William Hickman, a 73-year-old resident at Life Care Center of Greeneville, Tennessee, was recently featured as one of the faces of National Skilled Nursing Care Week, May 12-18.
The American Health Care Association sponsors the week each year to increase awareness of skilled nursing and rehab centers and showcase how they provide an environment of security and quality of life. Each year, Life Care Center of Greeneville’s parent company, Life Care Centers of America, picks four residents from throughout its 200+ skilled nursing and rehab centers to feature on promotional posters distributed to each facility. These residents are chosen as representatives of that year’s AHCA theme.
Hickman was chosen to represent this year’s theme, “Live Soulfully.”
Born and raised in Kingsport, Tennessee, Hickman grew up helping his family work on a small farm in the country. He and his four brothers and sisters knew about hard work from an early age as they helped their mother and father with busheling beans, stacking hay bales and feeding the pigs, goats and chickens.
Even today, Hickman demonstrates a servant’s heart of gold.
At the facility, where Hickman has lived for three years, he continues to help others and shows compassion to each person he meets.
“He is a truly amazing man,” said Diana Renner, activities assistant. “His smile is contagious and can light up a room. He is always willing to help someone, even if he is not asked.”
Hickman is often seen sitting and talking with residents who need a friend to listen. He is also known to bring blankets and cover up residents who are cold. During activity time, he recruits other residents and makes them feel included, and even goes so far as to assist the staff with clean-up after each activity.
“If anyone did not know better, they would think Mr. Hickman is an employee because of the way he treats the residents and staff with such dignity and respect,” said Renner.
“I just like doing stuff to help out,” said Hickman. “I think the world of all the people here. They’re all good to me.”