Abby Maldonado passed out Neapolitan ice cream cones to eager residents of the Rosewood Retirement Community, kicking off National Assisted Living Week.

As the center’s activities coordinator, she’s responsible for hosting events like Sunday’s ice cream social, which followed a performance by the children’s choir of Trinity Baptist Church that delighted residents who were celebrating National Grandparents Day.

“We have activities planned for each day this week,” Maldonado said.

The sports-themed events include visits from the Harker Heights High

School football team and Ellison High School volleyball team, a resident baseball game on Tuesday and a tailgate barbecue on Friday.

Even when they aren’t celebrating a special event, residents have much to look forward to, Maldonado said.

“Bingo is the most popular (event),” said Gracie Olivarez, hospitality aide.

At Rosewood, there are church services on-site, visits to nearby grocery stores, cookie and coffee socials and trips to local restaurants. Singing is another favorite activity for the center’s nearly 40 residents, and Maldonado often brings in live musical performances.

For Tibby Layne, Sunday held a special significance. “I have eight grandchildren and 17 great-grandchildren,” Layne said.

She and her husband spent 32 years in the military and moved back and forth to Fort Hood so many times that they chose to retire and make Killeen home. “It’s wonderful how Killeen supports the military community,” she said.

Eunice Harper was equally excited to celebrate being a grandmother.

With seven grandchildren, including twin 2-year-old girls, she is kept busy with visits full of energy. Saturday was her grandson’s fourth birthday, and she enjoyed watching him tear wrapping paper off his gifts.

For former police chief Bill Mangerich, Rosewood’s “great staff” makes life at the home enjoyable.

As Maldonado passed out ice cream cones, the camaraderie among residents, their families and the staff was clear.

“It’s wonderful to celebrate the beginning of Assisted Living Week and for people to know that we’re here,” Layne said.

Herald | Madison Lozano​

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