By: Conwell Hooper
There is not a better time of year to kick off Skilled Nursing Care Week than Mother’s Day! This is a week where we can recognize the extraordinary stories and events that transpire every day in the lives of our older Americans and those with disabilities. Even if you find your schedule jammed from sunrise until dark, you should find a way to visit a nursing home in your community to experience the excitement, joy and happiness that residents are treated to every day.
In Alabama, Governor Kay Ivey issued a proclamation making May 13-19 National Skilled Nursing Care Week and urged all Alabamians to visit nursing homes, residents, staff and volunteers to see how they care for the whole person. We decided to take Governor Ivey up on her offer and decided to travel to Andalusia Manor Health and Rehabilitation, a 154 bed skilled nursing care center in Andalusia, Alabama, to see first hand what they had going on for the week.
When we arrived, we signed in and quickly noticed everyone from staff behind the desk to guests in the lobby had smiles on their faces. Andalusia Manor was founded by Dale Sasser and his mission was to make it a friendly environment. He wanted to ensure his staff always knew the resident was the most important person in the facility. Even though Mr. Sasser passed away, the Sasser family strives daily to carry out his vision of fostering a warm atmosphere for residents and a team spirit among staff.
Trece Mays, Administrator of Andalusia Manor said with a smile, “Residents are all like family to us.” Mrs. Mays added, “We love our residents and want them to live life to the fullest.” This was evident from the moment we stepped foot in Andalusia Manor until the time we left.
According to the residents, National Skilled Nursing Care Week is special. Mrs. Margaret Morris, a resident and the current Ms. Andalusia Manor, said, “This week proves how much everyone cares about us, I would much rather be here with friends and family than at home by myself.”
Taking a look at the events the activities team scheduled this week would make anyone want to be a part of the joyful, uplifting home:
- Mother’s Day Reception
- Afternoon Picnic
- Balloon Release
- Line Dancing
- Sock Hop with Elvis
- Residents vs staff volleyball game
- Drive In Movie
- 70’s Disco with Sonny & Cher
- Show & Tell
- Story telling with Residents
- L.A. Kickers Line dancing and more
It was easy to see why this facility has earned glowing recognition for the quality care they provide every day to our senior citizens. However, like Andalusia Manor, who earned the US News Top Preforming Rating, most nursing homes across the country devote 110% effort to making sure their skilled nursing care residents receive affordable, compassionate, quality care. Since this week is recognized as National Skilled Nursing Week, please commit to going by a local center to thank those who care for our elders and visit with our seniors who may not have any family left. Like me, you may leave hoping it will be a place you will live one day.
Editor’s Note: This article was written by Conwell Hooper, Executive Director of the American Senior Alliance. You can read the original article here.