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Elders' Home in New York Mills to celebrate 50th anniversary, Sunday Oct 10

Julia Tumberg, LPN and Elders' Home resident Anna Mielke.

Nearly fifty years to the day, the Elder's Home in New York Mills will be celebrating its 50th anniversary with fellowship, local music, and keynote speakers.

The Elders' Home is located at 215 Tousley Street, and the event is free and open to the public.

At 1 p.m., guests are invited to an hour of fellowship with food and beverages. At 2 p.m., keynote speakers Andrew Tumberg and Janet Karvonen will deliver their speeches, followed by live music by the "Vagabonds", a local music group, in the Elders' Home central dining room at 3 p.m.

The facility opened on October 9, 1960. Tumberg served as an administrator for over 30 years. Janet Karvonen is the daughter of Harold Karvonen, who served as Chairman of the Board of Directors.

Tumberg will perform a devotional and bless the home. He will deliver an educational speech on the history of the facility, while Karvonen will speak of her father and the early board members who laid the groundwork for the home.

Locally, Karvonen aided the NY Mills girl's basketball team in three state championships in the late 1970s.

Services for our seniors

The Elders' Home is a 54 bed facility, which is "Just the right size for New York Mills," according to Cal Anderson, the current administrator.

They offer short-term rehabilitation for accidents, physical therapy, occupational therapy, and speech therapy five days a week. There is also rehabilitation nursing available to help after physical therapy sessions.

The Elders' Home also helps seniors who have come to the point in which family nor assisted living can meet their specific needs.

Hospice caregivers follow senior citizens for end-of-life situations and also offer grief counseling for families. This is a quality of the Elders' Home, as sometimes caregivers move on after a person has been placed in a home.

Lakeland Hospice holds a support group every month in the facility. The Elders' Home provides a conference room and refreshments for guests.

Caring for citizens

Quality of care has risen in recent years, particularly with the advent of new medical care, standards, and practices. Trained Medical Assistants have long been replaced by RN's, and LPN's. The facility only hires CNA's (registered nursing assistants). All medications are dispersed by a licensed nurse.

Over 70 percent of scheduled shifts in the nursing department has a registered nurse on staff. The balance of scheduled shifts has an LPN in charge with a registered nurse on call. Three licensed nurses are scheduled to provide care for the residents, along with the nurses' aides.

"We have many dedicated employees who have been here for decades," said Social Service designee, Donna Schmitz.

"We feel we have a very caring staff who put our residents needs before their own. They're provided with ongoing education, opportunities, and scholarships," Anderson furthered. "We get to know our residents after a while."

The Elders' Home offers music, country rides, exercise programs, holiday and special occasions, newspaper reading days, and also attends events such as parades. On Thursdays, the Elders' Home provides van services for the elderly in the community.

By the end of this year, the Elders' Home is aiming to utilize wireless internet services in the building for residents and for employee use. This will also allow staff to chart, dispense medication, and review care plans using the Wi-Fi system.

"We like to keep people active here and not out of the loop," said Anderson. "We try to make everyone's day here as enjoyable as possible with our activities."

Local churches visit the Elders' Home residents every Wednesday and Sunday.

"We have local staff members taking care of local residents. The community bonds are incredibly strong. It not only speaks for the character of people from New York Mills, but it also speaks to the elderly who appreciate everything that people are doing for them," said Claudia Stursa, Director of Nursing.

People who have restrictive injuries and need rehabilitation are provided with the proper care they need. "For us to help someone in a month or two and get them back into the community - that's great."

Their mission

The Elders' Home "stands for high professional standards, quality service, and devoted commitment to geriatric care. It is a 54 bed skilled nursing facility, licensed by the state of Minnesota. It is Medicare and Medicaid certified.

"We see a lot of successful outcomes for people who were able to return to independent living or assisted living facilities," said Anderson.

"That, to us, is fantastic."