February has had a little bit of everything; from the Oak Hills Memorial Foundation holding its annual Bowling Classic fundraiser to celebrating Valentine’s day to being able to send staff to the Leading Age conference in the cities for continuing education, we have not been bored during this snowy, cold winter.
Nearly 100 bowlers packed a bowling alley in New Ulm for the 15th annual Oak Hills Bowling Classic. “This year, we’re finally going to raise funds for something that’s been on the list for a long time, and that is a wheelchair–accessible walkway all the way around the living center,” Kathy Austinson, Foundation director said. They expect to raise around 12 thousand dollars, which will cover half the cost of the walkway. We have a beautiful setting around our facility including the hillside with bushes and trees, and the prairie grass in the front. We often see deer, rabbits, squirrels, and a variety of birds. The residents, their families, and staff are looking forward to being able to utilize the new walkway in the future.
We were able to send multiple staff for training and continuing education at the Leading Age conference. ‘Leading Age Minnesota is the largest association of organizations serving Minnesota seniors. Our mission is to transform and enhance the experience of aging. Today our membership encompasses more than 1,000 organizations nearly 70,000 seniors every day in all of the places they call home, including adult day, independent senior housing, assisted living communities, in-home services and skilled nursing facilities.’ The staff came back with updates about new regulations, innovative ideas, collaborative processes, the latest technology, award winning quality programs, and information on the latest legislative sessions and how it will affect our industry and the seniors we care for, etc. This opportunity gives us the chance to renew, reflect, and re energize; and the ability to continue to provide the best care possible and to stay on top of the many changes and challenges of our industry.
I am excited to be partnering with the kindergarten teachers from Washington Learning Center to provide inter generational activities. After an initial meeting with Janel Sasser, we were able to put together a plan for the different Kindergarten classes to visit weekly. Janel’s class came to visit our Assisted Living residents and spent an hour, singing songs, playing number bingo, and card games, as well as painting and coloring. Laughter and smiles filled the room as new friendships were formed. We are looking forward to future visits.