In celebration of National Nursing Home Week, which runs May 11 to 17, nursing homes across the parish are holding events.

This year, the theme for 2014 is “Living the Aloha Spirit.” According to the American Health Care Association website, the theme was created to express the following ideals for long term and post-acute skilled nursing care centers:

“To Hawaiians, the word “aloha” has a deeper significance than just a fond farewell. By “Living the Aloha Spirit,” we show others love and respect and joyfully share life in order to create a better world. Key attributes of the “Aloha Spirit” include patience, kindness and good feelings and respect in caring about others.”

The association urges every nursing care center to promote positive messages throughout the week that help to demonstrate qualities such as patience, kindness, harmony, caring and respect.

There are currently four different nursing home facilities in Morehouse Parish including Lagniappe Healthcare Skilled Nursing Facility, LeGrand Healthcare and Rehabilitation Center, Cherry Ridge Skilled Nursing Facility and Oak Woods Home for the Elderly.

Lagniappe Healthcare Skilled Nursing Facility is located at 1408 Summerlin Ln. in Bastrop. The 60,000-square foot facility in a residential neighborhood is Medicare and Medicaid certified. Lagniappe's mission is focused on helping residents feel at home and meeting their medical, social and spiritual needs, for those in need of long-term care or short-term care.

“Our goal at Lagniappe Healthcare is to provide quality care to our residents in a safe and comfortable environment, Administrator Amanda Boatright said. “We want our residents to feel like they are at home and we want to make it as much like their home environment as possible. Our activity program is wonderful with a wide variety of activities that appeal to all residents with different interests. Our therapy department works hard to rehabilitate residents so they can return home and continue living as independently as possible. We strive in employing quality staff and maintaining good relationships with the staff to ensure their happiness as well. As an administrator in long-term care, it is very important to me to make sure all residents are receiving the best care. I am also proud to be a part of a facility that continues to offer specialty services to our local community and surrounding area.”

LeGrand Healthcare and Rehabilitation Center is located at 650 Holt Street in Bastrop. Resident rooms consist of private suites, private rooms, rooms designed for couples and semi-private rooms - all wired for telephone and internet service. They also have cable television at no extra charge. They have a secured Alzheimer's Unit consisting of private dining rooms, bathing area, dayroom and patio with a fenced area that provides a secluded walking path. The Rehabilitation Center features in-house physical, occupational and speech therapists. They have a chapel, library, activity room, cinema room, elegant dining area, whirlpool bathing system and beauty/barber shop at no extra charge. They accept Medicaid, Medicare, private pay and insurance.

Cherry Ridge Skilled Nursing Facility is located at 5980 Cherry Ridge Road in Bastrop. The facility offers 24-hour nursing care as well as therapy and skilled services.

“Our main goal is to serve the elderly and anyone in need of nursing home placement,” Susan Cobb, Director of Nursing, said. “We are not just about having someone come in and keeping them here with us. We like for someone to come in and get therapy and skilled services and be able to return to the community.”

Oak Woods Home for the Elderly is located at 1400 Davenport Ave. in Mer Rouge. They are a nonprofit organization sponsored by the Mer Rouge Lions Club. They provide extended stay nursing care to seniors with varying levels of disabilities. They have a secure alzheimer's/dementia unit. They have occupational therapy, physical therapy, speech therapy and recreational therapy to meet the needs of all residents. Their outpatient therapy now features a new outpatient behavioral health program. Other features include yoga instruction, walking club, cooking classes, art classes and pet therapy.

Each of the nursing homes held activities throughout the week from t-ball games to pizza parties. Their week of events will conclude on Friday with the following activities:

Lagniappe will have hot dogs and staff and residents will be dressing up for sports day.

LeGrand will have a crawfish festival.

Cherry Ridge will have “Down of the Farm” beginning at 10:30 a.m. in the back parking lot. Faculty will dress up in t-shirts and overalls or jeans, and there will be games and food.

Oak Woods will have “Sing, Whistle, Hum hum hum” at 2 p.m. They will have blast from the past trivia with prizes from residents and staff.