Updated: Apr 5
By: Ashley Strehl - Managing Editor of Print and Digital Publications
The COVID-19 pandemic of 2020 presented many barriers to our residents within our long-term care communities. Residents were not able to have as many visitors as they were before and activities within the homes significantly diminished.
Activities within long-term care communities are vital to the development of social interaction, overall morale, and the mental and physical capacity of the residents. Due to the pandemic of 2020, activities within the homes suffered from lack of outside resources and volunteers to visit the home with activities. A recent decrease in pandemic cases has finally opened up opportunities for residents to interact with activities provided by outside resources. Staff members like Activities Director at Oak Hills Care Center, Bobbi Thomas, and LPN, Crystal Johnson, have recently done their part in making each day special for their residents.
Last Saturday, Johnson, mother of a member in the non-profit organization, Downed Bikers Association (DBA) of Oklahoma City, invited 30+ members to drive their motorcycles up to the long-term community of Jones and pay an outdoor visit to their residents. “The members of DBA are really good with veterans and retired bikers,” Johnson said. “So, I knew they would be great with our residents, seeing as how we have veterans and retired bikers here as well. They love to volunteer, and I knew they would be able to physically assist with helping the residents get on the bikes. The members of DBA are outgoing and very wonderful people."
DBA was created to aid those lost or confined to a hospital due to a motorcycle accident. There are currently six chapters across the state in Oklahoma City, Western Plains of Elk City, Tulsa, Enid, Twin Rivers of Vinita and FootHills of Tahlequah. “Some people have a bad outlook on bikers,” Johnson said. “A lot of them aren’t like that at all. They’re doctors, nurses and lawyers, too. They’re just like you and me, good people.”
DBA members volunteered to let residents try on vests, hats, and helmets and let them take pictures on their motorcycles. Thomas says that this afternoon meet-and-greet more than exceeded her expectations.
“I was expecting maybe five to ten bikes, but then all of the sudden 30+ bikes showed up,” Thomas said. “We have a lot of residents that were bikers in their younger years, and we felt like letting them see all the bikes and new faces would help them bring back some good times of when they were younger."
"For me, it was my favorite activity that we have had out at Oak Hills. We laughed, we cried, we laughed and cried again, it was amazing.” - Activities Director at Oak Hills Care Center, Bobbi Thomas
To learn more about DBA of Oklahoma City, you can visit their website at https://natdba.org. To learn more about services offered to residents at Oak Hills Care Center, you can visit their website at https://www.oakhillscarecenter.com.