ELLERY – For the past couple of months the National Guard has been at the Heritage Green nursing home, in Ellery NY, to help relieve stress on the workers by helping out in any way possible.
The men in uniform first arrived to help with general purpose, helping out in any way that did not involve patient care, which eventually evolved into medically trained professionals coming in to help out.
Friday is their last day serving at Heritage green, and as workers say, the National Guard has improved the nursing home for everyone.
“We’re all sad that they’re leaving,” explained Acting Administrator Toni Bixby. “They’ve been a wonderful addition, they’ve been a lot of fun, they helped out in a lot of areas. The staff has enjoyed them, residents have enjoyed them, we’ve all enjoyed them, and we’re really sad that they’re leaving us.
“To be out here, to help out up here, to give a helping hand in a situation where, we are in COVID, it’s a good feeling to have, because you can go back home and you can say I did a good job being up here, and to see the people be appreciative of the work that we’ve done, it is gratifying to know,” says Private First Class Gaston.
Since the COVID-19 pandemic, many nursing homes have had trouble keeping up with the high demands the virus has put on them. Which is why the National Guard was tasked with helping in the first place.
While many did enjoy the farewell party for the Guard, it also brought on mixed feelings about the future, and what the nursing home will do to fill the void that is left.