The Ivy at Ellington is nestled in the Connecticut River Valley and set against the backdrop of the Shenipsit State Forest. But if you visited on July 18, you might have thought you were on a beach in Hawaii. In honor of the assisted living community’s first anniversary, residents and staff from The Ivy at Ellington invited their friends and families to a luau-themed celebration — and everyone dressed for the occasion.
Celebrating The Ivy at Ellington Anniversary
Residents and staff donned grass hula skirts and leis. Family and friends danced to Hawaiian music, took hula lessons, and then cooled down with Kona shaved ice from a local food truck. And grandkids — and even some great-grandkids! — got their faces painted.
“The luau was a great party,” says Bianca Syriac, the Marketing Director of The Ivy at Ellington. “We love putting together these family events because it is a good opportunity for our residents to bond with their grandkids and great-grandchildren.”
When Syriac heard that one resident’s daughter wasn’t able to attend the party due to illness, she went over and checked in on him. “He was still bubbly and having a great time, but I noticed that he was missing a lei,” Syriac says. “When I took mine off my neck for him, he said, ‘Aw, you didn’t need to do that.’ I said I didn’t have to, but I wanted to — and he smiled from ear to ear.”
Attendees enjoyed homemade pork egg rolls and sweet and sour meatballs with pineapple before a live pig roast dinner. The night ended with a concert by a Hawaiian guitarist, who sang different styles of songs from the island, and a performance by two hula dancers.
“It was such a great time that some commented that it actually felt like they took a trip to Hawaii for the night,” Syriac says.
Reflecting on Year One
As Syriac reflects on the past year at The Ivy at Ellington, she can’t believe how much has already happened. Residents have explored Kloter Farms and the Johnny Appleseed farm stand, visited Brignole Vineyards, hit up Spare Time Bowling Lanes, and celebrated Connecticut Day at The Big E Festival. “Each trip we take brings back wonderful memories that we share and laugh about as we create new memories together,” she says.
The newest assisted living residential community in town, The Ivy at Ellington has also partnered with the local government and business to provide even more opportunities for residents.
“We are so grateful to be a part of the Ellington community,” Syriac says. “Everyone has been very receptive to our ideas. In the past year, we have bonded with local businesses, partnered with the Veterans’ Coffee House, and co-hosted events, such as the Yoga on The Green and the Farm to Table Dinner.”
In addition to exploring the larger community, The Ivy at Ellington community celebrated many holidays, from Halloween to Thanksgiving to Easter. On Valentine’s Day, the staff planned a special three-course dinner and movie night for the married couples who live in the community.
There were also many family firsts this year, from the first annual family holiday party to the first family casino night.
Looking Ahead to Year Two
In the coming year, Syriac is looking forward to partnering even more with the Ellington community.
“We are excited for the upcoming school year and having the high school band perform at The Ivy,” she says. “We are also working with the YMCA to begin having their instructors come in for classes and having our residents join them for water aerobics. Community involvement is a huge piece of everything we do at The Ivy.”
Adds Executive Director Lindsay Redin: “The Ivy at Ellington has a much more small-town feel than our other Arbors communities. I like how wholesome and down-to-earth the people are. Everybody is welcoming and willing to help. They’re super excited that we’re here. The town is happy to have us as an option for seniors in need.”
If your loved one would benefit from the myriad of amenities, healthy options, and social activities assisted living offers, schedule a tour of The Ivy at Ellington today.