By Duane Via, activities director
Our residents have been having a wonderful time during “National Skilled Nursing Care Week.”
We celebrated Mother’s Day with a tea, which we crowned our “Mothers of the Year.” Each year staff members vote on “Mothers of the Year” and this year’s winners were Madeline Walker, Pearly Scott and Joyce Marshall. Each mother received a tiara, a dozen red roses and a “Mother of the Year” certificate. Our mothers were very surprised when we announced their names and were very appreciative of their new title. Our dietary department did a wonderful job with the refreshments. We had tea sandwiches, fruit, vegetable tray and dip, cheesecakes and brownies. We served lemonade instead of hot tea, due to the temperature being in the 90s that day.
On Monday, we started finding out information about our residents and their careers, their life, and many other interesting facts about them, all to go along with this year’s theme of “Celebrating Life’s Stories.”
We also honored our veteran’s with a get together. Robert Forrest from the VFW came in and gave our veterans a certificate, thanking them for their service for our great country. We are truly honored to have all these gentlemen in our facility. We now have 24 veterans in the Center and it’s our honor to now serve them. We served our veteran’s chicken salad, pimento cheese sandwiches, chips, dip and lemonade.
We also had a week of dress down days for our staff to participate in, and refreshments were served daily for the staff. Each year, Blue Ridge staff members are giving a BRTC shirt during “National Skilled Nursing Care Week” to wear during the week on the designated day. This year’s theme was “Team Work Makes the Dream Work.” Each department gets to pick the color of their shirts.
Tuesday, we asked staff members to bring in their wedding dresses for the residents to view. They really enjoyed coming in and seeing the dresses and looking at their wedding photos. This brought back memories about their own wedding. They really enjoyed seeing the different era’s of dresses. The oldest wedding dress we had was 28 years old. We had a flower girls dress that was 21 years old. We also had a dress which a staff member wore to get married in just last year. That afternoon, some of our residents went on a bus trip to Mabry’s Mill to have lunch and to view the beautiful Blue Ridge Parkway. Others played Bingo, which is one of their favorite activities. Our residents would play it daily if it was on the calendar, but we have other games for them to play during the week that they also enjoy.
We had church service on Wednesday. The Rev. Joe Cerino was this week’s speaker. We are truly blessed to have the Patrick County Minstrels Association provide ministers for our weekly service. That afternoon, we had the Patrick County Retired Teachers, who performed for our residents. They sang hymns and visited with the residents. Later that afternoon, we honored our individual volunteers with an afternoon tea. We are so thankful for our volunteers. This group of ladies and gentleman help us out weekly with activities, room visits and just being great friends to our residents and staff members. We are blessed to have as many wonderful volunteers as we do. Our dietary department served tea sandwiches, barbeque meatballs, vegetable trays, cheese tray, cheese cakes, and punch.
Thursday, the residents enjoyed having a 50s era party. We decorated the recreation room like a 50s diner. Our residents loved the atmosphere and the music we played. They talked about going to diners when they were younger and that they missed having them around. We had cupcakes, chips and punch for refreshments. That afternoon, we had a 50s ice cream parlor sundae, with ice cream sundaes or banana splits which the residents really enjoyed.
Friday, we had a show and tell in which we asked staff members and residents to bring in items from the past to show and talk about. This was really fun for them to reminisce about “The Good Old Days.” We had a tobacco planter, old kitchen utensils, pictures, tools, and many other items for them to hold, view and discuss. We had a good time seeing all the old timey items. That afternoon, we had a beach vacation day. We thought this would also bring back memories and this is sometimes one of life’s great moments for families. We decorated the room with a beach scene and served refreshments of tacos and margaritas.
Saturday, we brought the area “Strawberry Festival” to our residents, with strawberry short cake and lemonade for the residents to enjoy. This way, many of our residents who couldn’t be part of the festival and tasting the wonderful strawberries were able to participate it in their own home. We hope our residents and staff had a wonderful week of fun.