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First “Sweetheart Dance” Planned February 16 at Carillon Assisted Living’s Fuquay-Varina Facility

Staff members and residents alike are abuzz at Carillon Assisted Living’s Fuquay-Varina facility, whose first “Sweetheart Dance” will coincide with “Family Night” on Thursday, Feb. 16.

Although the event will be held two days after Valentine’s Day, the dining room will be decorated with hearts and plenty of red colors, and alive with music and other festive touches, such as flowers and plenty of chocolate.

Regional Director of Operations Jennifer Moore says part of the excitement stems from plans to follow up the Sweetheart Dance with a spring prom, to be held in the middle of high school prom season.

Carillon wants to engage residents through activities they enjoyed in the past, says Moore, who oversees operations at six Carillon facilities in central North Carolina. The goal, she says, is to bring back nostalgic memories through this dance and others, both for residents and members of the community.

“This is an inter-generational mix; we have staff members who say, ‘I’ve never participated in a Sweetheart Dance,” Moore says. “Part of the excitement will be helping residents get ready and participating if they choose to do that. The staff is excited about doing this several times a year.”

Although there had been some Valentine’s Day dances at Fuquay-Varina in the past, this is the first one billed as a Sweetheart Dance. Because of family night, a dinner will be held prior to the dance. In addition to residents’ family members who are invited to the festivities, staff member’s relatives are also expected to attend.

While arrangements are being finalized, live music will be part of the evening. Awards are being considered for the best male and female dancers, part of Carillon’s efforts to promote an enjoyable atmosphere.

“We want this to be fun and inter-generational,” Moore says. “There’s nothing better than to see a son enjoying a dance with their mother. It’s all part of that social interaction. While many of our residents no longer have their partners, it will bring back memories of going to dances with their sweetheart and allow for a light-hearted environment, with music of the times.”

Although still in process, the prom committee met in late January and is about to firm up a date, music and other details. They are expected to include a visit by a local cosmetology school to prepare residents’ hair for the evening.

These dances call to mind Carillon’s statewide, signature “Jazz and Julep” event leading up to the Kentucky Derby every spring.

“We like to do these events and allow seniors from the community to come in,” Moore says. “This bridges gaps not only with generations but with our community. Inviting others to participate gives our residents interaction and offers connectivity to our community.”

Posted in Sage Stories on February 6, 2017

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