The Carrollton Rotary Club, part of a global network of 1.2 million friends and neighbors, is working to provide emotional support to patients staying in local nursing homes. The mission of #NotForgotten is to help to reestablish a human connection to those that have been in isolation in nursing homes, “I had both parents have to go into nursing homes during the pandemic last year, and it was heartbreaking to only be able to communicate by knocking on windows or wait for a nurse to be able to procure a phone,” said Scott Robison, President of the 2021-22 Carrollton Rotary.
“We have decided to focus on art and music to help reestablish a human connection with our seniors as facilities begin to lift restrictions due to vaccinations.”
The Rotary Club is working to obtain wireless microphone karaoke machines for sing-a-longs, karaoke, and storytelling to be led by volunteers, as well as arts and craft supplies for art and craft classes such as residents painting a flower or pumpkin to be led by volunteers as an example. “We’ve noticed that patients with Alzheimer’s, for example, can’t recognize any friends or family members due to the disease, but if they hear an old Elvis song, they actually start to sing along to the song,” said Robison. “That’s what inspired us to do arts and music.”
The initiative will also work to partner with the local school systems and faith-based organizations to gather volunteers to help provide this service, whether it be leading karaoke sing-alongs and art classes, or something as simple as writing letters of encouragement or telling a story. “The last thing we were able to do before the pandemic hit was we had a volunteer bring in a bunch of 12”x12” canvases and teach all the residents how to paint a pumpkin in the fall of 2019,” Robison continued. “To this day, almost two years later, we still have residents that talk about that and how much of a good time they had. It is really inspiring to know that this can have such an impact on people and how much good can come out of a program like this.”
The Rotary Club will also partner with schools to bring awareness to this campaign by hosting a ‘sing off’ where each school will have an “America’s Got Talent” type contest and pick two students from each school to have a sing off at a free concert at the AMP, with the theme being Not Forgotten. This campaign hopes to bring awareness to the younger generation and further send the message of hope and love to our seniors, letting them know that they are also Not Forgotten.
Check out the Carrollton Rotary Club on Facebook for more details on how you can donate, volunteer, help provide love to our great seniors, and support this important cause. The Rotary Club hosts meetings every Tuesday and also streams them live on facebook. https://www.facebook.com/carrolltonrotary/
List of Assisted Living Homes Benefiting from #NotForgotten
Majestic Senior Living
Special thanks to Courtney Ellerbee from Cottage Landing who helped contribute to this article.