Thoughts from a Frequent Visitor

UntitledMy wife and I come to St. Anne’s two to three times a year to visit our daughter Sr. Christina Marie.  We always enjoy our visits and are happy to have met, talked with and developed relationships with many residents and staff.  We have found St. Anne’s to be much more than a facility that houses people.  We have found it to be a very nice community.

We observe many residents who have groups of friends they get to visit with daily.  We appreciate the chapel that is open to all.

One of the things I like best is that one doesn’t have to go outside in the wintertime to take advantage of all St. Anne’s offers.  Everything is a short indoor walk or elevator ride to get to.

Untitled.jpgI’ve often thought to myself that I could easily see myself one day being happy to be a resident of St. Anne’s.  The sisters run a fine place and the residents are very friendly.  The only bad thing I can say about St. Anne’s is that every time I visit I gain ten pounds.

Rick Neumann

Beware of the Ides of March?


You may know that March 15, “the ides of March,” was the day on which Julias Caesar was assassinated (in 44 BC), thus constituting the phrase: “Beware of the ides of March.”  But did you know that this day in history was also a tragic one on other accounts?

These include a raid on Southern England (1360), the Samoan Cyclone (1889), Czar Nicholas II abdicating his throne (1917), the German occupation of Czechoslovakia (1939), a world Record Rainfall (1952), and a New Global health scare (2003).  But, probably the one of most interest to us at St. Anne’s as North Dakotans is the infamous blizzard of 1941.

If you read last month’s Broadcaster (our little resident newsletter), you may recall that one of our residents, Ann Leeson still remembers that unexpected event.

The word “ides,” according to one article, comes from the Latin word meaning to divide, but also has to do with the timing of the full moon.

Hopefully, however, you aren’t superstitious, and we can hope for a good day today, despite March 15th’s sad history.  For one thing, it’s one day closer to the beginning of spring!

Information from:

In Like a Lion!

P1010031.JPGMarch comes in like a lion and goes out like a lamb. But where did this common idiom originate?  No one is quite sure.

However, one theory points to the stars. The constellation at the beginning of the month is Leo (the Lion). By the end of the month, it’s Aries (ram or lamb).

This proverb can be traced back to a 1732 compilation of sayings which includes the phrase “comes in like a Lion, goes out like a Lamb.”

Another interesting aspect is the fact that lamb meat was only available in the spring, which may contribute to the fact that March is said to go out like a lamb.

The simple meaning of this phrase is that the month often comes in with bad weather, but by the time April is here, it is more clement.

This year in early March, the lion certainly has been roaring with the strong winds we’ve been having!

Info. from and

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: