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Sonny, one of the Pigeon Forge cats, is growing up fast. He now has his own desk. Lately he’s had that look in his eye that tells us he may want to invade a couple of small countries very soon.

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Bella, a beagle/hound mix who is approximately 10 months old, has recently moved to Pigeon Forge!  She was a facility dog living at another location that is also owned by Signature HealthCARE before she came to us.  They were unable to continue to keep Bella there, but wanted her to have a good home where she could play and have fun with elders, patients, and visitors.  Bella is sweet natured, likes to be petted, and of course enjoys the occasional snack provided to her by various folks!

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Pigeon Forge Care and Rehab:

I want to thank all of you for taking care of my grandmother, Janie Brown, for almost six years.

Every person in the facility, employees, CNAs, friends and grandchildren of the nursing home, became her family. She lived longer than most because of the care. Ryan, from Physical Therapy, gave her the last dance. Her friends Joe, Barbara and John – this list goes on.

Pat, the angel that rescued us from silence, saying her last prayer and singing ‘Amazing Grace,’ to Anna, who dressed her to go to the funeral home including a necklace, because Anna knew Janie loved being dressed ‘to the nines.’

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Just a small pane of glass separates one of our new kittens from a friendly squirrel!

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Just like at Red’s Diner in Dollywood, or a corner Deli in any-city, USA. Wednesday is now Deli-Day at Pigeon Forge Care and Rehab, complete with red baskets, red-and-white checked paper and a pickle on the side. As part of the culture change process to add variety, unique style and homestyle touches, designating Wednesday as Deli Day is just one more step on the path to adding fun and color to daily life here at the center.

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Two elders who live at Pigeon Forge Care and Rehab Center just returned from Panama City Beach, Florida where they were on this year’s annual vacation excursion with 13 other skilled nursing centers from across the company.  Stella Drummond, pictured here, and Virginia Harrison dipped their toes in the sand and surf for four days after flying from Nashville to Florida.  Stella wanted to bring some beach back with her and brought a jar of sand as a keepsake (don’t tell the Florida authorities!).

Our nurse practitioner, Charlene Matthews, had some kittens and was looking for a good home where they would be cared for, and loved. She gave the seven-week-old kittens to us, and they have lived here at our home for about a week now.

The first day when we told the elders the kittens would be living here, the elders couldn’t believe
it. One elder, who only goes to church and back, came into the dining room and said, ‘Where is them cats, I want to see them!’ He went pet and hugged one of the kittens, and has come every day to see them. Another elder who doesn’t come out of her room much has come every day to watch them play. She said, ‘The kittens are just wonderful! I love to just watch them play. They are so cute.’

The elders all had a name they wanted the kittens to be called, so we made a list of all the names and the elders voted. The male cat has four white paws and is called Socks. The female cat has seven toes on each of her front paws, and her name is Sunshine.

The kittens get 24-7 care. They will never be short on love here. The elders love them and so do the staff and family members – everyone wants to see them. The kittens bring smiles and laughs to everyone.

As one elder said, ‘They are the cat’s meow, and that’s a good thing.’

– Glenda Trentham, Quality of Life Director

Our elders wanted to do something for the ones who take care of them each and every day – they wanted to give back. So, this is what they did.

The elders made Valentines and gave them out to every staff member. Everyone also had an ice cream sundae. The elders worked all week making the Valentines for the staff. They include a poem that Nobbia Ownby, one of our elders, remembered from her childhood. All the elders agreed it was the right poem, with the right words to say on this day of LOVE.

You could see the joy and love in the faces of the elders as they give the staff their special Valentines. Each elder had something special to say as they gave out their hearts: ‘Thank you for making this feel like my home. Thank you for taking care of me, thank you for loving me. Thank you for talking to me, thank you for helping me, thank you for your smile, thank you for the hugs. Thank you for always being there for me.’

This was the elders way of saying, ‘thank you all, for all you do for each of us.’

Sometimes it is the simple things in life that can make us all HAPPY.

– Glenda Trentham, Quality of Life

On Dec 19, we had a Christmas party for the elders with Elvis.

Our Elvis is Lou Vuto, who has his own show here in Pigeon Forge, ‘Lou Vuto’s Salute To Elvis’. The elders loved it and the smiles on their faces were the proof. He sang, kissed and hugged the elders.

One of our ladies cried with joy and said, “I seen Elvis in person many years ago, but this time he gave me a present and a kiss. I will never take off my bracelet that he gave me.” She wouldn’t let us take the tag off and said, “I want everyone to know how much it cost and that he loves me.”

It was a wonderful night for all the elders, family members and staff. The magic of Christmas joy, hope and love…

– Glenda Trentham, Quality of Life Director

This fall, about 170 Signature residents and caregivers traveled to Branson, Missouri for the annual resident vacation. For a glimpse of the action, check out the video below.