By Katie Bohannon, Staff Writer
McGuffey Healthcare in Gadsden raised awareness to a pertinent issue affecting Alabama this holiday season.
For most people, the holidays conjure up images of family, friends, food and fellowship. However, for some nursing home residents, the holidays bring challenges.
Nursing home residents often experience loneliness and depression during the holiday season. If their loved ones live far away or are unable to regularly visit, the elderly or disabled might feel unloved, overlooked or forgotten, causing them to question their significance in society.
McGuffey Healthcare Communications Specialist Teri Sumbry hoped to change this reality for nursing home residents and restore their sense of purpose in the community.
“They are still a valuable part of our community and need to know people care,” said Sumbry. “We all have an opportunity to help nursing home residents feel appreciated while spreading some holiday cheer.”
Vice president of business development for McGuffey Healthcare Sharon Baker encouraged the Etowah County community to consider visiting residents outside of their family units. Unintentionally, people often disregard nursing homes if they are not connected to the facility in some way, through either a relative or friend.
“You don’t have to have a loved one to visit,” Baker said.
Baker also attested to the mutually beneficial impact of engagement with nursing home residents. When visitors contribute their time, they give residents needed social interaction that creates a feeling of appreciation and lifts their spirits. Likewise, residents share their experiences and wisdom with visitors, giving visitors the opportunity to learn from them.
In addition to outside volunteers, McGuffey Healthcare’s activities department and staff provide group and individual activities that cater to residents’ interests. These activities and events are not limited to the holiday season, but occur at various times throughout the year and are designed to engage residents and enhance their quality of life.
Those interested in volunteering at McGuffey Healthcare or visiting residents can contact Resident Services at 256-543-3467. A full list of upcoming events and planned activities for residents is available at www.mcguffeyhealthcare.com.