Military veterans are American heroes. But when these men and women experience severe health issues or need to reside in an assisted living facility that provides quality care, they have heroes of their own.
Some of them work in Oxford’s Mississippi State Veterans Home, a facility that serves veterans from all military branches. The Mississippi State Veterans Affairs Board is in charge of the facility and veterans homes in Jackson, Collins and Kosciusko.
With a 150-bed unit, veterans from Mississippi are given priority due to limited space. According to the facility’s website, soldiers must have an honorable discharge from active duty and an approved medical examination. Spouses of veterans may even qualify.
The facility provides three meals a day, nurses, doctors, physical and speech therapy, daily laundry service and a beautician. Staff members transport residents to and from medical appointments.
The Social Organization of the Mississippi State Veterans Home of Oxford is another driving factor. Comprised of the Family and Residents Council, monthly meetings are held that give members the chance to vote on upcoming activities and schedule events.
Although the Mississippi State Veterans Home strives to give its residents quality care, it also aims to provide a fun environment headed by the activities department. Residents are taken on outings to restaurants, casinos, shopping, plays, and to activities like arts and crafts. They also attend other recreational and family events.
There is no shortage of opportunities for residents to socialize throughout Oxford and interact with each other. Holidays are even included as big celebrations, where special guests are brought in, along with parties, music and food.
“Volunteers also come and help with the activities department,” said Regina Tutor, department director. “They assist in activities, and play games with them, such as pool, cards, reading, and anything else that is available for them to do.”
These volunteers include the JROTC from different high schools who are most notable for bringing their color guard to the home and staging presentations. A regular group of ROTC volunteers who visit the home bi-annually is the Navy branch at Ole Miss, who takes their unit of 50 students.
Although the residents are being provided entertainment and a chance to interact with the outside world, it is arguable that they give more to these students than they are receiving.
“It’s an awesome opportunity for them to hear from those who have seen some sort of fighting and have served in other countries,” said Lt. Lauren Ellison. “It gives the future of our military the idea that it’s all worth it.”
There are also many different organizations who donate presents and gifts for the Christmas season, including Navy and brass bands from Mississippi and Louisiana who come to perform.
Of the many events held to honor the residents, one is the annual Memorial Day program. The names of every resident who passed away in the last year are read so that the service they provided to America is not forgotten.
With this collection of staff members, volunteers, and others who support our troops, there is certainly no shortage of everyday heroes when it comes to the Mississippi State Veterans Home of Oxford.
Serving our heroes of old, organizations, such as this one, help care for people who have allowed the younger generation to live in the country we know today.