By Will Johnson
CROCKETT – Residents, family members, guests and staff of the Enchanted Pines Retirement Community were treated to a luncheon on Sunday, Sept. 11 to help kick off National Assisted Living Week.
According to the National Center for Assisted Living (NCAL), the weeklong celebration was established in 1995 by the NCAL and helps provide “… 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. 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.”
While the lunch service was being prepared, Enchanted Pines Administrator Catherine McCall welcomed everyone in attendance and thanked them for sharing their Sunday afternoon with the residents of the facility. “This is our kickoff for National Assisted Living Week and we will celebrate this coming week with a number of different activities,” she said.
After investors in the facility were recognized, a moment of silence was held in remembrance of those who perished on Sept. 11, 2001, followed by the invocation and service of delicious lunch.
Approximately 150 were in attendance for the luncheon and as the dining area began to clear out, McCall discussed National Assisted Living Week in more detail. “This year’s theme is ‘Keep Connected.’ I know in the past, there have been musical themes as well as homemade happiness. This year – with the theme of ‘Keep Connected’ – it’s a way to celebrate the residents, the staff, the volunteers and the whole community and the relationships which have been built.”
As she continued, the administrator explained what the differences were between a nursing home and an assisted living facility. “We are at that in between stage where people may need a little bit more help than what they can do living independently at home or in an apartment, but they don’t need skilled nursing care or care around the clock, like in a nursing home. We are that in-between stage where the staff can help with activities and daily living. We provid
e three meals a day, housekeeping services and transportation. The residents here are a little more independent,” McCall said.
“This week,” she continued, “we are really looking forward to some of our extra special activities. On Monday, we have Traditions Home Healthcare and Hospice who will be hosting a Luau Party for us. They recently did an activity with us where we tie-dyed T-shirts which we’ll wear at the party tomorrow. Tuesday, we will have Crown Home Health Services doing a photo booth where the residents can dress up and use different props to make some fun photos.”
Wednesday, the administrator said Texas Home Health would be at Enchanted Pines and on Thursday Pineywoods Health would be visiting. On Friday, McCall said several of the area nursing homes would pay a visit as well as the Crockett Area Chamber of Commerce who would be bringing Gospel music to the residents.
“It’s just a week of doing special things and this luncheon is the kickoff for it where we bring all the families together. It’s really kind of neat to see all the different families here who are represented at our assisted living facility,” McCall said.
There are 34 individual rooms at Enchanted Pines and “… as of right now, we have 33 residents. We are waiting on one more resident who will be joining us in just a few weeks. Typically, we do stay full, even with the waiting list. But, we do encourage anyone who may be interested to come and take a tour at any time. We can always show them what our facility has to offer. It’s a nice size in that it’s not too big and it’s not too small. The residents can always find someone to talk to, or socialize with, and then there is also the privacy factor in that all the residents have their own room,” she explained.
Will Johnson may be contacted via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.