Local nursing home’s Mother’s Day Brunch a big hit

Published 10:00 am Wednesday, May 15, 2019

In the past, nursing homes were seen as dreary places where most were there to finish out their lives. Over the years this mindset has changed. Some nursing homes are investing in a robust activities department that gives residents more options to fill their days than just bingo. Such was the case Saturday at Life Care of Elizabethton’s Mother’s Day Brunch.

The brunch, which was the idea of a previous activities director, is in its eighth year and shows no signs of ever stopping. During the brunch, female residents of the home are brought to an immaculately decked out cafeteria-style room. Each table sits about four people. The food, which was mostly elegantly designed sweets and fruits, were served to the residents based on their diet plans.

The brunch was planned and coordinated this year by Activities Director Jessica Hall and Sally Halliwell. Both Hall and Halliwell have been working at Life Care for more than five years. However, neither started in activities. They both said that something just pulled them in that direction.

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The facility’s director, Angi Bradnan, is also extremely supportive of the brunch. She said facilities are moving away from being just seen as an end of life option and more toward trying to return residents back into the community whenever possible.

Just like the brunch, Bradnan always tries to get the residents who are able to participate in outings away from the center.

“One of the things I am really proud of here at Life Care is what we do for our long-term care population,” said Bradnan. “We really do things that recognize that this is their home and we really want to treat them well while they are here and make their life as full and rich as it can be.”

Some of these outings Bradnan spoke of included seeing the Christmas lights and the fall leaves. Bradnan said they even attend some Elizabethton Twins games, and some residents even get to throw out the first ball.

One of the residents, Marlene, said she has been at Life Care for 14 years and just loves all the activities. “It is great that they have it [the brunch] for the mothers,” she said. “I am proud of it.”

Jennifer, who has been at Life Care for 19 years, said it feels more like a big family — not a nursing home.

Family members Nancy and Jeff Ensor who attended the brunch also agreed that all the activities at Life Care makes it a different place.