It starts with Thanksgiving, a special celebratory dinner for residents and their family members. At UM Shore Nursing and Rehabilitation Center at Chestertown, activities staff members Dianne Hill, Annie Wilson and Lashonda Newman go out of their way to ensure that Thanksgiving and Christmas present lively events and lovely decor to get everyone in the holiday spirit.
“This year we had about 75 residents and their family members for our Thanksgiving dinner,” says Hill, who has been with the Center for three years. “It’s always a happy event, and so nice for residents and patients to be able to host their relatives and other loved ones for a special meal.”
Christmas excitement kicks in as soon as December is under way. Visits from Christmas carolers, making gingerbread houses, Poinsettia day, Nutcracker Day, Fruitcake Day, Cookie Walk (a fundraiser to benefit resident care) and special performances by local musical groups such as the Pondtown Singers, the Burke Family Singers and Pastor Dave’s Gentleman’s Quartet are just a few of the many occasions that help residents of the Center enjoy the season with staff members and visiting friends and family members.
The day after Christmas features a performance by Tyla’s Dance Troupe, and on the 28th, a bus trip to Sandy Point State Park enables residents to see the annual winter wonderland called Lights on the Bay. New Year’s Eve is another highlight, with a celebration featuring live entertainment and a special buffet.
“Keeping our residents stimulated and engaged is a very high priority at the Center,” says Stu Seitz, Center director. “For many of our staff, the Center is like a second home and residents and their loved ones are like family. The holiday season is no exception and in fact, it is often a time when we have a few more residents on respite care while their family members travel or have company. We welcome these temporary residents and go out of our way to include them in all aspects of community life.”
Information about respite care at the Center may be obtained by calling Gladys Peeples, 410-888-4550.