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  • Writer's pictureNathan Hoffman

November 15-21, 2020 news

Many things have changed at the Roanoke nursing home due to COVID related restrictions. One thing that has been a huge challenge is not having the assistance of the many faithful volunteers. This, along with many other restrictions, has resulted in a lot of adaptations and changes. Employees from many different departments have picked up additional duties to fill in the gaps and make sure residents get what they need and enjoy.

Some of these tasks include: passing mail, popping and passing popcorn, providing musical entertainment, helping with FaceTime/Skype/Zoom video calls, passing meals, helping with patio visits and window visits, hairstyling, taking residents to appointments, sewing masks, helping with BINGO, providing special treats, sorting through items dropped off by residents’ family members, working extra shifts and/or different shifts, and much more. For all this, everyone is grateful for and proud of these dedicated employees. Residents and staff alike really look forward to the day when volunteers can return and join the daily routine again. Please know how very, very much you are all missed!

Each weekday morning an activity staff starts the day with reading a short devotion from The Daily Guideposts over the intercom. God has been so faithful to the Home throughout this challenging year! All praise and thanks to Him for His grace and provisions.

Manicure Mondays took place again in the morning on Nov. 16, along with hand massages. Later residents enjoyed watching Bill & Gloria Gaither present Rock of Ages Gospel Concert on our Activity TV Channel 2. This DVD is a part of the Gaither Homecoming series. The aged love the old hymns they learned in their childhood years and many taught their children, grandchildren, and some even their great grandchildren.

Tuesday was a one-on-one version of Come Sit By Me. Activity staff visited residents in their rooms. Come Sit By Me focuses on stimulating the senses to help residents engage. Think of how the smell of cinnamon might remind you of walking into your grandmother’s kitchen where she would often be baking her famous apple pie. Activity staff use scents, themed props to touch or look at, foods or drinks to taste, music or sounds to listen to as well as readings or visiting in Come Sit By Me. This week they had a basket filled will faux fruits and vegetables, the scent of pumpkin spice and fall lotions when visiting with residents. All these items helped involve the 5 senses to bring responses from even the lowest functioning person to be able to participate.

That evening the Eureka, Goodfield, and Roanoke Apostolic Christian Young Groups came to sing outside of the lobby window under the protection of the carport. Those socially distanced who gathered in the lobby really enjoyed seeing the youth and listening to their beautiful voices. Those who were in the rooms or chose to listen even from bed could do so over the intercom system. What a blessing to see and hear live singing.

BINGO was played over the intercom with residents safely in their own rooms on Wednesday. In the afternoon on the Activity TV Channel 2, a Sentimental Reflections was shown that featured pumpkins in Virginia, the beauty of Door County Wisconsin, and wonder of Utah’s Sand Dunes. Some had visited these different states and could recall being there in person.

Thursday morning’s activity was called Chair Exercises. These stretching activities help keep the body limber.

Later in the afternoon an armchair trip to Northern Italy was the Travelogue. The “Visions of Italy” tour began in the Alps at the northern border and continued to Genoa, along the coast, then inland over the Tuscan countryside to Florence, eventually ending in Venice. Thank you to Mr. Glen Martin for recently donating several travelogues to the activity department for all the residents to enjoy.

Step Back in Time was the reminiscing activity on Friday during room visits. Activity staff read some stories from fall issues from The Good Old Days magazine, which stirred up fun memories to visit with the residents. That evening freshly popped popcorn was passed while watching a comedy on Activity TV Channel 2. Even the smell alone is a welcome scent; is there any better snack than popcorn when sitting back to watch a movie?

NOTE: With the Christmas season approaching, please consider scheduling a window caroling sing this year by contacting Activity Director Mary Beth Banwart at 923-2071 ext. 170 or via email to to plan a mutually convenient date/time.

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