Resident Experience

Highlight Your Residents: Create a Resident Spotlight!

April 25, 2024

As recreation staff in senior living communities, one of the most rewarding tasks you can undertake is creating a resident spotlight that celebrates the lives and achievements of the individuals within your community. A well-crafted resident spotlight not only honors the unique stories and contributions of residents but also fosters a sense of connection among residents and helps residents and staff get to know the residents who live there. We wanted to share some ideas on how to write and produce a compelling resident spotlight that captures the essence of each resident's personality, background, accomplishments, anecdotes, advice, and more.

Identify Your Resident

  • Start by identifying a resident who you believe has an interesting story or perspective to share. Consider residents who have unique backgrounds, life experiences, hobbies, talents, or community involvement. (Suggestion: Check your resident profiles and assessments in Welbi for ideas.) Explain the purpose of the spotlight to the resident and get their consent to participate. Ensure that the resident feels comfortable and enthusiastic about being featured.

Gather Information

  • Schedule an interview with the resident to gather information about their background, life journey, accomplishments, and interests. Create a list of questions to guide the interview, but also allow the conversation to flow naturally and organically. Ask open-ended questions that prompt the resident to share personal anecdotes, memories, insights, and advice. Encourage them to reflect on significant milestones, challenges overcome, and lessons learned throughout their lives.

Craft the Story

  • Use the information gathered from the interview to craft a narrative that highlights the key aspects of the resident's life and character. Begin with an engaging introduction that captures the reader's attention and sets the tone for the rest of the spotlight. Share details about the resident's background, including their upbringing, education, career, family, and any notable achievements or milestones. Use descriptive language and vivid imagery to bring their story to life. Incorporate quotes from the resident to add authenticity and personality to the narrative. Let their own words shine through, capturing their unique voice and perspective.

Include Accomplishments and Anecdotes

  • Showcase the resident's accomplishments, talents, and interests, whether it's winning awards, pursuing creative hobbies, volunteering in the community, or achieving personal goals. Share memorable anecdotes and experiences from the resident's life, such as funny stories, heartwarming moments, or inspiring encounters. These personal touches help to humanize the residents and make their story relatable to readers.

Offer Words of Wisdom and Advice

  • Invite the resident to share words of wisdom, advice, or reflections on life that they have gained from their experiences. These insights can inspire and uplift readers, providing valuable lessons and perspectives on aging, resilience, and living a fulfilling life. Encourage the resident to share any advice they have for fellow residents, staff members, or future generations, whether it's tips for staying active and healthy, maintaining meaningful relationships, or finding joy in everyday moments.

Add Visual Elements

  • Enhance the resident spotlight with visual elements such as photographs, artwork, or multimedia content that complement the narrative and bring the resident's story to life. Include photographs of the resident at different stages of their life, as well as images related to their hobbies, interests, or achievements. These visuals help to create a visual timeline of the resident's journey and add depth to the story.

Share and Celebrate

  • Once the resident spotlight is complete, share it with the broader community through various channels, such as the community newsletter, website, social media, or bulletin boards. Celebrate the resident's spotlight with a special event or gathering where they can be recognized and honored by their peers, family members, and staff members. Create a welcoming and festive atmosphere that celebrates the resident's life and contributions.

Writing and producing a resident spotlight is a meaningful and impactful way to honor the lives and stories of residents in your community. By taking the time to listen, learn, and share their stories with the wider community, recreation staff can help residents feel valued, respected, and connected. So, don't hesitate to shine a spotlight on the remarkable individuals within your community and celebrate the richness and diversity of their experiences.

Katie Stewart

Katie is a member of Welbi’s Customer Experience team! She has a background in communications and recreation and is passionate about older adults, exercise, coffee and people.

Holly Mathias

Holly is a member of Welbi’s Marketing team! She has a background in communications and marketing, and is a compassionate individual who loves team work, story telling, and wellness.

Wendy Riopelle

Wendy is a student in the Honours BA in English program at the University of Ottawa, where she has won numerous awards for her writing.

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