An area nursing home was able to send a resident to Walt Disney World for several days last month.
Signature HEALTHCARE of Galion sent resident Gary Hench, 73, to his first vacation there.
Typically, Signature HEALTHCARE of Galion sends two residents from each of the nursing homes in their rural segment on a vacation.
Quality of Life Director Candy Yocum said the two people are picked based on interest in the vacation.
“They have to meet certain medical criteria.” Yocum said. “We do have to have the permission from families if the person is not their own power of attorney.”
She said they get to choose from six places to go on a vacation. They wanted to go to Walt Disney World.
“The company doesn’t send them alone on the trips.” Yocum said. “We want to make sure they have the care they need. We sent along a STNA (state tested nursing aide), Heidi Weston and our director of nursing Christine Sedmak with them.”
In order for the residents to go on the vacation they must have a doctor’s order saying it’s okay.
Resident Sandy Shelton was also chosen to go, but wasn’t able to attend due to an illness shortly before the trip.
But this didn’t stop the group from making her apart of the vacation.
“I was sleeping when they came back,” Shelton said. “I heard this voice say, hello Sandy, I came out to see you and Mickey Mouse (a stuffed animal) jumped out at me! They brought me all kinds of things from Disney and it made me feel real good. I was really sad when I couldn’t go. But I knew Gary would have fun for me and he sure did!”
When Hench was asked about his trip to Walt Disney World, his eyes lit up and he was eager to share the photographs from his recent trip.
“I had fun,” he said. “I meet Mickey Mouse. The airplane was my favorite part, it was my first time (flying on a plane) and I rode everything (at Disney) but the roller coaster. I didn’t like the looks of it.”
Yocum said the company held fund-raisers through the year to pay for the trip. SignatureHEALTHCARE’s corporate office pays for over half of the portion.
“We still owe about $3,000 for this one, but will raise funds for the remainder of the amount,” she said.
The center will host a craft show Nov. 19 at the nursing home and will hold a bingo night Dec. 5 at the Galion VFW.
To contribute, call 419-468-7544.
Reach Evans at 419-468-1117 ext. 2049 or on Twitter at @deborahevans31