As a tiny startup struggling to break even- we have rarely had the luxury of splurging on expenses. A few years ago, for Christmas my team (then much smaller) and I were trying to figure out the budget to do up the homes. One of the nurses suggested that we put up handmade décor- would be a fun activity for our residents and at the same time perhaps save us the trouble of looking for wreaths within our budget! 

Initially apprehensive about the place looking unprofessional, I reluctantly agreed. It was not until I actually saw Vermeer house all decked up with the beautiful door decors and handmade wreaths did, I realize what a difference it made to the way the homes feel. It truly felt like a home- warm, fuzzy and festive. Thus, started our tradition of decorating our homes in this manner. There is a lot of warmth and love in such handmade pieces- they may not be perfect (vis-à-vis what you can buy from the market), but there is something about seeing our resident’s name on a handmade painting instead of a professionally printed plaque. 

Seeing the excitement and the positivity we decided to formalize this; each of our homes now have a décor committee. Every month there is a theme finalized- it could be the month of Diwali, or Independence Day, or Annual day or a theme based on the season E.g. in the rainy season, we have handmade paintings of clouds, in spring a lot of paper flowers and so on. This décor committee takes the onus to put up wall hangings, various other crafts, clips on the notice boards in resident’s spaces- their rooms, dining areas, common activity areas etc. It is dynamic, and an engagement with a purpose. We encourage each member to express his or her creativity, and it is not monotonous. Residents participate with a lot of enthusiasm and we discover a lot more about our very talented support staff!

It is a win-win situation overall!
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