Read our recent blog posts.
Read our recent blog posts.
As an Art Therapist working at the Milwaukee Catholic Home, I see the benefits of working with the fine arts on a weekly basis. As with all of the Therapeutic Recreation programs offered, when an individual decides to participate in a program, they are a part of a community. It’s a community of people who have had some of the same experiences that come with getting older – loss, more time on their hands, possible illnesses or ailments, isolation, as well as wisdom and wonderful life stories they can share.
Every year, Milwaukee Catholic Home is supported by around 8,000 hours of volunteer work by close to 200 volunteers of all ages. Some of these volunteers are students who work with us for a week or for a semester, while others have given of their time for years or even decades. All of them exemplify the compelling Gospel message: “The greatest among you will be your servant” (Matthew 23:11). This week, we honor our volunteers in a special way. Mary Cherniack, our Volunteer Coordinator, shares some thoughts on what makes an MCH volunteer.
We of course try all year round to show our very special MCH volunteers how much we value them. Our volunteers bring extraordinary skills, experience, friendship, vision and inspiration to our residents daily.
April 6th thru April 13th, National Volunteer Appreciation Week, is a special opportunity to express our thanks.
On March 19, we will honor 38 employees at our annual Service Awards Luncheon. These employees have mile-stone anniversaries working anywhere from 5 to 25 years at MCH. We chose this day because it is a special day: the feast of Saint Joseph, patron saint of the worker. We know Saint Joseph watches over all MCH employees and helps to keep them inspired to do the valuable work they do every day no matter what their tenure at MCH.
On her website dedicated to St. Joseph, Beverly Johnson Roberts says that Saint Joseph is the patron saint of ordinary people leading ordinary everyday lives, and that there was nothing lofty or regal about him. He was an ordinary worker whose purpose was to provide quality of life to his family.
Dorothy is one of the hundreds of persons whose spirit will forever remain as part of our Milwaukee Catholic Home community. She was a single lady in her nineties who moved into our Health and Rehabilitation Center when challenges of immobility and self-care made it impossible for her to safely continue living in her East Side home. “I’ve outlived all my family and friends,” she told me on the day that I first met her. “I feel so alone.”
With her winsome smile and quick sense of humor, Dorothy began to touch the hearts of staff and residents who came to know her as the days went on.
My wife and I recently celebrated an important milestone: our 15th wedding anniversary. We had a great time looking back at the past 15 years and the memories we’ve created together.
However, it’s important to remember that an anniversary like this isn’t an ending, and it isn’t really about the past. It’s about the present and the future. It’s a re-commitment, or even a re-invention. My wife and I have each changed in different ways over the course of our marriage, and as our needs, abilities, strengths and weaknesses change, our commitment to each other means that we adapt to those changes and renew our understanding of how we live out our marriage in daily life.
Our 100 year anniversary at Milwaukee Catholic Home is like that too.
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.