The Palace Nursing and Rehabilitation Center in Kendall celebrated National Nursing Home Week, May 11-17, with weeklong celebrations based on the theme, “Lifetime Memories.”
Beginning the week was a quinceanera held for resident Nilda Lopez who at 90 years of age never had a quince. After learning Mrs. Lopez’s family had been too poor to host her 15th birthday celebration, the community’s staff threw her a dance party to remember. She and her friends dressed up for the event complete with flowers and wrist corsages and even a chambelan — her escort.
The Palace Nursing also took residents on a trip down memory lane by having a senior prom. An official prom court of residents, flower corsages and crowns along with a deejay spinning favorites made the prom reminiscent of a high school dance.
“When we started planning these events, our staff was so enthusiastic about these opportunities to celebrate the lives of our residents,” said Debbie Horvitz, activity director for The Palace Nursing. “The families were so excited too. Having something to look forward to that was a departure from our daily routine became very special.”
The highlight of the week was the renewal of vows by couples living at The Palace Nursing. Eleven couples participated in the ceremony, made even more special by the attendance of families, residents and staff.
With volunteer services provided by wedding planner Aviva Samuels from Kiss the Planner; photography by Maggie Stolzberg and videography by Sandra Bridges, the event took on greater magnitude making it more official.
“When we heard about this event, we simply wanted to get involved and help in making it memorable,” Samuels said.
From a white garland arch, to long stem white lilies for the brides and boutonniere for the bridegrooms, the couples had front row seats while their courtship stories were shared with the audience in both Spanish and English by Eliana Cardenas and Jennifer Angel who officiated.
Representing nearly 700 combined years of marriage, many of the featured couples have been married between 49 and 69 years. For example, Isadore and Florence Grossman have been married for 68 years and grew up together since they were 2-year-olds. Rolando and Adelfa Montero, married 62 years, had a six-year courtship.
“At The Palace communities, we continually celebrate our residents and their families and try to create many opportunities that someone’s parent is made to feel special,” Horvitz added. “Celebrating National Nursing Home Week created wonderful memories for everyone involved.”