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Thursday, February 14, 2013 - At Kalkaska Memorial Assisted Living, Learning Still Fun

At Kalkaska Memorial Assisted Living, Learning Still Fun
Residents enjoy ‘traveling’ the world, nation from the comfort of their home

Learning new things never grows old for residents at Kalkaska Memorial Assisted Living.

During the past year, residents have explored other countries and cultures from the comfort of their home-like community located next to Kalkaska Memorial Health Center.

Kalkaska Memorial Assisted Living Manager Laura Zingg said part of the culture of the facility is for residents to feel they are still able to learn and grow as a person. Last year, a new interactive program called “Walk Around the World” involved learning about a country each month, exploring its flavors through a native dish, and watching a travelogue or movie about the nation.

“We featured Germany during October and had our own Oktoberfest complete with bratwurst, sauerkraut, and German potatoes,” Zingg said. “In December, we ‘traveled’ to Scandinavia and sampled some baked salmon with dill horseradish sauce and pickled vegetables.”

Residents agree that the monthly focus is something they enjoy. “I know I will not be able to visit these places, so I really enjoy learning about them. I feel I’m going on a ride,” said Margaret Gretel.

“I get a kick out of watching the travelogues and learning things I never knew or heard before.” In addition to movies, residents also listened to speakers from Africa, and a native Norwegian who visited to share their experiences.

This year, the focus turns to the United States, with a different state featured each month. During February, the state is Louisiana in honor of Mardi Gras. “Our meal will be jambalaya and king cake,” Zingg said. Other states to be featured include Montana, Minnesota, Indiana, Idaho, California, Oregon, Kansas, Oklahoma, and Maine.

“You think you know things about your own country, but you really don’t,” said resident Barbara Lawrence.

At the facility, residents enjoy their own private apartments with assistance as needed with housekeeping, meals, maintenance, medication management, and personal care. Staff is available 24 hours a day and there is next-door access to Kalkaska Memorial Health Center.

“We’ve also responded to suggestions and expanded some of our studio apartments into larger one bedroom units that offer more living area for residents,” Zingg said.

To stay physically active, residents enjoy exercise machines, walking, and an exercise class. In the summer, those who enjoy gardening can grow vegetables in raised garden beds.

To learn more about Kalkaska Memorial Assisted Living or take a tour, please call (231) 258-3033 or contact Zingg at lzingg@mhc.net.