Senior care facilities are home to a large percentage of our nation’s older adults. Home goes beyond a roof over their head and a few meals a day. Senior care facilities strive to provide belonging, support, relationships, and purpose to seniors in their care. Long-term care, primarily, must focus on building an uplifting and meaningful environment for its residents. While caregivers and staff do an incredible job with enrichment and environment for the seniors, many extraordinary acts come from volunteers and local community members. “Every day, long-term care residents, caregivers, family members, and community members are doing extraordinary things.” (Stories of Care 2022)

A new non-profit called Dream Flights works to honor veterans and allows them to fly in a plane again. This organization takes these senior veterans on flights in Boeing Stearman biplanes. These biplanes were the type commonly used when most of these veterans served in the military. This opportunity helps the veterans reconnect with their younger selves and works to bring joy and meaning to their lives.

In Lilburn, Atlanta, residents of a local long-term care facility were given free tickets to the Atlanta Botanical Garden’s winter display. This outing was the first in nearly two years for these residents in the wake of the pandemic. These residents enjoyed the light show and felt the holiday spirit because of the generosity of someone building the good for the local seniors.

In Nashville, teenagers organized a music group to entertain local seniors. This music group includes violins, cellos, and other instruments. The teens play both current and older music to which the seniors can enjoy, recognize, and reminisce.

In Maryland, local firefighters adopted 70 residents of a local skilled nursing facility. They delivered blankets to them and delighted the residents with visits to their windows using the firetruck ladder.

In western New York, the owner of a floral design company organized and started a program where she takes donations and spends extra time building floral arrangements to brighten the main areas of 10 local long-term care facilities. She states, “I really like to give back to the community. I like to bring sunshine to those that need it.” (Flowers Sprout for Joy for Long Term Care Residents, 2022)

These examples are just a portion of what caregivers, community members, and volunteers are doing to enrich the lives of the residents and patients in care facilities. Other examples of above and beyond enrichment include a Mardi Gras parade, a local animal shelter sending painted paw print valentines from the animals to seniors, a dog show, a winter wonderland created by volunteers, and many more.

Seeing the extraordinary, above and beyond acts done to increase the quality of life for our nation’s seniors is a beautiful example of the good in the world, especially amid all the chaos of current events and the pandemic. These people are doing extraordinary things for the residents and patients every day, and the residents find meaning, purpose, and joy in these acts and events. Senior care facilities are always looking for new ways to uplift and enrich the lives of their residents, and they encourage all to volunteer and reach out. Please contact your local senior home if you are interested in helping!