After caring for a large family for so many years, Sylvia Holland needed someone to take care of her increasing medical needs. One of her sons suggested she move to Woodhaven Manor in Demopolis.

“Being here as a resident has given me a second chance at life,” 87-year-old Sylvia said. “I know I would not have the quality of life I have now if I had not come here. My health had declined and I was not able to get out and socialize like I was accustomed to.”

With her health improving, Sylvia is active in all Woodhaven Manor offers and is building new relationships.

“I have met new people and made friends that I cherish,” Sylvia said. “I get to interact with them on a daily basis and I love it.”

At Woodhaven Manor, Sylvia is famous for the dollhouses she makes. She has donated more than 45 to the families of other nursing home residents and to people in the Demopolis area. She also hand makes birthday cards for her fellow residents and is a regular for the bingo games.

“Ms. Holland is a delight to have in our center,” Woodhaven Manor Administrator Brandon Taylor said. “She brings joy to the other residents by creating her own craft ideas and getting everyone involved.”

Over the years, Sylvia volunteered with a lot of worthy causes: Boy Scouts, garden clubs, children’s ministries at her family’s church and agencies that help those in the community who are less fortunate. That is why she continues to give back even while living in a nursing home.

“I believe older people should continue to be active and represent our generation in a way to be a role model for everyone,” Sylvia said.

Sylvia and her husband, Earl, were married for 40 years. She has one daughter, five sons, six grandchildren and nine great-grandchildren.

Sylvia will be a role model to encourage others to stay active as they age when she competes as a top 10 finalist at the Ms. Alabama Nursing Home Pageant in Birmingham on July 27. You can leave words of encouragement in the comments section below or share this article on social media to show your support.

For more information about the pageant, click here.

Editor’s note: This is the seventh story in a 10 part series about the top 10 finalists for the 2015 Ms. Alabama Nursing Home Pageant. On July 24, we’ll post a story about Ms. Woodland Village Nellie Berry.