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westmoreland-march-mad-1What’s better than college basketball in March? Not much unless you are an Elder living at Westmoreland Care and Rehabilitation in Westmoreland, Tn! This year the home launched their own version of March Madness with a complete basketball tournament! Quality of Life Director, Danny Ray shares their story below.

We started the game by introducing players from each team. Chaplain David Spears sang the National Anthem and everyone else sang along with him! The game consisted of three six-minute quarters that was followed by a fourth quarter skills competition. It was a 3-on-3 wheelchair basketball game. Teams received points by both making and blocking shots. The game was neck and neck throughout!

The skills competition gave each Elder an opportunity to score points for their team. The skills competition had three different skills, lasting one minute each for each team. We started the competition with a “Give and Go Contest” this skill involved two players passing the ball to each other and one player shooting a shot to try and score for their team. The three-point competition had one elder from each team attempting to make as many three-point shots as possible in a minute. The last skill competition was a dribbling contest. Players received one point for each successful dribble they made in one minute. Michael Stone, an Elder living in the home, shared “I love the idea of the skills competition. It really gives each of us a chance to score and help our teams.”

westmoreland-march-mad-4While all players scored points for their team and were able to contribute to the game, an MVP was declared! Kathy Jernigan became the MVP of our first March Madness event! She played a great game overall but her best contribution to the team came during the “Dribbling Contest”. Kathy surprised everyone in the room when the dribbled  110 times for a minute straight without losing the ball.  She scored 110 points for her team in 1 minute! Kathy said with a huge smile on her face, “I knew if I was chosen to dribble the ball that I could do great with it. I told myself I could do it for one minute and I did!”

There are so many good things that can happen from a simple competition as this. Events like this promote overall health by encouraging Elders to get MOVING instead of spending their day in stationary positions! This is also a wonderful way to help Elders regain self confidence. Too many times, we see Elders lacking confidence in their abilities but encouraging them to try new things helps generate a sense of pride that is often lost!