Area Health Care Center Celebrating National Nursing Home Week

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It's National Nursing Home Week and area nursing homes are celebrating.

Edmonson Health Care has planned everything from target practice, horseshoes, softball and tether-ball tournaments, but there's one activity that has all the residents talking.

"Arms up," encouraged Sherrell Thompson, the Assistant Director of Nursing at Edmonson Health Care.

Some resident's call it aerobics, others call it P.E. exercises.

"Mainly they've nicknamed it Resident Recess," said Thompson.

From moving your arms and legs, to even dancing, these nursing home residents are getting involved in this morning activity.

"I enjoy all of it. It's alot of fun," resident, Mattie Martin said.

"I like the dancing. It keeps you moving," resident, Joe Gibson explained.

"They're like, 'are we starting aerobics today? Are we doing this?' I mean, after breakfast they're ready to go and they motivate each other," Thompson explained.

One group of women come together every morning at the aerobics class.

"We have had alot going on. Haven't we girls," resident, Lucy Jaggers asked her friends.

You have Lucy Jaggers ...

"Just like I Love Lucy," Jaggers said.

... Marsha Woodcock, who said the exercise keeps her young at heart ...

"I'm always young at heart! I'll never get old that way," Woodcock said.

... Naomi Meredith, who recently won the nursing home's calendar girl competition ...

"They said they picked out the prettiest one, but I don't think they did," Meredith joked.

... and Leona Doyel ...

"This is our corner. We sit here everytime," Doyel said.

Doyel may be the oldest of the four friends, but she is also the feistiest!

"I'm only 90. She's jealous," Doyel said pointing to a friend.

She said with the exercise the residents are receiving everyday, she plans to make it to 100-years-old with the people who motivate her the most.

"I have enjoyed every minute of it. I was determined to make this my home and I have," Jaggers said.

They are a motivation to everyone.

The aerobics class was started in February on a trial basis, but it was such a hit with the residents they've continued to do it.

Edmonson Health Care will continue National Nursing Home Week with their own Grand Ole' Opry on Wednesday night and a car show to conclude the week.

To watch extra video footage from Tamara's visit to Edmonson Health Care, click the video links below:
Edmonson Health Care Does the Macarena

Edmonson Health Care Residents Cut Up

For more on National Nursing Home Week, including event ideas and resources to help support your local nursing home, click here.

Ways to Excercise Your Mind courtesy of

  • Exercise your mind
    Mozart, sudoku, chess, a good book, a walk, a good sleep - all are claimed to help turn your brain from jumble to genius, but which ones work?

  • Memory tasks
    Torkel Klingberg and his team at the Karolinska Institute in Stockholm gave 50 children five weeks training on either easy or hard "working memory" tasks - such as memorizing phone numbers for short periods. Only the tough training brought a general improvement in attention and problem solving. But the training has to be intensive and prolonged, he said.

  • Routine change
    Some researchers suggest tricking your brain with a new routine improves cognitive abilities, for example by brushing your teeth with the "wrong" hand or by taking a different route to work. There’s no evidence this actually works. "Is it enough of a challenge to give you a training effect? That’s a totally open question," said Prof Klingberg.

  • Playing the violin
    One study of nearly 500 Americans aged over 75 found playing a musical instrument, reading, board games and dancing were associated with a reduced risk of dementia. The study recorded each subject’s activities over five years and associated their leisure time with whether they developed Alzheimer’s and other forms of dementia. Only regular, intensive activities were beneficial.

  • Exercise
    A stint in the gym can boost your brain as well as biceps. Studies suggest walking for half an hour three times a week boosts mental abilities such as abstract reasoning by 15 percent.

  • Mozart
    One famous study suggested Mozart boosts mental abilities - even rats find their way around a maze faster. But not all follow-up studies have replicated the effect. It seems the benefit, if there is one, is due to the relaxing and stimulating effects of music. People who feel better perform better in mental tasks.