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Today’s Press Republican Editorial Has an Important Message

VIEWPOINT

Local nursing homes need Santa help

Staff at area nursing homes will do their best to make the holidays special for residents who live there. But without public help, it will hard to make sure everyone has something to open on Christmas.

Some nursing-home residents have family members who will visit, brightening a day that is supposed to be all about merriment. A lucky few will even be taken out to enjoy the day with family.

But the sad truth is that many residents don’t have relatives around here — or at least any who care enough to visit on Christmas.

Employees at nursing homes in Clinton, Essex and Franklin counties demonstrate their kindness and compassion throughout the year in many ways, and they work extra hard during the holidays to make sure residents feel the festive spirit.

Local schools, church groups and organizations pitch in, sometimes with gifts, sometimes by performing holiday music. And gifts from the public are an essential element of the holiday celebrations.

Teresa Lemieux of Evergreen Valley Nursing Home in Plattsburgh tells us preparations have already started for those events.

“With the holidays quickly approaching, in nursing homes we have to start thinking about Christmas now,” she explained. “It takes a lot of work to be able to provide a special Christmas for all of our residents.

“One of the things that we truly rely on to make all of our residents’ wishes to come true are community donations. So as the Christmas season is approaching, I ask everyone to take a moment and consider the residents who have to live in nursing homes.”

Her suggestions, which are the same kinds of items all nursing homes are looking for, include: body wash, lotion, shampoo, perfume, body spray, cologne, pajamas, hats, scarves, calendars, puzzles, games, decks of cards, socks, slippers, candy, blankets, deodorant, watches, radios, MP3 players, headphones, DVDs and CDs.

“As you can see, most of what they are looking for are small items, but these small items mean so much to someone who can’t get out and purchase them on their own,” Lemieux said. “Thank you in advance for your kind donations.”

She said donations of wrapping paper and gift bags are also welcome and noted how much visitors mean to the residents.

“Consider giving your time,” she wrote. “Residents love visitors, carolers and visits from children.”

Each year, when we encourage giving to nursing homes, we are reminded of Dr. Angelo LaMariana, a SUNY Plattsburgh professor who died in 2009, just before his 95th birthday.

He lived independently until the end, but he knew many older people weren’t as fortunate. He would show up at the Press-Republican every year around the holidays to make sure we planned to write an editorial urging people to donate Christmas gifts to area nursing homes.

So we ask you, for the residents and in memory of Dr. LaMariana, to deliver some happiness to a local nursing home.

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