Finishing Library Lovers Month at St. Anne’s

Article by Apartment Resident, Betty Canavan
It’s not to late.  February is National Library Lovers Month. There is a whole year left to celebrate.  Sometimes God leads us away from our phone, computer and TV to a quite time where we can be at peace.
Although it’s not large, there is a nice little library here at St Anne’s.  It is located across the hall from the activity room and contains an assortment of books for many varied interests.  I venture to say, everyone could find something they’d be interested in reading.  Another thing it provides is a quiet and peaceful place to read.
What you probably didn’t know is that this little library has several annexes!  The first is across the hall in the activity room, which is always bustling with enthusiasm.  There is a huge selection of current magazine subscriptions and a daily paper for all to read.
The second annex is in the atrium.  Another copy of the daily ‘Herald’ keeps us up to date on all the news that’s fit to print.  I think ‘The Grand Forks Herald’ is special.  Started in 1879, it’s the second largest newspaper in North Dakota.  It won a Pulitzer Prize for Public Service in 1997 when the Red River flooded, inundated the building and burned it to the ground.  The Herald never missed a day of print, setting up offices in UND and an elementary school and giving free papers to everyone affected by the flood.  The offices were rebuilt and a separate new print facility made it bigger and better than ever.
Since the atrium is such a relaxing place to congregate, knit or read, there is also a small bookshelf with magazines and paperbacks which residents peruse.
The North Wing sitting room is another quiet place for contemplation and has a wonderful variety of coffee table books.  But, take the elevator to the second floor, the doors open to the third annex near the laundry room.  A tall bookshelf filled with assorted books, periodicals and four upholstered chairs are there for your enjoyment.
Did you know about the fourth annex?  It’s in the Chapel at St Anne’s.  Over time, the Sisters have selected several books with religious instruction, prayers and Catholic information, hymns, etc., contributing to an inconspicuous but formidable collection at the back of Chapel.  Plus, just at the door are pamphlets, bookmarks and little icons on prayer cards.
What a blessing it is to have all these materials at our fingertips.  How wonderful to be able to read in a community setting or private space.  Needless to say, when the building was planned, enough space was not  set aside for a Library common.  As always, God had a better idea – spreading the library out, here and there, just as he spreads his love for us all.



“Walk for Your Life!”…St. Anne’s Residents Enjoy the Benefits of Walking

P9240007.JPGHere at St. Anne’s, we don’t let the cold weather and slippery roads keep us from getting some healthy exercise.  We’ve developed a practice we refer to as “indoor walks.”  According to calculations by our activity staff, four laps around the building adds up to a mile.

Walking with our residents provides them with a little diversion and good exercise. We even exercise our vocal chords sometimes when walking, singing favorite songs such as “I’ve Been Working on the Railroad” and “Amazing Grace.”

Walking is known to offer many benefits for seniors and others.

Also, walking is free; there is no charge for walking, so it’s easy on one’s pocket book as well as on the joints.  Walking is actually encouraged for those with arthritis.

Walking also helps lower your chance of getting a blood clot, improves circulation, breathing and blood pressure, and strengthens your heart as well as your immune system.  For a woman, a half-hour walk each day can also reduce chance of stroke considerably.  Also, people with osteoporosis will find that walking can stop bone mass loss.  It also supports your joints.

As we’ve found here at St. Anne’s, walking can also help one’s mood.  It can also help fight memory loss and prevent dementia.  It can also give you energy and even releases pain-killing endorphins in your system.  Who could ask for a better medicine?

Not surprisingly, walking can also lead to weight loss and strengthen your muscles.  It can also help you sleep better.

Walking for at least a half an hour has been shown to have various health benefits, but a short walk is better than no walk at all.  A half hour walk can improve your blood sugar level, reduce breast or colon cancer risk, and also reduce risk of Type II diabetes by 60%.

Walking is also good in that it lessens the amount one spends sitting, which can be detrimental to health.

Another interesting fact about walking is that it can subdue your urge for something sweet.  With that in mind, if more of our residents participated in our walks, we might be able to cut back on the number of cookies and snacks we serve.


What’s Up? Renovations have begun upstairs at St. Anne’s!

P9220005.JPGWhat’s that fork lift doing outside the St. Anne’s third floor windows?  There are plenty of stairways, after all.

Recently, at St. Anne’s, we’ve also noticed some unusual noises as well as a bit of dust making their way down as far as the first floor level.

That’s because renovations have started up on the third floor.  Workers began the process of removing walls between three sets of existing rooms to create double sized rooms. Our maintenance staff are also assisting in the process.

The work began this past Monday, and we’re looking forward to its completion in the coming weeks.

Donations are helping support this project of creating these more spacious living quarters for residents.  When the work is finished, we will have three more double-sized rooms available for our residents to enjoy.

If you come by to visit at St. Anne’s, please bear with a little extra commotion; it will be well worth it in the end!

Is it Time?: Signs that you loved one needs more care


Do you know someone or have a family member who just isn’t able to care him(her)self like he used to?

You may wonder if it’s time they find another living situation.

Below, we’ve compiled a list of some “signs” that may indicate that the time is right for a move.  It can be a difficult transition, but a necessary one for the loved one’s safety and well-being.

(Please see our previous article on differences in long-term care terminology for further insights.)

Falls/Physical safety

  • Did your loved one have a fall? Are there bruises indicating that he may have done so?  Is it taking a long time to recover?  Are there numerous unsafe situations in her home, such as stairs or rugs?
  • Are appliances being left on or doors left open? Is his living area safe and secure?

Health, Self-care, and Hygiene

  • Do they have a condition that is causing her health to deteriorate?
  • Is he having trouble with tasks of daily living, like dressing, shopping, making meals, cleaning, and taking their medications properly?
  • Has she lost an unhealthy amount of weight? Does she seem more frail (if you give her a hug, for example.)
  • Is she keeping up her appearance? Is clothing, hair, and makeup (if applicable) neat?
  • Does he have strong body odor or other signs that he is not bathing properly?
  • Does she always seem to be wearing the same thing?
  • Is he having trouble with their activities of daily living (ADLs) on his own?
  • Is she eating properly? Is there food around that looks or smells old?  Does she have expired medications around?
  • Are tasks that were once easy for him now a chore?
  • Does she have a hard time getting around?


  • Is the individual continuing to have social stimulation and relationships? Do they still get together with friends or talk on the phone?  One huge advantage living in a care facility is the wonderful opportunities for socialization.
  • Does he seem lonely?

Mental Acuity

  • Is she still attending to her business matters appropriately?
  • Are there pieces of unopened mail laying around?
  • Is there any suspicious mail lying around that may indicate that your loved one is being taken advantage of? Are there stacks of papers piling up?
  • Is your loved one noticeably disorganized?

Information from:

Sing Loudly Your Praises to the Lord

P1010002.JPGHere at St. Anne’s, blessed with daily Mass in our chapel, our residents have ample opportunities to sing praises.  Some sing loudly, and others you can barely hear.

Do you ever wish there was better participation in liturgical music?

Below, enjoy a little reflection on the topic by one of our apartment residents, Betty Canavan.

Why do we sing hymns in church?  We all probably have a favorite.  How do we feel when we sing it?  And, how do we know God hears us?  The answers are right in your Bible.

Singing is a command, not an option.  Ephesians 5:18-19, “….addressing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody to the Lord with your heart.”

“Let the Word of Christ dwell in you richly…..singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, with thankfulness in your hearts to God.”  Colossians 3:16.  Paul, the Apostle, tells us to teach and to sing.  So, Colossians 3:16 is telling us singing is just as important as the sermon in filling us with God’s Word.

Also, when you sing, you lift other’s spirits as well.  Remember, Ephesians 5:18-19 said, “….addressing one another….”?  Along with the Colossians verse, it signifies bearing problems with each other, forgiving one another, loving and being at peace as one body of Christ, teaching His Word.

When we sing together in church, we share each other’s confessions and hear each other’s testimonies.  As a church family, you also impact those who do not know Christ.  Psalm 105:1-2, “Sing to Him, sing praises to Him, tell of all His wondrous works.”

In Colossians, Paul also challenges us to wage war against sin.  It is the attitude and habits of the believer that eliminates sin.  It’s very hard to lie, be greedy or look at something inappropriate when singing a hymn.  So,  a singing heart is one at war with the power of sin.

Now you are prepared for trials.  Although we always remember to sing when we’re happy, being able to sing when we’re facing the trials of life helps us get through them.  I refer to Acts 16:25, Paul and Silas are imprisoned for the sake of the Gospel.  What do they do?  Sing!  Throughout history, persecuted Christians are strengthened by song.

God designed this pathway to lead us to joy. I refer to Psalms 5:11, 9:2, 51:14, 59:16 and 63:7.  Don’t forget James 5:13, “Is anyone cheerful?  Let him sing praise.”

Aha!  You are saying…..sometimes singing creates joy and other times joy creates singing!  But, you can’t seem to have one without the other.

When you sing you glorify God, all these things:  obedience, understanding the Word, building up others, fighting sin, perseverance and finding joy in God, are each of our purposes in life.

God is the object of our praise.  With all of life’s distractions, singing helps us to focus all of our attention on Him.  So, sing loudly, don’t mumble.  Sing to join the angels.  Sing to our Heavenly Father.  Don’t worry if you don’t know the words – we’re all imperfect.  Don’t worry that you can’t carry a tune – God doesn’t listen for the errors, he takes pride in our wish to please him.  Sing joyfully and loudly, be proud you’re a Christian.

Finally, Revelations 7:9-10, “Salvation belongs to our God who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb.”  The Apostle John describes eternity, with a multitude of people of different languages and nationalities singing before the Lamb.

Since we all hope to be in that multitude, the time to practice is now.  Sing the songs of our Savior, Jesus Christ.  Sing His praises.