Artman’s Lively, Engaging and Stimulating Community Life
December 19, 2023
Community life has never been more engaging, fun-filled and lively than it was this fall for residents and team members at Artman, a Personal Care and Skilled Nursing Community in Ambler, PA.
In September and October, residents had a full agenda that transported them from their resident-centered, cozy neighborhood Households to Barbie-Land, a Vegas Casino, and to a Haunted House where Frankenstein was hiding from his coquettish Bride.
November and December were equally thrilling, with weekly cooking demonstrations, Holiday decorating, parties, and, the Mummers are coming right after Christmas!
The Importance of Creating Meaningful Activities for Residents
Dana O’Donnell, Executive Director at Artman, credits the highly amusing, creative programming to the inventive imagination and resourceful efforts of Madeleine Byrne, Director of Community Life.
“She’s the brains of this operation. With all of her ideas and props needed to execute them, we’ve had to find extra storage space to warehouse her supplies,” says Dana.
After fun-filled, back-to-back events this fall, the residents and team geared up again for The Annual Halloween Haunted House.
Madeleine strives to bring new and unique programs to the residents and understands the importance of having special events on the residents’ calendars so they have socialization and fun to anticipate. Bringing joy to residents has been an overlapping theme for Madeleine; whether dressed as Workout Barbie, a casino dealer, or a mad scientist in Artman’s Haunted House.
“Residents appreciate the team’s efforts to dress up, serve food, or join in on dance parties with them. No longer are they seeing strictly professional caregivers doing their jobs; the residents view them as friends enjoying good times together.”
Autumn Happy Hours
In addition to the special events this fall, residents enjoyed Autumn-themed Happy Hours every Friday afternoon. While recalling those, Madeleine adds, “One of the resident’s daughters donated hot pizzas every other week to accompany the beer, wine, appletinis and pumpkin flavored cocktails.”
Thanks to Madeleine’s creativity, the team’s energetic execution, and Director of Dining Services, Darryl Gruber’s dedication to offering delicious, enticing meals and snacks, the entertainment and tasty treats kept coming from the kitchen to residents’ tables every week.
Additionally, every Thursday afternoon, Darryl or one of his assistants performed special cooking demonstrations at individual Households for residents to sample recipes.
Celebrating the Holidays
On the first of December, holiday decorating for Hanukkah and Christmas began. Residents welcomed family members coming to join the jolly good times at holiday parties during the first week of December. From the 4th and 7th, families gathered for crab, shrimp, and beef pastry hors d’oeuvres, cocktails, and supper, along with a cascade of cookies and delectable deserts served at individual Household Holiday parties in The Atrium.
The seemingly non-stop festivities will continue through Christmas and Epiphany. On December 26th, The Mummers will strut into Artman to welcome the New Year with residents at 2:00 p.m. in the afternoon.
Reflecting on memories from the fall activities, Dana concludes, “With these types of activities, residents feel rejuvenated. It is amazing to watch them enjoying dancing with friends, neighbors and team members, and for some, never sitting down for the duration of the event.”