Working at VITAS

VITAS Team Brings Memory Care Residents, Families Together for Holidays

December 22, 2020
The VITAS employees gathered for a photo in front of Wilson House

Medical Records Clerk Yvette Reynoso, Registered Nurse Case Manager Eunice Dunn And VITAS Representative Christine Guevara helped spread holiday cheer at a senior living home near Fairfield, California.

When the Pacifica Senior Living Center issued a December call to its healthcare partners for help decorating the community’s memory care cottages, the VITAS team in Fairfield, California, responded with glitz, and holiday cheer galore.

VITAS employees brought the colors and joy of the season right to the front door of Wilson House, where most of the VITAS patients at Pacifica receive hospice care for Alzheimer’s and other forms of dementia.

A VITAS employee decorates a tree

Yvette decorates the trees with gold tinsel, adding a little glitz to the holiday cheer.

“They created something that can bring Memory Care residents and families together, 6 feet apart, by spreading some joy, which we all desperately need this year,” said Lena Nilsson, General manager for VITAS in the Sacramento Valley.

Organized by VITAS Representative Christine Guevara, the decorating volunteers included several hospices nurses, a chaplain, and members of the office staff who volunteered their time in early December. They wrapped Wilson House’s entranceway in festive holiday paper and a gold bow, hung stockings (with care) on the home’s pillars, placed a small holiday tree outside of the front door, and strung colorful outdoor lights on the trees and greenery.

“From the windows in the front, our patients and the other residents can see the lights and the common areas that we decorated,” said Guevara. “Even if they can’t go out, it still brings them joy to see the lights and feel the Christmas spirit.”

On December 17, VITAS also participated in a drive-by holiday parade for family members who have been unable able to visit their loved ones in person throughout COVID-19 restrictions. Indoors and out, Wilson House residents and their families enjoyed holiday cupcakes, cookies, and VITAS mints.

“It’s great for families to see that there’s something going on for their loved ones through our collaboration with Pacifica,” Nilsson said. “I’m proud and thankful for our team’s initiative, passion, and their very visible support of the community.”

Exterior of Wilson House after decorating

The team’s decorations included stockings, lights, festive wrapping and ribbons, and tinsel.

Exterior of Wilson House at night, with holiday lights shining brightly

At night, residents can see the glow of the holiday lights, even if they cannot go outside.