Original article published in the Mower County Independent, Thursday, June 1, 2023. Reprinted with permission and gratitude.
By Gretchen Mensink Lovejoy
Nothin’ but a little peep show. “Spring Valley Living (SVL) feels it’s important to keep our residents in the care center and tenants in our assisted and flexible living…keep their spirits lifted as much as possible and continue to spark the will to explore and try new things. Here at the facility, we try and do this by offering activities all throughout the day in each faction of our facility,” began SVL’s activities director, Shakiya Ogilvie, adding, “Our activities feature all sorts of variety, such as hosting a ‘peep show’ to entice our resident’s interest from the mundane…where we ended up hosting some farm animals like ducks and chickens and ate Peeps…to finding any excuse to throw a party or multiple.”
Ogilvie elaborated, “For instance, in February we not only had a Valentine’s Day party, we followed it the very next week with a Mardi Gras party equipped with voting for staff and residents alike to crown our Mardi Gras resident king and queen. We strive here to make sure our activities are as well-rounded as our many residents and tenants in offering different ways to exercise, TED Talks where we dive into deep personal discussions, cooking classes where we share the treat afterwards, art projects, trivia, spa nights and karaoke–we make our staff perform for the amusement of the residents, making sure to celebrate birthdays, and of course, we’d be lost without our wonderful performers who visit regularly throughout the month and the ever-faithful bingo…we have many requests to do bingo every day.”
She continued, “We also like to keep the community and care center deeply involved with one another by regularly hosting students from the local schools and clubs. This involves students giving musical performances, practicing school projects, hosting a bingo or painting murals. Having the constant interaction with the community helps our residents and tenants feel like they’re still a part of the goings-on in Spring Valley, where many of them are from.”
May 14 through May 20 is National Skilled Nursing Week, the designated week of this year that celebrates the contributions of nursing staff at care centers and assisted living homes. The interactions between nursing and activities staff and residents are vital to keeping residents’ wellbeing at the forefront. SVL has a “Daily Acts of Kindness” event this week, as Ogilvie cited, “Just like our ‘Fish’ program, during this week, we’d like to catch and honor those we see going above and beyond. [If you] see someone doing an act of kindness, drop their name in the fishbowl for a daily drawing.”
The calendar for this week included “Kicking off with a little Kindness” as residents were invited to “enjoy a Kind bar located in the breakroom” on Sunday, slack off on the “business casual” dress code by appearing on “Pajama Day” wearing “your comfiest pajamas with work appropriate footwear” on Monday while participating in a campus-wide scavenger hunt for prizes and snacking on fruit and donuts in the breakroom.” Tuesday’s calendar box had “Sports Showboat Day” listed for people to “wear your favorite sports team garb, grab a hotdog and root-root for your team!” Wednesday promised “Beach Day” and “a vacation at work…wear some vacation attire, grab a lei and enjoy provided mocktails.” Thursday brings “Celebrity Look-Alike Day” – staff can “dress up as someone famous… make it an actor, solo artist, and/or boy or girl band and prepare yourself for a lip-sync battle and dance-off…take home a prize for either, and enjoy tasty pop and popcorn.” Friday is “Facility Pride Day,” and staff can “showcase your Spring Valley Living pride by getting that logo wear on…enjoy lunch and refreshments in the breakroom.” The last day of the week’s festivities holds nuptials as its focus– staffers Liz and Justin “exchanging vows” –and staff wearing lavender and “rejoicing with cake.”
Ogilvie reminded members of the community to keep the residents of SVL in mind as they go about their days, because just beyond the doors of the care center are people who love a good visit, a chat, and most certainly are good at having parties and peep shows. “Our mission here at Spring Valley Living is to keep the entertainment and fun flowing always throughout our facility.”
SVL is located at 800 Memorial Drive in Spring Valley. For more information about how to visit or volunteer, log onto the Spring Valley Living website at www.springvalleyliving.org, or call 507-346-7381.
Courtesy of the Mower County Independent, 135 E Main St. LeRoy, MN 55951, (507)-324-5325