Life at Pohai Nani

Walking group at Good Samaritan Society - Pohai Nani

Living in “paradise” has a lot of perks. Just ask Jean Coffman, 89, a long-time resident at Good Samaritan Society – Pohai Nani in Kaneohe, Hawaii.

During her 10 years there, she’s taken advantage of many of the wonderful amenities, like the heated swimming pool and fitness classes.

“I really appreciate the many different choices for exercising and staying well,” says Jean.

And even though Jean recently had surgery and the recovery is slow, her exercise instructors and classmates still make her feel like part of the group.

Activities manager, Joanne “Jo” Cinter, recently asked Jean if she was coming back to fitness class. When Jean told her she couldn’t yet, Jo gave her some things she could do in the meantime.

“They treat me as a whole person and don’t forget me just because I haven’t shown up to class in a while,” Jean states.

She isn’t the only resident who likes the exercise classes at Pohai Nani. Leona Hirahara, senior living manager at Pohai Nani, says classes are popular and thoughtfully planned to help meet the needs of residents.

“We have some excellent classes. One of those is a Parkinson’s class. Jo leads that class and it’s something unique to our area,” says Leona.

Sense of community

The family atmosphere at Pohai Nani also helps residents thrive. Staff members and residents go out of their way to make sure everyone feels cared for.

“The amazing part, to me, is the kindness, openness, love and sense of family,” says Jean.

Staff members come to Jean’s apartment to help her with medications and provide weekly light housekeeping and linen changes.

“That’s been a blessing because the people are wonderful, helpful, caring, and pick up on things that I hadn’t thought of before,” Jean states.

The dedication of staff members is evident in their years of service. Many are long-term employees. A few have worked there for over 38 years.

“I think everything they do comes from the heart,” adds Leona.

And it’s reciprocated by residents. Whenever Jean is out and about and sees Leona, she hugs her.

“That hug is amazing – what it does for you for the rest of your day,” says Leona. “I have several residents that see me passing in the lobby and they’ll stop me and give me a hug. We really grow into being a family here.”

A focus on wellness

There are many options on campus for emotional, social and spiritual support.

“We have a lot of activities for the residents and definitely try to get the employees engaged in activities as well, because our residents just love being around them,” Leona says.

Pohai Nani has large quarterly events, including diversity day where each department chooses a country to research and share about. Staff members dress up, decorate a booth and prepare a food dish from their respective country. Then residents walk around and sample the food.

Around the holidays, there are events at Pohai Nani almost every day. Music events are also common. Different groups come in to provide live entertainment. There is a chaplain on staff who leads various spiritual activities like devotions and Bible study.

Beautiful scenery

The apartments at Pohai Nani are named after Hawaiian flowers and include studio, one-bedroom and two-bedroom floor plans. Most apartments have a view of the amazing mountains nearby.

“I wake up in the morning to that and I just love it,” says Jean.

“In Hawaii, it’s called the windward side, which is the more lush, green and tropical side,” says Leona. “The Koolau mountain range surrounds us. So 99% of the apartments face the mountain range. And the wonderful part about our mountains in Hawaii is when it’s raining, there are a lot of waterfalls that come down those ridges.”

With nature surrounding the campus, residents enjoy the vibrant colors and lush gardens. Many enjoy the outdoors on the two walking paths.

Wherever residents spend their time, they know they’ll be treated with kindness and respect.

“We’re all one family here,” says Jean.

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