Gardens to celebrate National Assisted Living Week

Published 4:39 pm Monday, August 27, 2018

By J.R. TIDWELL/ Editor

The Gardens of Clanton will be celebrating National Assisted Living Week with a calendar full of events and activities on Sept. 9-15.

According to the National Center for Assisted Living (NCAL) website, National Assisted Living Week was established in 1995.

“National Assisted Living Week provides a unique opportunity for residents, their loved ones, staff, volunteers and the surrounding communities to recognize the role of assisted living in caring for America’s seniors and individuals with disabilities,” says the website.

“The annual observance encourages assisted living communities around the country to offer a variety of events and activities to celebrate the individuals they serve, as well as to help educate members of the public about this distinctive aspect of long-term care.”

The theme for this year is “capture the moment,” which hopes to inspire residents to realize their dreams and seize the day.

“We want to capture the moment in everything that we do,” said Gardens administrator Vickie Patterson Moseley. “For the last probably 10 years, we have been celebrating National Assisted Living Week. It’s a big event for our residents. It celebrates them the whole week.

Each day of the week has a different theme and set of activities planned.

Sunday, Sept. 9, is Grandparents Day.

“On Grandparents Day, we will have an ice cream social, the Pattersons will be singing and the Chilton County and YMCA Queens will be here,” said Gardens activities coordinator Tabitha Hines.

“We have refreshments, and everyone tries to bring in their grandkids to see the residents,” Moseley said. “We set up a photo booth and make pictures of the families.”

Monday, Sept. 10, will include a fashion show put on by the Gardens residents. Cosmetology students from LeCroy Career Technical Center do the participants’ makeup that day.

“The trade school has been doing that for me probably five or six years,” Moseley said. “It’s really fun. The residents love interacting with them and getting their hair and nails fixed up. They get to model their fashion during the show. We pick a new queen for the week. We also pick a king, which will be Mr. (Henry) Doyle because we only have one male resident.”

On Tuesday, Sept. 11, Gardens will have Patriotic Day, which includes a barbecue lunch with different city officials.

“Jessie Lynn (the singing cowgirl, who performed at the Gardens on July 28) is coming back to sing the national anthem on Patriotic Day,” Moseley said. “The mayor is coming to speak that day.”

“On Patriotic Day, Sen. Cam Ward, (newly elected probate judge) Jason Calhoun and (current probate judge) Bobby Martin will be here,” Hines said. “The Swedish Queens will be here that day.”

Wednesday, Sept. 12, will start a cultural journey for Gardens residents that begins in Mexico with a fiesta before heading to Hawaii for a luau on Thursday, Sept. 13.

“We try to go to different countries throughout the week and travel with the residents inside the facility,” Moseley said. “We decorate as if we were in that country of place and make it lots of fun. We have all the residents participate and dress up. They enjoy every day. We have different people lined up to come in and entertain them from 10 o’clock in the morning until late in the afternoon.”

“Wednesday is Fiesta Day, and it is also Employee Appreciation Day,” Hines said. “It will be catered by Three Amigos. The employees get Mary Kay facials that day. Thursday is the luau. There will be Hawaiian pizza and Hawaiian desserts and some singing.”

The Verbena High School band and cheerleaders will be on hand to perform on Friday, Sept. 14 as part of Spirit Day.

“(University of Alabama mascot) Big Al will be here at 11:45 a.m. to eat lunch with us that day,” Moseley said. “(Auburn University mascot) Aubie was also requested, but he had a previous engagement, so he can’t come.”

The week concludes on Saturday, Sept. 15, with a family game day that includes an antique car show at the facility. Members of Thorsby School’s FFA will be on hand as well.

Moseley said that some assisted living facilities only hold events two or three days during the week, but the Gardens “blows it out of the park every year.”

“Hopefully this year will be one of our biggest that we’ve had,” she said. “The Gardens of Clanton has always done Sunday through Friday or Saturday. We do the whole week. We always do something every day of that week to really show our appreciation to our residents and their families to show how much they really mean to us.”

Anyone interested in seeing an online calendar of events or pictures of the different activities at the Gardens may visit the facility’s Facebook page.