A new family council at an Elmira long-term care facility is rallying the community together to share in an afternoon of tasty treats and positivity around long-term care.
The “ice cream social” is the first event on behalf of the council.
“Right now we have a small but mighty group on the family council that are interested in engaging in the home in that fashion, so they are looking to have some fun events and they are starting with this ice cream social,” said Paula Osborne, director of resident programs at Barnswallow Place. “For this particular event we are holding it on family council day, so it is kind of an acknowledgement day for the family councils that exist in our home, but also in all long term homes.”
The group is hoping that the event will create awareness and disperse some negative myths about long-term living, while giving the community the opportunity to see that residents do live engaging rewarding lives firsthand.
“We want people to understand that we are trying to help people live their life fully as much as possible when they come here. Many people don’t plan to come to long-term care because they all want to be at home – you can ask any one of them, and they would rather be at home – but it’s not like life is over just because you come here. There are so many opportunities to be engaged and meet other people if you want to. We want to make people aware that there are positive possibilities in the next chapter of your life,” she said. “There are lots of positive things that can happen here, so we want people to see that when you come to Barnswallow Place it is not the end of the world in fact it’s kind of a pretty fantastic world.”
An invite to the 96 residents, families or residents, staff at Barnswallow Place and the larger Elmira community has been extended for the social event. Osborne says the council has been planning, planning, planning, and they are hoping for a large turnout.
Rukhsana Popat, director of resident and family relations at Barnswallow Place, says they are quite excited about the whole affair.
“The idea is that we will be serving ice cream in our central activity room, the court yard will be open, and the folks and families can grab a serving. There will also be entertainment in the main lobby, so there should be folks everywhere,” she said. “Program staff and volunteers will be bringing the residents downstairs, we will make sure of their diet that they are allowed to have ice cream, and then people can just sit and socialize. The idea is that people can just mingle and make it a nice afternoon.”
Being the first of many events they have a silent auction running to raise money for the family council to be able to host more family oriented gatherings in the future, the auction is open until June 10.
“We aren’t hoping to make a fortune, just enough to be able to move forward and do some more activities in the future to engage families in the home,” said Osborne.
The ice cream social will be held on June 10 from 1-4 p.m.