DEL NORTE— River Valley Inn welcomed High Valley Community Center (HVCC) junior students to the nursing home on the afternoon of Sept. 14 to play bingo with residents. The afternoon was welcomed by both home staff and residents as well as students from HVCC. “We are trying to schedule at least two visits a month and maybe incorporate making crafts, having snacks, and fun activities,” said Program Coordinator Kathryn Trujillo.
Facility owner Joyce Humiston has relayed time and time again that she hopes to see HVCC visit throughout the year and show ownership of the home within their community. “This place belongs to the community, just as much as it belongs to those who live there,” said Humiston. HVCC is more than happy to answer the call and bring the community to the nursing home again in the near future.
Students gathered in the community room and set up along the table with residents to play a friendly game of bingo. The afternoon went by quickly, as everyone in attendance enjoyed the thrill of the game. Residents were happy to have the teens in attendance and voiced their pleasure for their guests several times. Students were friendly and polite with residents and home staff as the afternoon wore on, creating an inviting atmosphere that the home hopes to enjoy again and again.
Humiston has reached out to the community several times to ask that community members feel free to visit any time they want and to come say hello to residents. “The public is always welcome. We want them to come and visit, volunteer and visit with these folks. The people of Del Norte have been wonderful,” stated Humiston in a previous interview.
She continued to state that, ““The facility had a huge impact on the community because not only do we work to give the senior community a home, we brought all of the displaced people from the previous facility back to the area and closer to their families,” said Humiston. “We want the community to know one thing and that is they are welcome at the facility. Come in and volunteer to play a game or read a book to one of our guests. Building a facility like this in a rural area is a risk, but it’s worth it and the community being involved is what makes us successful.”
The home opened officially in August after waiting for state approval and has been in full swing ever since. HVCC staff have commented that they hope to hold visits more often and make it a regular program for HVCC students.