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Senior citizens’ home looks to inspire Christmas cheer

Vernon Ferguson, 65, has been living at the Persis Rodgers Home for the Aged for more than three years.

Ferguson said he will not be spending the holidays with his family this year.

Instead, he said, he is going to spend Christmas at the nursing home.

However, Ferguson said he doesn’t mind because of the facility’s annual Christmas party.

“It’s fairly good, you know,” Ferguson told The Nassau Guardian.

“We get a lot of eats and drinks, you know?”

He added, “You can’t want more than that. There’s plenty eats and plenty drinks, turkey and ham, you know?”

There are roughly 26 senior citizens living at the facility, which is located on Hawthorne Road.

However, not all of them will be spending the holidays at the nursing home.

Zerlena Marshall, 61, said she usually spends the holidays with her family.

Zerlena Marshall.

“Sometimes my daughter comes and carries me for the whole week,” Marshall said.

She continued, “I look forward to that.”

Marshall said Christmas is one of her favorite times of the year.

She said she is looking forward to getting “some nice presents”.

The Persis Rodgers Home for the Aged has operated as a private senior citizens’ home since 1972, according to Frances Ledee, the administrator at the nursing home.

Ledee said she does all that she can to ensure that residents don’t feel abandoned during the holidays.

This sometimes includes going out and persuading relatives of the elderly to come and visit, she said.

“You have to make the effort to see that family, know they’re here and that family visits,” Ledee said.

“Even if family abandons them for a little while, I think it’s the duty of this place to go and find the family.”

She added, “Some of them don’t have anything to offer.

“I say, ‘So what? Come and offer your time, your love, your attention.’

“And we’ve had some very good success. I don’t think there is a person here in this home that we can say is truly abandoned.”

The facility puts on an array of holiday events, according to Ledee. This includes live music performances in the common room and a Christmas party.

Enil Hanna, 92, said she enjoys the events, which she described as the facility’s way of trying “to encourage us”.

“I love Christmas time,” she said.

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Jasper Ward

Jasper Ward started at The Nassau Guardian in September 2018. Ward covers a wide range of national and social issues. Education: Goldsmiths, University of London, MA in Race, Media and Social Justice

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