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Local Nursing Homes Keeping Residents In The Holiday Spirit

/ The Upper Cumberland's News Leader
Local Nursing Homes Keeping Residents In The Holiday Spirit

Local nursing homes are finding ways to keep the holiday spirit alive among residents as COVID has changed the landscape of visitations.

While most facilities are not accepting visitors, Morningside of Cookeville is allowing scheduled family visits. Executive Director Dawn Smith-Huckeby said the facility has been COVID free long enough to open its doors for Christmas.

“We have an area set up in our community where we can actually safely have residents and their loved ones visit as long as we can practice social distancing and wear our PPE of course,” Smith-Huckeby said. “We have got that set up by our Christmas tree, so they can have visits with their loved ones.”

Life Care Center of Sparta will not have visitors, but families can still interact with residents in a special way. Activities Assistant Nicole Fignar said people can still watch loved ones open gifts safely.

“We do have some families that are bringing gifts and dropping them off, and the, coming around to a window to watch their loved one open the gifts,” Fignar said. “Of course, the residents are ecstatic when they see their family members whether it be in person or through a window.”

Morningside of Cookeville residents can also expect presents from Santa Christmas morning and a three course holiday meal.

“We have gotten several gifts from Santa that are going to be delivered on Christmas day,” Smith-Huckeby said. “There is going to be one for each of our residents. Our theme this year is, “Being Home At Christmas.” So, it is going to be things that are comforting like warm socks and cider.”

Fignar said Life Care residents will also receive gifts, but not without a special Christmas guest.

“We did have multiple Christmas gifts for all the residents to open from Life Care,” Fignar said. “They also put goody bags on their breakfast, lunch and dinner tray that has just little things in it to try and bring joy to them on that day. We also have an employee who dresses up as Santa that will be going around to see everybody on Christmas.”

Both facilities are also virtually visitations for all residents.


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