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Wendy’s Neverland Comes to Life at Lee County Care and Rehabilitation Center

Beatyville, KY – May 9, 2019 – The moment that residents and stakeholders at four Signature HealthCARE locations have been preparing for over the last year has finally arrived. Saturday, May 11, marks the beginning of the Wendy’s Neverland performances at Lee County Care and Rehabilitation Center.

Based on the stories of Peter Pan, Wendy’s Neverland is a professionally-produced play that takes place inside the nursing home.  Celebrating the life of Wendy, who is now on hospice, the play focuses on the dreams and stories of Neverland.

Wendy’s Neverland is the final product of the three-year-long project, I Won’t Grow Up. As part of the project, residents have participated in various activities and events alongside a team of regional and national artists, and the quality of life department at Signature HealthCARE to gear up for showtime. Whether it was creating a giant pirate ship, lyricizing a musical number, or crafting a large alligator, the I Won’t Grow Up project has reminded residents that you’re never too old, you just have to believe. 

The excitement of Wendy’s Neverland has been building more and more every day as Saturday approaches. Bethany Overbee, Director of Nursing at Lee County, said she has walked the halls many times to find elders singing and practicing their lines, and sharing with one another that they do believe. She said the project has impacted all the residents, not just those performing. One resident who enjoys being part of the audience has been “grinning from ear to ear” all week in anticipation of show time.

“It’s so much more than a play, it’s an experience, it’s something to be a part of,” said Overbee. “Watching the reactions and happiness of the elders during it all is even more magnetic than the performance itself. It has been truly transformative.”

Residents at Rockcastle Health and Rehabilitation Center, Fountain Circle Care and Rehabilitation Center, and Signature HealthCARE at Jackson Manor will be joining Lee County residents for their upcoming performances on May 11, May 12, May 13, and May 14.

The very first performance of Wendy’s Neverland took place at Morgantown Care and Rehabilitation Center on March 23. Residents at three other Signature HealthCARE homes along with Morgantown residents participated. The final four performances will take place at Sunrise Manor Nursing Home on June 1 through June 4.

The I Won’t Grow Up Project emerged as a collaboration between Signature HealthCARE and TimeSlips, a non-profit whose mission is to bring meaning and joy into late life; and made possible with funding by a Civil Money Penalty (CMP) Grant through the Kentucky Office of Inspector General and the Centers for Medicaid and Medicare Services (CMS); and Art Works, a program of the National Endowment for the Arts.

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