

If you’d like an added challenge that targets the same muscles, lay on your stomach with your hands on the ground in front of your shoulders. Press your upper body up with your hands, leaving your elbows bent. This is an extended cobra pose for anyone who practices yoga. From this position, feeling that great stretch across your front and the muscle activation along your back, try bringing your heart space forward, drawing your shoulder blades together and releasing a few times. You can even bring yourself up to your fingertips for more of a challenge. If you feel any pain in your lower back, bend your elbows more and bring your upper body closer to the ground.



This one says it all in the title! Lay your body flat on the ground with your arms extended in front of you. You may want a soft mat underneath you to take pressure off the ribcage and hip bones. Lift your arms and legs up the same time, really feeling that activation in your back. Lower and relax. Make sure you keep your head in a neutral position between your extended arms when you rise up to avoid straining the neck. Check as you do this exercise if you feel your glutes turn on, and if you don’t, turn them on! Our glutes are often disengaged and they are so important for keeping our hips stable and our back working the way it should!



If you didn’t feel your glutes before, now you’re going to. Come to a standing position with your feet hip-width apart and your toes pointing forward. Make sure your knees are tracking over your toes as you bend your knees. This will send your tailbone back so your spine is straight and your tailbone isn’t tucking under. You will find your back is in a slight forward diagonal. Check that your glutes are active and you have a straight line from your tailbone to the top of your head. This will require a bit of effort through the upper back to avoid hunching forward or opening through the chest.

To really get strengthening through the back, try your arms in a few different positions. Feel the difference in your body between arms directly in front of you, out to the side in cactus, or even extended over your head in the same diagonal line as your back. If you need to reduce the challenge, hold on to a wall or chair in front of you. Squat and straighten five times, really taking your time and focusing on form. If you want an additional challenge, come to a squat and raise and lower an inch from your bent position, pulsating with a small range of motion deep in your squat. This will wake up your legs and glutes for sure, offering your back the strong foundation it needs to maintain healthy posture during the day.

These exercises can be integrated into the stretching you are already doing. Try a couple of the stretches before strengthening to mobilize your body. Follow this with a few of the strengthener, and finish up with another stretch to cool down. You have several options so you can mix up your exercises each day while still working on the same goal. For the overachievers out there, really focus on engaging your core as you move through these exercises. We will be working on the core next month, but truly healthy movement involves the integration of all muscle groups working together. Practice daily and you will be thrilled with the results!

Kennybrook Village Wins AHCA Award

GRIMES, Iowa. — On December 14, Kennybrook Village was awarded the AHCA Quality Initiative Award by achieving multiple AHCA goals. Only 63 out of 450 senior living communities in Iowa were given this award.

According to, the Quality Initiative Recognition Program recognizes senior living communities that achieve at least four of the eight goals the AHCA has set. Listed below are the goals Kennybrook Village achieved:

  1. Adopt Core-Q customer satisfaction questionnaire and measure and upload data to LTC Trend Tracker.
  2. Safely reduce the number of hospital readmissions within 30 days during a skilled nursing center stay by a total of 30% from December 2011 or achieve and maintain a low rate of 10%.
  3. Improve discharge back to the community by 10% from December 2014 or achieve and maintain a high rate of at least 70%
  4. Improve functional outcomes by 10% from December 2015 or maintain an average rate of improvement of 75%

Kennybrook Village’s Executive Director Ethan Walton said, “We’re extremely proud of our team for achieving this high honor. Everyone here does his or her part, and it shows when we receive an award like this.” The award will be handed out to Kennybrook Village next year at the AHCA/NCAL Quality Summit in New Orleans.

For more information about Kennybrook Village, contact:

Ethan Walton

Kennybrook Village


Life is great at Kennybrook Village. Here, you can live life on the go, or just relax. You can live the kind of life you want to live: socializing, shopping, traveling, attending the theatre, and much more. Kennybrook Village offers Independent Living, Assisted Living, Rehabilitation, and Healthcare. Designed with active seniors in mind, Kennybrook Village provides a secure environment where you can enjoy the independence and privacy of your own apartment, free of the day-to-day burdens of home ownership. As one of our residents, you have the freedom to pursue an active social life and entertain family and friends in a safe, comfortable atmosphere.