Best Senior Living: Recreation in the Neighborhood


Live Animal Show at The Cedars

Recreation in the Neighborhoods

By Kimberly Doyon, Director of Life Enrichment

“Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed people can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.” –Margaret Mead

The Cedars is at the forefront of an important cultural change, transforming our resident wings into person-centered “neighborhoods.” Recreation therapy plays an important role in this new model.

Neighborhoods are distinct, home-like environments with central dining and activities rooms. Each wing/neighborhood will be staffed by cross-trained clinical and non-clinical staff. This enables our staff to get to know your loved ones personally, which in turn meets their unique needs more successfully.

Because we know that residents in facilities with this culture have better quality of life, we are moving towards a more person-centered approach. And this means we are changing the way we plan, design and implement our daily activities.

Our recreation calendars now focus on more spontaneous programs that are less structured than in the past. The recreation calendars reflect fewer programs because we are going to start having more unplanned, spur-of-the-moment activities on each of our neighborhoods.

We will continue to offer two structured activities a day, for example our music programs, food programs, outings, floral design classes, etc. But the times in between these programs will be for activities that the residents themselves want to do in the moment, such as baking cookies, exercise classes, playing cards, knitting, gardening, and going outside for fresh air. We encourage our residents to tell us what they want to do!

Our main goal is to tailor our daily programs to the needs of the residents on each neighborhood. This will give the residents more choices in their daily recreation.

This transformation will take time, commitment and patience as we change our programs. But we are confident about improving the quality of life for your loved one.