waterDayWESLACO – In recognition of National Professional Activities Week (Jan. 15-21), the staff at Valley Grande Manor Nursing & Rehabilitation Center (VGM) took time to commit to increasing its already significant focus on activities as a meaningful and important rehabilitation strategy.

The week-long annual event was established by the National Association of Activity Professionals, an organization that works primarily in geriatric settings.

“We are extremely fortunate to have our Activities Director, Nora Ramirez, and her assistant, Dalia Garcia, working tirelessly to provide exciting on- and off-site events for our residents,” said Bill Lowe, Administrator. “They work tirelessly to plan trips to museums, the zoo, beach, movies, and restaurants. They also bring so many events here such as rodeos, car shows, water fun days, and concerts.”

Ramirez is a Texas State Certified Activities Director.

Lowe stressed that events play a large part in the successful rehabilitation and care for temporary and full-time residents at VGM.

“Studies clearly indicate that socializing through activities minimizes the effects of loneliness and actually result in quicker rehabilitation,” said Joe Longoria, Director of Rehab. “In most cases illnesses, the decrease in mental capacity, and faltering mobility are inevitable. However, the loneliness that our elderly experience can be more debilitating. But, as professional caregivers and relatives we can minimize the effects of isolation through a variety of actions reflecting love and respect for aging relatives and friends.”

The onset of this isolation contributes to diminishing health. Today families are spread throughout the country, leaving aging relatives alone. This situation is largely unavoidable but can be minimized.

“We strive to reverse this dynamic by having many events and improving quality of life and opportunities for socializing,” said Lowe. “It is so rewarding to see the smiles of our residents as they participate in these events, both at the center and off site.”

One of the major benefits of these activities is that they encourage social inter-action and through these events staff can monitor a variety of illnesses and symptoms, including:

  1. Risk of depression
  2. Increased risk for dementia
  3. Lack of personal hygiene
  4. Poor nutritional habits
  5. Symptoms related to lack of exercise


“While all of these situations cannot be eliminated, they can be minimized by showing love and respect for our aging population,” added Longoria.  “One of the most important things we try to provide at our nursing home is to give our residents a sense of purpose. We want them to know that their lives have meaning and we can learn so much from their experiences. Through these activities we are able to provide this joy to our residents.”

About Valley Grande Manor Nursing and Rehabilitation Center

Valley Grande Manor, which has approximately 175 employees, is a full-service nursing home that offers post-operative temporary rehabilitation and long-term nursing care. The on-site rehabilitation center provides speech, occupational and physical therapy to residents and outpatient clients. Valley Grande Manor is located at 1212 South Bridge Avenue. For more information, call (956) 968-2121.