I was poking around on Facebook one afternoon last week and ran across the cutest video.

Moving to Assisted Living

My mamaw went to live at an assisted living facility in Newburgh this past year. At first, it was a big adjustment for her. She lived independently in her home for decades so when we brought up the idea of assisted living, she wasn't exactly excited about the idea. But now that she's there and no longer has to worry about all the stress that comes with being a homeowner, she can focus on having fun in her golden years! I've heard that Bingo matches get intense and she's won some pretty sweet prizes. Her activity schedule is full almost every day which is great. She should enjoy this time.

So, when I saw the video of the residents of Carrier Mills Nursing and Rehabilitation Center which is owned and operated by WLC Management Firm in Carrier Mills, IL playing baseball and (pardon my pun) having an absolute ball, it just made me so happy.

The Residents at Carrier Mills Nursing and Rehabilitation Center Party Day and Night

I called over to the nursing facility and spoke to Christy Barter, the Administrator of the facility. Christy started out as an activities director. She learned first-hand the importance of giving residents opportunities to have fun and experience life while in a nursing facility.

"Just because they are older and their bodies won't allow them to do some things, it shouldn't mean life should stop. Residents should experience life like they do outside the facility."

While perusing the Facebook page, I noticed that the residents have been enjoying all kinds of activities like a slip-n-slide, cooking, bowling, balloon volleyball, a Hawaiian luau, a 50s dance, food trucks, a tea party, Coke v Pepsi challenge, water games, Derby races, Cinco de Mayo party, a community garden, and even a prom!


Where Do They Come Up with Their Ideas?

I asked Christy where she came up with all her ideas.

"My ideas come from life. What would I enjoy? I also get ideas from the community. I have the mindset that just because you are at a certain age, that doesn't mean you aren't able to have fun. Just because you are in a nursing facilty doesn't mean life stops. I have a passion for caring for the elderly population."

Carrier Mills Nursing and Rehabilitation Center
Carrier Mills Nursing and Rehabilitation Center

It's Magical Because The Staff Really Gets Into It

I loved seeing how involved the staff was too. You can tell from the photos and videos that they truly care about these residents. They can be seen giving random hugs and high-fives when they don't realize they are being filmed.

"We really get the staff involved. We don't have a lot of turnover because we are always having fun. We take care of the patient from head to toe. It's a very important role."

So much so that the facility's motto is: "Our residents don't live in a facility, we work in their homes!"

I started watching all their videos from over the years. There were wheelchair races gone wild and this gem from 2020. (The staff wears a lot of costumes.)

Everyone is Taking Notice

And the parent company that operates Carrier Mills Nursing and Rehabilitation Center has taken notice on how happy the residents are. Dave Davis told me, "She wants to make sure the residents have the best time. She even spends money out of her own pocket to make it happen."

He went on to tell me about the prom that they threw this spring. One gentleman missed his senior prom because he had been drafted and had to go to Vietnam. It was his chance to make up that milestone and he was moved to tears that he was finally able to experience it.

I told Christy that she better save a room for me because when I am ready for a nursing facility, I know where I want to go!

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