Good fun at CountryHouse Residence, for the residents and the community

As we welcome in the spring, CountryHouse Residence put on some events for their residents -- Easter fashion show and an Easter egg hunt for the community.

CountryHouse Residence have their Easter fashion show where their residents can have fun and feel beautiful and handsome as they walk the runway. (Josiah C. Cuellar/The Dickinson Press)

In the afternoon on the last day of March, CountryHouse residents sat in two rows of facing chairs, a wide space in between. This space served as their runway for their Easter fashion show, but also as a platform for them let loose and strut their stuff.

This is an event that Country House Residence has several times a year for different seasons and occasions, including prom and even bridal fashion shows.

“It doesn't matter what your age is or if you are a male or female, there is something about putting on something nice and feeling and looking good,” Director Tessa Johnson said. “It gives them a certain life about them, they love it... They get to pick something new and put it on their face just lights up.”

Residents and staff members cheer as CNA Cara Wood and resident Mary Ann Paluck walk down the the runway hand-in-hand. (Josiah C. Cuellar/The Dickinson Press)


The clothing comes from the ARC Aid Thrift Store. Nursing assistants spent time with each resident to make their hair and help them get dolled up.

“We do these kinds of things to boost their confidence. Here they don't really get to see their families especially with (COVID-19) so it's really good to make them smile every once and awhile,” staff member Ayana Freeman said.

They are also bringing some of that positive spirit to the community with their 2nd annual Easter Egg Hunt.

“We had to be creative at this time last year. We knew kids were going to want to do some sort of an Easter egg hunt so we really brainstormed on how we could get them to do an Easter egg hunt and be safe and not together. And to get the community involved because that is always super important for us” Johnson said. “We have a dozen, two foot purple eggs…. We reached out to area businesses and we are hiding them there and the goal is to have all our participants drive around as families, spending quality time together finding the eggs.

They chose purple for the colored eggs to unify with the official color of the Alzheimer’s movement. Each purple egg will be numbered one through 12.

Two participants taking a selfie with one of the dozen purple Easter eggs. This was from the inaugural Easter egg hunt in 2020 (Courtesy of Tessa Johnson)

“The first 12 people who find all dozen eggs win a prize,” Johnson said. “The goal is to take a selfie picture with every egg and then when they find all 12, they send all to me and I'll track the first 12 that send me all 12 eggs.”


The 12 local businesses will also be donating a prize to be received by one the winners. The dozen purple eggs will mostly be outside the business with placement high and low, so it will be for participants to be observant with eyes wide open.

It will begin at 10 a.m. this Saturday through 5 p.m. Sunday. Johnson says there is a common theme among the locations but it will not be announced just yet. There is an event page on Facebook that will have the most updated information.

It shows with their actions with their residents and with the community that CountryHouse aims to bring positively for the sake of good health.

“I strongly believe that your mental health and your physical health are closely connected,” Johnson said. “We only had two positive cases with residence this whole time and we talked a lot about it, ‘If we were lucky?’ ‘Is it that we did the right thing…’ I think we did all those things but I also think it's because we continue to always do stuff like this, we continue to keep their mental health intact.”

Josiah C. Cuellar was born in San Angelo, Texas, a small rural community in the western part of the state known for its farming, ranching and beautiful Concho River. A Texas A&M San Antonio graduate specializing in multi-media reporting, Cuellar is an award winning photographer and reporter whose work focuses on community news and sports.
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