Monday, June 27, 2022 |
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WAILUA — Dino Bandalion was ready for his hot dog and hamburger — with mayonnaise — Tuesday at the Lydgate Park.
“This is pretty good,” said Bandalion, a recent addition to the population of the Samuel Mahelona Memorial Hospital. “But I can only pedal with one leg. Now, I’m ready for my hot dog and hamburger — with mayonnaise!”
Bandalion was one of 42 residents from Mahelona Hospital treated to the first of two planned beach outings at Lydgate Park coordinated by Josie Pablo, recreational therapy director at Mahelona Hospital and a score of volunteers.
The group was joined by eight residents from the Kauai Veterans Memorial Hospital.
“This is part of providing quality of life for the elderly,” Pablo said. “It takes a lot of manpower to do this, but the effort is worth it.”
The special chairs and floaters used to enable the residents’ enjoyment of the experience comes through the support of the Mahelona Hospital Auxiliary, which operates the Thrift Shop in the hospital.
“This is important,” said Betty Matsumura, past president of the Auxiliary. “Look at how happy the residents are to get out and do something. This is important because the residents need to get out.”
Dan Methany, a resident for about a month, said this is the first time he’s gone out, outside of visiting the doctor.
“I hurt my legs and now I’m confined to a wheelchair,” Methany said. “Coordinating an event like this takes effort, but it’s a wonderful thing. The team effort is beautiful, and everyone is having a good time. This is a real treat. I’m going to get my boys to come and help the next time.”
Lerma Catiggay was one of the Kauai Community College nursing students who spent time socializing with residents on the beach.
“Everyone is enjoying themselves,” she said. “I didn’t know what to expect, but it’s fun.”
Placido Valenciano, hospital physical therapist, said they’ve been doing the beach outings for more than 20 years.
“We used to go to Anini Beach and play on the ramp, and Hanamaulu Beach,” he said. “When Josie came, we started to come to Lydgate and then, it was the water.”
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