Our activity director Kathy noticed that one of our residents appeared a little sad. She stopped to talk. The resident simply responded that he was feeling a little down. He just couldn’t do the things he used to do.
As a stroke survivor, this is not unusual. Kathy could have simply reassured him that we’re here to help and left it at that, but she didn’t. Sensing something deeper, she persisted until finally the truth came out. He confided in her that the next day would be his 27th wedding anniversary. And while his wife was nearby, and visited often, it would be the first time they would be apart and that he couldn’t do anything about it ... or for her.
Kathy reassured him that he could do something about it and she’d help him. With that, Kathy enlisted the help of Sue Kim, the assistant food service director. Together, they had contacted the local Sizzler (the couple’s favorite eatery) and, with the support of the manager, ordered a special dinner. They then arranged for a cake and balloon bouquet; made arrangements for a specially decorated table for two at the community (Due to his health, he couldn’t travel to the restaurant); secured the services of two violinists; made sure there was a sparkling drink for a toast; and, not forgetting even the smallest detail, got an appropriate anniversary card for the resident to present his wife.
All that was left was for him to call his wife and invite her to dinner.
On April 26, less than 24 hours after feeling helpless and hopeless, our resident was able to fulfill his Thrill of a Lifetime by enjoying a special dinner, on a very special day, with the most special person in his life. All because someone took the time to listen and make a difference.
Now you know the story behind the story and why we do what we do: transforming the aging experience.