Interview With Life Enrichment Director Scott Spiva


At Prestige Senior Living, our residents enjoy a wide variety of events every day designed to bring joy and camaraderie in our communities. When we say that we’re Not Your Grandma’s Nursing Home, it’s because residents take part in everything from poker nights to manicures to happy hours.

Planning those events are the Life Enrichment Directors (LEDs) in our communities, who always come up with fun new ideas while weaving in the old favorites.

In this blog we’re interviewing Scott Spiva, the LED at Prestige Senior Living Rosemont, about his background, how he creates the event calendar, and much more!

Can you tell us about your background?

Scott Spiva: “I’ve been taking care of seniors since I was 18. I started as a Certified Nursing Assistant. The local nursing home here was offering courses and then hiring people afterwards so it was a good opportunity to get into something right after high school. It wasn’t originally my plan, but I learned to love it. It’s a really good job. I like the service of giving and making it all about the residents. It really makes the job easier when you just think it’s all about the residents.

So I was in skilled nursing at Prestige in Centralia for about eight months, and then I came over here to Rosemont for two months as a caregiver. And then I got the LED position, and I’ve been here since September.”

How do you approach creating the monthly activity calendar?

SS: “I feel like that’s such like an important part because it’s pretty much what the residents are going to get out of the whole month. You’ve got stuff like Bingo that you know they love. You’ve got food socials, which are always fun, but when you’re trying to introduce a new craft or something, it can be a challenge to get them to try it. I’ve got some people that don’t like to try new things, but that’s part of the job. With some of the bigger things you need to kind of slowly introduce them to it, talk to them about it, give them some more information, maybe a flyer or some examples really help. But the calendar really sets out the layout for the whole month.”

Each community is filled with people with different personalities and interests, how do you reach everyone?

SS: “It really is about providing activities, either group activities or individualized activities they would like. And that’s again bringing it back to knowing your residents. We have one resident, she didn’t like to come out of her room. She used to have a friend she ate dinner with but she passed away back in March.

So the resident, her daughter does Pampered Chef. She knew her mom hadn’t been out of her room much in two months so she came and did Pampered Chef here at the community. We did white chicken and cheese chili with cookies and brownies. And they even raffled off a popcorn maker. And the resident was sitting here while all that was going on, with other residents coming in and out trying the food, and she was talking and it was just great.

We have another resident, he tells me all the time he wants to come down, but he doesn’t. So last week we did birdhouses and he didn’t come down, so I brought him two or three different birdhouses and now he’s working on them in his apartment. And these are neat ones, no hot glue, nothing like that. They have slits and you can click them in. And I gave him some acrylic paint and paintbrushes and stuff so he can do that. I gave him two or three so he can do a couple.”

Are there other success stories you’ve had with residents that you’re proud of?

SS: “We have one resident, she came here from Texas, she’d been a teacher for 42 years. She moved here in January, and already with another resident, she’s leading the prayer group at 5:30 every Wednesday. She needed a leadership role, I understand that, so I gave it to her. She’s really, really great.”

What’s the best part of your job?

SS: “It’s going to be really hard getting another job after this. I mean, I’m playing games, going on out on outings. Working with the residents is the best thing. They’ve really embraced me even more than I’ve embraced them probably. I get to come up with all these ideas, even when there’s a couple times my crafts don’t go quite the way I’d like, but they’re just happy that somebody’s even engaging with them. So that’s pretty great.”

To learn more about our programming, contact the community nearest you.