For 17 years, Pleasant Hill Manor has hosted the Senior Olympics. The Lucasville Fairgrounds were filled with cheer as senior citizens, volunteers and caregivers enjoyed a day of fun-filled activities.
The event began with the opening ceremony, which included a welcome by Linda Slone, event coordinator, and Amy Clemmons, Pleasant Hill Manor Administrator. There was also lighting of the torch, the singing of the Star Spangle Banner, and invocation. Al Oliver offered brief words of encouragement to the crowd.
Slone said the Senior Olympics event demonstrates the good things that can happen when the community unites.
This year, there were over 60 facilities from 15 counties across Ohio and Kentucky.
“Just like the Olympics covers countries, we cover counties,” explained Slone. “There is nothing else like this around. This is a chance and an opportunity to, not only let the residents play games, but it also allows people to participate and see what the elderly can do. A lot of people have bad impressions of nursing homes and care facilities and think that they go there to just lay in bed and not do anything, this event shows that they’re doing everything but laying in bed.”
The senior participants had the opportunity to enjoy different competitive games, including basketball, bowling, penny pinching, horse shoes, corn-hole, and checkers.
“Just because you’re older, or you’re in a wheelchair, or have a walker or an electric scooter doesn’t mean you don’t have the same powerful drive for life,” said Slone. “We’re all about living, and that’s what we’re here to show. Not only do we care for others like young people, but we care for our elderly. I think we define our country by how we take care of the frail, that can be babies, young children, the elderly, and this showcases that.”
The volunteer base is an integral part of the Senior Olympics, according to Slone.
Students from the Pike County Career Center, Ross County Vocational, Northwest High School, Clay High School, Scioto Tech, and the Scioto County Career Center LPN class all took time to attend and assist in activities.
“It’s great to see all the residents having fun,” said Clay High School student, Bre Donahoe. “We’re just here helping them get around the fairgrounds if they need it, and you can tell they’ve just had a great time. It’s nice.”
Slone is hopeful that the word will continue to spread about the event, and more facilities will participate in the following years.
“For anyone that hears about this event, or reads about it, we want them to contact me on Facebook, with the Pleasant Hill Senior Olympics, and tell us if you’d like to join next year,” she said. “We are trying to go ahead and expand early to work on that.”
Reach Ciara Conley at 740-981-6977, Facebook, “Ciara Conley - Daily Times,” and Twitter @PDT_Ciara.