Senior Living Staff Ensures its Own Miracle on Shipley Road

December 27, 2021 | News | Reading Time 2:00 Minutes

Gift-giving plan thrills residents.

Residents were at the receiving end of some Christmas cheer.

“We gathered wish lists from all the residents in healthcare and assisted living. The staff ‘adopted’ the residents and bought gifts for every single one,” said Kimberly Stout, Director Life Enrichment at Shipley Living senior living community in Wilmington, Delaware.

The gift-giving plan was initiated, Stout said, as management decided to make sure that all of the residents were at the receiving end of some Christmas cheer. “When the rest of the staff heard, they wanted to participate in making things special for them as well. COVID’s been especially difficult for the residents. Even though we’ve been creative and have made sure that they’re kept engaged and in touch in some capacity with their families, it’s been a tough time for them. The staff wanted to make sure we brought them some happiness.”

The gift-giving was the culmination of several weeks of festivities, decorations, arts and crafts projects, and more. On Thursday, December 23rd, ‘Mrs. Claus’ presented the carefully selected gifts to almost 50 residents. “There were some tears. The residents couldn’t believe the staff had done this for them,” said Stout.

“One of our residents is always saying she’s cold. She received a lap blanket and a fleece-lined vest. She made everyone walking by touch the vest to see how soft it felt,” said Stout. “Another one of our residents crochets blankets and hats for newborn babies at an area hospital. She’s been doing that for years. She was given a beautiful floral bag filled with yarn. She was so excited and kept saying, ‘I’m going to be so so busy!’”

One of the residents said he’s been craving a ribeye steak from Outback Steakhouse for two years. He received a gift card for Outback. “We’ll order a dinner curbside for him and bring it back to the community to enjoy. He’s a Philadelphia Eagles fan, so he also received an Eagles clock. He said he’d never have an excuse for being late for anything,” said Stout.

Stout, who’s been in senior living for fifteen years said she’s touched, but not surprised by the staff’s generosity and love. “When someone decides to move to Shipley Living, they’re not buying into a shiny new building. They’re buying into the family make-up of our personnel. You feel it immediately when you step through the door. It’s truly like family here,” she said. Stout added that the gift-giving event reminded everyone “why we do what we do. The residents were so grateful. Every single resident was thrilled.”