Hooverwood recently celebrated National Nursing Home Week (NNHW), an annual observance designed to foster positive attitudes toward long-term care.
The American Health Care Association, which established NNHW in 1967, selected “It’s a Small World, with a Big Heart” as this year’s theme. It commemorates two songs that embrace community and compassion, and were popular during NNHW’s beginning years—“It’s a Small World (After All)” and “I’d Like to Teach the World to Sing.”
During NNHW, Hooverwood residents enjoyed a number of activities, including a lip sync battle, a Chinese lunch-in, and an animal show from Silly Safaris. The activities lent anticipation and excitement over the course of the week and embodied the NNHW mission—to improve the public perception of nursing facilities.
“I believe there is a huge misconception that activities with seniors mostly involve bingo and naps,” said Bonnie Bakary, director of activities and volunteer services at Hooverwood. “By posting on social media and getting community involvement, [Hooverwood is] able to show others that aging doesn’t mean you stop … having a blast.”
To honor the “It’s a Small World, with a Big Heart” theme, Hooverwood highlighted five different parts of the world: India, China, Latin America, Africa, and the United States.
India Day featured a performance by Bollywood belly dancers, as well as a presentation from the daughter of a Hooverwood resident. On China Day, homemade fortune cookies were passed out, and staff members donned traditional Chinese dress. A Zumba session kicked off Latin America Day, which also featured a performance by Mariachi Band Zelaya. Africa Day included an African heritage fashion show, and a performance by Steve Quinn rounded out U.S.A. Day.
“The residents really seemed to enjoy all of the entertainers, dancers, and singers,” said Bakary. She also said Hooverwood staff members were glad to be a part of NNHW, and appreciated the opportunity to participate in the fashion show and lip sync battle.
“[Staff members] were proud of their heritage and seemed happy to share it with residents,” said Bakary. “It was a wonderful opportunity for them to showcase their personalities and dance moves.”
The various performances and presentations demonstrated Hooverwood’s dedication to social interaction and the sense of community. Hooverwood’s Facebook page highlighted many of the events as well, and the use of social media embodied one of the NNHW goals: to communicate that skilled nursing facilities are more than “just a home”—they are home. And while NNHW lasts only seven days, there are opportunities to laugh, learn, and live at Hooverwood every day.