This is the part of a new series of posts showing how residents #EnjoyLifeWithUs at Cedar Haven Healthcare Center. Ray Truex’s Cedar Crest Middle School Class makes regular visits to Cedar Haven to share activities and festivities with our residents (Ray’s photos above were used with his permission).

This week the CCMS students brought St. Patrick’s Day crafts and cookie decoration supplies to treat our residents to some springtime fun. Learn more as their teacher, Ray, answers a few questions about the class’s involvement at Cedar Haven:

Q: What inspired your class to start regularly visiting the residents at Cedar Haven?

Ray: “We started coming 4 or 5 years ago. I wanted to get the kids out of the building to go make an impact in our community, and while we do a lot of good inside of CCMS for charities, I wanted our kids on a van, interacting with others. My Falcons Care group brainstormed several ideas, and this was the one we chose. Concurrently, I had a friend who was a resident at another facility, and my visits to him prompted me to throw this idea out to the class. Fortunately, it was the one the class chose! We have averaged 5 or 6 visits a year for the past 5 years.”

Q: What have been your favorite activities thus far?

Ray: “While playing games has been an easy activity that allows the kids to get to know the residents, my favorite activities have been the ones where kids actually design the trip’s activities, do prep work, and lead once we arrive. We had two girls lead a trip in December, pre-plan the arts and crafts then lead the activities once we arrived. I was so proud of how they saw it through, start to finish! Our goal is to have kids lead the remainder of our visits.”

 

 

Q: What have you learned from the residents or enjoyed through your interactions with them?

Ray: “I would say that this experience has challenged the kids to step outside of their comfort zone and really see someone else’s world. We look for the glimmer of happiness in resident’s eyes as we interact with them, and the feeling of knowing that they brought joy to someone else’s day has had a lasting impact on the kids. Given the right outlets, kids can amaze you, and I always see sides of kids who I would have never expected. I’ve had parent phone calls, telling me how a daughter couldn’t stop talking about the fun they had at Cedar Haven; I’ve seen kids have a conversation with someone who doesn’t talk back, and get a hug at the end because the conversation was so meaningful; I’ve had kids say they are now considering going into nursing. I have kids routinely asking when the next visit will be. It has been a fantastic experience for all of us, and I hope it has been equally beneficial for your residents!”

 

 

On behalf of all of our residents and all of us at Cedar Haven, we would like to say thank you to this thoughtful group of students and their teacher for taking the time and effort to bring such vitality and enjoyment to our residents. While we have many activities at our facility for our residents to choose from each week, an inter-generational event led by compassionate students is such a treat. We all look forward to each time you come to visit. Thank you and happy St. Patrick’s Day!

 

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