By Stacy Smith

Born in West Virginia with the Appalachian Mountains fixed in her heart, Ms. Cherokee County Health & Rehab Center Freda Smith then moved to grow up in Miami, Florida, until 1969.

She is intent on enjoyment wherever she finds herself, but prefers to find herself in the mountains.

“I have a twin brother. As teenagers in Florida, we would double date. If we were not having a good time with our dates, we would switch dates and just hang out with each other,” said Smith.

In 1969, she moved and lived for 45 years atop Lookout Mountain in Mentone, Alabama. Later, she lived for 25 years in Sevierville, Tennessee, in the Smoky Mountains. While there, she worked for hometown legend Dolly Parton at the amusement park Dollywood. She met Dolly Parton, and appreciates Parton as a businesswoman as well as appreciates her as a talented entertainer.

Content living in the mountains she loves, the 81-year-old moved to Centre, Alabama, several years ago.

Smith has six children, seven grandchildren and 11 great-grandchildren. Over a year ago, before moving into Cherokee County Health & Rehab Center, her health had declined. Smith became unable to walk. Her daughter and she decided for her to live at the health and rehabilitation facility. Since living in the nursing home, she can now walk with her walker, and do daily activities on her own.

“My platform is to encourage residents to be involved in activities at their facility. I encourage all to have a positive outlook about living in a nursing home,” said Smith.

One of her favorite activities is playing bingo. “I also enjoy playing Chicken Foot, General Store, Going Cruzing, and studying the Bible,” said Smith.

“Freda Smith is loving and caring to her peers. She is their voice at times to make their needs known. She welcomes new residents, introduces them to other residents, explains the routine, invites them to activities, and generally makes them feel at home,” said Tara Martin, Activity Director at Cherokee County Health & Rehab Center.

A true mountain mother, Frieda Smith is happily at home nestled in the north Alabama mountains surrounding Cherokee County Health & Rehab Center, and readily welcomes all.

Editor’s note: This is the second story in a 10-part series about the finalists for the 2018 Ms. Alabama Nursing Home Pageant. On July 18, we’ll post a story about Ms. Diversicare of Boaz Gay Nell Gillespie.

Stacy Smith, APR, is a freelance writer based in Birmingham, Alabama.

The Ms. Alabama Nursing Home Pageant is July 30. Click here for more information.