A publication of the Kentucky Center for Public Service Journalism

NHOA collecting holiday gifts for nursing home, personal care residents in 17 Kentucky counties

The Nursing Home Ombudsman Agency of the Bluegrass (NHOA) is once again accepting holiday gifts to fulfill the wishes of residents living in nursing homes, personal care homes, and family care homes of 17 central Kentucky counties.

Now in its eighth year, the Silver Bells Holiday Gift Drive brings a little extra cheer for long-term care residents who will otherwise receive no gifts during the holidays.

“We find that 60% of long-term care residents do not have a regular visitor, meaning many residents are forgotten during the holidays” says Denise Kennedy, Bluegrass District Ombudsman. “Residents miss the tradition of being home with family and loved ones. Our Silver Bells project presents the opportunity for the community to give gifts to residents so they are able to share in the holiday spirit. Last year, the community rallied to provide thoughtful gifts to 680 long-term care residents! I am excited to watch the program continue to grow, and I’m challenging our community to beat last year’s record.”

Becky Hacker, a certified NHOA ombudsman, smiled as she delivered gifts to residents in Garrard County family care homes.

“Not only do the residents experience joy when they receive their gift bags, but I am overjoyed to witness their excitement and appreciation,” she said.

Residents frequently fill their wish lists with the basics: socks, sweatpants and sweatshirts, blankets, gloves, hats, scarves, nice-smelling shampoo, lotion, and body wash, books, puzzles, games, chocolates, stamps, and quarters to buy snacks from the nursing home vending machines. These small items are hard to come by when impoverished, like the 70% of nursing home residents utilizing Medicaid. Their $40 monthly allowance doesn’t stretch very far, leaving them without funds for the things they need and want.

To learn more about specific resident wishes, call NHOA’s office at 859-277-9215. Gifts should be turned into NHOA’s office, located at 3138 Custer Drive, Suite 110, Lexington, by December 14th at 4:00 p.m. The gifts should be unwrapped and placed in a gift bag. Monetary gifts will be used to support long-term care ombudsman services in the Bluegrass district.

NHOA is a non-profit agency that provides a trained, certified ombudsman for all long-term care residents in the Bluegrass area. They serve as advocates for each resident and identify, investigate, and work to resolve complaints made by or on behalf of all residents.

To learn more about NHOA’s services, call 859-277-9215 or visit www.ombuddy.org.

From Nursing Home Ombudsman Agency of the Bluegrass

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