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Oct 3, 2011

Nursing Home News--October 2011

This is the September 2011 newsletter of Friends Across the Ages nursing home outreach



For the past three or four years, the volunteers at Signature Health Care have thrown a big football watching party for the residents at that facility.  Former Friends volunteer coordinator Jean Lansford started the tradition, and current coordinators Kim and Andrew Mitchell have kept it going… and Jean has kept coming back to help.  They pick at least one Gator game per season—usually a day game—and try to make it special for the residents.  The volunteers bring all sorts of treats—popcorn, cupcakes, etc.—and Jean makes a punch that is usually a hit.  They decorate with streamers and posters.  They also gather goodies throughout the year to give away at the party.  In the past, one store donated Gator cookies, and another donated Gator banners and a lot of Gator posters.  This year Kim also found some Gator hats for less than a dollar apiece, and she says the volunteers also give away Gator mardi gras beads.  When the party is over, they share any leftover treats with the staff.  It is a very special event for all involved, and something the residents—and staff—talk about for the rest of the year.


This year, the big party will be on Saturday, October 29th to watch the Florida/Georgia game, which begins at 3:30.  Contact if you’re interested in attending or would like more information. 





Some of you may be wondering why an issue of our “snail mail” newsletter, The Bridge has not appeared in your mailbox lately.  The first issue of this newsletter came out in 2002.  Most years it has appeared quarterly, though last year we cut back to three issues for the year, but made most of those issues longer—4 pages instead of two.  This year it looks like we will be cutting back a bit more, to two issues.  This is something we had been considering for awhile, and especially given the changes we have been going through this year, it seemed to make sense to wait to put out another issue until we had more solid plans for the future and could share them in our newsletter.  The board of directors hopes to complete those plans within the next couple of months—and at any rate we are definitely planning on our usual big Winter edition.  So, fear not, another issue of The Bridge will be making its way to you very soon!  Watch for it in early December.  In the meantime, we are expanding this “nursing home news” email newsletter a bit, especially to include things like volunteer anniversaries.  Read on…





New Volunteers

We would like to extend a warm welcome to the new volunteers who have joined us during the past month:

Carolyn Catafesta—Parklands Nursing and Rehab

Jessica “Joie” Hill—Parklands Nursing and Rehab

Dawn Ard—Signature Health Care

Rajyalakshmi Tumati—Signature Health Care

Morgan Witter—Park Meadows Health and Rehab



Twelve Weeks Complete

We would also like to congratulate the following volunteers who have recently completed their 12 week orientation period and can each consider themselves an official “Friend Across the Ages”:

Rachel MontealegreParklands Nursing and Rehab

Shannon Patterson—Signature Health Care



Volunteer Anniversaries

Finally, congratulations to those whose celebrating anniversaries of volunteering with Friends Across the Ages this summer and fall:

Heather Beck—2 years

Faye Coorpender—6 years (with hiatus in the middle)

Seth Dornisch—2 years

Gretchen Grigsby—7 years

Carolyn Lukert—2 years

Anna Kim—1 year

Karen Mentz (with children Linda and Walter)—6 years

Donna Mitchell—4 years

Donna Moore (with children Kyle and Chase)—5 years

Emily Sullivan—3 years

Dianne Walsh—7 years

Ashleigh Welter—1 year



Each month, in addition to groups that meet weekly for regular volunteering/visitation, Friends Across the Ages sponsors a few special events and activities at various nursing homes.  These events require no ongoing commitment, though we do ask you to let us know ahead of time if you plan to attend any of these events so that we can be on the lookout for you.  If you would like more information about our weekly visitation groups and becoming a regular Friends Across the Ages volunteer, please let us know that as well.  Here are our special events for October:


Thursday, October 6th,  1:30 – 2:30PM – “Storytellers’ Society” at Parklands – These monthly group gatherings are a wonderful way to share, reminisce, and truly get to know the residents at Parklands Nursing and Rehab.


Thursday, October 13th,  1:30 – 2:30PM – Casino Time at Parklands – A monthly event at Parklands Nursing and Rehab – Come help deal blackjack and poker for the residents (who play for prizes), or just help cheer them on!


Saturday, October 15th, 10:00 AM – Flute Concert at GHCC – Local flute teacher Christine Alicot is bringing her students to Gainesville Health Care Center for a special performance.  All are welcome to come enjoy the music with the residents!


Thursday, October 20th, 10:00 AM-1:00 PM – Bus Trip!!! –  A group of residents from Parklands Nursing and Rehab are going on a bus trip to Wal-Mart.  Several volunteers will be needed to help escort the residents throughout the store and assist them with making purchases.  Email Steve Blay at if you would like to help.


Thursday, October 27th, 2:30-3:30 PM -- Birthday celebration -- Help us wish a happy birthday to all residents of Parklands Nursing and Rehab with birthdays in October. Meet us in the dining room where we will have singing and cake. Volunteers are needed to help gather the residents together, serve the cake, sing, clean up, etc.  Do you play an instrument or have some other talent?  We are always looking for new entertainment for the party – let us know! 


Saturday, October 29th, 3:00 PM – Gator Football Watching Party at Signature! –  Come out and join the Signature Health Care residents and volunteers as they watch the Gators take on the Georgia Bulldogs! As mentioned in the article above, there will be snacks and Gator give-aways for the residents.  Kick-off is at 3:30.  Contact if you would like more information or want to sign up to attend.




Please see the above list for locations of the various events.  Directions to all the nursing homes can be found at:

Events are open to everyone (children are welcome at most events, please inquire). Please contact us and let us know if you plan to attend one of these events so that our coordinators can be on the lookout for you.  Please call (352) 381-1117 or email


This is the October 2011 newsletter of Friends Across the Ages nursing home outreach.
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