Long-term patients get out and about | SierraSun.com

Long-term patients get out and about

Emma Garrard/Sierra SunWard clerk Barbara Hill shows one of the raffle prizes to patient Rosalie Keenan at Tahoe Forest Hospital Extended care Monday morning. The hospital is having an Annual Christmas Raffle Dec. 21 at 1 p.m. Proceeds go to the long-term care center at the hospital.

Ninety-one-year-old Laura Horman enjoys impromptu drives taken in the Tahoe Forest Hospital van. Recently, she and a group of residents at the hospital’s long-term care center drove to Squaw Valley and rode the cable car up to High Camp where they had lunch.

“Of course none of us are skiers,” Horman said. “To do something like that was very exciting.”

To help fund more excursions and other activities for long-term residents at Tahoe Forest Hospital, staffers are holding an annual holiday raffle through Dec. 21 to raise money, said Barbara Hill, Tahoe Forest long-term care center ward clerk and certified nurse assistant.

Now in its 10th year, the raffle raised $1,500 in 2005 and helped to purchase a wheelchair-accessible van, Hill said. While the long-term care center does have an activity fund to cover most costs, the raffle money pays for things like movie tickets, bingo prizes and gas for the van, Hill said.

Taking advantage of their new wheels, long-term care residents were driven up Donner Summit, attended the Old Timer’s Picnic and listened to live concerts at Truckee River Regional Park in the summer, Hill said. The field trips are “incredibly important” to residents, she said.

“It keeps their brains more active than just sitting around,” Hill said. “Our goal is to have a high quality of life as long as they’re here.”

For a resident with Alzheimer’s, participating in the field trips and staying active may lower the need for medication, Hill said.

About three weeks ago, Horman, who has been a resident at the long-term care center for two years, and a few other residents visited a beauty school in Reno where Horman got her hair and nails done, she said.

“It makes you feel like you’re kind of part of what’s going on,” Horman said.

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