‘I just want to put a smile on residents’ faces and make them laugh – and it’s working’
Since Maplewood residents have been missing their regular entertainment due to restrictions in place during the global COVID-19 pandemic, life enrichment aide (LEA) Rosanne Blackburn has been coming up with ways to keep people smiling and the laughter flowing.
Maplewood, along with OMNI Health Care’s other 17 long-term care homes, is closed to everyone but essential visitors to protect residents and team members during the ongoing pandemic.
As a result, entertainers from outside the home are not visiting OMNI homes, and group programming is on hold.
Knowing how important entertainment is to the Brighton long-term care home’s residents, Rosanne has been providing entertainment by dressing up in costumes.
The residents are loving it.
One day she dressed up as Elvis and danced to one of the King of Rock ’n’ Roll’s songs.
On another day, she danced to the song Lollipop by the Chordettes – with a big lollipop in hand.
Rosanne also served residents tea and coffee while dressed as a clown.
She has dished out banana splits while wearing a banana costume.
Rosanne says her ideas have gone over so well with residents they are eager to know what she’s going to do next.
“They get a good chuckle out of it,” she tells The OMNIway. “They always tell me when I come in, ‘I’m waiting for your next costume; I can’t wait to see what it’s going to be.’ ”
Rosanne says she plans to dress as Dorothy from The Wizard of Oz and sing Over the Rainbow one day this week.
She adds that she enjoys making the residents happy as much as they enjoy her performances.
“I just want to put a smile on their faces and make them laugh – and it’s working,” Rosanne says.
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