By Stacy Smith

Faye Aaron reigns as Ms. The Folsom Center for Rehab & Health Care 2019.

Aaron said, “Living in the nursing home has given me more confidence in myself. I feel that living here has given me the opportunity to live without worry. I can relax, be stress free, and just enjoy life while still being able to live independently!”

The most memorable experience of her life was suffering a cerebral hemorrhage after a fall in early 2018. At age 82, she underwent brain surgery.

“I woke up to 25 staples in my head, my head shaved, unable to talk, hear or walk. I also had tremors. I thought I would never be able to do these things again. I was sent to Folsom Center for therapy, and within three months I was walking, talking and completely back to normal. This event led me to where I am now, embracing my short, spikey hair, and independently choosing Folsom Center to be my new home,” said Aaron.

Today, Aaron is a song leader of a Friday morning Bible study, resident council president, and assists in arts and crafts, helping those physically and cognitively unable to finish their projects.

The 83-year-old finds pleasure in bocce ball, bingo, penny pitch, and trivia, enjoys playing games on her Kindle, keeps up with friends on Facebook, reads, and works out puzzles to keep her mind sharp.

“I am an ambassador for the nursing facilities in Alabama by telling about my positive experience choosing to live in long-term care,” said Aaron.

Aaron has always lived in Alabama. Born in Margaret, Alabama, she has one daughter, four grandchildren and eight great grandchildren. In her later years, her husband Donald Aaron and she began to take bus tours.

“We had so much fun! We traveled to New York, Pennsylvania and Louisiana. We visited natural wonders including the Grand Canyon and the Continental Divide. If for some reason my husband could not go, I would go by myself. I had a ball,” said Aaron

She is an outspoken extravert and recalls when she worked in the back of a grocery store.

“I could not stand working in the back because I wanted to be in the front of the store to know everything that was going on. So, one day I went up front to chat with a cashier. Unbeknownst to me, water pipes were being repaired and a trap door was open. I began backing up while talking, and, all of a sudden, the ground fell out from under me. I took out the repairman on my way down. Everyone hovered around laughing. I was not embarrassed at all,” said Aaron.

“Ms. Aaron is outspoken, outgoing, and always willing to step up as a leader when needed. She worked so hard to overcome the aftermath of her head injury. She is a joy and inspiration,” said Shana March, Activities Director at The Folsom Center for Rehab & Health Care.

She first reigned as a queen in ninth grade as May Queen. Last year at The Folsom Center, she was awarded Valentine Queen, then won the Halloween costume contest dressed as a mermaid.  She considers her biggest accomplishment to date while at Folsom Center that of working with her family to provide Christmas presents for all residents in need.

Editor’s note: This is the seventh story in a 10-part series about the finalists for the 2019 Ms. Alabama Nursing Home Pageant. On July 24, we’ll post a story about Ms. The Oaks on Parkwood Tracy Moore.

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

The Ms. Alabama Nursing Home Pageant is July 29. Click here for more information.