Household Coordinators Alla and Daleen Keep Personal Care Residents Engaged at Paul’s Run
November 30, 2022
To help residents in personal care remain true to themselves while leading meaningful lives, Paul’s Run Retirement Community in Northeast Philadelphia, PA, relies on a network of team members from across the community. Alla Orlovskaya and Daleen Albarqawi, as Household Coordinators in these neighborhoods, navigate the way. Whether focusing on health and well-being, social engagement, or facilitating opportunities for residents to nurture their passions, these two lively, charming, well-trained professionals ensure joy and happiness, regardless of physical limitations.
“I fell in love with this place as soon as I came here because it felt like home, with friendly, caring, compassionate, nice people who invest in knowing the residents and other team members,” explains Alla.
“I have loved being at Paul’s Run for the last two years after prior experience in Skilled Nursing elsewhere. This truly is a special place to be part of a team that helps residents enjoy their lives and develop new friendships and interests,” adds Daleen.
Teamwork Makes the Dreamwork
“The Liberty Lutheran philosophy that distinguishes all Liberty communities is obvious at Paul’s Run,” according to Melvina Batey, the Receptionist, who asserts, “Every aspect of life here runs on teamwork, and we all wear many hats to ensure the happiness of our residents.”
Alla and Daleen outline how they communicate with the entire Paul’s Run team. “In the mornings, we check email, communicate with other team members and family members; we visit residents to ensure that individual residents’ needs are met, and discuss the day’s activities.”
“Then, exercising, drummersizing and playing games, such as Trivia, Jeopardy, Family Feud, Word games, or a “Dear Abby” type of “what would you do if…” problem-solving games are played before everyone gathers for Lunch, explains Alla, as she illuminates the activities.
“At lunchtime, some personal care residents like to eat together in the Dining Room. We provide seating arrangements to facilitate introductions for new residents to those with whom they will feel a camaraderie, and we seat friends who enjoy one another’s companionship. If someone wants lunch brought to their apartment by a CNA, we coordinate that. We are here to help serve and to do whatever the resident needs and prefers,” says Daleen.
Getting Creative After Lunch
After Lunch, personal care residents participate in Music with Molly or Ryann. Molly Bybee is currently the Director of Community Life, but her background experience and training is in Music Therapy, and Ryann Lynch is the current Music Therapist at Paul’s Run.
Residents pursue Arts and Crafts projects in the Creative Corner when not participating in Musical activities. Alla and Daleen both excitedly explain, “We cheer residents playing Bingo or have fun with them competing in Wii Bowling and other competitive games with residents in Independent Living. On other afternoons, everyone gathers downstairs to watch a Documentary Film, as they did recently, to watch a film about Jimmy Carter.
Both ladies elaborate, “Other fun times involve special gatherings, such as when everyone wore pink for Breast Cancer Awareness Month and Wear Pink Day. Residents gathered to eat pink iced cupcakes and drank pink lemonade.”
Staying Connected to the Community
Alla describes how during Hanukkah every year, the residents at Paul’s Run enjoy partaking in “LatkePalooza” downstairs in the Greenhouse. She says, “I make all the Latkes myself, which everyone loves!” Daleen adds, “Many residents also share their recipes, not only for making Latkes but for preparing many other special dishes to enjoy during the holidays.”
Daleen elaborates how personal care residents stay connected to the community by participating in Community Service activities at Paul’s Run, by creating hygiene bags, for example, that are distributed to The Seafarers, sailors who leave the Port in Philadelphia, and who are at sea for months at a time. They appreciate the donations of supplies, such as shaving cream and decks of playing cards, to use while they are away from home for long periods. In addition, local churches distribute other hygiene products and “Goodie Bags” to Homeless persons in bags assembled by the volunteers. “The residents enjoy giving back and knowing they are helping others.”
“They also love being involved with the Holiday Bazaar, when we make handmade items and baked goods to sell downstairs,” adds Alla.
Together with the entire team at Paul’s Run, Alla and Daleen keep the residents in personal care engaged with having fun and being involved with enjoyable physical, intellectual, and social activities seven days a week.