Family Style Christmas

By: Gary Smollen Email
By: Gary Smollen Email

Christmas is supposed to be spent with family but sometimes that isn't possible. To give the residents of the Life Care Center of Omaha a memorable time the caregivers at the center threw a Christmas party for their clients.

Complete with Santa and the good Grinch handing out presents the residents of the Life Care Center of Omaha get a family style Christmas.

Logan Finn will only be at the center for a few weeks but those few weeks include Christmas and Thanksgiving.

Logan Finn says, "It is very different for me and I'm missing a lot of the family and a lot of the activities. Being by myself is different, not having that warmth and everything."

The Christmas party and gifts give the residents a greater sense of community.

Janet Pawelko loves the blanket and the friendships she's made with the staff but is also eagerly awaiting a visit from her brother.

Janet Pawelko says, "He lives in Tulsa, Oklahoma but my brother made is special for me so I could see him and that means a lot to me."

The staff helps tailor the gifts to the interests of the residents but the executive director says the family feel of the Christmas event is the result of a caring staff.

Sara Delahoyde says, "Nobody wants to be in a nursing home over the holidays even if you are here for short term skilled, so we try as much as possible to make it like home."

The Christmas party proves that a little attention and warmth can make a big difference in someone's life.

This is the second year for big Christmas celebration and gifts at the Life Care Center of Omaha.

It was started when an employee, Maria Johnson, started "Operation Adopt a Grandparent." She hopes to eventually give a Christmas present to everyone living in a residence facility in Omaha.

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