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The House of the Good Shepherd Providing Unique Activities During Unique Times

May 26, 2020

Trying to find some “normalcy” can be a challenge for almost anyone these days, but at the House of the Good Shepherd Retirement Community in Hackettstown, a combination of unique activities, some ongoing, some weekly, have helped brighten the days for its residents.

“The staff has really done a great job of coming up with creative ways to interact with the residents,” said Sue Lanza, CEO at The House. “I think the staff enjoys many of the activities as much as the residents!”

Every Wednesday, for example, staff decorates a different “traveling cart” with employees dressing up to meet the theme of the week.

Traveling cart themes have included an old fashioned ice cream truck (think Good Humor), a Happy Hour cart, Willy Wonka candy cart, and a Hawaii beach themed cart. A special cart was designed for the week of Mother’s Day and in celebration of Nursing Home

Week a cart was designed with residents’ photos on a poster in appreciation of them.

“Our goal is to bring smiles,” said Shannon Morgan, Recreation Director at The House. “It’s really great to see their faces light up when we come around with the carts. They really get a kick out of it. Now they can’t wait to see what cart is coming next.”

In addition to the weekly themed carts The House has been live stream programming to all residents on TVs throughout the building.

“As part of the daily live streaming we go over the date, daily chronicles, joke of the day, birthdays, play a song of the day and much more,” said Morgan.

Additionally, throughout the week live streaming activities include historical notes, word games, trivia, bible readings three times a week, exercises daily, chair yoga, music programs and a resident favorite, Bingo twice a week!

Staff show off their new shoes, donated by Vans. Photo provided.

“We are doing everything we can do to make it as ‘normal’ as possible for our residents,” said Lanza. “Right now we are their family and in many ways they are our family.”

As a thank you, staff also designed a special cart one week that thanked all the many businesses, local and otherwise, that have donated items and food to The House staff, including new shoes donated by the Vans shoe company.

The House of the Good Shepherd Retirement Community has been serving the Northwest Jersey community for decades. Situated along the Musconetcong River, The House offers an array of living arrangements from nursing to independent living, as well as physical therapy.