Nursing Home Residents Get A Taste Of Fresh And Local

Judy Kramer
County Reporter
Many retirement and nursing homes have activities for the enjoyment and social engagement of residents, but lunching out for those who are able might be one of the more popular options. Each month residents of Warsaw Health and Rehabilitation can sign up for a free lunch at R-Bar, and choose anything they want from the menu. 
“They thoroughly enjoy going to lunch at the R-Bar,” said Reba Slavens, Admissions Coordinator at the skilled nursing facility. “It is a chance to get out of the building, and they can choose what they want to order. A different small group goes to R-Bar each month after signing up for the trip. Our van can only take about three residents at a time.”
R-Bar proprietors, Kevn Lapitus and Stacey Taylor, decided to offer the meals to residents of Warsaw Health and Rehabilitation after Lapitus became involved in a fundraiser to help purchase a wheelchair swing for the facility.
“I donated some money for the swing, but when a couple of us (donors) realized that there still was not quite enough to make the purchase, we held a spaghetti dinner and donated the proceeds toward the swing. When I was at the nursing home during the presentation of the swing, I started talking to Reba Slavens  and some of the residents, and decided to do something fun for them. The diners aren’t afraid to try new things and order such menu items as steak, hamburgers and even catfish tacos.
Slavens said that there are other activities going on for residents including an all-time favorite Bingo, plus ice cream socials, visiting entertainers such as the Glory Singers, Karaoke, and even a carnival. She said that there was a snow-cone machine, a cup-cake walk, turtle races and other events at the carnival. A Water Day or Field Day is being planned for July 19, when residents can slip and slide, have balloon fights and do other wet things.
Slavens said that there are a total of 78 residents at the facility, with six of them currently in the hospital. She said it is a skilled nursing facility that provides respite care, and permanent housing. It provides round-the-clock care with physician oversight. She applauded the help of people like Lapitus and Taylor for caring about the residents and said that “Working together in the community creates more opportunities.”
There will be a volunteer breakfast for volunteers at the Warsaw Health and Rehabilitation Center on August 13, at 8:30. It will also be a time to discuss new ideas for the facility.