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Marking National Nursing Home Week

Thorne Crest Senior Living Community is marking National Nursing Home Week with a week’s worth of activities.

A picnic is Tuesday, with Hawthorne Elementary School students visiting the nursing home Tuesday afternoon. Girl Scouts will hand out cookies.

“We have a good partnership with the Hawthorne school, and they want to come over and sing to them during the week here and make it special,” said Thorne Crest Activities Director Marilyn Claassen. “They’ve learned a lot of the residents’ names and who they are.”

Claassen said a resident who shared a birthday with a second-grade student ensured the student received a birthday card even though they did not meet that month. The student thanked the resident the next time he saw her.

On Wednesday, an all-campus cookout will be at 11 a.m., with a reptile zoo available at 2 p.m.

At that time, Dee Randall will play and sing.

A tea party will take place at 10 a.m. Friday, and high school students will perform at 1:15 p.m. A Ice cream cones will be served at 6:15 p.m.

The festivities started Friday with a pancake breakfast, a singing cowgirl and the honoring of retired nurses. Root beer floats were served Friday evening, and Chris Von Arx played Saturday.

Thorne Crest held a Mother’s Day program Sunday. Family members were invited.

May is National Older Americans Month.

“We try to have special events for the residents, for the staff and their families during the week, and actually we try to spread it out also through the month of May,” said Thorne Crest Activities Director Marilyn Claassen.

To Claassen and fellow Thorne Crest activities employee Emily Goskeson, the week signifies the importance residents have in their lives.

“They mean everything to me,” Claassen said. She has heard residents share their life stories and how the advent of technology has changed their lives.

“Every resident is just amazing,” Goskeson said. “They have such amazing stories and what they have to offer. They’re great people.”

Claassen said nursing homes provide residents the chance to live relatively independently with assistance.

Thorne Crest has a library service through Albert Lea Public Library, and Claassen said it is “amazing” the number of residents who read.

“They have grown up with reading, which is so neat to see, and they want to continue way into their later years,” she said.

According to the Family Caregiver Alliance, on an annual basis, 8.35 million people receive support from health agencies, nursing homes, hospices, residential care communities and adult day service centers.

Approximately 63 percent of people who need long-term care are 65 and older, with the remaining 37 percent 64 years old or younger.

It is estimated by 2050, the number of individuals using paid long-term care services in any setting is likely to increase from 13 million in 2000 to 27 million.

About Sam Wilmes

Sam Wilmes covers crime, courts and government for the Albert Lea Tribune.

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