Have You Heard About the New Health Center Bistro?


Wesley Homes Des Moines Health Center residents are loving the new bistro open once a month to all residents!

The Activities team in Des Moines has been hosting a special event designed to encourage participation in Health Center activities. It’s called the Grapevine Bistro!

Imagine you are staying at the Des Moines Health Center as a resident or for rehabilitative care and decide to participate in an activity. After the activity, you’re handed a “bistro buck” that you are told you can use at the bistro event at the end of the month.

The end of the month comes before you know it, and you pay a visit to the bistro you had heard about. It’s in the Tea Room — the same room you’ve seen a hundred times. Today, you hardly recognize it. It’s been completely transformed with decorative table settings, colorful adornments and an enticing array of home-made desserts, including strawberry shortcakes with real strawberry slices, earl grey cupcakes with lemon frosting and lavender honey scones. There are also Italian sodas, an assortment of flavored coffees and fresh paninis. As you head inside, the smell of fresh brewed caramel coffee fills the air; you are greeted with smiles by the Activities staff and are now left with the choice of which tasty to treat to delight in at the Grapevine Bistro!

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Along with encouraging participation, the bistro was designed to build community and improve well being. Social, mental and physical engagement are important aspects of recovery and health stability and is taken into account during regular health assessments and care plans for residents. The bistro is an unique activity in that it’s an event residents can look forward to and work towards by attending other activities. It provides an opportunity for people to be empowered to make their own choices and enjoy something special with friends. Residents can people-watch, learn about upcoming events and meet new people just as they would anywhere else.

This is all designed to promote a new level of engagement, and the bistro is already making a difference.

“We’re seeing new people come out to activities who hadn’t before,” said Director of Activities & Volunteer Services Naniofa Poulivaati-Mounga. “Some residents will go to the bistro with a family member and buy them lunch with their bistro bucks, while others might buy a cup of coffee or a sandwich for their nurse.”

The social aspect has always been an objective for the bistro, but after three successful events, people have been pleasantly surprised by how strong the social component has been. Passersby often stop to see what all the commotion is about, and many people will stop by to chat.

“We’re still gauging to see how often we’ll hold the bistro event,” said Nani, “and we have several other great programs ongoing and planned for the future.”

The popular Travel Program, led by the Wesley Homes Culinary team, returns and will once again feature foods and customs from different cultures around the world. Additionally, the International Bite will showcase the local cuisine from a dozen or so different countries in August.

Aside from proper medication and physical therapy, a positive and uplifting atmosphere can greatly impact our quality of life. The Grapevine Bistro provides another fun, holistic and medication-free way to help improve the health and general wellbeing of Health Center residents. The program has been a success, and all Wesley Homes Des Moines residents are encouraged to participate!