On May 9, 2016, Life Care Center of Tucson, Arizona, began its celebration of National Nursing Home Week.
In staying with the national theme, “It’s a Small World with a Big Heart,” the facility celebrated associates’ and residents’ various cultures.
Associates dressed up in different themes to celebrate a different culture each day. The activity department organized much of the celebration, including a cultural potluck, a Hawaiian luau and a video highlight show. Associates, residents and families were encouraged to participate in the activities.
The potluck included dishes from 10 countries from around the world. Fliers were placed by each dish to explain where the dish originated, why it was special to the preparer and what time of year it was usually prepared.
“The cultural potluck was very good,” said resident Suzanne Lentz. “Everybody went ‘mmm!’”
For the luau, associates served shaved ice along with fruit salad, and entertainment was provided by hula dancers.
Associates took part in a “Minute-to-Win-It” contest while residents watched them perform silly tricks. After the contest, residents took turns swinging at a piñata.
“I liked the hula dancers,” said resident Judy Frances. “My family enjoyed them, too! The dancers wanted us to dance with them, and that was fun!”
Some of the events that took place throughout the week included an elementary school mariachi band concert and a performance by the Ballet Folklorico dance school.
“I thought the Folkorico dancers did an excellent job,” said resident Jeffery Barron. “They were very professional! I thought they were terrific!”
Throughout the week, associates in the activity department filmed short video clips of residents and associates sharing their stories about their cultural heritage. There were stories from immigrants, settlers and Native American tribes.
One resident shared that his grandmother was a Native American princess from the Penobscot tribe, and he had been sent to live on the reservation to learn their ways when he was younger.
The short video clips were put together and edited into a longer video that was played for all of the residents and associates to watch.