Celebrating seniors in style with ‘Oscars’ awards
The 87th annual Academy Awards may be in the history books, but last week a little of that Oscar magic lived on at the Maplewood Salvation Army. This time, the stars of the show were the people who participate in the Adult Day Center program.
For the seventh year in a row, everyone dressed to the nines for a red carpet party. The staff handed out awards for things like “Best Friend,” “Best Singer,” “Most Outgoing,” and “The Gentleman’s Award.” Tears fell often as participants were escorted down the red carpet to get their awards and say a few words (view photos).
“I thank you all for this award, I love the people that come here,” said 63-year old Katie from Oakdale (pictured right), who has been coming here for nine years, after a brain injury. This year, she took home the award for “Best Conversationalist” and says she looks forward to this event every year.
“It’s all part of making the people here feel special,” said social service coordinator Juliana Chapeau, who dressed up in a long red gown for the event. She says the staff spends hours thinking up the awards and making sure they are personalized for the guests who take them home.
“She is thrilled to death,” said Mary Leach, whose mother Susan (pictured at top) took home the “Team Player” award this year. Leach said her mom will be 90 in April and suffers from Alzheimer’s, but coming here keeps her happy and engaged. “I’d be lost without this place, this is the best place in the Twin Cities.”
Since 1991, The Adult Day Center has been providing support to local families by caring for adults who need extra help during the day. The goal is to allow them to stay at home longer by providing a safe place to come during the day, while also giving their caregivers a break.
The days are filled with activities that include everything from exercise to weekly outings and regular pet therapy. Guests enjoy nutritious meals and snacks, medical support and even spa services like manicures given by volunteers.
“It’s a very structured, busy day,” Chapeau said. “That’s not to say we don’t let folks rest. But for people with dementia, in particular, having structure, routine and stimulation is essential.”
And while not every day can be a red carpet party, Leach said the loving care her mom gets here is making all the difference. “Her doctor is always impressed, he’s thrilled how well she’s doing…and I credit it all to this,” Leach added.
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