PAPILLION, Neb. (KMTV) — The pandemic has been hard on everyone, especially assisted living communities. However, just recently, residents and staff members were able to celebrate each other at one local home.
“We had a lot of games and had some entertainment, so they kept us busy,” said WEL-Life Assisted Living at Papillion Resident Connie Schon.
“We try to lift the spirits of the residents and the staff all the time, but that week is extra special,” said WEL-Life Assisted Living at Papillion Recreation Coordinator Jennifer Ferris.
National Assisted Living Week ran from Sept. 12 through Sept. 18 and WEL-Life Assisted Living at Papillion celebrated accordingly.
“Pajama day. We wore pajamas all day,” Schon said.
“We had a sock day, a hat day, crazy hair day, and our residents really enjoyed doing that,” Ferris said.
“I wore crazy hair. I wore ponytails all over my head,” Schon said. “That was fun.”
Every year there is a different theme for the festive week. This year was 'Community, Caring, and Compassion' — and the Papillion community showed how grateful they are for everyone at WEL-Life
“The residents of Papillion will generously give us things that we can use for that week. We had goodies come in, we had gift cards that were donated,” Ferris said. “It really brings a smile to everybody’s face.”
Plenty of activities, recreation, and fun. Things that are very important for residents at the home.
“Even throughout the year, not just Assisted Living Week, we really try to get everybody out,” Ferris said. “Get them out into the community, get them involved in different crafts and activities just to lift their spirits.”
It’s just as important for staff members as well. Since the pandemic began, things have been extremely difficult for staff and residents.
“It’s been a difficult year. We’ve had some really tough cookies that have stuck with us through the pandemic, so it’s been a blessing,” Ferris said.
“It means everything because we have nothing — we can go out but then we’re going to be quarantined so a lot of times we don’t,” Schon said.
The pandemic is still making its presence felt across the country, but the residents and staff continue to push through it together.
“It’s kind of like a family,” Schon said. “We sort of take care of each other and since we’re in the pandemic we kind of have to rely on each other.”
Ferris says many of the fun activities they have would have been impossible without the community’s support.
Last Christmas they held an adopt-a-resident event. The community stepped up as each resident at the home was adopted and opened gifts on Christmas day.