The Meaning of Care Magazine

Dunklau Den Offers Entertainment and Games for Residents of Dunklau Gardens

Published: March 16, 2022

Dunklau Gardens administrator Rachel Reiman, left, with Shawn Shanahan, executive director of the Fremont Health Foundation, in the new Dunklau Den game room

Dunklau Gardens prides itself on creating a homey atmosphere for its residents – because for residents in our community, it’s their home for weeks, months or years, depending on their health care situation and long-term needs.

This has been accomplished in recent years by scheduled group activities, dining room conversations, a small library and chapel, and other gathering spaces.

Thanks to a group of donors and the Fremont Health Foundation, residents now have access to the Dunklau Den – a large room that is part movie theater, part game room and part gathering space.

“We had a donor whose husband had been a resident of Dunklau Gardens,” said Shawn Shanahan, executive director of the Fremont Health Foundation. “He had a wonderful experience with us, and she wanted to find a way to give back.”

After discussions that included input from residents, staff and donors, the game room became a reality.

The Dunklau Den includes a shuffleboard table that’s wheelchair accessible, a magnetic dart board, a game table and a theater system complete with big screen viewing and theater seating.

“A room like the Dunklau Den, it’s a big deal for our residents,” said Rachel Reiman, PT, MSHA, LNA, Methodist Fremont Health’s administrator of post-acute services. “It’s just like at home –you have a designated space for congregating and enjoying some entertainment that is separate from where they sleep. That’s what this new space will do for Dunklau Gardens –make things feel more like home for our residents.”

One of the donors, Debby Durham of Fremont, was key to the project’s success. One of her close friends is a resident at Dunklau Gardens, and she wanted to ensure that his time and the time of all residents there is enjoyable.

“He’s a people person,” Durham said. “I know a room like this will be beneficial. These residents need that camaraderie with one another and their families. I love the concept. I know the residents will thrive with a space like this.”

What’s next for the Dunklau Den? Reiman expects there to be a great deal of card playing; the shuffleboard table may need a reservation list; and Husker football on the big screen is already on the schedule.

“A donation like this is by far our greatest compliment,” Reiman said. “To give on behalf of a resident – it means they were impacted enough that they want to give back. This is a gift that will serve our residents far into the future. It’s a wonderful honor for their loved one, but also for others for many years to come.”

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