Regina retirement home gives residents a blast from the past
REGINA -- Residents of a Regina retirement home are taking a trip down memory lane, after the facility transformed a multi-purpose room into a 50’s-themed diner.
The space, featuring a jukebox, Elvis posters and Coca-Cola paraphernalia, opened up to occupants of the College Park Retirement Residence in December.
“We really went for the nostalgia,” said Jessica Er Riha, the facility’s executive director. “We wanted everyone to feel like they were going back to the 50's, with the sounds, the jukebox, the lights, all the records (and) the cars.”
Er Riha said the residence received a grant to create a sensory room, then staff members came up with the idea to make it into a retro-styled room.
“We had just sort of talk about, ‘What if we turn it into a diner? What it we made it a theme room, and add everything that would be a requirement for sensory?’” Er Riha said.
Chris Oehler moved to the residence around nine years ago, after living with his wife in Strasbourg. He said he was quite excited for the diner to open up, as it reminds him of his childhood.
“(We) had an ice cream parlor in Strasbourg,” said Oehler. “I can remember the wire chairs, you know? White and pink I think it was.”
For Brenda Eppy, who also lives at College Park Retirement Residence, the diner provides a way to share her past with her family.
“We used this room at Christmas time,” Eppy said. “Of course, they go back to the old TV show… ‘Happy Days.’”
Both Eppy and Oehler agree, the diner is just another way the residence feels like home.
“Life could be pretty boring, where we get up in the morning and go to bed at night and not do much in between,” Eppy said. “But, we know there's always something here for us, and they keep us moving. It’s good.”