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How You Play Changes the Game

  • Jul 13, 2015
  • Meaghan Puglisi
  • 2-min Read

george familyGeorge Wojack, 80, is an avid card player. Before his health began to decline, he frequented the casinos and enjoyed playing evening card games among friends and family. According to his family, he was always shy and reserved. He would keep to himself in the quiet peacefulness of card playing. Yet he knows every game from Black Jack to Poker, can shuffle a deck quickly, has great concentration, and quick reflexes. George loves every aspect of playing cards – the thrill of entering a casino, smelling the cards and the quiet anticipation of being a winner. Some have golf or painting, George has cards.

Recognizing his passion, his family flew him to Las Vegas for a family casino trip, one last hoorah to make his final months on hospice care memorable. What they hadn’t planned was how challenging it would be. George’s illness was progressing rapidly, and his family needed more support. They were disappointed with their adventure and ability to fulfill George’s wish.

That’s when the Lifespark and the SilverCrest teams stepped in. His Life Care Manager and her staff understood his family’s wish and his passion. George’s illness had now reached a point, though, where it limited his ability to travel to a casino. So they brought the casino to George.

They transformed the Brightondale campus where George lives, bringing it alive with decorations of aces, green tables, and brightly colored streamers. They even hung a banner above the doorway welcoming card players (other campus residents and staff) to the “Wojack Casino” in George’s honor. Everyone participated as housekeepers, Life Care Managers, and office personnel became door bouncers, beverage cart handlers and of course Black Jack and Poker dealers.

Once shy and reserved, George, as the guest of honor, played his high roller part dressing in a flashy, shiny metallic blazer adorned in dollar signs. The smile beaming on his face said it all: he was ready to play some cards! The winnings extended to everyone involved – sparking the Lifespark and Brightondale staff, other residents, and his family who were overjoyed to give their Dad one last roll of the dice. And George, well, George won!

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