Forget Me Not: Making Craig’s elders feel special with Nifty 90s party | CraigDailyPress.com

Forget Me Not: Making Craig’s elders feel special with Nifty 90s party

Noelle Leavitt Riley

Sometimes, happiness not only makes your face smile but it also makes your heart smile.

That’s what happened to me on Wednesday when I attended the Nifty 90s party at Sunset Meadows, where eight seniors 90 and over were honored with a luau birthday party.

The dining hall at Sunset Meadows was packed with elders and their families, making them feel special for successfully living long lives.

"They do wonderful things," said Lynn Michel, whose 91-year-old mother, Iris Kuskie, lives at Sunset. "It’s great to see how they treat the seniors here."

Indeed it is.

I’ve always said that senior citizens have long been forgotten in society — they’re often left alone in nursing homes with no visitors, no cards… nothing.

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That was not the case Wednesday, and I have huge respect for not only the residents at Sunset Meadows I and II, but also the staff.

It was also wonderful to see the families of elders join in the fun, celebrating their loved ones birthdays. My Grandma Mary Leavitt lived to 92, and I was with her almost every day before she passed away in 2006.

She had broken her hip and was confined to a nursing home. Prior to being moved to a nursing home, she lived in senior housing and assisted living.

Once she got to the nursing home, I was appalled at how many elders were left alone. Their families didn’t visit, they never received cards — they were forgotten.

From my experience with Sunset Meadows, that is not the case, and it appears that the staff and residents’ families have a big place in their hearts for their loved ones.

"I think it’s a wonderful celebration and an inspiration to keep going," said Deena Tarango, who traveled to Craig from Rawlins, Wyoming, to celebrate the day with her Aunt Ruth White, 90.

I commend the employees at Sunset and the residents’ families for going out of their way to make the seniors feel special.

Taking time away from our busy lives to make our parents and grandparents feel loved is one of the best gifts we can give to our elders. After all, if it weren’t for them, we wouldn’t be here.

Noelle Leavitt Riley is the editor of the Saturday Morning Press and the Craig Daily Press. She and her husband, Shawn Riley, run the Forget Me Not organization where they deliver donated flowers to senior citizens, letting them know they’re not forgotten by society. You can reach her at nriley@CraigDailyPress.com or at 970-875-1790.

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