The first month of 2021 is already almost over and it is shaping up to be a wild and exciting year. We at The Heathers wanted to take some time to discuss some of our New Year's resolutions for our growing community. I asked our founders Larry and Sandy Garifo about some new activities and projects they’d like to implement this year. Read on below to see what's in store.
Mr. Garifo would like to focus on the social gatherings we can bring to our residents once it is safe for everyone to do so. Mr. Garifo remarked that:
“It’s been a taxing year for everyone because of the pandemic, and I know of many friends that have been impacted one way or another. Still with kindred spirits I look forward to a healthier and happier new year and a time when we can all be physically together again.
I look forward to having several outdoor events at our two locations for The Heathers Senior Homes. These event ideas will be generated by our residents, our staff and my family. We will have events that bring together the community; events that involve local restaurants, first responders, and area artists. It would provide a deep satisfaction for me to see our residents clapping their hands to music, enjoying a sonnet, eating a Chicago hot dog, admiring some artists’ crafts, and just seeing smiles on our residents' faces. This is what it’s all about to me.”
I asked Mr. Garifo what would be his dream event to host. “A pig roast,” he laughed, “with vegetarian options of course as well!” With both the Ringwood and Lake in the Hills Heather’s locations having outdoor space for a pop-up pavilion, there would be plenty of room for this decadent feast. “I would love to get a local band to play as well - dinner and a show!”
While Mr. Garifo is excited about the social fun he can bring to his residents, Mrs. Garifo is passionate about how residents can share a love of learning with others. She enthused:
“Once safe to do so, my goal is to set up and implement an inter-generational program of shared experiences and knowledge between our residents and students from pre-school, grade school and high school students. I truly believe that our Seniors and our neighborhood children and young adults will mutually benefit through the relationships they develop.”
Activities to promote these goals would include having residents read to preschool children, and have older children practice reading to them. Grade school children and residents could bake and do crafts together. Mrs. Garifo would love to implement a book club for high school students and residents. “The Book Thief would be a great choice! Our residents' life experiences coupled with teenagers would show two completely different perspectives. This way both parties can learn from each other while discussing issues that are still very relevant today.”
On my end, as the author of our Blog, my resolution this year is to have residents who would like to be more actively engaged in our social media. I’d love to collaborate with our Seniors on posting the content they are most interested in. Did someone’s grandchild make an awesome drawing in art class, great! Is there a new puppy in the family? Do you have a hobby you'd like to teach others, let’s write an article together. We can all benefit from what each other has to offer and create new memories.
We look forward to an amazing 2021. We can’t wait to see what new memories our residents, care partners, and family members all create together. Here’s to new beginnings!