"Wellhaven Senior Living and The Lutheran Home Association have always cared about veterans in special way," said Beth Ann Schultz, Wellhaven manager. TLHA's history dates back to one family's loss during the Civil War. A 15-year-old Ernst Boessling from Belle Plaine, Minnesota volunteered to serve with the Minnesota troops. He died in September 1863 in service to his country at Vicksburg, Mississippi.
Tenants at Wellhaven Senior Living often have guests, either friends or family, over to visit. Recently, four special guests were invited. The University of Minnesota Raptor Center brought four locally indigenous birds for a memorable learning experience. The birds included Luta, a 3-year-old Red Tailed Hawk; Darner, a 9-year-old American Kestrel; Maxine, a 19-year-old Bald Eagle and Bubo, an 18-year-old Great Horned Owl. The birds varied in size and weight from 130 grams to 10.5 pounds. Most people are surprised to learn that raptors can be so small.
Every Thursday, the women of Wellhaven Senior Living have the opportunity to visit the hair salon without leaving the building. Beautician Jeanne Hawkins has been bringing her skills to Wellhaven for several years. "The ladies are having a ball in the beauty shop today! They drink coffee and enjoy each other's company. There's always lots of laughter coming from that room," aidd Beth Ann Schultz, manager of Wellhaven. The Forget Me Knott Beauty Shop where Hawkins does her work is named after longtime Wellhaven tenant, Bess Knott.
A huge smile came across Wellhaven tenant Melba Hanson's face as she began to pet Maggie, a therapy horse. As Maggie couldn't come inside Wellhaven, several tenants made their way outside to meet and greet the horse. "Numerous tenants were able to stand to pet Maggie," said Wellhaven Activities Coordinator & Marketing Assistant Laura Swanson. "For some of our tenants in wheelchairs, Maggie put her nose down to be close to them. She was very relaxed and provided a comforting presence to our tenants."
"Moving the Senior Center to inside Wellhaven has been the best decision ever." It's been said before and it will probably be said again. In honor of National Senior Center Month, Wellhaven Senior Living hosted its second annual senior picnic on Sept. 6. More than 120 guests, including Wellhaven tenants and seniors from the River Falls area, enjoyed the event.
Wellhaven Senior Living hosts a monthly blood pressure clinic on the third Thursday each month at 10:30 a.m. Screenings will take place in the Fireside Lounge. This is a free event. "Checking your blood pressure regularly is the only way to know if you have high blood pressure," said Erin McLagan, registered nurse at Wellhaven. "We want people to be aware of their health and take steps to be healthy. Our blood pressure clinic allows for community members to take advantage of a free way to learn more."
Wellhaven Senior Living tenants enjoyed an afternoon on the farm Sunday, July 29, when they visited Judith Hanson's farm. Hanson's aunt lives at Wellhaven and thought our tenants would enjoy seeing the farm and its horses. "It was beautiful," said Donna Anding, a tenant at Wellhaven. "I used to live on a farm so it was really nice to go." In addition to experiencing the farm and smelling the flowers in the garden, tenants interacted with the animals. Terry, the party poodle, greeted tenants before the horses made their appearance and stole the show.
Twice a week Wellhaven Senior Living tenant Bob Zenk hosts a movie night. Tenants enjoy gathering in the Fireside Lounge on Monday and Thursday nights. Bob goes to the library for most of his entertainment choices, but occasionally one of the other tenants brings down a movie from their own collection. Bob says, "I like to do it. We have fun!" Since Bob has started hosting movie night he learned you can't please everyone. He finds romantic movies and comedies gather greater crowds.
It has been a busy week here at Wellhaven. Tenants went on an outing to Cedar Lake, listened to live music from JC Colby and enjoyed the festivities of Wellhaven's River Falls Days Pre-Parade Party. Activities got rearranged to accommodate this week's bustling schedule.
The lunch hour is social hour at Wellhaven Senior Living. Many tenants and seniors in the community enjoy a cup of coffee before lunch is served just to socialize. Preparing and eating for one can be intimidating. Meals are included for Wellhaven tenants allowing them to not stress at meal time. Many tenants will save half their lunch meal to enjoy for dinner. When asked tenants shared not having to do the dishes is an additional bonus.