Exciting Things are Happening Outside at St. Anne’s!

basketball hoopWith a growing number of “younger” residents, we’ve felt the need to create opportunities for outdoor activities here at St. Anne’s.  We’ve been talking about it since last fall, but we finally got a basketball hoop ordered.  It should be here by the middle of next week.  

We are converting our west patio, which had our raised garden beds and is used by our smokers, into an outdoor game center.  Along with the basketball setup, we’ll have horseshoes and other games available.  We’re excited to have this for our more active residents. 

Perhaps, those who aren’t as agile anymore will also come out and enjoy being spectators.  This is truly opening up so many new opportunities for us here at St. Anne’s!

I big thank you goes out to Jasen in maintenance for all his work in planning this and making it happen! 

He has also been busy creating a new garden space on the east side of the building for our raised garden beds.  He spent a lot of time this past week transferring the garden boxes to their new location.  He also put up an attractive fence around the space.  We’re excited to get things planted and start watching them grow! (Since these pictures were taken, he also added for post for tomatoes.)

ST. ANNE’S DAY Matching Gift Challenge

We’re trying something different this year!  Since this will take quite a bit of prep work, we’re starting well in advance.

Each summer, we celebrate our patron saint, St. Anne, with a week of festivities around her feast day.  This year, we’ve decided to launch a matching gift campaign, where donors can have their gift matched by a local company as long as it is given (or check dated) on St. Anne’s Day (July 26th).  

In these months leading up to the challenge, we are collecting pledges of donations from local companies/organizations.  We want to have everything in place well in advance, and know how much money is available in matching funds.  

To make a pledge for your company/organization, please complete the form below. 

This project gives our donors a chance to “double their dollars.”  Funds received will help us as we provide a caring home for our residents.  

About St. Anne’s:
St. Anne’s has been providing a safe, caring living environment for vulnerable adults since the mid 1940s. 

Our residents come to us because they are not able to lead healthy lives on their own.  Due to any number of reasons, physical and/or mental, they cannot properly care for themselves.  Alone, they would face various problems, suffering from isolation, poor nutrition, improper medication administration, poor hygiene or other problems.  They face a variety of health challenges, such as diabetes.  

We strive to create a homelike atmosphere, become “family” to many people who have little contact with their biological families. 

We provide nursing, housekeeping, laundry, and personal care services.  We have an excellent activity program, offering the socialization that is so vital to our residents’ well-being.  Along with table games, musical entertainment, and countless other activities, our staff also take residents out into the community.  We offer shopping trips, and also take groups out to eat frequently.  In the past, residents who were able were also given the opportunity to enjoy events in the community, such as high school plays and sporting events.  We provide transportation for them to and from medical appointments.

Thank you so much for helping us continue our service to our residents!

Healing Through Grief: Simple Steps to Foster Your Overall Health

Image via Pexels

Whenever we experience something traumatic, our mental health is the first to suffer. So, when we grieve, the mental health impact can significantly affect our physical bodies. And it works the other way around as well: If we neglect our physical health, it will inevitably hinder us from recovering mentally and emotionally.

If you are grieving the loss of a loved one, consider how you can take practical steps each day toward maintaining your overall health and well-being. Here are a few goals to consider establishing to help you heal in your own time:

Be Mindful of What You Drink    

First of all, be conscious of the alcohol, caffeine, and sugar you consume. If you drink alcohol, fight the temptation to use it as a crutch as you grieve. Similarly, try not to drink too much caffeine, as it can exacerbate anxiety and stress.

Moreover, consider cutting off your caffeine intake at lunch because caffeine late in the day can disrupt your sleep patterns. And try to drink plenty of water throughout the day. If you are used to drinking sugary beverages like sodas, juices, and sweetened coffees, consider substituting them with water.

Eat More Nutritious Foods

It is also essential to be mindful of the foods you consume. While comfort foods can indeed It is also essential to be mindful of the foods you consume. While comfort foods can indeed bring you short-term comfort in difficult times, making them your regular diet will harm your energy levels and long-term health. Opt for nutrient-dense foods like vegetables, fruits, lean proteins, and healthy fats for your meals and snacks.

Develop a Bedtime Routine

Unfortunately, insomnia is a common side effect of grief, which means you may need extra care to develop healthy sleep habits.

Find relaxing activities to do in the evening that help your mind and body unwind from the day, and establish a specific bedtime that you stick to each night. While you are at it, consider lowering the temperature in your bedroom, and make sure your sleep environment is dark and quiet.

Evaluate Your Career   

If you have taken time off work to mourn the loss of a loved one, it could be an opportunity to reassess your career and consider any changes that fit your life moving forward.

For example, could you start a company specializing in something you are passionate about? There are endless opportunities for a home-based business these days, and you could even open a local small business that caters to your community’s needs.

However, when starting a business, you will need to take care of many legal, financial, and organizational obligations. For example, you will need to choose a legal structure that meets your needs and leaves you prepared come tax time.

If you want to receive pass-through taxation and liability protection, consider establishing an LLC. You can easily connect with a formation service by searching the keyword phrase “LLC North Dakota.”

Get Some Physical Activity

Moving your body can go a long way in helping you reduce stress, boost energy, and heal healthfully in your grief. Take time to think of some activities you can do each day that will make you break a sweat, whether playing a recreational sport, jogging through the neighborhood, walking with a friend, or joining a cycling club.

You may even find some at-home workouts that do the trick. The key is to be consistent with your fitness routine so that you can look forward to each day while benefiting your long-term health and well-being.

Balance Solitude With Social Time   

Both solitude and socializing are essential when grieving. But keep in mind that privacy can quickly turn into isolation, and you don’t want to let that happen.

Keep your important relationships a priority by spending time with your closest friends and family members. Find fun activities to do together, meet for coffee or lunch, or find groups to join in your community.

Our physical and mental health are intertwined, which is demonstrated perfectly in the grieving process. Make sure you are setting healthy goals for yourself as you mourn the loss of your loved one. The tips above can help you get off to a strong start, but keep searching for other ways to heal and foster good health in the days ahead.

By: Camille Johnson

Anosmia Awareness – What you never knew about your sense of smell!

In case you missed the article in our BROADCASTER, we’ll share it here.

Since February is a month for Anosmia (loss of the sense of smell) Awareness, we are sharing an article with some fascinating facts about this often overlooked sense of ours.  Did you know that we can pick ohttp://https://icog.group.shef.ac.uk/wp-content/uploads/2018/11/nose_1348688748347_161101_ver1.0_640_480.jpgut three trillion different scents (that’s TWELVE zeros!)?  Another interesting tidbit is that you get new scent cells about every one to two months.  

Just like one’s set of finger prints, each person has a distinct scent.  It has also been demonstrated that people can remember scents much better than things they see.  Smell gives about 80% of the flavor to food, so when your nose is plugged, foods won’t taste as good. 

Now, this one will really blow your mind: through peoples sweat, you can pick up emotions of fear and disgust, according to a 2012 psychological study.  There are very strong ties between smell and feelings.  Women have been shown to have a better sense of smell than men.  One’s ability to smell can also change with the seasons and time of day, being stronger in the evening as well as during the spring and summer.  One’s sense of smell is also strongest in the late teenage years.  It has actually been noted that babies have a sense of smell before they are even born!

everydayhealth.com
cleanlink.com
aromaco.co.uk
parkscandles.com

 

When the Golden Spice is Sweet as Honey

Almost by accident, this past weekend, we happened upon an unfamiliar cold and cough remedy: turmeric with honey. 

Acquiring the latter ingredient proved, however, to be a bit of a challenge!   We Sisters had just received a jar of honey for a gift, so that was readily available.  Nonetheless, after investigation, there was no turmeric in stock here.  It seems our cooks do not frequently add this Asian spicy to their cuisine. 

It just so happened, though, that one of our residents was out visiting her family, and she offered to bring some back with her.

Thus it was that late Sunday evening, I was able to mix up this little potion to give to a suffering comrade. 

I have heard about turmeric’s health benefits for a few years now, but never had investigated it much until recently.  I know it has been called the golden spice, in reference to both its deep color and its immense health value.

Did you know that turmeric may benefit a person in the following ways?

  • Decreasing inflammation
  • Improving memory
  • diminishing pain
  • contributing antioxidants
  • Fighting free radicals
  • Lowering risk of heart disease
  • fighting depression
  • preventing cancer
  • improving skin health

It can also provide help against:

  • viral infections
  • Premenstrual Syndrome
  • Alzheimer’s Disease
  • Arthritis
  • Irritable Bowel Syndrome
  • Improves brain function
  • Headaches
  • Acne
  • Type 2 Diabetes
  • High Cholesterol

Caution should be used by those on blood thinners or undergoing certain chemotherapy due to possible interactions.

Written by Sr. Christina M. Neumann

Resources:

https://www.everydayhealth.com/diet-nutrition/diet/scientific-health-benefits-turmeric-curcumin/

https://www.webmd.com/diet/ss/slideshow-turmeric

https://www.providence.org/news/uf/645999295

https://health.clevelandclinic.org/turmeric-health-benefits/

How Seniors Can Thrive After Moving Into an Assisted Living Community

How Seniors Can Thrive After Moving Into an Assisted Living Community
Photo via Pixabay

It’s never an easy decision, but sometimes, moving a parent into assisted living is the most responsible choice. As a caregiver, you may be under significant stress or may no longer be able to provide for your aging loved one’s needs. Moving your loved one into an assisted living center can alleviate stress on you while ensuring their safety and overall well-being.

Because there are so many options when it comes to assisted living communities and what they provide, it’s essential to research several spots to figure out the best fit for your family. Look at location, rules of living (such as whether they can have their own car or if the staff is allowed to administer emergency care), and amenities first, then move on to the details.

St. Anne’s Living Center shares some ways you can help your loved one flourish in their new home.

Plan Ahead

While there are many details to consider when looking for the right assisted living situation, one of the most important is budget — and not just for the foreseeable future. You will also need to think about what they can handle years down the road and whether or not the community they choose has access to medical care or emergency services. Even if they are in good health now, it’s a good idea to start planning for the future to make sure your loved one can get the care they need without worrying about finances.

If finances present a hurdle, there are steps you can take to help your loved one afford assisted living. If savings won’t provide enough cushion, the most obvious choice is to sell their home. While this will be an emotional upheaval for everyone, in the end, it could cover the costs of care, leaving your loved one to enjoy this next chapter.

Talk to an expert real estate agent about selling and what you need to do to get the home ready. If your loved one already has a mortgage — or wants one — you can also contact a mortgage company like Penny Mac US about any financial hurdles you may face as you assist your loved one with this process.

Time to Move

Once it’s been determined that your loved one is indeed moving to assisted living, it’s time to assess their belongings and plan for the big move. Since it’s likely they’ll be downsizing quite a bit, survey what they can realistically keep and what should be sold, given away, or donated. Large furniture might be too bulky, and family heirlooms may need to be sorted and passed on to other members of the family. Be patient with your loved one here, since this is another difficult part of the process.

Once you have a move-in date, reach out to a moving service to help transfer your loved one’s belongings. Simply search for “moving companies near me” to find a list of highly-rated moving professionals with competitive rates. Make sure that anyone you plan to hire is also licensed, bonded, and insured.

Driving Dilemma

Many older adults feel comfortable driving for as long as they’re able to, but others have a vision impairment, anxiety, or health condition that makes driving difficult or impossible. In some cases, seniors who move into an assisted living community don’t have access to their vehicle, and that can lead to some worries about whether they can remain independent.

The good news is, there are lots of options when it comes to getting around; you just have to find the right one. Rideshare services like Uber, public transportation, and senior ride services offered by a local church or hospital are all great options. Plus, assisted living communities typically offer shuttle service daily to a variety of stores and doctors’ offices.

Get Social

A major benefit of moving into an assisted living community is that your loved one has the chance to meet new people and remain social. If they live alone or with you, they might not see or speak to many of their peers throughout the day. Having these connections can boost their mental health and even help them stay physically healthy. Help them make the most of these opportunities by encouraging them to join clubs, get involved in groups, and meet like-minded adults who also want to remain active and engaged.

Stay Connected

A move to a senior community doesn’t mean they need to cut ties with friends and loved ones (even if they are busy with their new friends!). Make an effort to remain connected by meeting your loved one for lunch, calling regularly, or attending functions together. This will help them feel less isolated while they are getting used to their new living arrangement. If you have a smartphone, consider using an app that will help you make calls and video chat easily.

Making a move to an assisted living community can be stressful for everyone if you aren’t prepared. Help your loved one get to know the community and the people who live there. With a little time, your aging parent will thrive, and you won’t feel as stressed because you know they are safe and well-cared for.

By Beverly Nelson of standupforcaregivers.org

At St. Anne’s Living Center, your well-being is our top concern. We believe in creating an environment that makes it possible for residents to enjoy life and all that it still has to offer. Visit us today for a tour and to find out more. (701) 746-9401

“Number Twelve”

Apartment 12

We are just about finished cleaning out Apartment #12 in our affordable housing unit.  Lately, we’ve been referring to it as “Judy’s apartment,” as it had been the storage and sorting location for a multitude of items we received which had belonged this deceased woman. 

We found towels, kitchenware, decorations, food items, pillows, blankets, clothing and more!  It is rewarding, after all that work, to see the boxes neatly lined up in the basement for our rummage sale, while those items we had other use for were distributed accordingly.   

Before that, however, Apartment #12 served in a different roles.  For several months, it served as a make-shift sacristy.  Due to Covid precautions, we were not able to have Mass in our chapel.  We were “exiled” (or so it felt) to the apartment wing lobby for the Liturgy.  This vacant apartment was conveniently located right down the hall from our “north valley chapel,” as we’d dubbed the room that was otherwise used for card playing and TV watching. 

This apartment was also used as a vaccine clinic location, offering more privacy than the atrium would have.  (At this time, apartment residents were still unable to come over to the Basic Care unit.)

When recertifications needed to be done for the government in order to ensure residents were still eligible for housing assistance and set their rent, this apartment was used as the “HUD office, where Sr. Rebecca and her assisting staff member could meet with residents and complete their paperwork.

Really, this efficiency apartment has seen a lot in the past twelve months.  We are thankful that it is no longer needed for most of these purposes.

Some of us may never look at this apartment the same again.  Once someone moves in there, we might have to make a conscious effort not to think of it as the sacristy or even “Judy’s apartment!”

A Special Saint

St. Elizabeth Stain glass window.If you look at the stained glass window in the front sitting area at St. Anne’s, you’ll see a lovely depiction of two saints.  One is Saint Francis, and the other is St. Elizabeth of Hungary.

Today marks the latter’s feast day.  She is the patron saint of the Third Order of St. Francis, the order to which the Sisters at St. Anne’s belong. 

We thought it would be nice to share a little bit about the history of this stain glass window with you.

Back in the early to mid 1950s, when St. Anne’s was near the river (old St. Michael’s hospital), the Franciscan Sisters had the window installed in the chapel. 

Later, when St. Anne’s moved to its current location, the stained glass windows were placed in the lobby, where they remain to this day.

Cute Pet Photo Contest

The Feast of St. Francis (the patron on animals) is coming up on Monday.

This year, to mark this special day, we’re going to be hosting a “Cutest Pet” contest.

Get your pictures ready, and send them to us. There is no cost to enter.

Funds raised by voting will benefit our ministry to the elderly and disabled at St. Anne’s.

Get your photos in by October 3rd, so we can get them posted for the beginning of the contest on St. Francis Day!

While supporting the important mission here at St. Anne’, your donation also helps your pet of choice on its way to the winners’ circle!

You’re making a difference with your vote!  Click here to enter the portal.

DO NOT COMMENT HERE TO VOTE.

Vote as many times as you like to help your chosen cutest pet win! $1 = 1 vote

Indicate the pet’s name by clicking “Dedicate this Gift.”

You’re welcome to check out our Facebook Event, our look at the cute photos below.

 

Tips for Better Communication with Hearing Impaired Seniors

Last week at Mass, I was edified to see our visiting priest gesture with his hand, indicating which Eucharistic Prayer he would be using, for the benefit of a hearing impaired individual in our chapel.  This made me think of developing an article, providing tips for better communication with individuals, especially the elderly, who suffer from hearing loss. 

Hearing loss is a very common difficulty.  Even when the person has a hearing aide, make sure you practice good protocols. 

Some seniors, unfortunately, respond to hearing loss by isolating from others.  If we can take some simple, small steps, we can, hopefully, making the communication process easier for them and avoid such isolation.  

Hearing loss, unfortunately, is usually marked not only by loss of hearing volume, but also includes diminished ability to decipher soft sounds and high pitches.  Face the person, with light on your face. Speak slowly and do not shout.  Start conversation on the listener’s name.  Perhaps, touch their hand and make eye contact before starting to speak.  Sitting at a round table can make it easier for the hearing impaired person to lip read with all individuals present.  Make sure they can easily see your face.  Visual clues are very important. 

Make the topic of the conversation as clear as possible.  Shouting and exaggerated speech actually changes one’s lip pattern and makes it harder to lip read.  Use simple sentences and stop in between.  Pausing at appropriate times helps give a hearing impaired individual the chance to catch up on processing what you are saying.

Make sure you are understood.  Stand or sit near their better ear.  Try to eliminate background noise.  Many people with hearing loss don’t tolerate loud sounds well.  Don’t change the subject quickly.  If you need to change topic, make sure you let them know.  Have them repeat things back to you.  Remember that if they are tired or not feeling well, they will have a harder time comprehending. 

Keep your hands away from your face, and don’t have anything else near (food, gum, etc.).  If you are not understood, re-phrase the statement rather than repeating it over and over.  Apps on a phone can convert spoken words into text, and this may be helpful.  Try to make sure only one person speaks at a time.  Ask the hearing impaired person how you can help improved communication. 

Half of individuals over 75 suffer from hearing loss, and one in three between 65 and 74 do likewise. 

Resources:

  • www.uofazcenteronaging.com/care-sheet/providers/communication-improving-communication-people-who-have-hearing-loss
  • www.allaboutseniorsinc.net/tips-communicating-hearing-impaired-seniors/
  • www.ucsfhealth.org/education/communicating-with-people-with-hearing-loss
  • www.agingcare.com/articles/hearing-loss-communication-techniques-144762.htm
  • www.hearinglink.org/living/partners-children-family-hearing-people/how-to-communicate-with-a-hearing-impaired-person/
  • www.healthyhearing.com/report/51744-Communication-strategies-when-talking-to-individuals-with-hearing-loss
  • my.clevelandclinic.org/health/articles/4050-hearing-loss-tips-to-improve-communication-with-people-with–hearing-loss
  • www.ucsfhealth.org/education/communicating-with-people-with-hearing-loss