Good Shepherd Residents Rock!

Residents of Good Shepherd Nursing Home are having fun and spreading a little joy in Wheeling this summer by painting and hiding rocks. This trend, which has taken the counry by storm, began as a way to bring smiles to the faces of people who find the rocks.

Carol Bowman, Good Shepherd’s certified activities director, came up with the idea of involving Good Shepherd residents after seeing online how happy people were to find the rocks. “We thought our residents would enjoy painting rocks and hiding them for others to find,” she said. “It could be a fun craft and a way to share a little happiness in the community.”

Residents were imaginative in decorating their rocks, she said. Some people drew cartoon characters, others painted animals, scenes from nature and inspirational sayings.

The underside of each rock is marked with the initials “GSNH.”

The act of painting the rocks themselves was a positive experience for the residents — even those who had no artistic experience were surprised at what they created. One resident, Jack Robson, got a little discouraged when he tried painting a sailboat.

“It didn’t turn out the way he had hoped,” Bowman said. “We turned the rock upside down, added a beak and eyes, and the misshapen sailboat became a beautiful red bird. Jack was amazed — it made him really happy.”

The activities department worked with Holy Family Childcare Center, which is on the grounds of Good Shepherd, to place some of the rocks on its playground for their children to find. Student Somya Henderson, whose mother and grandmother both work at Good Shepherd, was all smiles when she found some of the rocks at the base of a tree.

Henderson liked the “Hello Kitty” rock the best. She placed the kitty rock in a new location to bring joy to another child who finds it.

Members of the activities staff plan to hide the rest of rocks throughout the community.

Bowman asked that anyone who finds a rock take a photo of it and share it on Good Shepherd’s Facebook page, so residents can see that people found their little hidden treasures. Residents will be painting more rocks, Bowman said, in hopes of spreading a little happiness throughout town.

“It’s just our way of painting it forward,” she said.

Good Shepherd Nursing Home is part of a continuum of senior living options offered by the nonprofit Welty Corp. In addition to Good Shepherd, the Welty Corp. operates the Welty Home, which consists of 52 assisted living suites for seniors who need some help in managing daily living tasks.

Welty Corp. also maintains 121 maintenance-free apartments for seniors in the Clara Welty Apartments at 1276 National Road, Bertha Welty Apartments at 1315 National Road, Welty TownHomes at 1287 National Road and Braddock Apartments at 153 Edgington Lane.

These properties are designed for people who want to live independently but appreciate the added measures of comfort and security of apartment living.

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