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2-Health & Fitness
4-Entertainment & Fun
Meet Ellenka Wasung-Lott, Activities Director
Known to everyone as simply Ellenka [el-LEN-ka], Ms. Wasung-Lott came to Holton Home as activities director in 2008.
After only a few moments talking with Ellenka, one thing becomes entirely clear: this woman is in motion. Ellenka is leaning forward into a job that challenges her and a community of elders that she clearly loves.
Her excitement is evident as she talks about brainstorming her way through creating an astonishingly wide and evolving array of activities, programs, social gatherings and outings for residents, and you realize that her goal is to provide multiple ways to nourish, engage and entice them in each day of their lives.
At Holton Home, as activities are being planned and put in motion, there are two strong goals being served:
- to allow residents to participate and explore new experiences while building new relationships; and
- to solicit, learn about, and honor the life experience and personal history that individual residents bring to the Holton Home community of residents, staff, and volunteers.
Types of Activities
- Fine Arts Classes
- Flower Arranging
Health & Fitness
- Brain Exercises
- Personal Achievement
- Partnerships with Local Schools
Entertainment & Fun
- Concerts Out
- Apple Picking
- Scenic Drives
- Reading and Discussion Groups
- Evening Lectures
- Baking for Local Organizations
- Lemonade Stand to support Local Organizations
It’s a new life in a new home.
It isn’t always the easiest transition to come to the Home. Many new residents have faced some losses, be it beloved spouses, family members, their mobility, their independence. They are often leaving their own homes and many of their possessions to come live with strangers. Everyone is different, and the staff of Holton Home strive to make everyone eventually feel like this is their home. A large part of finding that out is simply getting to know them. “What would you still like to accomplish in life?” is one of the questions Ellenka asks every new resident. "I also want to know what they loved to do before they came here and what they would still like to do, or start doing again now that they are here. We don’t expect residents to love and attend every activity, but we do try to make many moments as meaningful as possible. We encourage making connections with one another, trying something new or something they haven’t tried since their childhood, and meeting everyone where they are - all these and more to bring a touch of joy to their lives."
A Wide Variety of Activities are Offered.
And while it may not be possible (or even desirable) for one activity to appeal to all residents at once, Holton Home offers a wide variety of opportunities at different times of the day, week, (month and year) to allow residents to select activities that suit them and that they’ll enjoy.
Activities are planned with an eye to providing multiple chances for residents to experience and learn new things about the world, and to be active participants in their own lives and the lives of others in the Home and the greater community-at-large.
When an elder begins their residency at Holton Home, they are engaged in mapping out a new life, among new people, and in new circumstances. And each new resident deals with those changes in their own particular way.
The activities program at Holton Home is dedicated to creating many new opportunities for residents to embark on the establishment of new friendships and to share their personal histories as they learn about and contribute to their new community. The goal is to enliven their daily lives and engage them, while nourishing their interests and awakening their curiosity.
As Ellenka will attest, there are moments when the simplest activity suddenly presents an opportunity for learning about each other, for a conversation, for sharing a personal story, a treasured or painful memory, for the beginning of a friendship.
Each shared memory, story, or personal anecdote can be a useful anchor on this new and unfamiliar shore where our elders suddenly find themselves. Providing healthful and engaging activities that bring residents together to experience something new often provides them with the opportunities to tell of something old. And telling you about those moments, Ellenka’s eyes light up.