Life Enrichment Director Sparks Joy with Stunning Décor for Foulk Senior Living Celebrations

June 07, 2024 | Blog | Reading Time 3:00 Minutes

Whether she’s festooning tables to look like glamorous gowns for a grand opening party, building a wooden race track with tiny horses for a Kentucky Derby party, or creating a red-carpet experience for an Oscars party, Herlinda DePaz taps into all of her skills and creativity to make events special for the residents of Foulk Living senior living community in Wilmington, Delaware.

DePaz, who is the Life Enrichment Director, goes the extra mile to decorate for parties and events, which is her way of showing residents that they are cared for and special.

“It’s worth the effort when residents walk into a party and say ‘Wow. It’s beautiful,’” DePaz says.

DePaz recently decorated for a grand opening party celebrating newly completed renovations at Foulk Living, which provides independent living, assisted living, memory care, short-term rehab, and skilled nursing.

The community’s independent living cottages were also updated to include new kitchen cabinets, countertops, flowing paint, blinds and carpeting. Corridors and shared spaces were painted, and a sunlit four-season room received new walls, windows and an HVAC system. The dining room was remodeled with new wood plank flooring, updated lighting and wall covering and new art

Working weeks ahead of time, DePaz collaborated with the community’s Executive Chef Renee Eaton and Food and Beverage Director David Shea to decide on the grand opening party’s décor, which included tables topped with mannequins attired in swaths of jewel-toned fabrics that looked like evening gowns.

The mannequins were placed atop wooden risers that DePaz built to create the look of tiered gowns on which the desserts for the party were displayed.

“The Dining Services Director asked if I could make it happen, and I said, ‘Of course, I can,’” DePaz says.

Residents were impressed by the beauty of the décor.

“They said it was a beautiful idea and well displayed,” she says. “They said it looked like a department store runway.”

DePaz has long worked with older people. She is certified as an activities professional and, prior to Foulk Living, worked for 15 years in skilled nursing. Her mother taught her to sew, and she runs a party-planning business on the side –both of which have helped her hone the talents and skills that she uses in her job at Foulk Living.

Whether she’s planning a Groovy ‘60s dance party, a luau or a Kentucky Derby party, DePaz wants the décor to stand out. For the Derby party, she built a table-top race track that residents used to race miniature horses on.

“We pretended to have races,” she says. “We made hats that the ladies decorated and wore, and they had mint juleps.”

She says parties are more than just fun. They enable residents to stay engaged and help them feel at home at Foulk Living.

“Often people think they are giving up so much when they decide to move from their home,” she says, “but they find there is so much to gain…new friends and new opportunities to stay active and enjoy life.”

Besides decorating for parties, DePaz plans a full slate of monthly activities for residents, including a walking club, chair yoga, coffee chats, Zumba dancing, bingo, happy hours and trips off-site for shopping or to restaurants.

She said one of the best parts of her job is “planning events and seeing the residents gather, mingle and enjoying making new friends. They are out of their apartments and smiling.”

Residents appreciate the care that she puts into decorating for parties and events.

“They tell ‘you make the place come alive, and you go out of your way to do it,’” she says.

Foulk Living Nestled on 10 wooded acres with beautiful streams, and parklands in a residential area just north of Wilmington, Foulk Living is a full-service, rental continuing care retirement community offering carefree independent living, compassionate assisted living with memory care, and comprehensive skilled nursing. Foulk Living is managed by Life Care Services®. For additional information, visit or call 302/307-3849.