In honor of the 2017 Nursing Home Week, the staff at the Life Care Center of The Willows in Valparaiso celebrated the “Spirit of America” themed week with five days of fun activities. From May 15 to the 19th, staff and residents “traveled” America, enjoying big-name cities and their fun, famous food choices.
Monday, May 15: Residents were welcomed to America with a trip to Ellis Island in New York City. They watched a short documentary on Ellis Island and discussed the struggles people faced there, and even spoke about their own immigration stories. For lunch, the residents enjoyed Philly Cheesesteak sandwiches and New York cheesecake. The day ended with entertainment by guitar player Paul Landendorf who performed the hit songs of the 1950’s and songs associated with the beloved New York City. Staff members donned their own “I Love NY” shirts and dressed in red, white, and blue to show their spirit.
Tuesday, May 16: The residents stayed closer to home the second day for a party in Chi-Town! The day started off with Chicago-themed trivia, which was pretty easy since so many of them grew up or worked in the city. For lunch, everyone had a slice or two of Chicago-style pizza, and afterwards, everyone made their own ice cream sundaes for a “Taste of Chicago” style dessert. Each person was able to cover their own sundae in different syrups, sprinkles, whipped cream, chocolate chips and cherries. The day ended with everyone celebrating their favorite Chicago sports team with a baseball and basketball tournament. Plus, residents and staff showed off their spirit with a Chicago sports team shirt and jersey.
Wednesday, May 17: It was Western Wednesday at the center, so the residents listened to country music performed by a former certified nursing assistant and had the opportunity to meet and pet Danny the horse. The residents kissed him and fed him treats, while smiling from ear to ear the entire time. Lunch consisted of BBQ sandwiches and old-fashioned peach cobbler and the staff joined in, pulling out the flannels, bandanas, and cowboy boots for the day!
Thursday, May 18: On Thursday, the residents glammed up for their Hollywood debut. The residents dressed up in feather boas, decorative hats, jewelry, ties, tiaras, scarves, and more and then walked down the red carpet to flaunt their new outfit, doing a 360 degree turn and walking back! There were whistles and cheers from the crowd as one of the residents, Loretta Williams announced each person’s name and the details of their fashionable attire. Staff joined in, strutting their own glammed up outfits down the red carpet. Lunch was a submarine sandwich and fruit salad.
Friday, May 19: To honor All American Day in the U.S.A, performer J. Jay Brooks sang, danced, dressed up in costume and invited the residents to join him as he performed a musical of patriotic songs and some old-fashioned rock n’ roll songs. The residents were up moving and grooving and singing along to the hits. Everyone enjoyed a cookout lunch, featuring hot dogs, hamburgers, chips, and apple pie. Afterward, they played the classic cookout games, like corn hole, ring toss, golf ball toss, and horseshoes. Red, white, and blue stars and stripes were worn by the staff and residents as well!
Nursing Home Week honored the home care nurses and the care they have for their residents. This week was not just to bring more awareness to the hard work nurses put in each day, but to show off the family-like relationships that are made between staff and residents in nursing facilities all over the country. For those at Life Care Center of The Willows, the week was a fun way to thank the staff for all they do, while celebrating and building those friendships even more.
To learn more about the Life Care Center of The Willows, click here.