Classic cars of most every kind lined the parking lot of the Life Care Center of Valparaiso on Friday, September 30 for its fall car show. The show, open to all, provided the perfect opportunity for its residents to enjoy some beautiful autumn weather, interact with the Valpo community and experience some fun nostalgia from back in the day.
“This is just an opportunity for people just to have some fellowship,” said Director of Business Development Angela Monahan. “Our residents love coming out and looking at the cars, and just being part of something that they can have a conversation about and say, ‘I remember that car.’ It's just about bringing the community in with our residents.”
The Life Care Center hosts two car shows a year, one at the start of summer, and another as the warmer months begin to wind down.
“The one we did in the spring was fabulous,” said Executive Director Amber Janeczko. “The residents still were talking about it many days later. They love seeing the different types of cars and just things that remind them of when they were younger, like when they got married and things like that. Seeing them have so much joy and stuff brings a lot of joy to us. That's why we work in this industry.”
These events have become a staple for the nursing and rehabilitation center over the years, bringing people together to bond over a common interest. Many of the cars featured were brought courtesy of the Winamac Old Auto Club, which always enjoys bringing others together through their love of cars.
“The people that come love just having time together and talking about what they love,” Monahan said. “It's all like-minded people, and when you surround yourself with like-minded people, it just makes you happy. Everyone knows what you're talking about, and I think that's like my favorite part about it - just everyone having great fellowship.”
The fellowship extends from the staff to the residents and those even outside the Center. It’s also a change of pace for the residents and allows them to experience camaraderie with others outside of the typical day-to-day interactions, which is always enjoyable for them.
“This is a great way for us to show support and to bring the community in,” said Janeczko. “It gives the car guys a place to meet and gives them the chance to come to our facility and then our residents get to enjoy it. Overall it’s just a nice day.”
Hosting these shows has been a community effort as well. Cathy Ellis, marketing liaison with Dunes Hospice, has been working with the Life Care Center for eight years and loves contributing where possible to help bring fun events, such as car shows, to life.
“I've been with Dunes for about a year; we just try to help them out as much as possible,” she said. "They're an awesome facility. They're able to partner with us for different events. We just like to get out in the community, and do things together, and have fun.”
The partnership then also makes a huge, positive impact in the lives of the people they serve, and the effect their work has on them is what Ellis is passionate about most.
“We just have a lot of fun. If we can make a difference with our activities and whether the events make a difference for the community and our seniors, that's all that matters,” Ellis said.
Those interested in learning more about the Life Care Center can request a tour of the building to learn more about all the services provided and to see the different amenities for residents and clients, such as long-term and short-term care options, the gym, in-patient rooms, and more.
Many of the Life Care Center’s staff have been with the company for many years, and consider each other like family. They’ve found they love working for the center from the moment they first step in the doors and want everyone else to experience that same feeling as well.
“Our staff that's been here for many, many years. We are like a big family here. When you come in, you will feel welcome and you will feel like you're at home because that's how we treat our loved ones,” Monahan said.
For more information on the Life Care Center of Valparaiso, visit lcca.com/locations/in/valparaiso.