Hallmark Healthcare of Pekin in the News

Hallmark Healthcare of Pekin Honors Leanna Hudson-Ramsey During National Activity Professionals Week for Success in Engaging Residents

Activities Directors are a Key to Resident Happiness at Skilled Nursing Facilities

Feb 2, 2023

Hallmark Healthcare of Pekin, the 71-bed subacute and skilled nursing facility, honored its activity director, Leanna Hudson-Ramsey, for her work with her activities team in creating a stimulating and engaging resident environment.

The recognition came during National Activity Professionals Week, Jan. 23-27, 2023. Activity Professionals Week - established by the National Association of Activity Professionals (NAAP) - is a national week-long celebration that honors the efforts of activity directors at healthcare facilities. These professionals enhance residents' daily lives by providing opportunities to engage in recreational, intellectual, and creative activities.

Addressing the needs of the community's senior population is what motivates Hudson-Ramsey every day. “We most enjoy getting to know each of our residents through working with them during activities,” she said. “Everyone here is special and has an amazing story. We fully enjoy the work we do, getting to laugh, have fun, and enjoy new experiences with our residents, while they tell their stories.”

At Hallmark Healthcare of Pekin, Hudson-Ramsey said three of the most popular resident activities include:

  • New experiences, such as virtual reality tours. The Pekin Public Library has worked with Hallmark Healthcare to provide these tours. “Some facility residents choose to visit far off places, like France or Italy. Others choose to visit their childhood home, which can be quite moving,” she said. “Some chose to go to old playgrounds or churches. These have been amazing experiences.”
  • Snack crate box sharing. “We get sample snacks from different parts of the world,” Hudson-Ramsey said. “We tie these together with reading and trivia about the area that we are sampling, plus watch videos and experience other aspects of the area's culture.”
  • Trivia and music. “One of the great advantages of working at Hallmark Healthcare is the new ConnectCareHero social engagement system we installed,” she said. “We are able to engage in trivia with sister facilities and have live games. These games get our community excited as we are competitive and love to win.”

Hudson-Ramsey became an activity director in 2018. “I chose a career in skilled nursing because I love working with the senior community,” she said. “I get to know the community and provide engaging activities for them on a regular basis. Activities are much more than just bingo. I work with all of the staff in the facility to provide amazing experiences and memories for the individuals that live here, and it's a wonderful thing to be a part of every day.”

Focusing on Quality of Life

Professionals like Hudson-Ramsey and her activities team are key players in a facility's care team, creating innovative programming that positively impacts the lives of residents, and identifying new ways to collaborate and support the community. Every day, the activities team strives to support the mission, vision, and commitment to providing quality care and innovative services for which Hallmark Healthcare of Pekin is known.

Research from the National Library of Medicine reports that social engagement promotes physical and mental health in older adults. Keeping its residents inspired, involved, and connected are how the Hallmark Healthcare activities team defines its mission.

“We are passionate about the job because our team has a great deal of compassion,” said Hudson-Ramsey. “Each resident in our facility is amazing and we truly want to provide them with the most enjoyable and enriching experiences while they are at Hallmark Healthcare.”

To become an activities director, it takes patience and compassion. Professionals working with an aging population meet certain professional standards to become adept and finally certified. They are masters of multi-tasking - providing opportunities for residents to engage in stimulating activities that improve their quality of life while creating a sense of community.