National Skilled Nursing Care Week

May 30, 2023

Since 1967, National Skilled Nursing Care Week (#NSNCW) has celebrated the essential role that skilled nursing care centers have on millions of America’s seniors and individuals with disabilities.

Earlier this month, the residents and staff celebrated this year’s theme – Cultivating Kindness – through activities and events meant to spread kindness all week long. 

Here are some moments from #NSNCW:

Wakefield Health Care Center

Residents and staff at Wakefield Health Care Center, in Wakefield, NE, celebrated the week filled with love and laughter.  A resident & employee engagement committee worked to plan the week that was focused on the needs of the residents. “Our residents were very VOCAL when it came to planning. When our committee met, they focused on what the residents want and that made the week more special,“ said Traci Haglund, Administrator at Wakefield Health Care Center. 

To prepare for the week, the residents and staff designed over 80 tye-dyed shirts to be worn at the community grill out, which welcomed over 100 people to the facility. The highlight of the event included a Texas Sheet Cake that was “made with love” by one of the residents.

Additionally, residents enjoyed a performance from junior high and high school music students and arts & crafts with local 2nd graders while the staff had a family-employee potluck lunch. “Volunteers. 2nd graders. High schoolers. They were all involved in the week. Resident families from all over came to celebrate, and some drove an hour or more away to spend time participating. Whether it was the Mother’s Day tea to the Community Grill Out, we had great participation,” says Cheryl Greve, Activities Director. “The week was a great time to come together and recognize each other.”

To end the week, residents surprised the staff with some employee recognition.  “The residents made “May Day” baskets, and each one had a card. It was super heartfelt,” says Haglund. “The residents were excited to have the opportunity to thank the employees for the care they provide.”

Plainfield Health Care Center

Plainfield Health Care Center had a week of fun activities, including a luau and wheelchair races. Planning starts in early March when the Activities Department asks other departments to pick a day and challenges them to create a theme. This can include food, prizes, games, and more!

“Our wonderful therapy department had Thursday, and their theme, this year, was ‘Sweating to the Oldies,” says Anita Mallette, Activities Director at Plainfield Health Care Center. For the last 10 years, the therapy department has put on a wheelchair race with other departments competing head-to-head. “Each department selects five staff members on their teams, and they get to decorate their wheelchairs,” says Mallette. “It’s a huge hit, and the residents & staff absolutely love it.”

The winning department gets to hold the Wheelchair Race Trophy and bragging rights all year. The 2023 winners went to the Therapy Department. Check out the race here!

While the wheelchair race is a center favorite, the luau was chosen as the best day of the week by the residents. Selected by the nursing team and hosted the event on Friday, the Hawaiian Day included a hula hoop & limbo contest, a luau, and a special guest… Elvis!

“We had so many smiles, and we can’t wait until next year to see all the wonderful things our departments come up with.”

Texas Nursing Home

Residents and staff from nine nursing homes in Tyler, Texas came together to celebrate the week by holding a Picnic in the Park. Those in attendance had the chance to kick off National Skilled Nursing Care Week  and dance the day away. 

Meeting at Bergfeld Park, residents enjoyed various performances which included a musician, comedian, magician, and dancers from the local senior center.  The mayor started the day with a proclamation declaring the start of the week.

FHCA District XII Ms. Northwest Florida Senior Pageant

To end National Skilled Nursing Care Week, eight nursing centers in the Pensacola area participated in the Ms. Northwest Florida Senior Pageant!

Held at the University of West Florida Auditorium of the Commons, this inaugural event was hosted by volunteers and featured eight residents living in FHCA member nursing centers. The Ms. Northwest Florida Senior Pageant’s goal was to “celebrate our treasured elders and evaluate contestants on their outlook on life, personality, poise, and involvement in their individual care centers,” according to the Florida Health Care Association.

The contestants, escorted by service members from the local military bases, were evaluated through a series of questions asked by the local ABC news anchor about their outlook on life, personality, poise, and involvement in their care centers. The judges included the Pensacola Mayor, D.C. Reeves, Ms. Florida America 2022, Jennifer Powell, and FHCA Sr. Director of Strategy & Communications, Kristen Knapp, who had the difficult task of helping to crown three residents as the winners of the pageant, one being named Ms. Northwest Florida Senior.

“It was a great event, and kudos to all the volunteers who helped put on the pageant. Some staff members made the residents’ dresses. Family members and fellow residents came to cheer on their loved ones competing in the pageant,” says Kristen Knapp. “It was extremely hard to select a winner, but I was blessed to be a judge for the pageant.”

The winner was Felomina Rutledge from Specialty Health and Rehabilitation, who was asked what she would tell her younger self, said, “Always remember to shake your booty!” The runner-up was 102-year-old Lillian Coleman from Century Center for Rehabilitation and Healing, with Joan Carothers from PruittHealth Santa Rosa winning third place.

“Events like this are important for people to see about our care centers. They’re not only providing care, but they’re helping to improve the lives of the residents they serve,” says Knapp. Visit the FHCA Facebook page to see pictures from the event.

We want to thank you for celebrating #NSNCW with us!  We’ve enjoyed seeing how facilities observed the week and we look forward to next year… May 12th-18th, 2024!