Buster Holloway, 82, held on tight to the railing as he lowered himself into the 3-foot whirlpool at Bishop Park in Bryant, with help from staff member Luke Neel.
"You are a lifeguard, right?" Holloway asked.
Holloway ventured into the water for the first time in more than 10 years but quickly gained confidence and moved to the 5-foot section of the pool. Before long, he was lunging through the water on his own, as Neel attempted to keep up.
"You swim like a fish," Neel said.
Southern Trace Rehabilitation Center, located at 22515 Highway South in Bryant, is not the average nursing home.
Guests walking in might feel they are entering a hotel. Although creating a beautiful atmosphere is important to the staff, the care of the people inside takes priority.
â€śFirst and foremost, we want to provide quality care,â€ť said Nancy Brown, executive director of Southern Trace. â€śBut we also want to promote independence and make sure the residents have choices and those choices are met.â€ť
The Southern Trace staff aims to take out the institution element of nursing homes.