The residents and staff of the Life Care Center of the Willows gathered this morning to throw an end of the summer luau at the center, showing up in leis, Hawaiian-designed shirts, and paper umbrellas in their hair.
The event was the Summer Luau, a party to enjoy the outdoors, delicious snacks and lunch, and fun games.
Friends and family were invited to join the fun, and the room was packed with residents and their guests.
“It is a good way for the residents to see family and friends,” Jessica Eldred said, the Activities Assistant of the center. “It is a special event because it is summer, and typically in summer you throw a fun, summer party.”
The first activity of the day was listening to a friend of the center play the harmonica, performing the hit, summery songs we all know. Then, Eldred switched on the radio to continue the music while all the residents and the guests enjoyed snacks in the living room. On a festively decorated table, there was a large bowl of punch, chips and dip, and several coconut bowls full of different types of hummus. Plus, more paper umbrellas were stuck inside cream puffs and eclairs for a sweet treat!
Little bottles of bubbles were passed around, which was a lot of fun for Bobby, the great-grandson of resident Loretta Williams. Bobby and his little sister Charlotte were visiting their grandmother, Linda Marrs, and their great-grandmother for the weekend and were having a great time at the party. Sucking up cups of the punch and helping with the games. Later on, Bobby said he liked coming to the party and seeing his grandparents.
“It is a lot of fun to have all the relations come to visit,” Williams said. “It is good to talk to them and to play. They hold many events that are great for the family and friends to come together.”
Williams has been at the center for the last eight months, and her daughter Linda visits and attends many of the events put on by the center.
After the snacks, everyone was brought outside for games. Led by Life Enrichment assistant Judi Johnson, all of the residents took turns throwing a beach ball into a sand bail for points and rings over the leafy heads of pineapples. Bobby helped return flying-away balls to the residents, which showed how difficult the games really were!
“The events,” Johnson said, “are great ways to mix it up.”
“I think all of the residents are tired of the same old things, and something like this brightens their day,” she said. “It is a great way to get the family involved too because they miss their family and their old way of life. This is a little spark of life.”
Eldred organizes these types of events throughout the year and has people like Johnson and other staff helping to make sure everyone is having a great time.
" class="alignright" /> Johnson, being used to throwing kids birthday parties, now has transferred her love of fun and games to a different generation, and enjoying it as much as the residents, she said.
After the games, everyone was invited to a lunch of hotdogs or hamburgers, hot German potato salad, three bean salad, and more desserts and fruit.
As the summer winds down, the residents and staff at Life Care Center of the Willows are enjoying every last moment of the hot, sunny weather.
It was a great day for all to “lei” around the luau at the Willows!
To find out more about the Life Care Center’s events and services, click here.