For people of the North Country, United Helpers delivers the specialized medical, physical, and emotional support needed to be connected to life. We've been caring for our neighbors for more than 120 years, and no other provider comes close to the reach of our network, the breadth of our services, or the depth of our commitment. United Helpers is a 501(c)(3) Non-Profit.


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‘Booze & Tattoos’ Leads to Plenty of Laugh at United Helpers in Canton

‘Booze & Tattoos’ Leads to Plenty of Laugh at United Helpers in Canton

The laughter and cheering could be heard as soon as one walked into United Helpers Rehabilitation and Senior Care on Friday afternoon. The cause for celebration though wasn’t an overly competitive game of bingo or even a concert featuring hits from Elvis or Johnny Cash, rather it was a special event called ‘Booze and Tattoos.’

Activities Director Dawn Kimble said she wasn’t sure what to expect when approached with the idea, but it didn’t take her long to realize this wouldn’t be the last time they hosted such an event.

“It’s certainly different from what we normally do,” she said. “As we were setting up residents were coming out of their rooms and we actually had a line of people waiting for tattoos at 1:30.” The event was slated to begin at 2 p.m.

United Helpers Certified Nursing Assistant Minnie Flanagan applies a tattoo to the hand of Colleen Ross during the facility’s first “Booze & Tattoos” event. The afternoon event, which was attended by nearly 30 residents, included NA beer, sparkling grape juice, wine, and temporary tattoos. Dawn Kimble, who oversees the activity department at United Helpers Rehabilitation and Senior Care in Canton said residents began coming out of their rooms for the event more than half an hour before it was scheduled to begin.

As one could expect, the tattoos weren’t real, but for the residents in attendance that didn’t matter. Beverages served included NA beer, sparkling grape juice, and wine.

“Sometimes we’re lucky if we have 10 people come out of their rooms for an event, but today, I think we had pretty close to 30 people here,” Ms. Kimble said. “We use music all the time to help bring people back to the good ole days, but I think the opportunity to enjoy a drink with their friends and maybe get a tattoo really resonated with them. I have no doubt that at least a few of them were transported back in time to a Friday night at their favorite watering hole.”

The idea for ‘Booze & Tattoos’ came from United Helpers Board of Trustees Member Marti MacArthur, who saw a posting on Facebook that had gone viral from when a senior care facility in Florida had hosted a similar event.

In an email sent to United Helpers CEO Todd Amo, she wrote, “Would we be allowed to do this anywhere? It looks like they had so much fun.”

Mr. Amo then forwarded the email to Ms. Kimble, who placed an order for temporary tattoos and began planning for the unorthodox festivities.

Flowers, butterflies, turtles, hearts, dragonflies, and more were among the tattoos available, and while most residents chose to have tattoos placed on their hands or arms, one resident had a tattoo of a butterfly placed on the small of her back, and another had a firefighter’s helmet placed atop his head.

“While events like this may not be for everyone,” Ms. Kimble said, “People don’t want to stop living their best life just because Father Time may have forced them to slow down a little bit.”

Ms. Kimble said there were more than enough tattoos left over to host a similar event again in the future. “There’s little doubt in my mind we’ll do this again,” she said.

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