The American Health Care Association set the theme for National Nursing Home Week, May 13-19. “Celebrating the Journey” was the theme this year, and Golden LivingCenter-Eupora celebrated this journey with a variety of activities throughout the week.
Gov. Phil Bryant mailed a signed proclamation to Mississippi facilities proclaiming Nursing Home Week. This proclamation was done at the Capitol in the city of Jackson on April 17.
Golden LivingCenter-Eupora kicked off the fun-filled week with a pre- Mother’s Day gathering on May 11 from 2:30 -4:30 p.m. in the dining room. Red Hat Club leader Phyllis Blakely delivered a devotion with a time for crafts and food to follow.
Then on Mother’s Day, May 13, our residents were served a noon meal, which was planned by the resident council, consisting of lemon herb roasted chicken breast, homemade dressing, creamed-styled corn, California-blend vegetables, roll and cheesecake.
After lunch, residents were provided a Mother’s Day activity book to occupy leisure time Sunday afternoon. Also, numerous friends and family visited on Mother’s Day and kept the residents entertained throughout the afternoon.
Celebrating the journey reminds us that every life should be honored, every life’s story needs to be told and that every day we have the chance to begin writing a new chapter. Whether the day is filled with comedy or drama, our residents and caregivers are co-authors and leading characters in each other’s life story.
We planned our journey with the monarch butterfly in mind. This butterfly symbolizes Ralph Waldo Emerson’s famous sentiment that “Life is a journey, not a destination.”
Fun-filled Week Monday, May 14, was dedicated to celebrating life. Butterfly necklaces were distributed to the residents to wear during the week. Also, cutouts of butterflies by Amy Potts, activity assistant, were placed on residents’ doors and the bulletin board was decorated with celebrating the journey theme.
Windows were decorated throughout the facility with butterfly clings. Scratch artwork requiring each resident’s creativity in art and a lifecycle chart of butterflies created with brads that could be colored were given to residents. A discussion about the life cycle of butterflies was provided, and the residents enjoyed input to the program.
Tuesday, May 15, was a day to celebrate experiences. Each resident was encouraged to tell about experiences in their life and what they had learned from others along the way. Those in attendance were given butterfly paper fans and thoroughly enjoyed giving “tidbits” of wisdom to each other throughout the program.
Wednesday morning, May 16, was a celebration of faith with Bro. Danny Woods from Faith Baptist Church and some of his congregation. He sang a variety of gospel songs and included an old-time favorite to celebrate our theme, “Wouldn’t Take Nothing for My Journey Now.”
In the afternoon, Mrs. Opal Vickers celebrated our journey by sharing stories of yesteryear. She brought numerous magazines to show and many stories to tell. Life magazines from 1942 and 1943 that costs 10 cents each, Sears & Roebuck catalog and “Amazing Grace” written by the one and only, Mrs. Opal Vickers, were included in her presentation.
Residents enjoyed thumbing through the magazines and catalogs, and eating cheese cubes, mini-saltines and mini-cupcakes served on butterfly-themed plates with matching napkins. They enjoyed refreshing punch as they traveled on Opal’s journey. Thursday, May 17, brought together a celebration of family and friends.
We prepared around 300 burgers with all the trimmings, baked beans, chips and a choice of sugar, chocolate chip and oatmeal raisin cookies. The dining room tables were donned with either kiwi, yellow, orange, fuchsia, turquoise or lavender tablecloths with arrangements created by Sara’s Flower Shop adding the finishing touch to celebrate the journey theme with gorgeous pots of various ferns and caladiums adorned with butterflies.
Friday, May 18, we celebrated music and radio memories. Josh Buford and his daughter, Presley, did a great performance of entertaining us as Elvis. Josh was dressed in a white jumpsuit covered in sequins with an orange scarf around his neck, silver-rimmed glasses and blue suede shoes. Presley wore her hot-pink sandals and miniskirt with flash silver-rimmed shades and had a “whole lot of shaking going on” as her dad sang upbeat and well-known favorites.
“Elvis” distributed butterfly-shaped clappers to all in attendance, and the residents clapped and shook their clappers as he sang. We concluded the week at 2 p.m. with reminiscing of radio memories from shows of old times. Several residents came and discussed their favorite shows of the past.
In summary, GLC-Eupora focuses on making our facility a home for our residents who need social support in addition to clinical care. We had a fun-filled week of celebrating the journey of life, faith, experiences, stories, family and music. Let us continue to watch the butterflies flutter by, listen to the wind chimes and enjoy our journey through life.
“Thanks to all who made National Nursing Home Week a success. It takes all the spokes in the wheel to make it roll smoothly,” stated LaDonna Caffey, ADC.