Jaime Jones makes an alien balloon sculpture during the annual Block Party at Sunset Villa Care Center, Friday. Mark Wilson Photo
What do you get when you mix music, games and cook-outs at Sunset Villa Care Center? One awesome party.
Sunset Villa invited residents, staff, families and friends to partake in activities like balloon twisting, a watermelon eating contest and puppet shows, Friday, and offered up treats of popcorn, snow cones and barbecue ribs at the center’s fourth annual block party.
Janice Stewart, Sunset director of business development, said the party was an example of how the center goes above and beyond in order to create a home atmosphere for its residents. She said Sunset Villa, a 52-bed facility, provides many activities for its residents throughout the year.
“Just because they’re in a facility and they’re being cared for 24/7, doesn’t mean their lives stop; it doesn’t mean that they can’t have activities and be involved,” Stewart said. “There are several outings for them, and they look forward to this (party).”
Stewart said Sunset Villa offers regular activities like singing and piano-playing, and shows movies each weekend. She said the center runs a Your Choice 365 person-centered care program that “allows residents to function as they want to,” aiming to build a sense of community.
“They get up when they want to, they shower when they want to,” she said. “We have different menus for them, and they can eat at different times,” Stewart said. “So it’s a home-like atmosphere. They function as neighbors in a neighborhood. …
“That’s why we stress really hard in our Your Choice 365 to do a lot of activities, get them involved and take them to outings, and participate with them. …
“Our elderly sometimes have a lot of challenges but it doesn’t mean they can’t do it. We try to treat them like they’re one of our family members. … Special employees do special things for these residents, with a love for working with the elderly. We have great caregivers here, great nurses and great CNAs.”
Dave Newsom, Sunset administrator, added, “A lot of our residents here are long-term care and this is their home. … We want the residents living in the facility to identify with the fact that just because they’re here, things don’t cease to exist around them. So we promote visitation and taking the residents out on family outings.
“… And so that’s what the whole idea and concept is: This is their home, and we want to bring the community into their home.”