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Residents of area nursing homes, assisted-living facilities go for gold

Eight facilities participated in the Golden Age Olympics at The American Legion in Boonsboro

May 15, 2012|By CALEB CALHOUN | caleb.calhoun@herald-mail.com
  • Leon Young competes Tuesday afternoon in bowling in the Golden Age Olympics held at the American Legion in Boonsboro.
By Yvette May, Staff Photographer

BOONSBORO — Evelyn Shaull, 89, of Boonsboro, competed Tuesday with her ex-boyfriend from more than 60 years ago in the Golden Age Olympics at The American Legion in Boonsboro.

“Things between us haven’t changed a lot,” she said. “I can’t complain.”

Shaull represented Reeders Memorial Nursing Home in Boonsboro at the event with her ex-boyfriend, Huffer Leon Young, 90.

Reeders competed against seven other nursing homes and assisted-living facilities in the area.

However, Shaull said the event was not about winning and losing.

“The competition is for fun, not to get a prize,” she said. “I took part in this for friendship.”

Young said that he also took part in the event for fun.

“It gives me something to do,” he said. “I’m used to going out and doing activities.”

The games at the event included bowling with soft equipment, noodle hockey, a wheelchair obstacle course, Jeopardy, and tossing corn-filled bags into inflatable innertubes, an event called corn hole. Lunch was also offered at $5 per person.

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Each facility entered one person for each event except for noodle hockey, which had four people, and corn hole, which had two people.

Kathryn Barone, 91, of Hagerstown represented Robinwood Assisted Living in corn hole during the morning with her friend, Ginny Brandt, 86.

“(Brandt) got them all in, but I didn’t,” she said. “This was at least something to do.”

Barone said that she likes taking part in such events because she wants to get involved in whatever she can.

“It helps me and other people to take part in things,” she said. “Instead of sitting, it keeps me doing things, and I just hope that I can keep doing them.”

Brandt of Hagerstown also represented Robinwood Assisted Living in the competition.

Brandt said she also does as much as she can with Barone to stay busy.

“We walk all the time, and I do any activity just to keep me going,” she said. “All the activities going on here are exciting. There’s something we’re in, and something for us to watch.”

The contestants each had shirts representing their facilities, and they also made up team names.

Two games would run at the same time, and medals were awarded for the first-, second-, and third-place winners of each event.  Certificates were also given to each participant, and a team trophy was given to the winning team.

Abby Housel, director of Community Life at Ravenwood Nursing Care Center, said that the event promotes competition and friendship among the residents of each facility.

“This reminds people that folks in nursing homes still want to be competitive and active in life,” she said. “Being in a nursing home or an assisted-living center is not the end.”

Housel said that such events show that people in nursing homes can still enjoy life.

“I hope the people here realize they are still capable of doing many things,” she said. “We have a lot of people here in their 90s, and in many cases their 70s, and, hopefully, they realize that life’s not over.”

The event is sponsored by the Maryland Activities Coordinators Society Region IV, which includes Allegany, Frederick, Garrett, Washington counties.

In addition to Reeders Memorial Nursing Home and Robinwood Assisted Living, the other participating facilities were Ravenwood Assisted Living, Ravenwood Nursing Care Center, Fahrney-Keedy, Homewood at Crumland Farms and Somerford Assisted Living.

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