Bridging The Generational Gap

Another unique program at Hibiscus Court is the intergenerational program.
“We have partnerships with a few local elementary schools. We arrange for the students to come in and sing, dance, perform and entertain the residents,” explains Paige Blossom, resident programming director. “I want to bring the generations together here at Hibiscus Court and allow the young and old to interact and bridge that gap where age tends to get in the way. It’s been a great learning experience for all involved. Our residents love it when the kids come, and the kids love them back.”
Working alongside Paige is Kelsey Hochard, activities assistant. “I absolutely love what I do, and I really enjoy making personal connections with our residents here,” Kelsey says. “Most importantly, I love planning fun and stimulating activities for our residents to keep them busy and engaged.Photo courtesy of Hibiscus Court.
“The smile on their faces when a group of kids comes in is heartwarming,” Kelsey adds. “Sometimes, they are away from their own grandkids, and this gives them a chance to interact with young folks. We also have high school students who will come in, so it’s not just smaller kids. The older kids will come and sit with the residents or play cards or help them with a task. The residents just love it and it makes them happy. It’s a joy to see.”
Family interaction is an integral ingredient at Hibiscus Court.
“All of our activities are open to family members to participate in,” Paige relays. “If we go on field trips, family members are encouraged to come along. Friends and family members come in and participate in games, listen to the live entertainment – whatever they want to do to spend time with their loved ones. We understand how important family is in maintaining overall mental health.”
“Every Friday, we host Friday Fest. It includes live music, entertainment, hors d’oeuvres and refreshments. The Friday music is upbeat and lively,” Kelsey describes. “We incorporate as much fun as we can into their daily activities. We also have sing-a-longs and dancing, which they really love, too. Many of them love to dance. That’s one thing I want to stress – this is not a place where our residents just sit around and do nothing all day. It’s the exact opposite. We cater to all personalities and levels.”
For those residents who may be a bit less active or enjoy quieter interests, Hibiscus Court offers card games, brain games, long walks, board games – anything necessary to stay engaged in a quieter setting.
“No one is ever left out. We include everyone. We are a family,” Kelsey emphasizes.
Kelsey says her job has been one of the most rewarding parts of her life. Being able to give back to her elders is self-gratifying.
“I can see in the residents’ eyes that they really enjoy the things we do for them,” she observes. “Any time we get a smile from them, we know we’re doing something right. Even if they can’t physically say Thank you for whatever reason, a smile is priceless. It really is.”

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