‘Living Soulfully’ this week at MS Care Center in Morton

By JAMES PHILLIPS,

Staff members and residents at MS Care Center in Morton kicked off the annual celebration of National Nursing Home Appreciation Week on Monday. Residents have specially themed activities scheduled for each day this week, and staff members have worked dutifully in scheduling a broad array of activities that everyone can enjoy. This year’s week-long celebration is themed “Live Soulfully,” and residents are dressing up and participating in group activities that are good exercise for the mind and helps keep the soul healthy.

After kicking off the week with “Game Show” day on Monday the residents enjoyed Gardening Day on Tuesday and will be participating in “Hunting and Fishing” day today. The week’s activities will end up with “Family Picnic” day on Thursday and “Sports Day” on Friday. Brittany McCurdy, MSCC Assistant Administrator, AIT, said that during normal weeks the participation rate amongst residents is not even close to the number of residents that will be part of the activates every day this week.

“During most weeks typically not everyone would participate in daily activities,” said McCurdy. “Due to the build up and the planning for this week every year almost everyone participates in the activities every day. This is a wonderful week for both residents and staff members to enjoy some fun activities and spend time together as a group.”

Each year as the planning begins for Nursing Home Appreciation Week, staff members are given the theme for the year, and then they schedule activities that all their residents enjoy. “We always pick five things that all of our residents request and really enjoy doing when scheduling each day’s activities,” McCurdy said. “We do our very best to keep every day very upbeat and enjoyable because that is what this week is all about.”

Monday during Game Show Day it was apparent that residents, and staff members alike, enjoyed playing game shows, and that they still take winning pretty seriously. During Family Feud the room was divided into two sides of approximately 20 players per side and the “oohs” and “ahhs” immediately followed every right and wrong answer yelled out and typed in to the answer line on the computer. The energy in the room and the enjoyment of all the players was evident by the participation, the smiles and constant laughter. 

This year the staff at MSCC had new equipment to help make this week’s activates even more enjoyable for everyone. As part of a grant the facility was awarded new electronic and Virtual Reality equipment that arrived just in time for this special activity filled week. MSCC applied for, and was awarded a grant from the It’s Never to Late Foundation in Denver, Colorado. After a meticulous application process, the facility was notified in January that they had been selected to receive the grant which included Virtual Reality software, a 72-inch interactive monitor, four modular carts — each with 32 inch display screens, six Samsung Tablets and numerous interactive accessories such as a joystick, bicycle peddles and a steering wheel. The electronic implements are used with the Virtual Reality software that allow residents at MSCC to visit practically anywhere in the world without leaving the facility.

The new equipment only served to make Nursing Home Appreciation Week even better at MSCC. The residents and staff enjoy the week of activates every year, and the planning and preparation that goes into getting ready is all worth it says McCurdy. “Watching all of our residents and staff having fun during the activites every day makes all the hard work that goes into this week very well worth it,” McCurdy said. “And now with the new equipment there are even more things we can do to make this week even better every year.”

Based on how much everyone enjoys all the activities is easy to understand why. National Nursing Home Appreciation Week provides the opportunity for residents to be more active both mentally and physically, but the staff at MSCC believes it is the enjoyment together as a group that really makes the week so enjoyable for everyone.