Update for families

As of Thursday, July 2, as St. Anne’s enters into Phase II of the reopening of Long-Term Care facilities, we are able to slightly ease the visitation restrictions. 

Each resident is now able to have one visitor at a time in their room.  Outside visits also continue to be an option.  Before visiting, family must call ahead to make an appointment and must wear a mask.  Upon entry, they must go through a screening process, which includes hand-sanitizing, temperature check, and a brief set of questions.  When in our facility, they must stay in the room of the resident they are visiting. 

If a resident and their family decide to go on an outing, they should keep in mind that St. Anne’s will have certain requirements upon their return.  This will be done on a case by case basis in discussion with our Director of Nursing.  Depending upon level of risk of exposure (number of people, nature of outing, geographic concerns, etc.), precautions upon return may include a two week isolation period.

This includes that the residents:

  • Will have to stay on their floor in a designated area.
  • Will have meals and medications brought to their room.
  • Will have to stay in the area and not leave the floor.

St. Anne’s is currently moving through phases with the North Dakota Department of Health, which will take time.

COVID-19 Update

Dear family and friends,

We wanted to give you an update on our current requirements and provisions for COV1D-19.

We have now gone through two rounds of testing; thankfully, our residents and staff are all negative for the virus.

We have been working closely with the North Dakota Long Term Care Association, in compliance with the governor and the State of North Dakota. We are now in “Phase 1” (of 3) as we move toward safely lifting restrictions at St. Anne’s.

Governor Burgum has stated the residents may receive visits from family and/or friends outdoors.

Screening and protocol is required:

  • Appointment must be made prior to visit (Call 701-746-940lJ
  • Temperature checks must be done.
  • Hands must be sanitized.
  • Masks must be worn.
  • Social distancing (at least 6 feet) must be maintained.
  • A maximum of two people may be visiting a resident at one time.

St. Anne’s allows visitation until 8 p.m. every night.

We am still requiring that residents stay on the property as we are still considered to be “on lock-down.”

Residents and staff will be going through two additional rounds of testing, June 27 and July 10.

Thank you for your patience as we look forward to opening our facility to all of you once again.

It’s Coming

Our residents are beginning to enjoy seeing things come to life!  

Along with the onions and tomatoes, the sage and broccoli are also starting (indoors).

Yesterday, our maintenance men also finished putting the soil in for our new growing space out beside the convent, “Mary’s Garden.”  Late in the afternoon, the potatoes got planted in the ground; everything else will have to wait a week or so.

It’s fun to see our residents take interest in this, and even offer to help.  It is a nice distraction for all of us during this challenging time.  

Our little plum trees are also doing well. Maybe, in a couple of years, we’ll get fruit from them!

Garden Plans

(From our Residents’ Newsletter)

Rumor has it that some foods are going to be short supply and/or expensive in the coming months.

We’re going to expand our St. Anne’s Garden to provide more home-grown vegetables for everyone here to enjoy.  It probably won’t make a huge difference, but we hope it helps a little. 

If you are a life-long gardener or would like to give it a try, we would greatly appreciate help from our residents…

Now, with less activities available, it might be a fun way to pass a sunny afternoon this season. 

garden planWe’ve already planted some vegetables indoors, and will be planting things outside toward the end of May.

Update on Growing Things

Plum trees

The protecting leaves have now been removed after the winter, and now our sweet little plum trees are ready to bud!

We’ve also been planning our garden and hoping to start some seeds indoors soon.

Our residents will enjoy watching them grow and eating the produce!

There’s New Life! Let’s Watch!

Are you getting a bit tired of hearing about social distancing, economic recession, closed up businesses, lock-downs, travel bans, and quarantine? It can all be discouraging and depressing.

It’s time to think about something else, right?

How about thinking about spring?

Little signs of life can be seen all around. Pretty soon, we’ll be seeing green grass and budding trees…Won’t that be great?

Tomorrow afternoon, we’re going out for a little walk (6 feet apart, of course!) The fresh air and change of scenery will be good.

The residents choosing to take part will have the chance to see how things look after a long winter. They’ll be able to take a peek at our little plum trees which are now visible (since most of the snow is gone).

We’ll let you take a look, too! Each week, we try to post pictures here of the new life that’s budding around us here at St. Anne’s.

Hopefully, you’ll enjoy watching the progress as much as we do!

Pictured here are our plum trees and strawberry plants. They look pretty dormant now, surrounded by last year’s leaves, but it will be fun to see how that changes in the coming weeks!

Watch with us!

plum trees
plum trees

strawberry plants
strawberry plants

Coping with Social Distancing Measures & Cabin Fever

Residents at homes for the elderly like St. Anne’s are experiencing stress and difficulties involved in striving to stop the spread of COVID-19 more than you may realize!

With all outings cancelled (save those for essential medical procedures), group activities limited to less than ten people, and other drastic measures in place, things are not so easy right now for residents or staff.

You are probably facing hardships of your own, and may be sick of your “four walls.”

Here, we’ll share some of what we and our residents have been doing to help cope. Perhaps, you’ll find something here that you’d like to try yourself. Hopefully, this list (not meant to be exhaustive) is helpful to you.

  • Playing charades
  • Bingo (in two separate rooms to keep number of persons at 10 or less)
  • Music/Sing-along (Now that we don’t have visitors in our chapel, we’ve used the space multiple times for hymn-singing.  We’ve also been able to continue our weekly sing-along in the activity room.)
  • Live-streaming daily Mass from St. Michael’s Church
  • Praying the Our Father daily at lunchtime over the PA for protection and the end of this pandemic
  • Going for a walk
  • Posting encouraging scripture quotes around the building
  • Announcing a ‘Joke of the Day’ over the paging system

We miss you and pray for a quick end to the present crisis! 

Thanking our Staff

At this time of year (January or February), St. Anne’s has the tradition of recognizing and thanking our staff for their service to our residents with an appreciation dinner.  Those celebrating milestone years/anniversaries of employment with us are especially recognized.  

This year, we’d like to thank the following for their years of service:

  • Jeff (Maintenance) – 45 years
  • Mary (2nd Floor) – 15 years
  • Chuck (Bookkeeping) & Sr. Christina – 10 years
  • Lori (PM Aide) & Zachary (Nights) – 5 years

On another note, St. Anne’s is looking to hire an individual to serve as an evening cook.  This is a part-time position.  If you (or someone you know) are interested, please visit www.stannesguesthome.org/employment to apply.


Caramel Pull-Aparts…French Toast Bake…Mini Pizzas, Oh My!

A month or two ago, we received a call from Northlands Rescue Mission, asking if we could use some bagels.

Sr. Rebecca, our administrator, took the call and agreed that we could take some. There had been a mistake; to make a long story short, they had ended up with 160 cases of bagels which they had not ordered. (Please realize that each case contained 72 restaurant-quality bagels).

Since that fateful day, St. Anne’s staff have made multiple trips there to help alleviate the “bagel burden” at the Mission. Sr. Elaine has served as coordinator for the “St. Anne’s Bagel Distribution Center,” doing a good job at marketing and disposing of many of somewhat versatile wheat products. (Too bad she doesn’t have the same track record for selling our neat St. Anne’s Discount Cards.)

We have even gone so far as to put up signs advertising “FREE BAGELS – ASK AT THE FRONT DESK.”

Countless trips back over to the convent garage, where these bountiful boxes of bagels were stored, were made.

Along with giving these out to visitors and apartment residents, we’ve also found a few creative, and tasty, ways of using them in our Basic Care unit as well.

For our New Years Eve Party, Activities staff made delicious bagel pizzas, which were a big hit with our residents (so much so that dietary staff made them for lunch today when pizza was on the menu).

Sr. Christina has made French toast bake a couple of times, even serving it to our residents for snacks once. (They didn’t mind it a bit, always appreciative of freshly baked treats). She also made caramel pull-aparts. (Both of these recipes use five bagels cut/torn into small pieces.)

Now, with the warm weather promised over the weekend, we will need to find a more stable environment with temperatures maintained well below freezing.

(Don’t tell anyone, but a certain individual here has also been feeding the rabbits with them. Those of us who do gardening in the spring are not thrilled with the idea.)

The 20-20-20 Rule


The end of the year and holiday season can be a strenuous for many of us.  Between getting finances in order, Christmas gifts, and record-keeping related to such things, we tend to give our eyes a real work out at this time of year, especially.

Looking back and forth between the computer screen and a stack of papers can definitely take its toll on your eyes, can’t it?

Feeling increased eye fatigue, in the midst of such process, led this post’s writer, recently, to do a bit of research into how to avoid eye strain and fatigue.

The most helpful advice came from staff at North Dakota Vision Services, who suggested the “20-20-20 Rule.”

Let’s elaborate: For every 20 minutes spent working on the computer, stop and spend 20 seconds staring at something 20 feet away.

This simple, easy to remember strategy can really save on your eyes!  

When you think about it, 20 seconds is not a long time to interrupt your work.  In the long run, it is well worth it.  It can even lead to longer endurance at a task.  You might even use that 20 seconds to simultaneously re-collect your thoughts or even say a little prayer.

Another trick that was pointed out is somehow propping one’s paperwork up to an even height with the screen, either using a paper stand or a clip attached to the computer monitor.  For those of us whose eyes do not focus quickly, this can be especially helpful to avoid losing one’s place.

An article from Mayo Clinic on eyestrain offers some other helpful tips.

Whatever steps you find most helpful, your eyes will thank you for taking simple precautions to protect them!