Assisted living facilities make Thanksgiving special for residents

Mill Creek and Teal Lake Senior Living are doing their best to make the holidays feel a little more like home.
Teal Lake Senior Living Community in Negaunee.
Teal Lake Senior Living Community in Negaunee.(WLUC)
Published: Nov. 25, 2020 at 4:43 PM EST
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MARQUETTE, Mich. (WLUC) - Amid tight COVID-19 regulations and visitor restrictions, assisted living facilities are finding creative ways to help their residents celebrate Thanksgiving.

At Mill Creek Senior Living in Marquette, a big Thanksgiving dinner is in the works. Activities Director Beth O’Connor says her goal is to give residents opportunities to interact with their loved ones.

“Our main focus right now is a family connection, whether it’s a window visit or a Zoom or a FaceTime, just a way for them to interact with their families safely,” O’Connor said.

Teal Lake Senior Living in Negaunee has surprises planned throughout the holiday season. Activities Director Jennifer Tavernier says the staff found a special way to capture the spirit of Thanksgiving.

“We decided to spend the whole last month getting these big gratitude tree centerpieces that we put on the tables for tomorrow so that when they look at it, they’re feeling a little bit of encouragement, a little bit of hope,” said Tavernier.

Although it’s a difficult time, both facilities say staff are doing everything they can to help residents have a happy Thanksgiving.

“All of the staff here have stepped up and made it their number one concern to make sure that the residents have that little bit of extra TLC,” said O’Connor. “Everyone needs that right now.”

Tavernier said, “When we can’t see our real families, we get together and we make it really feel like it’s special, like we’re a team together. We’re going to get through this together.”

To help residents maintain a positive outlook, Tavernier says she’s encouraging them to look to brighter days in the future.

“I tell them to look for a Valentine’s party possibly where we could have family in so that while this feels a little bit lower, it’s really important to make sure we have something to look forward to,” she said.

Both facilities are doing their best to make the holidays feel a little more like home.

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