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August 13, 2010

ULM plays host to annual Nursing Home Olympics

The University of Louisiana at Monroe recently hosted the 17th Annual Louisiana Nursing Home Olympics sponsored by Region 5 of the Louisiana Nursing Home Association and the ULM Department of Gerontology, Sociology and Political Science.

The LNHA started the Louisiana Nursing Home Olympics in 1983 as a way to improve the quality of life for Louisiana nursing home residents by providing an arena for residents to remain physically active, socialize with peers, and compete in fun events designed with resident’s rehabilitation in mind, while savoring the thrill of victory.

More than 350 residents from 26 LNHA member homes representing 12 parishes across northeast Louisiana competed in numerous physical and mental challenges in Fant-Ewing Coliseum on Aug. 6, including the Softball Toss, Discuss Throw, Beanbag Toss, Chariot racing, and Socrates Trivia; in fact, the gold medal winners in Socrates Trivia did not miss a single question.

Residents were divided by gender and age for each event. Gold, Silver,and Bronze medals were awarded to the winners in each category, and door prizes were also distributed at the event.

The gracious support of the many healthcare vendors and service providers who were on hand made the event possible, according to Dr. Kevin Unter, ULM’s department head for Gerontology, Sociology and Political Science, and Rhonda McGee, facility administrator for Hickory Manor of Bastrop and Region 5 Olympic Committee Chairperson.

“Since 1995, when I became employed in the long-term care industry, one of the most rewarding aspects of the Olympics has been to see residents return year after year to compete in the events,” said McGee.

“The Olympics are merely one aspect of quality care in a resident’s life, which proves nursing facilities do have positive impact on the lives of those that they service.”

"It was impossible to stand in the Coliseum and not feel the energy from the participants and attendees,” agreed Unter. “Each facility had their own theme, with shirts and displays, and the spirit the residents showed nearly blew the doors off Fant-Ewing. What an absolutely tremendous day. My congratulations to not only the medal winners, but to everyone who came out to participate in this great event.”

Unter also expressed his gratitude to all of those at ULM – including Bobby Staub, Doug Mosely, Jennifer Holdtzclaw, and Keith Brown – whose assistance helped make the day possible.

“We will be back next year, bigger and better," he said.

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