Hill Country residents honored for Grandparents’ Day
By BRITTANY FHOLER
Residents of the Hill Country Rehabilitation and Nursing Center, located on Industrial Avenue, were whisked back to their youth at the third annual Black and White Gala held on Thursday in honor of Grandparents’ Day, which was Sunday.
Members of the Five Hills Scholarship Pageant Royalty showed up to the party dressed in their finest black and white attire while the Scotty Ray Show performed hits from past decades, such as “Stand By Me”, “Rock Me Baby”, “Tennessee Whiskey”, and “8 Days a Week.”
Black and white balloons decorated the tables of the Hill Country dining room and residents were served sandwiches and fruit, cheese and vegetables as well as cupcakes.
Earlier in the day, staff helped pamper the residents with their hair and makeup and helped get them ready for the party, according to Jennifer Clark, the life enrichment director at Hill Country. Of the 85 residents at the facility, about a third or so showed up at the party, said Nursing Facility Administrator Milo Parsons.
This is the third year the event has been held and it is always a big hit with residents and their families, Clark said. National Grandparents Day is the first Sunday after Labor Day, but the facility has held their event on the Thursday before since 2015.
“I think it’s really a great thing for families,” Clark said. “You know, it’s always good to have extra holidays or extra occasions for the residents and their families to just spend time together.”
Parsons added that events like the gala provide opportunities for family members to reunite with the residents after their busy summers while not having to wait until the bigger holidays such as Thanksgiving or Christmas.
Residents like Patricia Julian and Alice Tillman enjoyed dancing in their seats to the music. Other residents enjoyed watching the children who were visiting as they danced.
With each song change, Julian and Tillman kept their energy up and entertained those around them. Julian’s daughter, Michelle Roberts, said she thought the event was lovely and that it was evident that the residents were having a good time dancing and watching the children dance. Her mother had been a resident since April, originally for rehabilitation but decided to stay at Hill Country after her husband passed away, Roberts said.
“They always have these sweet events, even the smaller weekly things are so nice,” Roberts said of the different activities planned for the residents. “She always tells me she’s doing something.”
Emily Kimball, Pre-Teen Miss Five Hills, said she visited the nursing center almost every Sunday with her grandmother, who gives communion to those who want it. She said her favorite part of coming to the event was dancing with the residents and seeing the look of joy on their face.
“I think it’s good for all of the residents to enjoy spending some time with the more energized,” Kimball said. “And I think it’s a nice event for them too, and I think they really enjoy it.”