LAKEWOOD - The winds of change have blown through Emeritus Assisted Living, bringing about new activities, organizations and displays. With a focus on life enrichment, Emeritus' programming attempts to meet the needs, talents and personalities of residents, while keeping those residents mentally healthy.
"We're always looking for ways to promote brain health and life-enrichment activities," said Theresa Perrin, life enrichment director. "The goal is to keep the residents socially engaged and provide their families the opportunity to learn and celebrate with them."
According to Perrin, the Life Enrichment Program was designed to add joy, purpose and meaning to residents' lives. She believes a recent addition to the Emeritus lobby adds to that joy.
Emeritus Assisted Living features a new lobby display each month created by David Miller of Gerry. February’s theme celebrated Valentine’s Day.
P-J?photo by?Scott Shelters
Each month since October, Emeritus has hosted at least one lobby display, created by David Miller of Gerry. In February, the display featured a Valentine's Day design, while Miller created a haunted house for Emeritus in October and winter-themed displays around the holidays.
"When people come in, there's something different," Perrin said. "It brings back memories. It's a conversation piece. It just makes it different when they come in."
Other life-enrichment activities incorporate the chief components of brain health, Perrin said, which include nutritional, social, spiritual, physical and intellectual aspects. The activities include a walking program, chair dancing and deep breathing exercises. Retired Old Men Eating Out (ROMEO) is a group of men who dine together regularly at area restaurants. The Kitchen Kpers prepare meals for the Lakewood-Busti Golden Agers, AARP and social nights at Emeritus. The Hooks & Needles group makes dresses and shorts for children in Africa, and a group of volunteers clips and ships coupons to U.S. soldiers abroad. Other groups make decorations, sing and read to children. A newly created club allows veterans to share memories with each other during a coffee hour.
Emeritus residents enjoy monthly outings, games and visits from animals, such as a groundhog, a tortoise and a tarantula. Residents have opportunities to learn about the animals.
With the goal of maintaining sound mental health, Perrin hopes the Life Enrichment Program will add joy and meaning to residents' lives.
"Our goal is to support our residents, making each day purposeful and successful for them," she said. "We are constantly looking for new ideas for the comfort, enjoyment and good of our residents that so much enrich all of our lives each and every day."