Resident Edith Perry with the llama and the owner of the zoo

It was Wild Animal Wednesday on May 16, 2018, at Life Care Center of Banner Elk, North Carolina.


A Zoo for You, a traveling zoo, brought seven animals to visit with residents: a cow, a sheep, a mama goat and its baby, an alpaca, a llama, a rabbit and a pig.


“The residents were so happy, and we had smiles that brought tears to associates’ eyes,” said Karen Rollenhagen, executive director.


“The best part of the zoo was the llama,” said resident Edith Perry. “I loved how friendly he was. I got to pet him, and he was so soft.”


The event was part of the facility’s celebration of National Skilled Nursing Care Week, May 13-19. Among the other events were Music Monday with a live musician, Tasty Tuesday with an international food fair, Throwback Thursday on which residents and associates dressed up in outfits from decades gone by and Fancy Friday, on which residents and associates got dolled up in their finest for a formal dinner.


“The residents said it was the best Nursing Home Week they’d ever had,” said Rollenhagen.