New Richmond, W.Va. - Outside the dining room at Wyoming Nursing & Rehabilitation Center (N&RC) patients and family members waited patiently for the doors to the dining hall to open. There was excited chatter back and forth as facility employees were putting the finishing touches on the center’s 5th Annual Mall Day. The annual event brings the holiday hustle and bustle to the 60 patients who call Wyoming N&RC home.
Magic Mart, who has more than 20 locations located in West Virginia, Virginia and North Carolina, and vendors selling jewelry, wreaths and homemade peanut butter balls and candy set-up shop for the annual “Mall Day” on Thursday to bring the Christmas spirit to the facility.
When the doors finally opened, the residents and family lined up in the hallway poured into the dining room where Magic Mart had set up a mini-version of their store. The walls were lined with items such as shoes, toys for grandchildren and household items. The center of the room had rack and racks of clothing to choose from as the aisles were lined up with people minutes after the doors opened.
Magic Mart employees Jean Oliver, Department Head, Gail Woolum, Department Head of the Women’s section, Tammy Nay, Assistant Manager, Katrina Lusk, Head Stock Clerk and other employees were available to assist the residents. One Magic Mart employee came dressed as Santa Claus and visited throughout the facility.
“This gives these residents an opportunity to shop and browse our store without leaving their home, and we love coming here each year to see their faces,” Nay said.
Beginning Wyoming N&RC Mall Day
“Before this, we were taking five residents and five employees at a time to the department store,” said Mary Nelson, Activities Director for Wyoming N&RC. “I thought to myself; there had to be a better way.”
So Nelson called the Oceana Magic Mart and proposed an out-of-the-box idea; to bring the department store to the residents at the center. At first the store was a little reluctant to the idea. However, after seeing the difference they made and making more money in sales than anticipated, the department store has been back each year. The vendors commented that it touched their hearts to have the opportunity to give back to the seniors in the facility.
Nelson calls the store and provides the size of clothing and shoes for residents at the center, as well as a list of other items she believes the residents would like or find useful. In particular, the store brings toys so the patients can shop for their grandchildren.
Five Years and Growing
Butch and Kathy Thorn of Mullens, who both have relatives in the center, have been coming to the event since the beginning and like that it gives their family members a chance to browse and look around just like they would at the mall. “This is the best nursing home we have visited,” Butch said.
Additionally, Wyoming employees would then take orders for lunch from the residents and their family and serves food to replicate the dining experience.
“It is amazing that Magic Mart takes the time to load their truck with items and bring their store to us for these residents,” Nelson said. The items around the room and racks are placed lower so residents in wheelchairs and geriatric chairs are able to see and browse the items.
Additionally, Magic Mart also donates items to the facility so every patient has the opportunity to receive or get a gift for someone from the annual event.
“We are incredibly grateful to Magic Mart, our other vendors and employees that support this wonderful event each year,” Nelson said.
About Wyoming Nursing & Rehabilitation Center
Wyoming N&RC is a 60-person skilled nursing and rehabilitation center. The center is a recipient of the 2016 National Silver Achievement in Quality Award from the American Health Care Association/National Centers for Assisted Living. Additionally, the center is a Four-Star rated center from the Centers for Medicaid/Medicare Services Nursing Home Compare Program.