When the top of the morning arrives tomorrow, Sunshine residents with Irish eyes – and those who wish they were Irish – will be smiling from ear to ear, and proudly wearing their green. Many will rub their lucky rabbit’s foot, horseshoe or four-leaf clover in hopes of finding a pot of gold at the end of the rainbow.
In fact, residents at Dunwoody Pines in Dunwoody, Georgia will be out to win a bucket of gold in their Luck of the Irish Day raffle. Actually, the winner will receive a nice gift card. But the buckets make it a lot more fun.
Irish or not, numerous Sunshine residents have been enjoying a different method of capturing a pot of gold: Casinos.
Many of our communities are within driving distance of Indian Casinos and make regular visits with vanloads of enthusiastic passengers. Deer Park in Novato, California, The Verandah in Lake Charles, Louisiana, Landing at Behrman Place in New Orleans, and Brook Ridge in Pharr, Texas all have casino outings almost every other month.
At Waterford Terrace in La Mesa, California, Life Enrichment Director (LED) Muzit Sebhatlab arranges trips every three months, rotating between three different nearby casinos.
“Our residents enjoy the freedom of having 60-90 minutes to play the machines and visit the gift shops on their own,” says Muzit. “We haven’t had any major winners yet, but we go because the residents love it! They always ask, ‘when are we going back?’”
Carrying home winnings isn’t such a challenge when Sunshine communities bring the games to their residents. Several communities, including Brook Ridge, The Verandah, Landing at Behrman Place and Waterford Terrace typically host their own in-house Casino Nights once a year. Waterford Terrace held theirs on New Year’s Eve a few months ago. According to Muzit Sebhatlab, residents and staff ran games of Black Jack, Poker, Uno, Yahtzee and more at different tables.
“They played for Funny Money, Guest Meal Passes and boxes of chocolates from Trader Joes,” said Muzit. “It was similar to our weekly Poker, Keno and Bingo 10 games, where they play for pennies and dimes. The residents aren’t in it to win money. They just love the interaction, the competition and the laughter they share with one another.”
So maybe it isn’t all about chasing rainbows for a pot of gold. At the end of the day – whether it’s St. Patrick’s or not – it seems that having good friends and a great place to call home is all the luck you need.
*This blog was first published here: Sunshine Retirement Living, March, 2018.