Communicate with Care!: Tips for Effective Communications Month

Picture1Here at St. Anne’s (like anywhere else), we find that communication is very important.  Whether it be giving report to fellow staff or alerting a resident to an upcoming appointment, good communication is key.

As we near the end of June, which is recognized as “Effective Communications Month,” we’d like to share some tips to help you have better communication habits.

Our first tip concerns the way we respond to the communication of others.  We need to make an effort to truly “listen” to what someone is saying.  If we’re doing something else, it’s best to stop, make eye contact, and truly be attentive to a person who wants to talk to us.

Body language that says “I care; I’m listening.” is important, too.  It’s said that over half of communication is non-verbal.  What we say with our body is just as important as what comes out of our mouths.

Be courteous; do not interrupt someone when they’re talking to you.  Remember the give-and-take of good conversation and communication.

Think before you speak – pause to consider your words and their repercussions rather than simply saying the first thing that comes into your head.  You can eliminate a lot of problems this way.

Pass it on (We find this to be crucial in our work here at St. Anne’s.)  If someone gives you information that is important for others to know, make sure you pass it on.  You may want to make a note right away to ensure you remember to rely the information afterword.

Show you care: Utilizing the above techniques will help show the other person that you care about what they have to say, that you care about them. Show interest and ask questions.  Pay attention to the other person’s response and adapt accordingly.  Smile and give encouragements – who doesn’t like to get positive feedback?


This Weekend – head over to our Ice Cream Social

What do great fellowship, peppy old-time music and tasty desserts have in common?  Well, you’ll find them all at St. Anne’s this Sunday.

Local accordion players will again be providing music.  A free-will offering will be taken during the event, held from 1:30 to 3:30 p.m.

Proceeds of the social go toward our activity department.  We’d appreciate if you can bring over a pie, cake, or monetary donation to help with the event.

You can let us know if you’re interested, or even donate online.

Please help spread the word!  We hope to see you there!

Cool It: Tips for Keeping your Cool in Hot Weather


June is here! It appears that we’re jumping about forty degrees between the beginning of the week and now.

It seemed appropriate to share here some tips for keeping cool when it’s hot outside.  Hopefully you’ll find them helpful.

  1. Make an ice cube necklace with nylons
  2. Make a cold pack with a water bottle.
  3. Run cold water over your wrists.  This is especially effective because of the location of your veins.
  4. Take a cool bath or shower…brrrr!
  5. Stay in your lower level – remember, heat rises.
  6. Choose light weight and light colored clothes.  Think cotton because synthetics trap the heat while cotton absorbs your sweat.
  7. Roll up and freeze pieces of damp flannel cloth.  When you get hot, take them out, unroll them and lay them on your forehead and cheeks.
  8. Eat ice cream.  The perfect opportunity to do so it at our St. Anne’s annual Pie, Cake and Ice Cream Social Sunday, June 11.
  9. Drink plenty of water or even chew on crushed ice.  Other frozen treats are options as well, though nothing quite compares with water.
  10. Dampen your top sheet and/or pillow and stick it in the refrigerator.  Then, take it out and put it on right before bed.  You can also dampen clothing items and chill them to cool yourself off.






Greek Yogurt – Not Too Bad

Enjoy some “food for thought” from Sr. Elaine!

greek-yogurt-2-webFrom time to time Sister Ann Marie, our Provincial Superior, comes to visit us.  She brings along Greek Yogurt to eat as her breakfast, adding lots of granola.  So when she planned on coming this last time I thought I would be hospitable and have some on hand for her.  Of course, I got the flavored version.  She brings the plain.

Just what is this Greek Yogurt?  There is French toast, Italian spaghetti, American apple pie, English muffin, French onion soup.  Why not Greek yogurt?  So as to appreciate this supposed delicacy I drove over to Hugo’s Grocery store to read the labels.

First of all, where in Greece is it made?  So I looked on the label – guess where?  No, not in Greece!  The flavored is manufactured for distribution in Lake Success, New York, and the plain in White Plains, New York.  It’s like that advertisement for salsa – “New York City”!

The label states it is an excellent source of calcium.  So, I looked up calcium in Webster’s book and it stated:  “Calcium:  a silvery, moderately hard metallic element that constitutes approximately 3% of the earth’s crust and is a basic component of most animals and plants.”

We want this in us?  I have also heard that calcium is good for our bones and teeth.  OK then.

The label also states yogurt has 7 live and active cultures.  Good grief! Where in us do they live?

In capital letters the label asserts Greek Yogurt is “PROBIOTIC”!  What in the wide world of sports is “Probiotic”?  Even Webster’s brand new 2 ½ inch dictionary did not have that word.  But, Google did.  Yes, it seems needed to aide one’s intestinal fortitude.

Too, the label sings Greek Yogurt praises stating, “Indulge – full bodied rich and creamy texture with every spoonful”, “Perfect as an alternative to sweet or sour cream, exceptionally delicious with smoothies”.  But – the clincher came when it declared, “Perfect as an alternative to ice cream”.  Do I ever beg to differ with that!!!  Nothing can take the place of ice cream!  Nothing!  In my opinion, not even American Greek Yogurt!

When Sister Ann Marie went back to our Provincial House she did not take the left over Greek Yogurt with her.  Consequently, I had fun trying different homemade flavors with her plain Greek Yogurt.  Try bananas, strawberries, blue berries.  Don’t have any?  Strawberry ice cream topping works.  Even caramel ice cream topping.  I figure since the caramel topping stands right beside the strawberry topping in the refrigerator it, through the process of osmosis, becomes fruity.  I did not try hot fudge yet.  But, I will.  Then add your granola and even a little French vanilla coffee creamer, and have a wonderful festive breakfast, and a great Greek day!

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“Holy Mary, Now We Crown Thee…”

How many of you remember May devotions to Mary as children?  Although the origins are somewhat unknown, they seem to have originated in Italy.  However, according to Wikipedia, May devotions “spread eventually around the Roman Catholic world in the 19th century.”  Actually, according to an online resource from the University of Dayton, coronations of Mary have been a common practice since the late 1700s in the West.  As far as images of Mary being crowned, we might find the first one back in the book of Revelation, where the writer, St. John, saw “a woman clothed with the sun…and on her head a crown of twelve stars.” (Rev. 12)

Here at St. Anne’s the tradition, obviously, is not quite so ancient.  We have been holding a “May Crowning” here with our residents for the past several years, usually in our back courtyard off the atrium (see below).

Shelly from activities crowns Mary in our Fatima grotto.
Shelly from activities crowns Mary in our Fatima grotto.

This year, we hope to again have our May Crowning outside on Tuesday, May 16 at 3 p.m.  Visitors are also welcome to join us in honoring our Blessed Mother.  Let’s pray for good weather.  (If you plan to attend, please let me know so I have enough seating.)

The ceremony usually includes a couple of hymns, prayers, and a little reading and/or reflection.

May Crowning of Mary








PS: As we mark the 100 year anniversary of the Marian apparitions at Fatima, our little grotto in our outdoor courtyard needs desperate attention.
It would need to be sand-blasted and re-painted.
Anyone interested in contributing toward this (or having the capacity to do this and interested in volunteering) would be encouraged to let us know. We would appreciate it.

Wet Your Whistle: ‘Drinking Water Week’ is Coming Up!

17505056_1452496018123615_9110413917490671142_oAlthough some of our residents are on fluid restrictions for health reasons, and others really like their pop, as the weather starts to warm up, we encourage the majority of them to drink plenty of water.

Water makes up about 60% of our body make-up, and serves several useful purposes, including helping control body temperature, insulating against cold weather, carrying nutrients to cells, carrying away waste, promoting digestion, keeping skin, eyes, and mouth moist, lubricating joints, helping with bowel regularity, and keeping the urinary tract well flushed.  Drinking plenty of water can also increase energy, help with weight loss, remove toxins from your body, boost your mood and your immune system,

Failure to drink enough water will result in dehydration, a condition which may require hospitalization to treat.

Some symptoms include dry mouth and skin, headache, fatigue, high body temperature, kidney function and circulation problems, pulse and repertory abnormalities, dizziness, muscle spasms, a swollen tongue, and even poor mental functioning and delirium.

Unfortunately, as we age, our sense of thirst may become diminished and we will not know we need a drink until we are already getting dehydrated.  Our sense of hunger versus thirst may become blurred as we age.  Also, with bladder control problems that many seniors face, they are leery of drinking too much.  Seniors are at risk for dehydration for this and other reasons.

So, how much water do I need, you may ask.  It is recommended that you get 48-64 ounces a day.  This may, along with water, be met by drinking milk, juice, and other decaffeinated drinks or taking Jello or soup broth.   Fruits and vegetables, themselves, also contain water.  Some beverages are not useful in hydrating you, including caffeine and alcoholic drinks.

So, what can you do to help meet your daily hydration needs?  Here are a few suggestions:

  • Drink a glass of water right away in the morning
  • Bring a bottle with you when you’re walking or driving
  • Take water breaks instead of coffee breaks during the day
  • Find things that are healthy and that you like to drink, and have them easily accessible so that you’re more likely to drink them throughout the day.

Information for this article was gathered from the following sources:

Don’t Be Upset – Home Remedies for your Troubled Tummy

Recently, when staff went shopping for the various needs of departments around St. Anne’s, 7 Up was on the list.  The nurses wanted some to give residents when they have stomach upset.

Actually, this lemony beverage is but one of many home remedies suggested to help when you’re feeling a little queasy.

We thought, this week, we’d share some others that you may like to try the next time your stomach isn’t treating you well.


  • chamomile tea
  • peppermint tea
  • rice water (leftover from cooking rice)
  • warm lemon water
  • club soda with lime
  • Ginger root tea
  • apple cider vinegar
  • Applesauce
  • Cumin
  • Licoric
  • Burnt toast

Other suggestions include:

  • Take in some ginger, mint, yogurt, fennel seeds,
  • Apply a hot pack
  • liquid iodine
  • activated charcoal
  • Aloe juice

We hope you don’t have an upset stomach any time soon, but if you do, you might try one or more of the above tips.

Below is a list of resources used in this article which may provide additional helpful information.