Residents at Nella's Inc. and Nella's Nursing Home Inc. in Elkins enjoyed shooting hoops, tossing horseshoes, stacking clothes pins, golfing, bowling, blowing out candles and tossing bean bags last week as they participated in the Geri Olympics On the Move.
Geri Olympics helps demonstrate and promote active living, wellness and engagement in life for residents in nursing care facilities. Geri Olympics On the Move brings the program to residents in the state who cannot travel the distance to Charleston to participate in the main event.
Members of the Randolph Technical Center HOSA student organization also helped with the Geri Olympic activities Thursday afternoon.
The Inter-Mountain photo by Beth Christian Broschart
Resident Richard Doughty shoots to score during the Geri Olympics On the Move Thursday at Nella’s Inc. The Geri Olympics hopes to promote active living, wellness and engagement for residents in nursing care facilities.
HOSA member Shylan Slish said she enjoyed working with the residents.
"I think everyone is very nice," Slish said. "The residents are enjoying themselves and I love helping other people. This makes me happy and makes them happy as well."
Randolph Technical Center instructor Sally Hamrick said this is the first year her students have helped with Geri Olympics On the Move.
"The students are having fun and learning to interact and work with the elderly," Hamrick said. "This is a good experience for them and they are earning work-based learning hours."
Nella's Inc. activities director Billy Oldaker said the event is well received by everyone involved.
"It's great for the young ones to learn not to be afraid of the elderly," Oldaker said. "My mission is to assure them that when someone comes to this facility, it is not a place for them to come, fold up and die. This is a place where folks continue to live their lives, and I want to help them live their lives to the fullest."
Dr. Ted Muilenburg, director of the Geri Olympics, said the program is very important to those in nursing facilities.
"The residents of nursing homes enjoy the socializing and being a part of a team," Muilenburg said. "Some residents are bored, lonely or feeling hopeless.
"The activities help residents feel socially connected. It helps keep them active and involved."
Contact Beth Christian Broschart by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.