Cover Stories

Stay Active: Parc Provence

Staff members at the Parc Provence memory care community understand that personal connections are key to helping residents stay active and happy. “One of the reasons I chose this field was a close relationship with my own grandparents,” says activities director Lauren Tyree. “My co-workers and I care about enriching seniors’ quality of life through a variety of enjoyable programs.”

Tyree says the COVID-19 pandemic has necessitated some changes to the community’s activity schedule, but employees have shown creativity and commitment in adapting to new protocols. “We haven’t been able to offer our usual group activities and classes because of the pandemic, but we have designed new ways for residents to have fun,” she says. “Long-term and dementia care are always hands-on situations, so social distancing can present challenges, but we are following guidelines to keep everyone safe.”

She says the community has been holding themed weeks centered around residents’ beach memories, military veterans’ experiences, presidential trivia and other subjects. As Thanksgiving approaches, they will enjoy food, crafts and other activities related to the holiday. Tyree says Parc Provence is ensuring safety by keeping residents of different wings, or “households,” separate from one another for now, but they can compensate by spending more time outdoors and pursuing various hobbies

“We talk to our seniors often about what they were involved in earlier in life, and we do everything we can to help them retain those interests,” she says. “Residents who enjoy wine have their own special group, for example, and those who like walking can do so together within their households.” Music and art therapists work with them regularly as well, and residents plan to create special videos and cards for relatives and friends over the holidays. “Now more than ever, it’s essential to keep morale up among our seniors and staff,” Tyree says. “Our dedicated employees have placed limitations on their own lives and movements because our population is vulnerable, but they have done it gladly because they care.”

She says keeping mentally and physically active is especially important for seniors because it helps them retain a sense of independence and control. “We want residents to maintain their personal strengths as long as possible,” she notes. “Even simple things like being able to dress and take care of themselves can help preserve their willpower and confidence.”

Tyree says she and her colleagues don’t just share knowledge with residents; they also learn a great deal from them every day. “I’m grateful to be able to listen, engage and bring them joy, especially during trying times when they don’t have as much contact with their families,” she says. “You can’t view a smile through a person’s face mask, but you definitely can see it in their eyes.

Parc Provence offers memory, dementia, assisted living and skilled nursing care as part of The Gatesworth family of senior communities. Located at 605 Coeur de Ville Drive in Creve Coeur, the residence keeps seniors active and engaged with a variety of programs and activities. For more information, call 314.542.2500 or visit parcprovence.com.

Cover provided by Parc Provence

Pictured at top: The Parc Provence senior community 
Photo courtesy of Parc Provence 

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