BSMC celebrates National Hospital week


May 18, 2022

National Nursing Home Week concluded last Friday with a community parade for the residents of the Senior Center. Celebrations took place all week with games, costumes, special meals, and other festivities.

Leah Griffin, the CEO of the Medical Center, explains the event: "It's National Hospital week. We celebrate all week, and we always end with a Friday parade with the community. I think it's been three years since the last one. So this is cool. Although, the weather is not permitting us to be outside; we're gonna go inside this year."

For 6 years, the parade has been the closing event of National Nursing Home Week in Big Sandy. In the past, it has featured classic cars, families, dogs, and other representatives of the community showing support for the Medical Center. Due to wind and cold weather, this year's parade took place indoors. Participants entered through the Emergency Room entrance, went through the main hall of the entrance, and ended in the dining room.

The first wave of parade participants featured children driving toy tractors, one made up as a float. After that, members of the community, including several children and pets passed. The parade ended with the Rich Jesperson carrying an American Flag. Afterward, ice cream was served to the participants, followed by tours of the soon-to-be-opened Community Wellness Center.

One resident of the nursing home I spoke with explained that the week had been fun, with a ton of special meals and games. I spoke with Ashley Jacobi, the head nurse at the Medical Center. She explained that the residents always look forward to the nurses' costumes and outfits for the week. She conceded that the nurses looked forward to the same thing: "I look forward to the costumes. I think they all do, too. And just being able to enjoy what we do. It's part of why we do what we do. It's awesome."

One of the nurses I spoke with commented: "The seniors really appreciated it. It was fun for everyone. Even the little kids were great and the doggy." The dog parade participant was Jessica Sietsema's puppy, Tejas, who very much enjoyed the attention from the seniors who watched the parade.

The children who walked in the parade spoke with me over the after-parade ice cream. One young lady commented: "They looked very excited to see all of us and see all the kids that came." Another added: "Sometimes they might get lonely, and it's good to visit and spend time because of that."


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