By Jared Janzen
HALSTEAD—Homestead of Halstead received a dash of Christmas cheer last week as Jaime Garcia visited the facility to lead residents in painting pictures of Christmas trees.
Garcia, who is an LPN with Angels Care Home Health in Hutchinson, has been visiting Homestead of Halstead for an hour every Wednesday since the spring to offer enrichment activities for residents. She sees the weekly visits as a good socialization opportunity for the residents.
“My regular ladies always talk about how fun it is, how they like getting out of their rooms,” Garcia said. “We talk a lot about when they were younger, what their lives were like, what they did.”
This past Wednesday, she had two residents join her to get into the Christmas spirit by painting. One of them, Barbara Friend, said she attends Garcia’s activities regularly.
“I try to make it out,” she said.
Friend said she’s always enjoyed arts and crafts. She added that sometimes they leave the artwork on display in the lounge of Homestead of Halstead.
Garcia’s activities often revolve around art. Once, they painted rocks. At Thanksgiving time, they painted turkeys and for Halloween, they painted pumpkins. Sometimes, she brings coloring pages for the residents.
“That’s, I think, their favorite thing, when we color,” Garcia said.
Garcia said attendance tends to vary and can depend on the activity, but she has three women who attend regularly.
“A lot will come to just watch and say, ‘I’m not artistic.’ But neither am I,” Garcia said of herself.
The other person who joined to paint that morning was Kendall Powell. Although he doesn’t come every week, he said he was there the day they painted pumpkins.
“It’s kind of interesting,” he said about painting. “I’m not too good at it.”
When asked about his favorite Christmas memories from over the years, Powell recalled going to children’s Christmas programs.
“Going to grade school stuff, things like that,” he said. “I did the piano for them.”
His family always had a real Christmas tree, he added.
Garcia noted that Homestead of Halstead is the only assisted living facility that she visits on a weekly basis, although she’ll sometimes visit others in the area. Another part of her routine is leading the exercise class at Burrton Senior Center.