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The Hall Of Fame is an innovative Quality of Life Program developed by Signature HealthCARE designed to honor the lives and accomplishments of our residents, stakeholders, volunteers, and others who have had such an impact on our centers, communities, and nation.

On October 9, 2014, 87 Signature HealthCARE centers across the southeast and midwest will induct over 350 distinguished individuals into the Hall of Fame, in local ceremonies featuring celebrity speakers and presentations about the inductees lives and accomplishments.

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When we think of who we are as people, we realize there are certain aspects that are core to our makeup. For instance, every single person on the planet desires to love and to be loved. Every single person wants to succeed in life. On September 4, 2014, Elders from the Signature Hometown segment gathered in Winchester, KY for a little friendly competition. Yes, the primary goal was to create an environment that fostered fun and enjoyment; however, any time a game is played, our inner competitor rises to the surface.

This year’s Signature Senior Olympics was focused on the three Elder Vacations that are planned for this year: Panama City Beach, Gatlinburg, and Walt Disney World. The games, décor, and music focused on some aspect of the three vacations. Each theme had three different types of events; one cognitive, one physical, and one sensory.  For Panama City Beach the events were Clam Dig, Wet T-Shirt Throw, and Beach Party Playlist. For Walt Disney World the events were Tomorrowland Speedway, Disney Movie Trivia, and Cinderella’s Carriage Challenge. Last but not least, the Gatlinburg events were Moonshine Pong (ping pong balls were thrown into empty mason jars), Hillbilly Dickshunairy Spelling Words, and Gold Mining.

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Our mission at Signature HealthCARE states that we are a family-based organization that will revolutionize the Long Term Care industry through a culture of resident-centered healthcare services, personalized spirituality, real quality of life initiatives, and Stakeholder education and empowerment, to earn the trust of every resident, family, and community we serve. We take every part of that seriously. One of the key parts of our mission is serving our residents, their families, and our community.

Recently, we had the pleasure of doing something that did that very thing. Our Back to School Bash that took place on August 28, 2014 was definitely a success.

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Running is nowhere near the top of the list of my favorite things to do. However, when an Elder wants to participate in a 5k to raise money for efforts to fight cancer, who am I to say no. On August 16, 2014 a group of Elders and Stakeholders from Signature HealthCARE of Pikeville took up arms to fight for a cure.

Cancer can be placed in a category of words that have a unique impact on people. When the word is uttered, it is almost as if it sucks all of the air out of the room; heads turn, and people stop talking. All forms of cancer are unrelenting, hurting not only those diagnosed, but those closest to them as well. It seems to me that cancer is becoming more and more common, that if battle lines were drawn it would amass quite a formidable army. However, do not be dismayed, our forces are growing in number.

Pikeville Medical Center had their annual Colors of Courage 5k Walk/Run on August 16, 2014, with the proceeds going to benefit underinsured patients of the Leonard Lawson Cancer Center. This race, and many like it, are becoming more and more popular. People are not only giving from their pockets, but also their time, their energy, their hearts. That’s the reason our Elders wanted to participate, they knew they were limited in finances, but they knew they had the time and they wanted to help.

So, being fully immersed in the spirit of fun, we donned our rainbow tutus, pink/gold/silver wigs, and cancer awareness necklaces, and headed for the starting line. We eagerly awaited the start of the race, and it came before we knew it. Like a bullet out of a gun the mass of people moved at the sound of the horn. As the dust began settling you could make out our silhouettes, and slowly but surely you could see us moving. Slowly, but surely we marched onward, every step taking us toward our goal.

As we crossed the finish line we weren’t worried about our time, or in what place we finished. You could see it clearly as you looked at the Elders, their faces beaming. They didn’t rescue someone from a burning building, but they helped take a step toward finding the cure to cancer. They didn’t save someone from drowning, but they did help bring awareness to the many types of cancer and available treatment options. No, they didn’t do those things, but what they did do was give all they had to help those who needed it.

– Matthew Reed, Chaplain

Check out the article below, written by Chaplain Matthew Reed and published by the Appalachian News-Express. (Click image to enlarge…)

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In this day and age education has increased in prestige. Education is sought after by both young and old, rich and poor. There is something inside of us that yearns to learn; a thirst that can only be quenched by increasing our knowledge. Most people think that when one stays at a long-term care facility that all educational ventures end, however, that is not the case. Our very own Jack Taylor is the perfect example of that.

A couple of months ago Jack told the staff that he wanted to get his GED. Since Learning is one of the three pillars that make us who we are as a company, it was only natural for us to help Jack attain his scholarly goals.  Of course we wanted to do everything we could to make this possible for him, so ideas of how to make it happen started flowing. We have numerous family members stop by and visit their family members multiple times a week, but there was one who stood out in our minds.

To say that Mary Webb is a retired educator is a grievous understatement. She received her Bachelor of Science in education from Illinois State University, and shortly after suffered a stroke. Not to let this ruin her hopes of becoming a math educator she had to relearn everything in her respective field of study. Unrelenting Mrs. Webb made a full recovery, and went on to teach at the elementary, middle, and high school levels for 10 years. She then returned and earned her Master of Science in education, and shortly after her Doctor of Education in math education, and she taught at the University of Pikeville for 25 years. You very well might know her from being on the cover of Pro-Files Third Edition 2013.

What really makes her stand out is that she faithfully visits her husband at our facility. She comes rain or shine, hot or cold to spend time with the man that has her heart. She is tenacious, loving, and gifted; and to us, she was the perfect person to ask for help; and thankfully, she agreed to take Jack under her wing.

It started slowly, creating a solid base on which they could build. What started with letters and words, soon changed to small sentences. Before we knew it Jack was reading small books, and even adding and subtracting. To see him progress and learn was a sight, but what made your heart smile was seeing how excited he was going around reading to people.

If seeing him read made your heart smile, then seeing him stand behind the podium at his graduation party thanking everyone for their support would make your heart break. Jack was awarded a Certificate of Completion for his Pre-GED training with Mary Webb, and his happiness was uncontainable. Jack was happy to have completed his pre-training and to celebrate with his friends, and now he is one step closer to reaching his goal of getting his GED. I’m sure that he the support of those that were gathered, but what Jack doesn’t realize is that he has stirred something inside of all of us that know him. He has shown us that if you want something bad enough, no goal is out of reach.

– Matthew Reed, Chaplain

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It might be cliché to say but time is truly like a river. It’s constantly moving, and it seems that as we age time goes by faster. Knowing the brevity of life, we humans mark certain moments in order to fully celebrate and enjoy our short time here on earth. This month marks a significant moment for us here at Signature HealthCARE of Pikeville: Lou Wright, one of our Elders, celebrates her 15th year with us.

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One thing we lose as we age is the enjoyment of the simple things life has to offer. We become so focused on the hustle and bustle, that we don’t stop and enjoy the small things that make our life worth living. At Signature HealthCARE of Pikeville, we are making the simple things a priority; even if it is taking a quick dip in a pool.

When word got out that one of our Elders had never been in a pool before, a still shock spread throughout the masses. The first thought that permeated our minds was disbelief, followed closely by plans to make this happen. The only plan of action that seemed to make sense at this point was clear, if we were going to do this we had to do it right. If it was going to be Sadie’s first time in a pool then it wouldn’t be your ordinary pool, it was going to be a water park!

As the day had finally come to celebrate the small things, you could see the nervous excitement on her face. The look on her face could be compared to a child waking up on Christmas and running to see what Santa had left them. The look of wonder and curiosity was painted on her face as she stared at the foreign scene of water slides, pools, and fountains.

When it was time for Sadie to get into the water her only words were, “All right!” As she drew closer to the water you could feel the excitement mount, if it was a movie scene it would’ve been in slow motion and the orchestral music would be at its crescendo. Finally, when you could cut the tension with a knife she entered the water. A smile was plastered on her face and she screamed, “Ooh ooh ooh! It’s so cold!” After getting in she was like a kid in a candy store. If you asked her if she had a good time, she would look up at you; smile her warm and friendly smile, and say, “I sure did.”

It is moments like this that make life worth living. Yes, we have to work, and yes our lives are busy, but when we slow down and think for a second, we realize that our lives could do with more simple things. Our goal is to provide our Elders with all of life’s simple pleasures; even if it is just a quick dip in a pool.

– Matthew Reed, Chaplain 

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While driving, turning left may seem like any other mundane task, however, on a dirt track, at 10 o’clock at night, it gets your motorhead running. If you don’t think so just ask our resident enthusiasts here at Signature HealthCARE of Pikeville, and they will get you to change gears.

The idea to go to a dirt track race came up weeks ago, and on July 5, 2014, we had the opportunity to bring our residents’ hopes to fruition. As our orange bus topped the hill you could see the heads turn and the strange looks don the faces of those who arrived before us. This was not the typical place for us to be was a common thought among the spectators, to be sure…until now.

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It seems that in order to be a successful fisherman you must be good at two things; the first, actually catching fish, the second, storytelling. Fisherman’s tales are living, breathing things, growing more farfetched with every telling. Ranging from the length of the fight to the size of the beast of the depths, it’s never a dull moment from start to finish; and if you asked those that went fishing yesterday from Signature HealthCARE of Pikeville they would all tell you their own version of the one that got away.

As our elders were getting on the bus, you could see different things on their faces. Some showed a face of steeled determination, others the look of excitement, while one or two displayed an eagerness for a day of peace. Once we arrived and the fishing poles were out, everyone was ready to get their line in the water. After what seemed like hours the first fish was finally on land. What the pint sized minnow lacked it size, it more than made up for in the fight that brought it in, lasting a whopping 5 seconds.

Once the first fish made land fall, the multitudes came shortly after. Jack Taylor made the catch of the day. After seeing his pole bend to touch the water, he sprung into action, grabbing his fishing pole and started reeling furiously. Everyone was keeping close watch as he pulled his catch out of the water. Lo and behold it was a giant…clam shell.

Although our daily tally was lacking, the laughter and fellowship more than made up for it. After loading up and heading back there was a sense of unfinished business lingering in the air. I feel sorry for the fish on our next trip; we’ve already heard whispers of a fish fry in the works.

– Matthew Reed, Chaplain