Summertime Smiles At Berkeley Heights Nursing and Rehab Center
Thursday, August 29, 2013 • 2:36am
BERKELEY HEIGHTS, NJ - All the good and wonderful that happens in a nursing home. That is the story at the Berkeley Heights Nursing and Rehab Center tucked back on Cottage Street in Berkeley Heights. Residents receive essential healthcare in nursing homes, but it's the recreation department that gives them the opportunity to create a new life. The center’s recreation team fills each day with fun activity. Ideas are often inspired by specific observances or holidays for the month.
Director of Recreation, Diane Wilverding, plans a special event and resident birthday celebrations every month. "Summer is a special time filled with events that entertain the residents, families, area children, and the employees,” said Wilverding. The August calendar is filled with extra special events including a Dog Show, Magic Show and Hawaiian Luau.
Animals are known to be therapeutic at nursing homes, bringing happiness to interact and touch. The employees brought in their own dogs for the show. A Yorkie dressed in a pink polka dot dress stole the show.
The local YMCA Pre-School children came for a visit to the home to watch a Magician Show with the residents and families. Amy Rivers, Assistant Director of Recreation, loves seeing the children interacting with the residents. She said, “It's a beautiful thing to be able to invite children into our facility and watch the residents interact with the children as well as the children interact with the residents.” Therapy comes in many shapes, human interaction and activity plays an important role to the health of the residents.
The summer barbecue was in the theme of a Hawaiian Luau with a pig roast, staff dressed in grass skirts and coconut tops, and authentic Hawaiian ukulele music. Flowered leis were worn by all that attended. Simply stated by Cathy Balsamo, Recreation Aide, “It’s happiness shared by ALL”.