Ivy Hall Nursing Home puts together a Christmas tree display for residents

Published 12:20 pm Friday, December 23, 2022

Johnson City has its community display of Christmas trees as do Bristol and Kingsport. And, this year Ivy Hall Nursing Home has put together its own community of Christmas trees — 15 total.
The trees are on display in the nursing home’s dining area, adjoining inside patio area, and other locations in the building. Jill Burrow of the Dietary Dept., who has overseen the inaugural display, said, “Most of our residents are unable to view the outdoor displays of Christmas trees so this year we decided to do a display just for them. The nursing home provided the trees and lights, and we asked volunteers to help with the decorations, and it’s been amazing the participation we have received.”
She and the employees of the Dietary Dept. have decorated a large tree in the downstairs area in front of a window facing Watauga Ave.
Various departments, including therapy and housekeeping, have contributed by decorating a tree. Office personnel used the theme of “Old Country Christmas” for their tree, which features toys and items of a generation ago. There is a Snowman Christmas tree, a Gnome Christmas tree, Snowflakes, and the more traditional Christmas trees. A couple of school groups — West Side and Elizabethton High — have decorated trees as have the Elizabethton Women’s Civic Club, and a couple family members of Mrs. Dot Oaks, who is a resident of the nursing home.
“We have encouraged the Therapy Dept. after doing therapy with a resident to roll them to the various locations to see the trees. Also, various department personnel are taking time out of their schedule to take residents on a tree tour,” said Burrow. “We often forget that these residents once were a vital, contributing member of the community, and though they are elderly and can no longer do like they once did, they still enjoy Christmas and the other holidays. The community often forgets that, too.”
Burrow noted that every one of Ivy Hall’s residents will receive a gift this Christmas. “Our Activities Dept. works with local businesses, churches and other groups to collect gifts which are wrapped and bagged for the residents and will be given to them closer to Christmas Day,” she shared.
On a recent evening there were carolers at the nursing home, and to be sure, there will be more during the days leading up to Christmas. Monday, residents were treated to a Christmas party in the dining room.
Before Christmas, residents will get an opportunity to get together and judge their favorite tree and enjoy treats and Christmas caroling.
“During COVID, it was very hard for our residents as they were not allowed to have visitors nor were allowed to go out. For the most part they stayed in their rooms. But, this year is much different. And, we want them to experience Christmas even though they can’t shop, decorate their own tree, or even prepare dinner,” said Burrow.
But, you can bet Christmas Sunday dinner will be special. The meals at the nursing home are always good, but they will be a little extra special that day.

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