May 14-19 has been National Nursing Home Week, and at Limestone Health Facility’s Senior Rehab and Recovery Center, every day has been a celebration. Mary Nelle Clem, who is the activities director, along with her team of assistants, Kenisha Anderson, Teresa Moore, and Savannah Wise came up with a series of activities based on the iconic 1974 Chevy commercial jingle entitled, “Baseball, Hot Dogs, Apple Pie and Chevrolet.” If you are not familiar with the catchy, award-winning ad, the lyrics go like this:
“Baseball, hot dogs, apple pie and Chevrolet, they go together in the good ol’ USA.” The jingle was repeated over and over, and is etched forever in the memories of all who heard it. So, here’s what they did to bring up fond remembrances of Mays and Memorial Days gone by.
- Monday put the “baseball in baseball.” Any resident could participate, whether or not they were ambulatory, and they played Nerf baseball in the dining room. Mini-hotdogs were also the order of the day.
- Tuesday was the “apple pie and Chevrolet” part. Clem Auto loaned their famous blue and yellow 1951 Chevy truck, and Veda Webb stood up in the bed of the truck and handed out apple pies from McDonald’s. Nonstop Beach Boys played, a few residents danced around either in their chairs or on their feet. “Surfin’ USA,” baby! There had also been an auction with a real auctioneer; play money used for hats, jewelry, teddy bears, food items; and plenty of freshly popped popcorn.
- Wednesday the choir from Birdie Thornton came to sing. They are a real favorite with the residents, especially a man named Neal who is quite the singer. Wednesday was also Banana Split Day.
- Thursday was a pancake breakfast in the morning, and Coke floats in the afternoon. Kenisha and I laughed about the fact that the best part of Coke floats is the stuff that crystallizes on the top.
- Friday is the showing of one of the all-time great baseball movies, “A League Of Their Own,” starring Tom Hanks, Geena Davis, Madonna, Rosie O’Donnell, Bill Pullman, David Straithairn, Jon Lovitz, and Tea Leoni. It’s the mostly true story of the All-American Girls Professional Baseball League during WWII.
I had so much fun at the Tuesday event that it was hard to get back to work. I sang Beach Boys songs, passed on the apple pie, danced a bit, and enjoyed the residents enjoying themselves as well as the staff enjoying the residents. It is always important to me to see that residents in any long-term care facility are well cared for by the staff, and that the staff members truly love and respect the residents. That was certainly the case on this day. I was so glad that Mary Nelle and her crew invited me to come and kick off the month of May and prepare for Memorial Day with something as American as “Baseball, Hot Dogs, Apple Pie and Chevrolet.”
By: Ali Elizabeth Turner