Activities amuse and entertain during National Nursing Home Week

May. 16, 2013 @ 08:05 PM

Residents at Kindred Nursing and Rehabilitation have been provided with fun and unique activities all week long, including a magic show with Tom McMahon on Thursday.

In conjunction with National Nursing Home Week families and friends were invited to join residents in the weeklong celebration, which began Sunday and runs through today.

Residents took pictures with their moms on Mother’s Day, and had a balloon lift-off with 30 pre-K students from Clarke Elementary Monday.

“Anything with kids they love, so they really enjoyed it,” said Altovise Kittrell, activities coordinator at Kindred Nursing and Rehabilitation. “I think it stimulates them a lot, I think they really just like interacting with other people.”

During McMahon’s presentation, residents clapped and cheered as he baffled them with numerous tricks.

“My favorite trick was the tissue one where he put it in that box and started pulling,” said Marie Foster, a resident of three years. “That was real nice, I loved that. It was quite good.”

Foster referenced McMahon’s final trick that began with him putting a tissue in his magic box. Next, he pulled the tissue out and wadded it in his hand. Resident’s jaws dropped as he began pulling what they thought would be the tissue out of his fist, instead revealing a long colorful scarf.

McMahon says he’s been doing magic tricks on and off for at least 25 years, and currently resides in Wake Forest, where he works with a home health agency.

“It’s fun,” McMahon said. “I enjoy it. Mostly my job, I call on nursing homes and assisted living, and things like that.”

Many residents were reminded of their childhood days on the farm, as the Vance County 4-H Club provided them with a petting zoo Monday afternoon.

“With the petting zoo, some of them don’t see animals like that, so it brought back their childhood,” Kittrell said. “They saw the cows and started talking about milking cows when they were growing up.”

Kittrell also worked to organize a carnival-themed family night on Wednesday that provided hot dogs, hamburgers, baked beans, popcorn, a snow cone machine, a cakewalk and clown.

“When they saw that clown, their faces just lit up,” Kittrell said.

The family night brought a healthy turnout of residents, their friends, and family to Kindred, and was deemed a success by many, including Foster.

“Wednesday we had friends and family night, and a cookout,” Foster said. “That was real good. A lot of people came out.

“Tomorrow we’re going to have ice cream at 2:30, so we’ve had a nice week. I’ve really enjoyed it.”

According to the American Health Care Association, National Nursing Home Week’s theme recognizes residents and patients in long term and post-acute care settings, the dedicated staff who care for them, and the value of care planning when everyone pitches in for optimal outcomes.

Kittrell’s and other staff member’s dedication to patients was on full display as they engaged residents in a week of fun-filled activities.

“They really enjoy doing something that they don’t do like on an everyday basis,” Kittrell said. “It’s been nothing but a week of fun for them.”


Contact the writer at abentley@hendersondispatch.com.