All across the area, residents took time Tuesday to honor those who served our nation on Veterans Day.
In Alexander City, Bill Nichols State Veterans Home held a special ceremony for its residents. At Brown Nursing Home the Veterans who live there were treated to a flag ceremony that included the Alexander City Veterans Honor Guard. In Goodwater, about 40 people gathered Tuesday morning to say thank you to their “heroes.”
At Bill Nichols, the ceremony began as the Alexander City Honor Guard posted the colors and conducted the parade of service flags.
Patti Smith gave a great rendition of the National Anthem. She later led the crowd in the singing of “America the Beautiful.”
Alexander City City Councilman Tony Goss said being at Bill Nichols makes him imagine the feats accomplished by the the Veterans in the crowd.
“When I am here, I take a step back and turn my imagination on,” Goss said. “I take a look around the room and visualize the things that you all saw and did. I see the helicopter pilots who flew combat missions and helped save our wounded. I see you all fighting in the trenches for our freedom.
“I can’t thank you enough for all that you have done for our country.”
Ms, Alabama Nursing Home Edna Farrell served in the Army Cadet Corps and recalled helping soldiers and outlined how her family had served.
“The Army was a big part of my life and it still is today,” Farrell said. “I can’t imagine what it would have been like without all those brave soldiers who fought for us all.”
Mayor Charles Shaw said he was honored to be in the presence of so many people who served their country so bravely.
“It is a great honor to be here to thank you for your service and for what all of you have done for this city, this state and our country,” Shaw said.
Garette Woodham, administrator of Bill Nichols State Veterans Home gave the final remarks of the ceremony.
“I’d like to say thank you to every veteran here,” Woodham said. “You all served for freedom and that freedom, still rings strong today.”
Three residents of the Bill Nichols Veterans Home competed in the Alabama Nursing Home Association’s Senior State Games Friday in Birmingham.
This is the first time nursing home residents have been able to participate in the Senior State Games, designed for ages 50 and older to stay active and healthy. The nursing home residents competed in checkers, dominos and bocce ball.
“It’s a good way for seniors to be able to practice using their muscles and hand eye coordination,” said John Matson, director of communications for ANHA.
Charlie Boswell, Calvin Hall and Roger Thornton from Bill Nichols each earned an award competing in the games. Special medals were minted for seniors competing in the Senior State Games this year.
Boswell and Thornton competed in checkers for their age groups, winning gold medals for their outstanding skill. Boswell also went on to compete against all participants in the checkers group, and won a gold medal in the overall group.
Hall competed in the 60 and up age group for competitive dominos, and brought home the silver medal in his age group.
The ANHA Senior State Games is a partnership with the Alabama Department of Senior Services (ADSS) and the Alabama Sports Festival (ASF) Foundation. The games coincide with the ASF Foundation’s 32nd annual Alabama State Games. The Alabama Nursing Home Association is a title sponsor for the senior games as they kicked off their first year.
There are a total of 13 competitions for the Senior State Games including swimming, table tennis and shooting sports.
“Hopefully next year we’ll have more nursing home residents and senior citizens competing in all the categories,” Matson said. “We think this is a great opportunity for our nursing home residents to be able to showcase their competitive spirit and to show that nursing home residents are still a viable part in their community.”
Bill Nichols State Veterans Home, Alexander City, AL, Floyd E. “Tut” Fann State Veterans Home, Huntsville, AL
Bill Nichols and Tut Fann Nominated for the TOP Practice Programs in Alabama
Twenty-four nursing homes from across Alabama have been nominated for the 2014 Alabama’s Best Practices Program.
The nominated nursing homes have developed innovative ways to improve the quality of care or quality of life for nursing home residents. Each nomination will be evaluated by a panel of health care professionals using 11 specific judging criteria.
The top eight nursing homes will present their best practices at Alabama’s Best Practices Program. The remaining nursing homes will display their best practices in a special exhibit hall.
The 21st annual Alabama’s Best Practices Program will be held August 28, 2014, at the Cahaba Grand Conference Center in Birmingham.
For her dedication to her job and work with veterans, Terrie Alford was recently named the Nurse of the Year for Bill Nichols State Veterans Home.
Alford received the Heritage Award Nurse of the Year for HMR Veterans Services.
Alford, a Central Alabama Community College graduate who’s worked as a nurse since 2005, said she’s very honored to receive the award for a job she truly enjoys.
“I love my job. I have 25 residents – they’re all veterans,” Alford said. “I work on the third floor. It’s very rewarding. You get to know your families and your residents very well in that period of time.”
Alford cares for veterans age 60 and up, and said one of the things she enjoys most is the bond she develops with her residents.
“With my guys, most of them come here and it’s the last place they go. I feel like my job is to make the best of that time for them, whether it’s one day or ten years,” Alford said. “It’s very rewarding. You get to know your residents, your families and you feel like a part of their families. It’s not just a job – it’s more like a family.”
While seeing a resident pass away is Alford’s least favorite thing to see on the job, she said she focuses on her duty and repaying the service that veterans have given to us all.
“I guess the best part is feeling like I’m there to take care of them. Some of them don’t have families, and some of them don’t have visitors. They look at us as their family,” Alford said. “I like being able to provide that service for them because they served us, so now we’re there to take care of them.”
Bill Nichols State Veterans Home, Alexander City, AL, Charlotte Hall Veterans Home, Charlotte Hall, MD, Clyde W. Cosper Texas State Veterans Home, Bonham, TX, Colonel Robert L. Howard State Veterans Home, Pell City, AL, Floyd E. “Tut” Fann State Veterans Home, Huntsville, AL, Richard M. Campbell Veterans Nursing Home, Anderson, SC, Veterans Victory House, Walterboro, SC, Watkins – Logan Texas State Veterans Home, Tyler, TX, William F. Green State Veterans Home, Bay Minette, AL
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