NHC Healthcare holds inside Christmas parade for residentss


So much has changed in the past 22 months and how nursing homes handle visitors, conduct activities for patients, and allow programs for residents has been at the forefront of a lot of those changes. Recently, the staff at NHC Healthcare of Sparta were able to bring back a tradition that spreads smiles and holiday cheer to their residents when they hosted their indoor Christmas Parade.

“It’s a little different than in years past, but we are still excited that we were able to bring a little Christmas spirit to our residents,” NHC activities director Nikki Basham said. “We didn’t have the general public in the parade this time, but several families came to share the experience with their family members.”

The parade, which began at the Station 3 (Walker Street end) of the facility and wound its way through the main halls of all three stations, consisted of each of NHC’s in-house departments choosing a theme and dressing up to spread some holiday cheer and a little magic throughout the building.

Physical therapy chose to dress as the Griswolds while the front desk staff had cars pulling Snoopy and a Charlie Brown Christmas Tree. The Grinch and Cindy Lou Who were on hand as were Santa and Mrs. Claus who were accompanied by a couple of elves. There was a mobile fireplace adorned with stockings, and there were walking presents that accompanied the Christmas scene. Gumby wore a Christmas hat and a lighted necklace and even escorted one resident who dressed for the occasion and wanted to be in on spreading the happiness.

While the public wasn’t as much a part of the parade as they had been in the pre-COVID years, Caris and NHC Home Health joined in and showed up wearing Christmas sweaters and hats and lights, with one attendee dressed as everyone’s favorite reindeer, Rudolph, to help with the festivities.

As the parade made its way through the halls from one station to another, residents and their families sat near the doors of their rooms or gathered in common areas to wave, smile, cheer, and return holiday greetings.

“It means a lot to see them smile and be involved,” Basham said. “To know that our patients are getting to enjoy the season and have a little fun with the staff is a great feeling. The laughter and smiles as we walked through the halls, seeing them so happy and knowing that their day was that much better because we were able to bring a little bit of the holidays to them let me know that we are doing good things here for our patients. Thank you to everyone who was involved and helped make this happen.”


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