First Silver Bells Summer Edition Benefits Frail, Disabled Nursing Home Residents

A summer gift drive benefiting residents of long-term care facilities in Central Kentucky kicks off on Mother’s Day, May 17, according to Denise Wells, Bluegrass District Ombudsman for the non-profit Nursing Home Ombudsman Agency of the Bluegrass, Inc. (NHOA).

“The purpose of Silver Bells 2019 (Summer Edition) is to provide the basics for financially needy nursing home residents at a time when their needs may not be ‘top of mind’ for most people,” Wells explained. “Residents need our help in the summer as much as they do at the holidays.”

Individuals, families, school groups, and businesses provided holiday gift bags for 800 residents in December 2018, Wells reports. “Watching a resident’s face light up as she unwraps a pretty new robe is intensely rewarding,” she said. “We’re confident the people of Central Kentucky will again come through for our residents.”

Participants may sponsor gift bags for $25 per resident or bring lip balm, lotion, clothing, socks, UK apparel, individually wrapped snacks, and puzzle books weekdays during business hours to the NHOA office at 3138 Custer Drive, Suite 110, Lexington, 40517.

In addition, participants may pay tribute to their own parents and grandparents during the four-week gift collection period between Mother’s Day and Father’s Day by providing NHOA with the name(s) of the person(s) being honored. Names of honorees and donors will be posted on the Nursing Home Ombudsman Agency Facebook page,, and in the newsletter.

The organization’s team of 30 certified Ombudsmen will make 5,000 visits to nursing homes, personal care homes, and family care homes in 2019 to monitor the care of every resident and to resolve residents’ complaints.

Of the 5,640 individuals living in long-term care in NHOA’s service area, 50 percent have Alzheimer’s disease or another form of dementia; 60 percent have no visitors from outside the facility, ever, except the Ombudsman; 70 percent are impoverished, and 80 percent are women. Average age and length of stay are 80 and 2.5 years, respectively.

To make a gift, click here.