Masonic Village at Warminster is the smallest of Masonic Villages’ campuses, but the variety of activities and fun offered to residents is huge. From bingo to yoga to karaoke, residents have the opportunity to explore a little bit of everything.
Trisha Lamb is the activity director for Masonic Village at Warminster. She said the activities department and staff are “very busy” working hard all year to brainstorm and execute activities for the residents.
“We have our own ‘flavor’ based on our individual residents and staff,” Trisha said. “All of the activities we plan are a reflection of what the residents would like to see take place.”
For residents who like to stay active, they can take classes in yoga, hand weights and even “chairobics.” Trisha said though these programs may be unfamiliar to some residents, the “well-being of each person, according to their ability” is emphasized, making the workouts as “fun” and “accessible” as possible.
Residents also enjoy participating in weekly chats, with topics ranging from “the latest research on elder health” to “aging with a sense of humor.” These chats, “Topics with Trish,” are one of the most popular activities offered and are “closed door,” giving residents the freedom to express themselves.
Those who prefer spending time outside of campus have lots of opportunities. Masonic Village at Warminster is located within 15 miles of downtown Philadelphia, so there are plenty of shopping, dining and entertainment options available for resident trips.
Other more typical activities include crafts, mind sharpening games and community service projects. Last year, residents were involved with a community service project in which they collected more than 155 Ibs. of food for their local food bank.
Self-expression, learning and growing are at the forefront of the programs provided on campus. According to Trisha, all of the activities “have a basis in the philosophy of the Eden Alternative®, which is a worldwide movement of elder care that emphasizes the elimination of loneliness, helplessness and boredom.”
“As people age and the possibility of their everyday responsibilities become less or their care level increases, depression and feelings of helplessness can set in,” Trisha said. “Cooking, gardening, reading, socializing, worshipping, caregiving, sharing and leading are all things our elders can still offer their community. Our job is to give them avenues to do so.”
This past year and half, however, has been tough for staff to continue to provide these avenues for residents.
“The challenge of providing meaningful interaction for residents as they were isolated in their rooms was immense,” Trisha said. “Every day, we had to come up with the ideas and energy to re-engage the residents. With the help of the whole staff here, I think we did a pretty good job.”
In the new year, one new program offered will be a Gardening Committee, which is currently in the research and design process.
“We are excited to be planning a gardening committee, as we are hoping to redesign the layout of one of our courtyards to make it more butterfly and pollinator-friendly,” Trisha said. “Many of our residents were gardeners and have a lifetime of experience to offer.”
Overall, Trisha said the staff is looking forward to the new year and all of the upcoming activities and programs they will offer residents. She emphasized the importance of ensuring residents feel happy and valued.
“I think any activity that lets them participate, socialize, have fun and have a chance to contribute is enjoyed,” Trisha said.