RIDGEWAY — On Wednesday, residents of Fairfield Health Care Laurel Baye in Ridgeway dusted off their boots and put their cowboy hats on straight for a Western themed lunch in honor of Nursing Home Week.
“Western Day is usually one of their favorite events,” said Activities Director Frances Mattox. “They love it and do Western garb again on Family Day in September.”
Olin Jackson from Lugoff once again had his team of mules give patients rides in a covered wagon. The wagon was specially designed to be low enough to be handicap accessible. His mules, Penny and Pat, were a hit with some of the residents who were drawn to the animals and remembered seeing people farm with them during their youth.
This year the event’s theme was Team Care and the activities were aimed at group building and encouraging fellowship. According to the American Health Care Association, the theme recognizes “residents and patients in long term and post-acute care settings, the dedicated staff who care for them, and the value of care planning where everyone pitches in for optimal outcomes.”
The Western Day lunch was one of a week full of activities enjoyed by the residents, staff and community.Family Day was Saturday. A 1950s music event was held one day and other period games were played.
For the Western day, once again the Fairfield County Sheriff’s Department had a large presence at the facility as part of their Community Oriented Police Services (COPS). Law enforcement officers not only help with the special observance, but some of them accompany the residents on lake outings and to the State Fair. Deputies also help with Family Day each year, with four deputies helping residents to wheel themselves from building to building, etc.
For Lt. D.J. Wilson, his son has come along for the ride quite often.
“It was a lot of fun helping my dad (Lt. D.J. Wilson) with them at the State Fair last year,” Tristan Mahoney said.
During the May event, Mahoney pushed wheelchairs, set up tables, served drinks and set up tents. The thirteen year old is home schooled and does this community outreach as a part of his education.
The event was sponsored in part by Water Systems Inc. of West Columbia, Regional Ambulance Service, and Laurel Baye Health Care. Mattox said they will continue to hold this observance next year because it has become such a fun, strong tradition for the residents and the community.
Contact Kevin Boozer at 635-4016 ext. 14 or email@example.com and follow him on Twitter at @kevinboozer.