For so many women and men of a “certain age”, Valentine’s Day was once a special day to buy flowers or candy for your sweetheart and celebrate with a romantic dinner. And, for those with energy to spare, it may have even included a turn or two on the dance floor. While they may no longer be able to “shake a leg” with quite the vigor they once enjoyed, that didn’t stop the residents and staff at Vineyard Place Memory Care in Murrieta, California from celebrating.
Organized by Life Engagement Director, Cody Kohlhagen, the doors opened at 10:00 a.m. as local high school students streamed in for Vineyard Place’s multi-generational event entitled “Ladies & Gentlemen, Boys & Girls – Let’s Dance!” And dance they did. “At any give time we had ten to twenty people on the dance floor,” said Cody Kohlhagen. “We had boys and girls from Murrieta Canyon Academy and High School; and, I have to say, they were dressed to impress,” he added.
This was truly a community affair, with music flowing courtesy of Executive Director, Eve Mailly, playing along with the other members of her trio “Zene Strings”. The tunes were multi-generational as well, mixing in contemporary numbers with oldies favorites.
This is not the first (and by no means the last) multi-generational event to occur at Vineyard Place. “We are always looking for opportunities to bring generations together,” says Cody. “It is amazing to see how the room lights up when young people get together with our residents. Relationships are built at these events. Everybody leaves with a smile on their face,” he adds.
Finally, as the last valentine cookie was polished off, everyone said their “goodbyes” with plenty of promises by the students to visit again. “And they will be back,” says Cody. “They get as much out of these relationships as our residents do.”
You can learn more about Vineyard Place Memory Care and it's many programs for individuals with Alzheimer's disease and other forms of dementia here.