Raleigh woman cranks up the fun, brings joy to seniors separated from family during COVID-19

RALEIGH (WTVD) -- If learning to Hula dance, getting fake tattoos, or staring in a TikTok video doesn't sound like something going on inside an assisted living center, you haven't been to Spring Arbor of Raleigh, and you haven't met their Activity and Wellness Director, Victoria Polston.

This young firecracker comes to work every morning, downs 3 cups of coffee and hits the ground running. She leaves work every day plotting what fun thing she can do tomorrow.

Polston's goal: Make the lives of her residents fun, active, and worth living.

"When I do something I like to go all out," Polston said.

She held a Mardi Gras party in March, set up a butterfly exhibit, had a beach party (complete with virgin daiquiris, pina coladas and hula dance lessons) and brought the farmer's market into the facility--after the group's planned trip to the State Farmer's Market got cancelled.

Covid-19 brought a lot of changes to Spring Arbor of Raleigh, especially with a ban on in-person visits.

Polston said it left many residents depressed, isolated and confused, wondering why their sons and daughters stopped visiting, overnight.

"I never want them to ever feel isolated or alone or lonely", she said. "That's why I take what I do with pride."

Even if it means putting on a huge, blow-up cow costume and delivering milkshakes to residents' rooms, which she absolutely did.

"As long as it keeps their spirits lifted, that's my number one priority," Polston said. "I get a lot of laughs, that's fine. If I look like a fool doing it and it's making them happy, that's completely OK with me."

Polston posts videos and photos of all their activities on the center's Facebook page to assure loved ones that the residents aren't alone and isolated.

Polston said there have been no cases of COVID-19 at Spring Arbor of Raleigh and they are grateful.

"I've gotten a lot of thank yous from the family. When I get the positive feedback it means a lot to me," Polston said. "And they deserve the best...I'm gonna cry about it."

In honor of National Assisted Living Week, especially in 2020, we honor you Victoria Polston for all you do.
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