If you were faced with an unexpected challenge, wouldn’t it be wonderful to call upon a magic genie for some wish-granting fun? That’s exactly what happened at Heritage Healthcare Center in Tallahassee, Florida.

In early March, family members were prohibited from entering the care center because of COVID-19. Of course, residents and patients couldn’t help but be disappointed. Looking for a way to raise spirits during a difficult time, Nakesha, the activities director, and Linda, the executive director came up with the clever idea of having a magic genie come to grant resident wishes.

They set some ground rules and injected a bit of humor surrounding the genie’s activity in the care center. As everyone knows, toilet paper became scarce at the beginning of the pandemic. Playing on that fact, the “genie” asked “What would you trade for a roll of toilet paper?” Residents were photographed with a white board indicating the item they wished for.

Heritage at Tallahassee had a magic genie grant residents' wishes

Behind the scenes, staff jumped at the opportunity to be part of the fun. Nakesha posted a board displaying the photos of the residents holding their wishes. Quickly, various staff members selected a wish to grant, while remaining anonymous to the residents. One of the patient care assistants created a darling drawing of a genie which was attached to a ruler. As the wishes were granted, the residents were again photographed holding the genie character along with the item they wished for!

The first wish granted was for a resident who requested an American flag because so many of her family members have served in the military. When the staff presented the flag to her, they did it in a ceremonial fashion that was so touching, that some staff started crying.  Not surprisingly, many of the wishes were food-related. Residents wished for old favorites such as a certain brand of chips, a week’s worth of powdered doughnuts, and even homemade fried green tomatoes!

The genie’s magic was such a success, she decided to grant another round of wishes. Residents and patients are clamouring for the opportunity to make a wish, and the genie is making sure that everyone who wants to participate gets a chance. Behind the scenes, staff is even more eager to help grant wishes. Thank you to the magical team at Heritage Healthcare at Tallahassee for being family, when other family members cannot visit in-person. Your teamwork continues to delight our residents and patients.

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