Events Include Everything from Exercise Classes to Elvis Show
A lifelong Elvis Presley fan, Dan Rehbein was ecstatic when an Elvis impersonator recently performed at Juliette Manor. “He was really good and sounded really close to the real Elvis, and he also had some of his moves,” said Rehbein, who moved to the nursing home several years ago after having a stroke.
The Elvis impersonator performance is just one of the many events that activities coordinator Alyse Paulsen plans each month to keep Juliette Manor’s residents entertained and engaged. “All activities provide meaning,” she said. “For example with bingo, residents use their fingers as well as their mind. It is also good for socializing with peers.”
After hearing about the Elvis impersonator performing in Fond du Lac, Paulsen decided to line up a visit. “He literally had one day open this year so we grabbed it,” she said. “We have many residents who are fans and the show was just great. Everyone was super excited to see him. It was amazing.”
Rehbein’s daughter, Kalina Schira, was impressed when staff members called her about the visit by the Elvis performer, knowing her dad was such a big fan: he has a small shrine to the King of Rock-and-Roll in his room.
“I decided to join my dad by surprise and the look on his face when I came was priceless. It made a few of the nurses tear up,” she said. “We sat together, enjoying songs by his idol and eating heart-shaped cherry-topped, chocolate-covered cookies. It is a memory I will always treasure.”
When it comes to activities, Paulsen said she likes to mix it up, offering weekly, monthly and special events. For example, exercise classes are held three times a week and a fish fry is held once a month.
“We also do one-on-one activities with residents if we find out they have a special interest,” said Paulsen, adding that one resident enjoyed painting so supplies were gathered allowing her to continue her hobby while at Juliette Manor. “We also try to hold larger events, such as the Elvis impersonator once a month, too. It is important for residents to stay engaged.”
The move to a new facility ThedaCare built last summer expanded the types of activities Juliette Manor can be offer – especially those outside, Paulsen said. “Getting the residents outside here is much easier. We can now all be outside so we’re having cookouts and having entertainment outside, too,” she said.
“We have several raised flowerbeds and some residents are involved with planting and taking care of the flowers and vegetables planted,” Paulsen continued. “As the residents put their fingers in the dirt, it brings back the memories of other times when they were able to work in the garden.”
More Berlin High School students visit now, too, Paulsen said. “They are right across the street so it’s easier for them to come over and get involved,” she said.
Rehbein, who needs a wheelchair to get around, enjoys the Juliette Manor activities, whether it is a regular activity like bingo or a special event like the annual Halloween party when residents and staff members hand out treats to visiting children dressed up in their costumes. “This is home. I have a lot of friends here and even the nurses who retire come and visit me,” he said.
For more than 100 years, ThedaCare™ has been committed to finding a better way to deliver serious and complex healthcare to patients throughout Northeast Wisconsin. The organization serves over 200,000 patients annually and employs more than 6,800 healthcare professionals throughout the region. ThedaCare has seven hospitals located in Appleton, Neenah, Berlin, Waupaca, Shawano, New London and Wild Rose as well as 32 clinics in nine counties. ThedaCare is the first in Wisconsin to be a Mayo Clinic Care Network Member, giving our specialists the ability to consult with Mayo Clinic experts on a patient’s care. ThedaCare is a non-profit healthcare organization with a level II trauma center, comprehensive cancer treatment, stroke and cardiac programs as well as a foundation dedicated to community service. The ThedaCare Regional Cancer Center in Appleton opened in February 2016. For more information, visit www.thedacare.org or follow ThedaCare on Facebook and Twitter.