Melting Away the Winter Blues

As I write this, we are at the end of a stretch of brutal, below zero wind-chills. In fact, the current northland thaw, with the warmth of the sun, the ice turning to slush, and the pavement clearing of snow is enough to convince the hearty Duluthians to don shorts and spring jackets. If there is one certain thing in life it’s that, like the weather, it is ever changing.

At St. Ann’s we have packed our February activities calendar with all sorts of events and entertainment. Of course, the big holiday in February is Valentine’s Day. This day, devoted to love, is not just for couples. There are never enough chances to tell those in your life how much they mean to you. Parents, children, friends and caregivers all appreciate knowing what a difference they make in peoples’ lives. I hope everyone will take advantage of this time to call, write, visit or reach out to those who are in your thoughts.

After you talk to those people you love, make a resolution to take care of yourself so you can be there for them. February is also Heart Health Month. We will have an Open House for our Wellness Room. Staff will be available to show you how to use the various machines. Don’t be hesitant. Our Nu-Step machine can accommodate limited abilities, and various levels of experience. Now is the perfect time to take that first step to better health.

The end of the month will culminate in our Beat the Winter Blues, Fat Tuesday Happy Hour, with music by Florian Chzmielewski, donuts, non-alcoholic hurricane drinks and more. I hope everyone will join us to shake off the cold and gloom and celebrate the hope of the coming spring!



Jan Lappy –Director of Resident Life Services  




Happy New Year Everyone!

It’s time to look forward to a fresh start this New Year. Hopefully 2017 will bring good things to you and to St. Ann’s!
We plan on continuing to make improvements throughout our building. One of our ongoing projects you will see is new furniture for the entryway and in front of the Little Shoppe and library. The current furniture was donated or purchased a long time ago and they are certainly showing their wear. With the help of our Repair and Replacement account and donations, we have placed an order, and several pieces of furniture should be arriving in early January.
The other project we are hoping to launch is cushions for our chapel pews. So often we are asked for pillows and cushions for residents to sit on. We are looking at the cost of individual cushions and the cost of getting pads for the whole seat. Scott also may have found someone that will be able to refinish the pews where they are chipped from the dryness in the chapel and need to be repaired before they are too damaged beyond repair. If you would like to donate or help out in any way you can place your monetary gift in the donation center desk in the lobby, or see Scott, Jan or Father Doyle.
I would like to remind everyone of a safety issue. So many folks feel right at home and so safe here, that they leave their doors all the way open and unlocked when they’re not there. Please consider shutting and locking your door for your safety and others. Also, there should be a drawer with a lock on it or a security box in each apartment. We encourage you to lock up your valuables and cash at all times.
We welcome everyone to come to Open Forum on Wednesday, January 4th at 2:00 in the Social Hall. At Open Forum Scott gives an update and the other managers are available to answer questions or take suggestions.
Wishing everyone a Happy and Healthy New Year!

Jan Lappy –Director of Resident Life Services

Holiday Message From the Board and Management

Wishing You a Joyful Holiday Season!

December is upon us. It’s a wonderful time when St. Ann’s becomes a magical place, with gorgeous Christmas trees on every floor, cheerful decorations around every corner and a calendar full of concerts, movies, programs and entertainment. St. Ann’s is well known for its celebration of this special time of year. We are a tight community that tries to ensuredscn8980 a happy, inclusive and engaging time for everyone. An air of positivity permeates all that we do, such as our Tree of Kindness in the lobby, where all are welcome to write blessings to the world, pledges of good deeds, or uplifting messages to friends.

Join us on December 15th when we come together for our Resident & Staff Appreciation Party. There will be music, food, prizes and lots of good cheer! Santa and Mrs. Claus will also stop by.

If you would like to help support our holiday festivities, or general St. Ann’s projects and facility updates, we are happy to announce that our Donation Center has been set up in the main lobby. Just look for the beautiful, roll-top desk where you can easily make your monetary contribution to St. Ann’s.

We are also excited for the debut of our new TV commercial! It will be airing on WDIO and features some of our own residents who generously and patiently gave us their time.

As we go about decorating our halls and lobbies, one place will be very special this year. We were able to paint and update our Chapel thanks to a very generous donation. The fresh new look will set a beautiful backdrop for the memorial poinsettias and white glow of the Christmas lights.

Be sure to keep an eye on the bulletin boards for any additions or changes to the entertainment schedule, and pray for good weather so no acts get cancelled. We all want a white Christmas, but only with the understanding that it should not mess with our celebrations!


A safe and Happy New Year to you all!


St. Ann’s Management & Board of Directors

Planning for the Future

It’s hard to believe that it’s already the month of October. We are already seeing donations coming in for our rummage sale, and our building is beautifully decorated for fall. St. Ann’s is known in the community for their events, which are steeped in tradition, and require great planning and teamwork. A lot of behind the scenes work goes into all that we do here.

St. Ann’s Christmas Party

One behind the scene project we have been working on, is creating a formal “Fund Development Plan”. This plan is designed to help St. Ann’s have a full calendar of programs and events, assist with ongoing improvements to our facility, and to help St. Ann’s continue for many years into the future.

We are blessed to have Celeste Zuniga on our Board of Directors. Celeste has experience in Fund Development planning and has been meeting with us and helping us implement some ideas and plans.

Enclosed in this newsletter is a donation envelope to help kick off our “Holiday Giving” program. Several residents and families have asked, “How and where can I donate to St. Ann’s?” If you would like to donate, please fill out the envelope and turn it into the Front Desk or Jan Lappy. The plan, at this time, is to continue to have Jan handle the donations. We are working on getting a “Donation Center” in our lobby. We will make this center attractive, with a beautiful piece of furniture. It will have a secure donation box and information on projects to donate to, and information about St. Ann’s. Hopefully this center will make it more convenient to donate and thereby generate more funds.

There are many areas that are in need of your help. The Holiday Season can be expensive and we want it to be the best that it can be. There is an area on the envelope included with your Annlines that lets you donate to “Where needed most” or you can designate to a specific area, such as:

  • Our beautiful chapel
  • Special programs (Like the Christmas Party)
  • Staff Christmas Gifts
  • Equipment Purchases
  • Holiday lighting and decorations

    St. Ann’s Chapel

If you cannot donate, it would be greatly appreciated if you could, possibly, pass your envelope to someone that can.

You may have noticed in our marketing lately, that we are using the word “nonprofit”. St. Ann’s is the only nonprofit, assisted living facility in the area. We are proud of this fact and the ability it gives us to uniquely care for our residents. We want to let the community know how this sets us apart.

The importance of donations and gift giving to St. Ann’s has a long history. It is mentioned by Sister Aloyse Flynn, the St. Ann’s Administrator from 1966-1977, in her book “A Biographical History of St. Ann’s: The First Fourteen Years”. There are long lists of donors that started giving, and believed in making St. Ann’s a great place. Our goal is to continue that tradition, and to thank everyone for all the support and efforts, that are made every day, to make St. Ann’s the great place it is!

Scott and Jan

“Keeping Connected” by Creating Moments

Most people have fond memories of family gatherings from somewhere in their past; summer weekends at the cabin, holidays at grandma and grandpa’s, Labor Day picnics or just bustling households full of impromptu moments of humor and love. When one of our loved one is away from us, and lacks the ability to travel, finding these moments becomes more difficult. Time spent together must be planned and plotted, and the spontaneous moments fall by the wayside as life tugs us across the center-line of the highway-of-life.
Families and friends come together at our picnics on the patio.

Families and friends come together at our picnics on the patio.

How do we find a way to gather together when mom’s mobility decreases, when wandering out into a wintry day means taking a chance on a fall or an illness? St. Ann’s strives to give our residents as many chances at special moments and celebrations as possible. Our holidays are filled with parties, planned months in advance. Two yearly picnics on our patio combine music, food and space for all our residents, family, friends, volunteers and staff to join together. Approximately 250 people are seated, served and spoiled so that they can spend time with their friends and family.

Families and Friends love our dances!
Families and Friends love our dances!

Such is the case with other events as well, like our Mother’s Day celebration. This particular Saturday afternoon is eagerly anticipated by many. It’s often accompanied by a fashion show, put on by staff and performed by volunteers and residents. A couple of years ago we were able to get a four generation photo of one of our residents and her family!
Whether we are honoring our veterans on Veteran’s Day, playing bingo with grandkids on Grandparents Day, or having a fancy meal with white tablecloth’s for Easter Brunch, we welcome everyone to join our St. Ann’s family for the day. If we create just one excuse for a family to drop their other demands on their life for just an hour or so, and be here with their loved one, in the moment, then we’ve done our job. These connections are so important, and keep life worth living for everybody.

Tech Savvy Seniors at St. Ann’s Residence

We celebrate National Assisted Living Week this week, focusing on “Keeping Connected” and dispelling the myth that seniors are uncomfortable with technology. At St. Ann’s we have many residents that utilize all kinds of technology on an everyday basis. One of the most used devices among our residents are their tablets. One sees them in our lobby at times, where the WiFi is free and accessible. Some of them are playing games, some are reading books, some are keeping touch with family on Facebook or checking their email.

Donna, age 81, currently uses the St. Ann’s library computer, which is accessible to all residents. She uses it to play games, shop and pay her bills.


Karen, age 83, uses her Ipad mostly for news and information. She loves that you can find anything on the internet. You can search for anything and it’s there! She also plays games and shops.
Myrna, age 81, has a laptop, Nook, Ipad and smartphone. She uses them to play games, track her banking, read books, shop online, and access Facebook. She got used to using computers when she was at work, and continued using them after she retired.