RIDGEWAY — Residents at Fairfield Health Care Laurel Baye celebrated National Activity Professionals Week this week thanks to the leadership of Director of Activities Frances Maddox.
Each day had a theme, with Tuesday being a favorite — Western themed day.
For that day, Lt. D.J. Wilson with the Fairfield County Sheriff’s Office Community Oriented Police Program (COPs) donned a cowboy hat and joined in for line dancing alongside Ridgeway Mayor Charlene Herring, several residents and staff members.
Residents drank from Mason jars, played horseshoes and other western-themed games and had a dance contest. Dinner was chili and beans.
Though he did not line dance, Sen. Creighton Coleman took time from his day on the start of the legislative session to attend Tuesday morning. Coleman chatted with residents, remarking how in years past he competed in fruit rolls and games to celebrate activity week, and complementing the staff on what he called a job well done.
For Herring, whose mother is in an assisted living facility, the visit was personal.
“Taking time out (to be with you on days like this) is important to me, too,” she said. “You being here sure means a lot to us in Ridgeway.”
Wednesday was disco day, complete with dancing, decor and appropriately-themed food. All meals were a collaborative effort of the patient’s doctors, dietitians and the Fairfield Health Care staff. Another day was Hawaiian-themed complete with leis and flowered shirts.
Maddox said jackpot bingo was a favorite, complete with cash prizes. Friday was casino day complete with a roulette wheel and “casino bucks” that the residents later could redeem for drinks, candy or personal care items.
“Adults should have adult things (like these activities and outings and these residents are adults),” Maddox said. “These activities are special because they provide moments where our staff can get a peek into the individuals’ past life experiences while they continue to interact with them today and value the people they have become.”
She appreciated the partnership with FCSO and with the event sponsor, Regional Ambulance Company.
“Our residents are lucky to have D.J. come out as liaison and friend,” Maddox said.
In addition to themed activities, the residents partner with COPS and sponsor Regional Ambulance Company for outings like a State Fair trip or picnics at Lake Wateree. The COPS partnership is monthly and Wilson said residents really appreciate being able to get out and enjoy the world outside of the walls of Fairfield Health Care.
“The vans pull up and the residents are at the door waiting,” he said.
For Maddox, weeks like this help not only the residents but the staff. Maddox said sometimes family members come to share in the festivities during special weeks like this one, but she reminded that visitors are welcome at any time. Fairfield Health Care Laurel Baye, a skilled nursing facility offering long-term care and short-term rehabilitative care, serves 112 residents.