Oklahoma woman works on bringing joy to nursing home residents during pandemic

WAGONER, Okla. — Paula Seck says it’s in her heart to reach out to a large group in Oklahoma during this pandemic.

Seck, who works for a hospice care center in Wagoner, says there are several people living in nursing homes that haven’t seen family or friends in quite some time. She says this pandemic has brought fear, isolation and depression to many of these residents.

It’s why Seck recently visited nursing home facilities in Wagoner and Muskogee. Wednesday, she brought some of her farm animals to Pleasant Valley Health Care, an assisted living facility in Muskogee, to help cheer up a few residents with some animal therapy. She said some of the residents put on their masks and came out to pet the horses while keeping social distance in mind. She said in that moment, she could see their emotions change.

She says it was a similar experience when she visited residents in nursing homes in Wagoner the week before. Seck says she couldn’t help but smile herself seeing some of the residents from the other side of a window hold up their arms and smile. She says, for many of these residents in the rural community, it brings back memories of having farm animals of their own.

Seck, who has even spent time making puzzles and coloring books for some of these residents, says she does it because she knows what it’s like to see someone struggle with depression. She watched her own grandmother battle depression.

Seck says her goal is to bring a little happiness during these challenging times. She says it’s important to remember these nursing homes need a little bit of love.