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Evansville Nursing Home Starts Variety Channel for Residents

Nursing home residents are still feeling the emotional toll of being unable to participate in their normal activities outside the facility. And one local retirement home on the westside of Evansville is trying to help entertain their residents safely by hosting virtual shows.

Posted: Sep 14, 2020 4:51 PM

No field trips and no visitors, this has been the reality of seniors for months.

But a new channel for residents at West River Health Campus in Evansville is giving them a chance to have similar fun once again.

“We’ve been limited on the ability to gather residents together for activities because of the coronavirus,” said Andy Russell, executive director of West River Health Campus. “But now, they can actually stay in their rooms and still be able to see the activities going on within the facility.”

Which includes their own variety show with comedy, sing-alongs and exercise.

“We kind of have to look outside the box a little bit because they are accustomed to having so many activities here and being able to see their families without much restriction,” Russell said. “But in the last six months or so, that has been restricted, so we kind of look for ways to keep them engaged.”

One resident, Donna Butcher, whose husband passed away a few years ago, who also lived at the facility, is channeling her grief into something positive, hosting a show of her own on the channel for other residents to enjoy.

“I woke up one morning and thought, ‘This cannot be -- I’ve got to be busy,’” Butcher said. “I hated myself for just a little while. And then when this started, a whole new world opened for me.”

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