2014-01-23 / News

New Hope Valley celebrates Saginaw Twp. anniversary


New Hope Valley residents build muscle and strength in their popular chair yoga class. 
Photo by Brandy Abraham New Hope Valley residents build muscle and strength in their popular chair yoga class. Photo by Brandy Abraham SAGINAW TWP. – New Hope Valley Assisted Living Home celebrates its first anniversary.

Located at 3785 North Center Road in Saginaw Township, New Hope Valley hosted an open house on Friday, Jan. 17 in honor of its anniversary.

Founder and Managing Director, Rumi Shahzad said that when they set out to create New Hope Valley their goal was “to create a community that celebrates the life of our residents.”

He said that life should not be looked at as ending when you move into an assisted living community.

“Of the residents here, each of them have a variety of different life experiences that make them who they are,” he said. “The goal was to create an environment that celebrates those experiences and partners with them to continue enriching their lives.”

He said that over the past year, he has been grateful for the engagement with the community, especially the families of residents. Although some residents have passed away, their families have come back to volunteer and support New Hope Valley.

“It tells me that our staff and our community have touched (the residents’) lives,” he said. “That spirit of volunteerism in Saginaw and the greater Tri-City area — we have truly benefited and are grateful.”

He recounted the help from community members, various organizations and specifically students at Nouvel Catholic Central High School when New Hope Valley partnered with St. Francis Home during a precautionary flood evacuation in late April.

Shahzad said he is thankful for the staff that have stepped up to support the residents of New Hope Valley. He said he has always valued the “soft skills” they bring, such as the passion to serve the seniors and the compassion and empathy to do so.

“Going from 0-42 employees in a matter of 12 months and having those employees have the heart to serve the seniors—it has been a humbling experience,” he said.

He said that personally he enjoys observing the residents move in to New Hope Valley. Although they are giving up part of their independence, he said he sees them make new friends and begin to enjoy doing certain activities again.

Shahzad shared that a chair yoga class and bingo have become popular activities for the residents.

He said it is heartwarming to see the memory care patients have “preverbal moments of happiness” too. In the last year, they have invited local Rotary Club member John Kammin and his therapy dog, Millie, to New Hope Valley.

“They would come in and you would see the patients’ eyes light up,” he said.

Looking toward the future, Shahzad said that their focus would remain the same— “we will always be a resident-centered community.”

However, he said they hope to implement other life-enrichment activities as well as bring in other speakers and entertainers while still discovering different training opportunities for their employees.

“We are always looking for opportunities to equip the employees with the best training and tools to support the residents,” he said.

Deputy Director of Care Jamie Jager, first developed Living Through Literacy when she was attending Saginaw Valley State University. They hope to continue that tradition at New Hope Valley by creating living biographies. These biographies can be either written or created through audio or video and will become a keepsake that can be passed down in the residents’ family.

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