Life of the party

Photo of Krista, Marisa, and Pattie

Golden nuggets made of caramel corn are passed around as the line dancers take to the stage. Some residents join in on the dance, excited to be part of the hoedown. Others prefer to watch, or chat with friends. It’s just another day at their retirement residence.

“I had a blast organizing a hoedown for residents that included line dancing, a country singer, and themed snacks like Rice Krispies treats that I called straw bales and caramel popcorn that were gold nuggets,” said Marisa Vega, lifestyle consultant at Kingsmere Retirement Residence in Alliston, ON. “They were so excited! The best part for me was line dancing with 52 residents.”

For recreation team members, filling every day with life and laughter is just what they do. From planning parties and celebrations, to finding new and exciting outings or reconnecting a resident with a past hobby, they truly are the life of the party.

For Sienna lifestyle consultants, coordinating and leading activities that enhance residents’ mental, emotional, and physical well-being is all part of awakening their communities to the positive possibilities of life’s next chapters.

Krista Hazelwood, lifestyle consultant at Island Park Retirement Residence in Campbellford, ON, says the highlight of her day is when she knows her activities have made residents’ lives more meaningful. “I call those moments my second pay cheque, because I’ve helped them find purpose through a new interest or the re-introduction of a hobby they once had.”

Each year, she’s sure to plan outings to visit the lilac fields, help one resident celebrate his birthday by hitting a golf ball — even if it is February, and host interesting guest speakers the residents love.

But how do they get their ideas?

“The key is to interact with them, spending time laughing [with them], and listening to their suggestions,” said Patti Bentley, lifestyle consultant at Waterford Barrie Retirement Residence. “It’s great to see them happy doing something they truly enjoy.”

Want to become the life of the party yourself? Join our recreation team:

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