Dynamic Resident Activities At English Rose

Dynamic Resident Activities At English Rose

The smell of mini-donuts, cheese curds, and Martha’s cookies wafting through our homes last month brought smiles to the faces of English Rose residents and caregivers.  It was the first day of the Minnesota State Fair, and our new Activity Coordinator, Stephanie, brought the tastes and smells of the great Minnesota get together to each of our homes.

For the residents, it was an opportunity to cook and enjoy some of their favorite State Fair treats. “We had the recipe for mini-donuts, and the residents enjoyed making them from scratch,” said Stephanie, “It was fun to see everyone so engaged in the activity and the residents enjoyed reminiscing about the fair.” Bringing joy to everyone’s day is one of Stephanie’s life goals. Having overcome a brain tumor as a teenager, Stephanie sought a career helping others.  While pursuing a major in Psychology at the College of St. Scholastica, she discovered that she enjoyed working with seniors while volunteering at nursing homes and assisted living facilities.  “One of my best friends during college was a 94-year-old Benedictine sister. I’ve always had a special connection with older people. They make me smile and I make them smile,” said Stephanie. 

Stephanie Catton
English Rose Activity Coordinator

Choosing activities and outings that enrich our residents’ lives is a job that Stephanie takes seriously, and it starts with understanding each person’s life story. “Learning what is important to each individual, whether a hobby, interest, or past job, helps me plan activities that will bring meaning and purpose to their day,” says Stephanie.  

Each month, Stephanie creates a calendar of daily activities and plans special outings. She incorporates fun facts and historical information into the experience, and tailors activities for both individual residents and each home. 


Whether it’s a visit to the farmer’s market, going on coffee runs, visiting the Arboretum, helping prepare meals, or gardening, English Rose residents have an opportunity to engage in the activities that are special to them, and that bring a sense of normalcy to their days. 

“Stephanie does a remarkable job looking at what each resident wants to do, enjoys doing, still can do, and then finds a way to make that happen for them,” said Katie Reinhimer, Director of Quality of Life.  For example, Stephanie started a new club for women called the Red Hats Society, where she brings a few of the women together from different homes to drink coffee, share memories, and most importantly, to laugh.

In her role as Activity Coordinator, Stephanie also helps to mentor the caregivers in creative ways to engage our residents.  She is present in each of the homes during the scheduled activity times, helping caregivers modify activities to best meet the needs of each resident.

“The way we engage our residents during their activities is what sets English Rose apart,” said Katie, “It’s a time for the residents to become involved in something that stimulates them cognitively, physically, and emotionally.”

Stephanie also enjoys working closely with family members to coordinate outings that are special for both the resident and their loved ones. This summer, she worked with a family visiting from out-of-state to plan a pontoon ride on Lake Minnetonka.  “It was a special day not only for that resident and their family, but for our staff and other residents as well,” said Stephanie, “It allowed this family to spend quality time together enjoying an activity that was special for all of them.”

Bringing joy, happiness, and laughter to our residents is Stephanie’s favorite part of the job, and we are thrilled to have her play such an important role on the English Rose leadership team. Her life motto is to appreciate every moment of every day, and no smile goes wasted (even behind a mask). “Stephanie is a bright light. She has a positive outlook on life and a desire to make a difference in the lives of those around her,” says Katie. 

Newsletter Sign Up