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Despite the dismal weather, Independence Day was a festive occasion at KCL. Creative holiday themed red, white and blue paper crafts, made resident Peggy Coates, were displayed at a special July 4 barbecue. Traditional holiday favorites were served, including burgers, French fries, onion rings and coleslaw. This year, Independence Day took on a new meaning as residents, families and staff cherished the opportunity to be together after the long days of the pandemic.

Resident birthdays were also celebrated with great enthusiasm. Beautiful and delicious cakes were served as residents and staff sang cheerful renditions of “Happy Birthday.” Restaurant outings have also been a highlight this month. Residents are so excited about venturing out after having such a difficult year. Yet another special event was the hatching of birds in our courtyard under the gazebo. Everyone loved watching the wonders of nature and the adorable baby birds.

We have a new update about visits. KCL is no longer requiring vaccinated visitors to schedule visits with their vaccinated residents in advance on our website. Going forward, in-room vaccinated visits may occur without appointments. Vaccinated visits must still be held in the resident’s room or outside. Visits may not occur in common areas like the living rooms or hallways. We will continue to offer supervised visits in our café five days a week for our residents and families that are not fully vaccinated. Please contact Jill Tura with any questions.

Our residents are what sets KCL apart and one resident, in particular, embodies the spirit of our organization. Salima Benamar, who has been at KCL for three years, is originally from Orane in Algeria. She moved to Quincy with her husband and young son, seeking a better life in the states. Upon moving into Katzman, Salima was not able to speak English, and as a result, was very shy and not willing to venture out of her room very often. With encouragement from the staff, Salima started to attend activity programs, although she was still hesitant to draw any attention to herself. Slowly she started getting familiar with others and began building friendships with those around her.

One of Salima’s favorite programs is Arts & Crafts, where she is able to express herself artistically. She always loved and appreciated the true beauty of flowers. Because of this, the staff created a unique project: painting a mural of beautiful, colorful flowers. Salima threw herself into the project!  In fact, she found an interest that opened the door to her own imagination. She painted all sorts of pictures that featured a variety of flowers — not only for the mural, but for the walls in her room. Salima also gave these paintings to other residents and staff, hoping to brighten their day.

At present, Salima is speaking English extremely well, socializing with staff and residents. Undoubtedly, she is a resident who has come a long way in finding herself. As she explains, “I feel like I bloomed –just like my flowers.”