- Linnea Maki
It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas at Park River! It's my favorite time of year & my favorite month to plan for our residents. Our staff does such a great job decorating our Care Center! The halls and rooms are so festive and cheerful & we have so many fun programs & activities planned for our residents!
It's very important for our residents to keep busy during the holidays. For some, the holidays can trigger feelings of loneliness & sad memories of loved ones lost. Feelings of anxiety & feelings of being left behind or forgotten are common. It's not always possible for our residents to spend time outside of Park River during the holidays. If given the choice, they would want to be back in their home & spending time with their families. We try to make sure they have lots of fun things to do & see to keep their spirits bright!
One of the many things that makes Park River unique & special is that our Care Center feels like home. Our residents feel like family to all of us. It's so rewarding being able to go to work surrounded by people that you love. By making the holiday season special, we can create new memories & let our residents know how much they are loved by their family at Park River.
We have quite a few volunteer groups from local churches & the community visiting our Care Center this month. We have several caroling groups, a Christmas dance recital and a Christmas piano recital as well. I'm always excited when children/student groups come to interact & perform for our residents. Park River is such a welcoming environment & children bring such happiness to our residents.
We have started a "Giving Tree" this year for our residents. Each resident created their own "Wish List" of gifts that they would like for Christmas. These lists are on ornaments that are decorated on the Giving Tree located in the front lobby. Staff & family members can pick an ornament, buy & wrap a gift from the list and return them to the Therapy Department by December 15th. The residents will be given their gifts at the Christmas Party on December 23rd.
We have our annual "Sharing Tree" that is located outside the Welcome Room. This tree is decorated with donated hats, mittens, scarves & jackets from residents, staff & visitors. These items will be collected on December 16th & donated to the children of Coon Rapids Head Start who are in need of warm clothing for the winter. This is a nice opportunity for Park River to give back to our community.
We have our Christmas Eve Party on Friday, December 23rd @ 2:00 & our New Years Eve Party on December 30th @ 2:00. We will have lots of treats, live music & holiday cocktails. Family members are always welcome to come celebrate with our residents! We also will be ringing in 2017 with our annual "Family Night" sponsored by the Resident Council Foundation, on Thursday January 5th @ 7:00. This year's program will be musical entertainment by the duo CODA!
I'm excited for all the fun programs & activities during this month! But most importantly, our residents are looking forward to all the fun things in store. Let's make this a memorable holiday season for all of our residents & remind them how much they are truly loved by us all.