Green Lea Manor Celebrates Residents During Special Week
By Gretchen Mensink Lovejoy
Wanted: Woman in floppy hat.
Ruby Erlandson is all smiles as she wears a hat in celebration of “Dress Up Day.”Reward: Making a difference.
“I’ve been here 25 years as activity director, and it’s rewarding to know that the residents appreciate the activities we do, that we’ve done something positive and knowing that we’ve made a difference in their lives,” said Green Lea Manor Activities Director Judy Vickerman, wearing a big black floppy hat and a polka dot dress last Tuesday morning to mark “Dress Up Day” at the Mabel nursing home as part of National Nursing Home Week.
Tuesday was “Dress Up Day” and the nursing home hosted LeAnn Knudson who shared her experiences raising her son during her program, “Faith Like a Teapot.”
The ladies of the home wore red hats because they’re part of the Manor’s Red Hat Society, and the gentlemen were dapper in black top hats and bow ties. “And since it’s a Victorian sort of day, we’re going to show the movie ‘Sense and Sensibility‘,” Vickerman pointed out.
She explained that Green Lea Manor celebrates National Nursing Home Week every year after Mother’s Day.
“This year’s theme is ‘Fulfilling the Promise’ – all the staff is working hard to make life meaningful, to provide quality care and make this a good environment to be in,” Vickerman explained. “We want to recognize the nursing home and that the people living here live life to the fullest. Their lives change a lot because they’re out of their own homes, but there are new opportunities – social opportunities – and we want to recognize that that makes this a good place to live.”
Residents enjoyed a variety of activities during National Nursing Home Week, including Monday’s “Flower Day,” during which they had a picnic, planted flowers and played flower bingo, Tuesday’s “Dress Up Day,” Wednesday’s “Entertainment Day,” when Dick Hagedorn made music in the morning, the Rochester Kitchen Band struck up the pots and pans in the afternoon, and the Clickin’ & Grinnin’ Cloggers soft-shoed their way through the evening. Thursday’s “Patriotic Day” featured a discussion with Bob Anderson of the Decorah Eagle Raptor Resource Project, a patriotic picnic outdoors, and Larry Wolfe, of Artistic Creations, carving an eagle from a stump using a chainsaw. Friday’s “Spiritual Day” brought the residents to chapel service that morning, Jane Bjerke spoke about her near-death experience in a presentation, “It’s All About Love,” and the Greenleafton Trio provided gospel music throughout the evening. Saturday’s activities were a bit “hairy,” even though it was the last day of National Nursing Home Week, as Touching Moments brought pets to the home for residents to hold.
Vickerman’s creativity is challenged daily as she tries to keep the residents active and engaged, and though she noted that it’s often difficult to satisfy everyone’s interests, she stated that it’s exciting to develop activities that they like.
“I have a lot of fun doing this,” Vickerman concluded. “It’s really very rewarding. I love what I do.”