Fair Haven celebrates National Nursing Home Week


SIDNEY — May 14-19 is National Nursing Home Week and for the first time since the COVID-19 pandemic, Fair Haven Shelby County is hosting a week full of public events to include the community and show their appreciation for their residents and staff members.

“It’s been so hard for our residents over the past several years,” said Robin Burleson, director of Social Services and Admissions at Fair Haven. “I think that’s why this year’s Nursing Home Week is so much more of a celebration, because of the fact that we’re all coming out of that, it’s a time of renewal. A time of just kind of getting back to normal for all of us.”

Starting out on Monday, May 15, Fair Haven is hosting a tree planting ceremony at 2 p.m. Then on Tuesday and Thursday, the residents of Fair Haven Shelby County, located at 2901 Fair Road, Sidney, will venture into the community to hand out hand-made paper flowers with inspirational quotes to random community members as a way to support the week’s theme of “cultivating kindness” by participating in random acts of kindness. On Wednesday, the residents and staff are participating in a scavenger hunt and on Thursday staff and residents are being treated to a spa day, complete with hand massages and more.

The week will be capped off with a Carnival Day at Fair Haven on Friday, May 19, from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. The carnival is free and open to the public from noon to 2 p.m. and as another way to support the theme, Fair Haven has invited the Shelby County Animal Rescue Foundation (SCARF) to host an adoption event and Hits 105.5 to broadcast the event and music, live, from noon to 2 p.m.

“We chose to partner with SCARF because our residents are big animal lovers and our staff are big animal lovers and the theme of the week is “cultivating kindness” so we wanted to work with another part of the community and cultivate a little bit of kindness and give that back a little bit. Our residents have been working on making dog toys to donate to SCARF and we’ve been doing a can drive here for their Cancer Canines fundraising,” said Beth Fuelling with Fair Haven Shelby County.

The Carnival and all other National Nursing Home Week events are planned and organized by residents and staff members of Fair Haven Shelby County with funding from the facility’s Activity Fund. The facility did receive donations from community members including Amy Poeppelman who donated a soft serve ice cream machine, a cotton candy machine and the carnival games, and Brian Wyke who donated a popcorn maker and a cotton candy machine to be used at the Carnival.

“We have to fundraise and get creative but we’ve got a great team that gets really, really creative at coming up with those ideas, we’ve been blessed with a lot of donations and extra help,” said Burleson.

The Fair Haven Carnival Day includes games, food and entertainment for everyone. Games include a ring toss, knock ‘em down, penny toss and more. There will also be residents and staff disguised as circus performers such as a bearded lady or a strong man, event the administration is taking part. Curtis O’Neal, administrator, agreed to be the Carnival’s fortune teller, complete with a “crystal ball.”

According Fuelling, the carnival is both for residents and staff. If staff members are working on May 19, they are encouraged to join in the festivities and if they are not working, they are invited to bring friends and families out to help them celebrate Fair Haven’s National Nursing Home Week.

“We celebrate every year to show our appreciation for, mainly, our staff. We want them to know that we truly appreciate everything they do. Not just us as the adminsitrative team or management team but our residents appreciate them and the community appreciates them. They work very hard and we want them to know that we do notice it and see it,” said Fuelling.

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