Since spring has finally sprung, and with it comes new beginnings and new challenges, which is exactly what we look forward to here at Galeon.

If you remember back in February, I wrote an article about 2019 being the year of improving the benefits to our residents. We were planning on doing this through a revamp of our activities department, and that moment has arrived. After compiling the data from over 80 responses from residents, tenants, families and staff, we have a consensus of what is needed to implement and revamp. Our quality assurance team has initiated the process.

What do people feel is important for us to know as staff and what will we do with that information? Ninety percent of those responding want us to know what they did for a living while 80 percent want us to know what their hobbies were prior to prior to arriving at Galeon. In addition, 80 percent want to have input on their daily appearance, 78 percent want to be able to follow their favorite sports teams, 39 percent want to do garden and yard work, and 24 percent want access to desktop computers.

In order to accomplish this, we started by creating a new questionnaire the activities department will use upon admission to help determine what each person's preferences are. Some of this information will then be transferred to a sheet in the resident's room so that everyone who sees it can play a role in making sure they are given as many opportunities as they choose.

With this, we are hoping to make all staff AWARE (Always Willing And Ready to Encourage) no matter what department they work in. We are also hoping to inform residents about what is already available on our campus, such as two desktop computers that can be used by residents and guests, a library in West View Assisted Living, and two raised garden beds in the backyard of Community Memorial Home.

We have also created new opportunities based on the survey data. As the above statistic shows, 4 out of 5 residents want to follow their favorite sports teams, so we will be putting some "fan appreciation" days together for the Twins and the Lynx this summer, and then continue this as other seasons arrive. One interesting stat that we found was that almost 30 percent of those surveyed feel that we should offer a happy hour, and although we already do, it was decided to make it better. Starting in June, our happy hour will go mobile, using a beverage cart to reach as many as possible. This is just one way that we plan on reaching out to everyone, as there is not enough space to cover all the changes we have in store.

As we continue with our changes on campus, we want to also thank all our volunteers and auxiliary members for helping us with countless hours of activities assistance, volunteer work and all the bazaars and sales that are held to ensure Galeon's success and ongoing care for our residents and tenants.

If you would like to know more, please don't hesitate to call or stop by, and have a great summer!

Osakis Voices is a rotating column written by community leaders who share their thoughts in their field of expertise.