The residents of Brian Center Nursing Care in Lincolnton know how to have a good time.
So far they have spent â€œNational Nursing Home Weekâ€ participating in a balloon liftoff, eating ice cream and watching church singers and a magic show.
More events will follow throughout the week, including an antiques fair, cookout and a visit from the West Lincoln High School JROTC drill team.
Residents all have their favorite events.
â€œI like bingo, and I like singing,â€ said Vivian Patton, a resident.
â€œWe also like the preaching,â€ said Verlene Caldwell, a resident.
Celebrations began on Monday with a visit from Mayor Bobby Hewitt and a balloon liftoff.
â€œWe love to go out in the sun for a minute and watch all the balloons lift off,â€ said Naomi Staton, a resident.
Brian Center staff and volunteers hope the week of celebration brings awareness to life inside nursing homes.
â€œWeâ€™re not just a place where we treat illness and sickness,â€ said Lydia Minton, administrator of the Brian Center. â€œWeâ€™re a place where we treat the whole person.â€
Minton is quick to point out that residents have friendships and even romantic relationships while staying at the nursing home.
â€œThey develop very close relationships with each other, and they have very close relationships with staff members,â€ she said.
These friendships are one of the reasons residents look forward to a week full of activities.
â€œWe enjoy being together with the group,â€ said Patton.
Brian Center staff hope family members will come join in the activities. Their goal is to make a week where nursing home patients get the royal treatment.
â€œThey were mothers and fathers, and now theyâ€™re grandparents and I just think they should be treated very special,â€ said Sandy Ewing, activities director.
National Nursing Home Week lasts until May 14. It was established by the American Health Care Association, a non-profit federation of affiliated state health organizations.
by Sarah Grano