Oaks Nursing lends a 'helping hand'

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Savanna Gregg/Burnet Bulletin
Left, Staff members at Oaks Nursing Center in Burnet celebrate Marble Falls High School senior Bryce Henry at the facility Thursday, May 23 for his dedication to the medical field Henry was the inspiration for Oaks' High School Senior of the Year sponsorship after he completed a project on Alzheimer's Disease and made plans to pursue a career in the medical field after high school.
Right, Burnet High School graduate Samantha Robison is honored at Oaks Nursing Center in Burnet Thursday, May 23 in recognition of her passion and dedication to the medical field. Robison will attend Texas A&M University to become a nurse practitioner.








By Savanna Gregg

Staff Writer

Burnet Bulletin

Each member of the staff at Oaks Nursing Center in Burnet lends a helping hand to their residents in many ways. The team spends their days providing for the individuals in their care, ensuring every need is met beyond their best abilities.

Oaks Nursing Center recently established the Oaks Helping Hands program in which staff members organize a volunteer group to assist the area's elderly residents in need of help around the house and with other tasks such as lawn mowing and gardening.

The staff intends to do a project for someone every three months as a way to give back to the community whose elderly residents they serve.

Oaks Helping Hands' goal is to focus on elderly citizens who may not have the funding to live in an assisted living facility or pay someone to finish tasks like mowing lawns and housework.

“The idea came from a previous administrator who wanted to get out in the community and give back,” said Oaks Business Office Manager Trish Weikel. “We recently mowed the lawn of an elderly man; a few volunteers came together and worked for hours on it, and you can tell it really impacted him. He still to this day tells us how much it meant to him.”

The volunteers may help random individuals in the community, or the family members of Oaks residents who are missing their companions and in need of an extra hand.

“People are very enthusiastic about it,” said receptionist Dixie Phillips. “We even have families who have come to us asking if they can come and help.”

Helping others outside of the workplace is important to the administrative staff at Oaks Nursing Center because it gives them a chance to make even more of a difference in the lives of Burnet residents on their own time.

“It really gives us a sense of fulfillment,” said Admissions Coordinator Teresa Ruddick. “We are not the floor staff here at Oaks, so we aren't always doing hands-on things, and when we go out and help someone in the community it reminds us what we are here for.”

The staff at Oaks Nursing Center urges the public to provide feedback on this project, and welcomes suggestions of projects that may need completing, or community members in need of support around their household.

Community members interested in volunteering alongside these staff members, or those with suggestions are invited to reach out to the center by phone at 512-756-6044 or email Administrator Michael Foley at mfoley@seniorcaremgmt.net.

As part of another community outreach project, Oaks Nursing Center has established an annual High School Senior of the Year award, which will be presented to a Burnet High School senior who is following a career path in the medical field.

Inspired by Marble Falls senior Bryce Henry, the award recognizes students who know the true meaning of being a caregiver. Henry recently completed a project on Alzheimer's disease, and plans on attending Austin Community College and the Fire Academy after graduation to become a paramedic firefighter.

Henry then plans on returning to school to complete his Bachelor’s Degree in Nursing. Henry was honored for his dedication to the medical field, and is special to the staff at Oaks Nursing Center because they work so closely with these individuals on a daily basis, and know the importance of students becoming involved to continue caring for those in need.

“Everyone that works in this industry knows Alzheimer's is something we are learning about rapidly,” said Trish Weikel. “For a young guy to take that project on and learn is super inspiring to me.”

Another student who was honored this year was Burnet High School graduate Samantha Robison, who submitted a letter concerning her passion for the medical field earlier this year. Robison grew up watching her mother take care of individuals and soon decided she wanted to pursue a career in the same field. She has worked as a Certified Nursing Assistant, volunteers at New Century Hospice, and will attend Texas A&M to become a nurse practitioner like her mother.

“Growing up in this generation, we see plenty of awful things and I hope to, one day, at least make a small impact in this world by helping those in need,” Robison said in her letter to Oaks Nursing Center.

Henry and Robison were presented a $100 sponsorship, a gift, and a certificate for their dedication to the medical field on Thursday, May 23 at Oaks Nursing Center, 507 W. Jackson, Burnet.

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