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OKTOBERFEST Celebration at Draper

By Sarah Scott, Director of Rehab, Draper Rehabilitation & Care, Draper, UT

Draper Rehabilitation knows how to throw a party!

PT/OT/ST, Rec therapy, and CNA staff collaborate as often as possible to create a functional, therapeutic, and homelike environment. Across a lifetime, an individual will host countless events, birthday parties, anniversaries, Thanksgiving, Christmas, etc. Imagine transitioning from home to LTC, adjusting to living in a room (often with a roommate), and departing from the typical life activities of shopping, prior activities, and ability to have a party. We are social beings who gather over food, music, festivities, and laughter.

Parties can be a great way to motivate residents to participate, enjoy a festive ambiance, be active and social, and leave behind discomfort and sadness for a while. Lisa Trujillo, CNA; Whitney Mascaro, Director of Rec Therapy; and Corina Bancila, PTA, spearheaded Oktoberfest this year with decorations, room set-up, planning, and food. Dietary purchased soft pretzels and dipping sauces. Staff filled steins of cider and worked to get 31 residents to the dining room for a party. Activities included lifting mugs high in the air, (there was one tenacious 89-year-old resident beaming proudly at her success), a sing-along raising the roof, dance routines, games, and trivia.

Speech Therapy works on recall of the scheduled event, pathfinding, communication, speech intelligibility, social pragmatics, complex attention, reading aloud, respiratory support, sequencing, recall of events, following directions, swallow strategies, recall of details following, etc. These groups are a great opportunity to access generalization of skills to more complex settings.

Occupational Therapy works on pathfinding, safety, transfers and chair positioning, core strength, balance, manual dexterity, shoulder ROM, upper body strength, toileting schedule around the activity, respiratory support, endurance, energy conservation, positioning, self-feeding, etc.

Physical Therapy works on transfers, mobility, safety, positioning, balance, core strength, respiratory support, activity tolerance, carryover of trained skills in complex environments, gross motor strength and ROM, etc.

Residents often do more in these events, eat more following events, stay out of their rooms longer, socialize, and have increased motivation before and after a party. At times, residents can play a role of caller, teacher, leader, and chorister, which they prepare for leading up to the event. We all work harder and do more when we have the support of others. Most importantly, these opportunities provide the opportunity to restore dignity, normalcy, and a sense of family.

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