Suzanne joins activities director Chelsea Hansen for the grand opening weekend at Vineyard Park of Covington in Covington, WA.
All sorts of things are happening during the grand opening, with various stations set up throughout the building showcasing events, activities, food, and live music with a Hawaiian theme. Vineyard Park has a host of clubs, plus Bingo, karaoke, a weekly social event, movie night, a monthly birthday dinner, men’s poker night, and ladies night, with family as well as residents welcome.
Learn more about Vineyard Park of Covington on their website or call 253-480-7050.
View Episode Transcript
*The following is the output of transcribing from an audio recording. Although the transcription is largely accurate, in some cases it is incomplete or inaccurate due to inaudible passages or transcription errors.
The following podcast is provided by care partners, living and answers for elders radio. Welcome everyone back to answers for elders radio, and we’re here at Vineyard Park in Covington, Washington, and the thing is so exciting is this is the grand opening weekend of this beautiful, beautiful facility and of course right across the parking lot is the cottages, which is a brand new memory care facility. This is like an amazing campus and there’s so much going on here today and we have the person you all need to talk to as far as what is everything happening, because the activities director, Chelsea Hansen, is here. Chelsea, welcome to answers for elders radio. Well, thank you. I’m happy to be here. Well, we’re excited to be here and certainly there’s all kinds of things happening today. And before we start, obviously you handle all the quote unquote, you know, resident engagement. Um, sometimes people call it life enrichment, but it’s really about activities and I’m sure you’re very busy today because you guys have a lot of stuff going on today. Fill me in what’s happening today. Well, Um, we spent day or this weekend. We spent the last two days, Um, putting up decor and making kind of stations to bring people to certain areas, if that makes sense. We wanted there to be a lot of buzzing in the halls and, you know, conversation all throughout the building and Um, even picking where the band would go was just there was a lot of heads in the middle of all of it trying to think of how, how can the flow go? So it took a team of us, but I was in charge of the decor and setting up stations and you know, how is the flow of everything and to go. And I went shopping with our marketer to pick everything out and I thought, why not bring Hawaii here, because it’s not where we all want to be, you know. Well, we kind of are in this beautiful weekend that we have here at Vineyard Park and Covington. And so, Chelsea, you obviously are involved in a lot of the activities here and Um, so you’re doing this Hawaiian theme, which means there’s going to be food, there’s all kinds of goodies, there’s all kinds of entertainment. You talk about a band. We’re actually just for everyone knowing. It’s amazing how well built this building is because we’re kind of in a back meeting room doing interviews. This room is completely signly right and even here the band and it’s so loud out and it’s so loud out there. So this shows to me the incredible quality of this building and the sound construction that this is. And certainly Um. Now, how many Um? I’m trying to remember how many units this Um, this facility has, uh, I want to say a D I don’t quote me. Yeah, and so it’s four floors. So that’s where we were. We were asking that earlier. I was asking Andrew, my general manager here, about how many Um there was. So and obviously you guys are having your grand opening now. You’ve been under construction a long time. There’s you know, the community has been watching you as they driving by and you’re right on ash road um here in Covington. But this weekend, if anybody is around in south King County, please come over and have an amazing tour of this beautiful, beautiful place. I am telling you, I was so impressed when I drove in. Um. It’s just such a beautiful Um. You know, grounds fully landscaped, so beautiful, all the bright colors. It feels just like such a happy place. That’s really cool and I’m sure you being a part of that is really important. So tell us a little bit about you know, as far as activities, what do you do? What kind of stuff goes on in in a senior living community? Well, we have a gardening club, we have a book club that we’ve started, Um, Crochet knit club. Um, they asked for clubs, so it kind of brings, you know, groups of them together that have had the same common interests and they can mingle and make friends that way and bond over the same things. Um, I run BINGO twice a week. They love the Bingo. We have different kinds of prizes. Um, we do Karaoke and we have a social once a week as well, which is like a different theme every week. We did wine, wine and cheese, which they loved. Um, we did an ice cream bar, just things like that, and in Christmas I’m thinking hot Coco Bar. You know, have to have a very innovative, creative, like let’s try it, kind of mindset for this type of thing. But we’re busy every single day. Well, absolutely, and I know that. I don’t know if you know yet, but I’m going to just throw something out there that I have a group of therapy dogs and we love to come visit. Matter of fact, care partners is our major sponsor and so um we will bring Um doodle dogs to come see the residents and they love it and we’re asking. We go to vineyard park up in buffalo all the time. We trained up at Mount Lake Terrace, so and that was working with the activity directors up there. So you and I might get to know each other a little bit if you want to. Well, I can visit you because we do have some people here in the South End, which is really exciting, and I know we’re so grateful to care partners for sponsoring Um events like this that are community based and certainly this integrates you guys with the community and to have that kind of connection just from whatever, and certainly somebody like you that have been through a lot. Um, you’re new in this position, but those that have run activities during the pandemic, that’s been difficult and certainly we’re glad that now, people like you said, there’s socials and there’s activities and there’s things like that. Um, there’s also events. I’m sure that you do that you include the family members as well. Absolutely, we have movie night once a week. They can bring their families, we pop popcorn, there’s candy and then we do a birthday dinner once a month, at the end of every month, and then I do a men’s poker night. So really get the men out, because that’s that’s the tricky part with activities. It’s getting the men to come out to things. So I wanted to make like kind of like a men’s only Um night where they can, you know, bring their their family and do that, and then we have a ladies night as well. So families welcome to all of that. That is so cool and obviously working with you, so you know when you’re when you’re doing stuff like this, do you find that the residents have favorite activities that they do and obviously you probably talked to them when they first move in about what kind of things? Does that integrate in how you put together a calendar? Yes, so when I first started here, I’ve been here about a month ish Um, I went around for the first week into each of their rooms to get to know them and I took a survey and I had all kinds of questions on there. But at the bottom I had a long list of just ideas for activities and I circled the ones they liked and I took that as a census and I made my first calendar. Yeah, and then as I ran the activities and I took a, you know, tally of who showed up, I then was able to use that to make my next calendar and some suggestions and requests were made along the way. So I just implement with what they want versus what I think they want, and it works really well well and I’m sure that that evolves over time because they do that. And of course there’s seasonal things that you have to look forward to. So obviously there’ll be different types of activities. So as far as when somebody comes to toward the you know, toward this beautiful place, Um, do they? I mean, obviously you guys will ask them, I’m sure, about activities they like to have. Are you involved in any of that? At times the tour I am a part of a small part of it. Um, when they get down to the activities room, I usually like to be involved to tell them like what goes on in that room, and then we do a lot of things in the dining area too. Um. Then there’s our PT Gal, Jerry. Her and I kind of work together a little bit and she runs an exercise class and I’ve learned from her. So we do all kinds of things. So I do like to touch base with you. It’s physical therapist, just obviously you do like fitness and activities and things like that. So that’s a part of it too, Um. So you will have activity type programs to keep seniors physically every morning we do exercise. That’s awesome. That’s awesome. So you’re really busy throughout the community and obviously working with the family. Is there a time, you know, with the family that you can maybe a family has a concern about mom needs this or mom’s that, or dad needs help here? Um, you guys are all a part of that process in such an advocate with the family. Yes, yes, we are. How do you interact with the family? I love interacting with the families because, you know, they don’t come every day, they don’t see the day in and day out things that we do. So seeing them brings me a lot of joy because I can share with them like Oh, your mom or your grandma, you know, did this today and I took pictures and we were laughing and we had a lot of fun and it just brings a lot of peace and like relief to them knowing they’re in good hands. So that’s that’s my favorite part. I always communicate with them very well, like I have a little story when I took care of my mom Um, way back when. It’s a long time ago now, but um she had a doll collection and they the facility that she lived in was so great they helped put up shelving along the above the ceiling so that they could mine up her dolls all the way around the room. Well, the activity director came up and said we’d like to showcase your dolls, and so they put um all her dolls on display in the lobby, I like a month and so and they told the story of, you know, each doll, where it came from. My helped my mom integrate into the community and I thought what a great idea. So I’m sure you do things like that. Yep, we have a guy here that paints plates and she is phenomenal. I put them on display down in the activities room for people to see. Today. They are gorgeous and we have a gift room that we put all her plates in, so anyone can go in there and see that. That is so cool. Yeah, that’s so cool. Well, Chelsea, I’m so glad you were with us and certainly Um if you, if you or anyone are in the South Seattle, can Covington area, rent an area even, please come down and take a look at this amazing community. I am just so impressed with how beautiful it is. It’s open, it’s light and there’s all kinds of fun activities going on, lots of food to eat, good food. It’s live music and all kinds of stuff. And Chelsea, thank you so much for doing all you’ve done to take care of this. Of course it’s been my pleasure. Thanks for being with us. The preceding podcast was provided by care partners living and answers for elders radio. To contact care partners living, go to care partners living dot com. Zero
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Originally published July 31, 2022
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