11/27/2022

Valley senior living facility helps boost morale amid COVID-19

A crisis is sparking creativity at one Valley senior living facility, where so many of our elderly who are most at risk for COVID-19 have had to stay quarantined, with almost no visitors allowed in to see them for the last four months.

Jennifer Gustafson, the Active Living Director at the Park at Copper Creek in Chandler, said to keep seniors busy and engaged she decided to take part in an art challenge put out to the world by the Getty Museum in California.

“Since everybody is being quarantined, the Getty Museum put out this challenge to the world to come up with ways to recreate famous works of art using simple things you have around the house,” said Gustafson.

The facility even held a casting call of sorts to assign individuals to depict masterpieces. The end result had everyone smiling. From senior citizens wrapping rolls of toilet paper around their necks to portray the high fashion collars worn by Renaissance women, to renditions of The Scream, Mona Lisa, American Gothic, and Rosie the Riveter, seniors put on quite the show.

Harriet Mason and her husband who have called The Park at Copper Creek home for the last seven months had the honor of dressing up as the couple on the famous painting “American Gothic” by Grant Wood.

“My husband was perfect, all he needed was a sport coat, and he put on a pair of glasses and he was all set to go,” said Mason.

She admitted that time could drag when you were stuck in your apartment, but staff at the Park at Copper Creek always tried to keep them entertained.

From milk and cookies in the evening, to Mobile Happy Hour carts going around to all of apartments, Mason said life never got boring.

Diana Escobedo, executive director of the Park at Copper Creek said the mobile happy hour carts were a bit hit.

“We dress up our carts, we get a theme going, and before you know it, we’ve got margaritas on the go delivered straight to apartments of our folks,” said Escobedo.

Other fun treats included ice cream trucks and Paletas or fruit popsicle picnics. Staff said the goal was to help boost morale and keep residents positive.

“We want them to know they are loved, they are safe and we are here for them no matter what,” added Escobedo.

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