Residents at Imperial Gardens Senior Apartments Surprise Community Manager with Birthday Party
IMPERIAL, CA - Imperial Gardens Senior Apartments has always been a very active community that frequently attends the services provided by Suzette Mardueno, Imperial Gardens' PSCDC Resident Services Coordinator, and the community's property manager, Soledad Campos. Services such as collaborative health and nutrition presentations with healthcare partners, arts and crafts classes, and social hours with coffee and snacks, are only a few of the highly attended services in the Imperial Gardens community. As a very close-knit community, the senior residents in Imperial Gardens keep track of community birthdays so that they can celebrate them with one another. With Soledad's birthday this month, residents wanted to show their appreciation in true Imperial Gardens community fashion by planning, preparing, and throwing a big surprise birthday party for her.
Residents took care of planning the entire party, from food to decorations. Typically management and local service partners help setup events and celebrations in the community, however the residents wanted to take full responsibility. For the birthday meal, menudo was cooked by one of the residents, with Suzette and other residents donating money to help buy the ingredients. Residents also brough add-ons like bread and chips, lemons, onions, and cilantro for the menudo. For dessert, residents prepared fruit salad, and of course, a birthday cake.
A community-prepared celebration is not uncommon, as Imperial Gardens residents quite enjoy organizing and preparing for celebrations and parties. Earlier this month during Valentine's Day, residents made tostadas by residents pitching in and providing ingredients including beans, lettuce, salsa, tostadas, queso fresco, and more. Some residents even brought little goodie bags to pass out to their friends and neighbors filled with chocolates and cookies.
"I think celebrating is important to residents because most of our residents live alone or don't have families," Suzette Mardueno revealed when talking about the Imperial Gardens community. "So other residents participating in PSCDC services and classes become their family and they celebrate each other's birthdays."
The birthday celebration was held during a senior arts and crafts class that Suzette schedules every Tuesday and Thursday. Residents really enjoyed eating and conversing while working on their butterfly-themed crafts project. Residents really showcased their creativity and personality during the project, adding their own personal style to their butterfly.
To Suzette and her residents, the arts and crafts class is more than just arts and crafts but also an opportunity to stay busy and socialize. "The main goal of the class, I think, is not to entertain the residents, but to help them find something to get them out of their homes and interacting with the community and their neighbors," she states. "I think the biggest reason why residents participate is because they feel like a family, and they like to see each other every day and talk about their day while working on their craft or presentation."
Soledad was thankful for the community planning and setting up a special surprise for her and the residents had a productive, yet fun time chatting, eating, crafting, and celebrating. With so many celebrations already in just the beginning of the year, and a community as active as Imperial Gardens, Suzette and her residents are always looking forward to the next opportunity to celebrate as one big family.