At Milwaukee Catholic Home, we love to learn and share knowledge about what’s new in senior services. It’s what enables us to continue offering exceptional care and memorable experiences to those who call MCH home. As part of this sharing, we’ve started a new blog, and we hope you’ll take a few minutes to take a look.
You’ll find thoughts and reflections from our CEO, Dave Fulcher, as well as other leaders here at MCH, on a variety of topics related to aging and retirement life. Dave’s first post is on the topic of whole-person wellness, and he asks the question: are you the hare or the tortoise?
We’ll be updating the blog frequently, and you can stay up to date on the latest content by subscribing to our email list. Just click the link below and start receiving our monthly e-newsletter, including announcements of upcoming events, info about new services and initiatives, and great pictures and stories of MCH life.
This past Saturday, Milwaukee Catholic Home staff and residents collaborated with SET Ministry to host a Christmas party for a group of families and older adults living in public housing. The event was a week in the making:
On Tuesday, residents and staff made cookies to be served at the party.
Friday afternoon, residents, staff and volunteers put together gift bags full of treats and personal care products.
The gift tags were hand made by residents of our Memory Care apartments.
At the party on Saturday morning, staff and resident volunteers enjoyed serving holiday goodies, chatting with party-goers about Christmas memories, and singing carols together. Some lucky attendees won raffle prizes, including a handmade afghan.
It was truly a wonderful day, and we look forward to teaming up with SET in the future!
In the world of senior services, you hear a lot about “whole person wellness” – in fact, you hear about it so much that it sometimes seems like it’s lost its meaning. Lots of organizations like ours have developed elaborate systems and special names for their wellness programs, but what’s important about this idea can sometimes get lost in the shuffle. Wellness for me has often been the token visit to the gym once or twice a month. Feeling empowered and almost super human for a brief moment, thoughts run wild in my mind that I may now be able to win the upcoming 5K in my age division!
However, like in the old story about the tortoise and the hare, winning at wellness is less about sprinting to the finish line and more about slow, steady progress. Real wellness takes commitment and perseverance, but ultimately has even greater rewards.
Several months ago, one of our residents, Marie Hasenoehrl, came to us and wanted to talk about how she could support the Milwaukee Catholic Home mission in gratitude for her wonderful years of being part of our community. We talked to her about some ideas, and what really appealed to Marie was the idea of wellness. Marie has been committed to using the fitness center as a part of her daily routine, and knows how important it is to her and to our other residents in maintaining physical wellness and overall health. Because of this belief, she choose to give a generous gift towards a complete renovation of the fitness center at The Residence, including a variety of new, state of the art equipment designed with seniors in mind.
Wanting to learn more about this interesting phenomenon of whole person wellness and the challenge of committing to it, I came across this quote. It really resonated with me and with the work we are doing around wellness here at Milwaukee Catholic Home.
“Health in the biblical perspective means wholeness — not only physical, but also spiritual and psychological wholeness; not only individual, but also social and institutional wholeness. Jesus was the Divine Healer who came to restore this health. He healed people’s physical and psychological ills; he healed them to the depth of their being. Through his life and ministry he proclaimed the kingdom of God on earth and reached out to touch and to heal our wounded humanity. He came to the world to make us fully human, to help us to realize our human dignity as creatures made in the image of God. He came to bring the fullness of life.”
“Health has to do with more than strictly medical concerns. The restoration of health and maintenance of good health are not solely the responsibility of doctors, nurses and other medical professionals. We all bear a responsibility in this regard, both as individuals and as members of larger social and religious institutions.”
(Health and Health Care: A Pastoral Letter of the American Catholic Bishops – November 19, 1981)
Reading this pastoral letter on health care, it struck me that whole person wellness, for all its trendiness, is nothing new – especially not for us at Milwaukee Catholic Home who value our rich Catholic faith tradition and sense of community. The Church, in following the example and teaching of Jesus the healer, has worked for centuries to help people realize the importance of being well in all aspects of human life – not just physical health, but psychological, social, spiritual, and societal wellness.
It’s especially appropriate in this Christmas season to talk about human flourishing, in body, mind and soul. Jesus chose to become one of us, but he didn’t just take on part of what it means to be human – he became fully human, with all the challenges that come with it. He understands our weaknesses, but also what gives us strength and how we can share that strength with each other.
We’re so grateful to Marie, both for her gift and for the opportunity to highlight what whole person wellness means at Milwaukee Catholic Home. There’s so much we do here on a daily, weekly, and yearly basis to support our residents’ wellness, from spiritual care and sacramental life to daily exercise programs to music and fine arts. We look forward to spending some time reflecting further on these programs and how they can be enhanced and expanded to bring even more benefit to our residents and our community.
What are you doing to win your next 5K (in your age division of course!)?
You may have heard that Santa and three of his reindeer stopped by our Health and Rehabilitation Center for a visit with residents and the students from the Nurturing Nook child daycare. Christmas treats, holiday music, and an opportunity for fun family photos were some of the highlights of the afternoon. Enjoy some pictures below!
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Every year, our Board of Directors gathers for an afternoon and evening of education, reflection and fellowship. It’s a great opportunity for our Board members to learn from experts about some of the challenges and innovations developing within the world of senior services.
This year, two presenters shared their knowledge. Greg Schneider of Schneider Consulting presented an overview of the strategic planning process. Greg will be facilitating this process with the Board and Strategic Planning Committee this year as they revamp the organization’s long-term goals and strategic plan. Cory Rutledge of CliftonLarsonAllen also presented on the new regulatory framework for protecting residents’ privacy and confidentiality, always a top priority for staff and administration at Milwaukee Catholic Home.
After the educational presentations, Board members gathered for Mass, celebrated by MCH resident Fr. Jim Connell. The evening ended with a social and shared meal.
Especially in this season of generosity, the members of our Board of Directors thank you for your prayers and support as they strive to make decisions for MCH’s future success in its mission of service.
We love this time of year at Milwaukee Catholic Home – each day seems to be packed full of great ways to prepare for and celebrate the Christmas season! Here is just a sampling of what’s coming up:
Sunday, December 1st, 2:00 pm
The Astor Room
Enjoy a concert of Christmas favorites, featuring this local instrumental and vocal ensemble.
Wednesdays in December, 7:00 pm
St. Anne’s Chapel
Join us on December 11th and 18th for an ecumenical prayer service, with Scripture and song.
Friday, December 6th, 2:30 pm
Join our residents and the kids from Nurturing Nook for an afternoon with Santa and three live reindeer, along with holiday music and treats.
Friday, December 6th, 2:00 pm
The Astor Room
Take the opportunity to reflect on the wonder of the Incarnation of Jesus – the reason for our joy in this season.
Thursday, December 19th, 2:30 pm
One of our favorite traditions here at MCH – the kids from Nurturing Nook and the residents from our memory care apartments join together to perform a play. This year’s production is called “Swinging on a Star.”
We’ve had a lot of visitors through our new Town Center since it opened earlier this year, but none like the unusual guests we’re expecting in a few weeks. On December 6th, the kids from Nurturing Nook, the children’s daycare on the MCH campus, will join residents in a visit with Santa and three of his (live!) reindeer.
A hands-on, inter-generational educational program about reindeer will be held at 2:00PM for the kids and residents. Afterwards, from 2:30-4:00 pm, St. Nick will be available for photo opportunities along with the reindeer both indoors next to our fireplace and outside in our courtyard.
Freshly baked holiday cookies and refreshments will be served with an accompaniment of traditional holiday piano music.
In our Catholic tradition, November 2nd is the Feast of All Souls, a day to remember and pray for those who have died. At Milwaukee Catholic Home, we celebrate a special Mass each November in memory of those who have passed away from our community in the past year.
This year, the Mass of Remembrance will be held on Sunday, November 24th at 10:30 am in the St. Anne’s Chapel. All are welcome both to the Mass and to a simple continental breakfast and social to follow.
As Milwaukee Catholic Home staff, we consider it a privilege to gather with the family and friends of our residents to remember them and their impact on our lives and the life of our community. We hope you can join us.
Last Thursday, Milwaukee Catholic Home had the opportunity to host a group of Japanese delegates, visiting Milwaukee as part of Wisconsin’s sister state relationship with the prefecture of Chiba, Japan.
MCH resident Patrick Lucey was instrumental in forming this special relationship with Japan during his time as Governor of Wisconsin, and the delegates honored him for his role at a special luncheon.
We were also treated to a performance of traditional Japanese dance, or “Kabana-kai.”
Enjoy some pictures of this special day of cultural learning and fun!
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Last Friday, the 3 and 4 year olds of the Nurturing Nook Children’s School, located on the MCH campus, participated in an annual walk around the neighborhood to raise awareness of Alzheimer’s disease, while being cheered on by MCH residents, staff and families. The kids were decked out in purple attire and carried a purple banner in honor of the Alzheimer’s Association. Following the walk, a celebratory ceremony was held in MCH’s Memory Care apartments, where the residents presented the children with participation certificates, and the children shared stories about their favorite memories and pastimes.
Each year, the Nurturing Nook Children’s School students learn about the “grandmas and grandpas” that live at MCH. They are exposed to adaptive equipment such as wheel chairs and walkers and learn about memories and memory loss. The walk is the final event of a week of special intergenerational programs, including creating a banner of purple handprints that is carried during the walk as well as a special lunch made by the MCH residents for the kids.
Enjoy some pictures below!
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