National Nursing Home Week celebrated

Published 12:00 am Saturday, May 19, 2007

Many would ride by a nursing home and perhaps feel a bit of sorrow for the older generation.

What they don’t understand is that the older crowd is a lot more attune to the world around them than they are given credit for.

May 13-19 was hailed as National Nursing Home Week and senior citizen care facilities in Ahoskie and Rich Square took part in the festivities.

In Ahoskie at Guardian Care, residents and staff turned out on a gorgeous Monday morning to officially kick-off a festive week.

“It’s a wonderful thing to set aside an entire week to celebrate the purpose that nursing homes serve,” Juanita Frazier, administrator of Ahoskie Guardian Care, said. “It’s a time to celebrate life and to recognize the residents and staff of Guardian Care.”

Ahoskie Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Phyllis Frymier served as the featured speaker. Using a personal life experience concerning the health of her now late mother, Frymier spoke of the stress and strain she experienced during her time as a caregiver.

“Then I turned to Guardian Care and you took care of all her needs and provided her a place of comfort,” Frymier said. “I thank you for that. I also thank you for giving peace of mind to the other families of your residents. You have shared your love, your encouragement and your knowledge.”

Turning to the residents, Frymier said, “Please know this, you have made a difference during your lives and please know that you are loved.”

Musical entertainment was provided by the Guardian Angels Choir, comprised of residents of the nursing home. Two solos were performed by Edgar Daughtrey and Edward Grant. The group was under the direction of Belinda Helmkamp and Mari Mueller.

Following the musical selections, each resident was given balloons to release. Each was tagged with contact information at Guardian Care. Last year, a man on the Eastern Shore of Virginia found one of the tags along a stretch of beach bordering the Chesapeake Bay.

Guardian Care of Ahoskie continued their National Nursing Home Week observance with clowns, an ice cream party, a picnic, bible study, Bingo, movies and appearances by choirs representing Bearfield School, Hertford County High School and the Soul Saving Station.

Twenty miles away, residents of the Rich Square Health Care Center kicked off National Nursing Home Week by wearing their favorite hats.

Reverend James Baker of the Willow Oak AME Church in Rich Square joined in the celebration by selecting his own headgear from the nursing home’s collection—a gray dapper hat.

Residents joined in as Baker led them into several gospel songs during the nursing home’s weekly Devotion Program.

During National Nursing Home Week, nursing homes across the United States schedule unique events for their residents. The program was first started in 1967 by the American Healthcare Association

“It gives them a sense of security and love from the staff and family members,” said Rich Square Health Care Center Activity Director Almarie Fennell about National Nursing Home Week.

Other activities that were held for the residents included Western Day and Dress Up Day.