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Love Thy Neighbor Theme Party

In the retirement community where I am the activities director, we started a new program this year where residents are encouraged to nominate an employee for an employee of the month program. The concept of an employee showing the resident loving-kindness and going above and beyond their job duty is a concept that residents and employees are having a hard time understanding. It was a concept that I wanted to build on for the sake of the employee of the month program, so I created a "Love Thy Neighbor" theme party.

The idea would be that residents would have an opportunity to share what they love or appreciate about their neighbor.  Here are the bullet points about how I put this party together:

  • Assigned each of our 5 buildings a color to wear
  • Decorated the Lobby (party room) with balloons for each building's color
  • Used Sweetheart candies to create a center piece for each buffet table and on the tables for extra color
  • Printed paper hearts - to coordinate with each building's colors- and that matched Sweetheart colors that had a space for the resident's name, the resident's name being honored and the reason why they are being honored.
  • Got painter's tape to stick the hearts onto the wall without damaging the paint
  • Put a table up with the paper hearts and extra pens

Overall, this theme night was easy to create. I had a resident tell me that she normally doesn't attend the theme parties becuase they are to difficult for her to participate in properly (dress up). She said that because this them  was simple enough for her to participate in that she would be attending. That was good to hear.

I will say that some residents did not want to complete a heart because they feared hurting another resident's feelings. And then they were other residents who filled out multiple hearts. 

I did leave the hearts on the Lobby wall for a few days after the event so that those who came to the party early would be able to read all of the comments. It is important to have a few ideas in your back pocket to share with residents who want to participate, but can't think of something on their own. Examples of this are:
  • Picks up grocery items for me
  • Watches my pet while I'm away
  • Collects my mail while I'm away
  • Visited me in the hospital
  • Respects m privacy
  • Good listener
  • Bakes for me
  • Drove me to the hospital
  • Etc. etc etc.
"A good character is the best tombstone. Those who loved you and were helped by you will remember you when forget-me-nots have withered. Carve your name on hearts, not on marble."        Charles Spurgeon

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