Residents applaud return of live entertainment to Willows Estate in December

‘The place was rocking,’ says Aurora long-term care home LEC

Life enrichment co-ordinator (LEC) Teddy Mazzuca’s voice is full of enthusiasm when she speaks about the joy the return of live entertainment has brought to residents of Willows Estate.

Kenny Joseph, a country singer and guitar player, brought smiles to residents’ faces and some to their feet to dance during an early December activity at the 84-bed Aurora long-term care home.

The musician’s visit was the first live entertainment offered inside the home by a community performer since the COVID-19 pandemic began in March 2020.

“The place was rocking,” Teddy tells The OMNIway.

“I was so thrilled. The residents came to life. You could literally see them coming alive before your eyes.”

Teddy says for some of the home’s residents, this was their first experience with live entertainment in the home because they moved in recently or after the pandemic’s onset.

“They were up dancing … with just big smiles on their faces.”

To keep residents safe, there was a Plexiglas divider separating the home’s first-floor and second-floor residents, as well as a Plexiglas divider between residents and the entertainer.

Teddy says it has been “a bit challenging” going for so long without this type of entertainment.

“In the beginning (of the pandemic), we were doing a lot of one-to-ones with the residents, so they still got to see us, but it’s not the same.”

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