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Senior finds ways to celebrate life



COAL GROVE — In her brightly colored floral dress, Faye Carpenter sat in her room Tuesday at Sunset Nursing Center while the program director put the finishing touches on her hairdo for Hawaiian day.

Carpenter, 71, sported an orange flower in her bun and wore cheerfully decorated sandals, which she made herself.

Last week was National Nursing Home Week and the residents and staff at Sunset Nursing Center celebrated with special actives and themes.

This year’s theme was “Celebrating the Journey,” and recognized residents in long-term care settings who live life to the fullest.

Carpenter, a 37-year-resident at Sunset, said she still lives life to the fullest.

Program director, Kyrie Waller, said Carpenter is the longest-tenured resident at the center.

“She is very girly,” Waller said. “She loves manicures. She loves facials. She loves getting her hair done.”

For Mother’s Day, Carpenter said the staff at the center did her makeup and hair and took photographs, which she enjoyed.

Carpenter also said she enjoyed getting out and lying in the sun as often as she can.

“It’s quiet and open out there,” she said. “Sometimes I eat out there.”

Carpenter does exercises to keep her body moving and also enjoys arts and crafts.

“She goes through all my arts and crafts stuff,” Waller said. “She makes jewelry. She makes lanyards for her glasses.”

Carpenter has been a resident of the center since her mid-30’s due to various medical issues, but said she has adjusted to life there.

“I’d rather be at home but I’ve dealt with it pretty good,” she said.

Carpenter offered a bit of advice for those who have made the transition into a long-term care setting. She recommended getting involved in activities, like crafts, or pampering yourself by getting your hair done.