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National Assisted Living Week (NALW) is celebrated each year in order to honor our incredible residents and our ability to serve them.  The celebrations kicked off with Grandparent’s Day, Sunday, September 13th and ran through the 19th. The theme for this year’s week, “Caring is Essential”, fit perfectly with the wild ride that we have all been on since the start of the pandemic.

Assisted Living Communities nationwide have been persistently working to continue to safely provide a comfortable home for our residents while also ensuring to continue thriving through the restrictions and safety measures required to keep our residents and caregivers safe. As everyone navigates the changes and challenges of 2020, Evergreen Village at Fort Wayne was more determined than ever to ensure our first NALW celebrations would be safe and fun!

Our community may have had an advantage in planning for our special week.  Since we opened in July of 2020, the current protocols are all that we have known.  Therefore, we were ready to jump into planning for a week to remember! The beautiful weather allowed us to coordinate outdoor events and activities with the community, and each day, the residents and staff enjoyed a special theme in celebration of their home and our careers.

Grandparent’s Day was celebrated with a beautiful fine dining-style lunch and display of the grandchildren, great-grandchildren and families of our residents. These photos feel even more precious as we’ve all spent less time with family due to the pandemic. The remainder of the week consisted of a colorful array of costumes, crazy hair and themed meals to match.

Mix-it Up Monday, Traveling Tuesday, Western Wednesday, Throwback Thursday, and Fair Friday left everyone wondering what crazy costume we would have next. There was no limit to the creativity from the residents who must have packed the “fun” when they planned their move to the community.

Outdoor concerts, dance performances from the Fort Wayne Dance Collective, a dog show from the Three Rivers Visiting Dogs, Inc. and endless creative games and contests made for a very busy week of fun. By the end of the week there was less talk of the pandemic and more smiles beaming beneath the masks adorned on the faces of everyone in the community. Celebrating our families with drive-by parades, the local First Responders with goodies and another parade (lights and sirens are fun at any age) and giving back to our caregivers, brightened our days as much as the people being honored.

Evergreen Village at Fort Wayne may have opened 5 months into a pandemic and faced quarantines instead of “Welcome Home” celebrations. However, despite the current restrictions, this week celebrating NALW gave the brightest opportunity for everyone to make our new community a home. It takes a village to do just about anything these days, and the village being built here on a foundation of love, compassion, and dignity was solidified last week and the happiness and positivity was palpable to all who helped us make it a success.

-Amanda Palace, Administrator