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News and Updates - February 2021

Front Entrance of Lutheran Care Center
Nelson House
The Nelson House, Poughkeepsie, where resident Bob and his wife Ann were married. Painted by Vassar College student Julia D'Orazio.

Getting to Know You

Lutheran Care Center values its ongoing partnership with local college interns and volunteers.  Four LCC residents were paired with four amazing Vassar College pre-med students. They got to know one another in meaningful ways over the Fall 2020 Semester -  sharing stories, learning from one another and engaging in creative projects. Conversations took place via Face Time. One student even taught a resident how to knit! This collaboration, sponsored by Vassar College’s Office of Community Engagement, was part of a final project for the course Writing Medical 284. 
 Julia D’Orazio, a Junior at Vassar College, shared this reflection:
I really enjoyed getting to know Bob. What started as a very formal interviewer-interviewee relationship, quickly blossomed into a friendship. We bonded over our common love for Italian food, exploring new places and cultures, and our frustration with the current political situation. He taught me many lessons this semester: awareness of footprint, conflict importance and management, life attitude/perspective, and most importantly, how to make a good puttanesca sauce! Throughout the semester, we discussed very intimate topics- his wife’s recent death, religion, and politics.  I feel honored that he trusted me with his story.
Based on their conversations, Julia composed an Ode to Bob's wife, commemorating their life together and recognizing her passsing. Julia also painted a beautiful picture of the historic venue where they were married in 1956.
Haydn Hallman had this to say about her conversations with resident Bill:
We told each other stories from our lives and talked about many different things. Together we overcame technical difficulties many times and worked on a gift for his wife…a poem. It was wonderful to get to know such a kind person. The experience was also eye-opening to learn about how the covid-19 pandemic changed everyday life for people in situations different than my own. I am so grateful for gaining a friend, learning life lessons, and broadening my perspective on life.

Pictured below:  Vassar students Julia D'Orazio (L) and Haydn Hallman (R)
Julia D'Orazio, Vassar College Student Vassar Student Haydn

Light of Hope

Despite the brutal wind and cold, families of current residents, families whose residents have died, staff, and members of the Poughkeepsie Town Police and Arlington Fire Department gathered outdoors for Light of Hope.  Patricia Ludington, Administrator, welcomed everyone, thanking the residents and families for their ongoing patience during the virus isolation. She acknowledged the staff for their daily resilience and sacrifices and thanked the community first responders for always being there whenever we need them. She quoted from Pope Francis, “in this time of darkness, various lights of hope appear, such as the discovery of vaccines…”
Though masked,  Music Therapist Christine Tadin and Fred Frias, a member of the Rehabilitation Staff, sang The Prayer (best known as performed by Céline Dion and Andrea Bocelli) . One person observed, “Their voices were beautiful enough to make you cry.” The lyrics seemed particularly poignant as we search for and find the light and hope in these days:

  I pray you'll be our eyes
And watch us where we go
And help us to be wise
In times when we don't know
Let this be our prayer
When we lose our way
Lead us to a place
Guide us with your grace
To a place where we'll be safe

I pray we'll find your light
And hold it in our hearts
When stars go out each night

Let this be our prayer
When shadows fill our day
Lead us to a place
Guide us with your grace
Give us faith so we'll be safe

We ask that life be kind
And watch us from above
We hope each soul will find
Another soul to love
Let this be our prayer
Just like every child
Needs to find a place
Guide us with your grace
Give us faith so we'll be safe
  (Songwriters: Carole Bayer Sager, David W. Foster)

The Rev. Kelly-Ray Meritt, Director of Pastoral Care, led a prayer emphasizing the light that shines which darkness cannot overcome, and then offered a blessing on all.
Four torches symbolized Residents and Families (lit by Kelly Ann Rogan), Community (lit by Patricia Ludington), Staff (lit by Anita Ramayani) and First Responders (lit by Sara Unterreiner).  Participants lit their individual candles from these torches...which proved challenging in the, fire fighters came to the rescue by turning on lights from the hook and ladder truck.  
As the full moon rose over the fire truck and the trees along the driveway, everyone joined in the classic soul song "Lean on Me" (written by Bill Withers) emphasizing our continued reliance on one another. Spirits were certainly lifted.  And, hot cider helped to warm bodies and souls.
Thank you to all who participated and to organizaers Cherie Shafer Ferguson and Patricia Ludington.
Pictured Below: Patricia Ludington welcoming Hope of Light;  particpants singing and holding candles; Christine Tadin and Frihdson "Fred" Frias singing The Prayer
Patricia Ludington welcoming Light of Hope participants Particpants with flag in background
Participants holding Candles Singers performing Lean on Me

Shots in Arms

Second doses of the Covid-19 Vaccine have been administered to most residents and many staff...a long awaited ray of hope.  It allows a collective sigh of relief and provides a bit more freedom. Staff will, of course, continue to be tested regularly.  Family members in the community who have been fortunate enough to get the vaccine should remember to continue to follow safety precautions and to get your second shot!  Until more is known about how long the protection lasts –and against which variants—we all need to stay safe and protect others by continuing to wear a mask and social distance.
Protocols, DOH Inspections, Lowering the Numbers
Hard work and diligence are terms not uncommon at Lutheran Care Center. We recently started the day with an unannounced inspection by a New York State Department of Health survey team. This was the fifth time. Similar to past surveys, the team observed and interviewed staff, inspected all the units, including our designated COVID-19 unit, and verified our PPE inventories. Once again, at the end of the day, the Team did not identify any infection control issues and was extremely complimentary of the staff and the facility. While the past year has been challenging for our residents, families, and our staff, these outcomes always provide some level of comfort to us by confirming that we are providing those who call Lutheran home with the best care possible during these very trying times.  Our heartfelt thanks to our LCC Healthcare Heroes for making this possible. We mourn those who have passed. We are grateful that our positivity rates continue to improve tremendously in both staff and residents. And, we welcome new residents to the LCC household!

Bringing Cheer.

The Bogdanowicz Family turned the recent snowstorm into an opportunity to bring cheer to their mother, Maureen,  and her neighbors on 2 South. Residents could not help smiling down at the snowman they built and the big heart and sign in the snow, “Hi Mom!”. This same family provided the new banner in the driveway lifting our staff up as “Heroes!” We are humbled and grateful to this family and all in the community who have recognized the diligence and hard work of the LCC staff.


Your gift to Lutheran Care Center will empower and equip our staff to bring hope to our residents through professional care and dedicated service. 
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965 Dutchess Turnpike | Poughkeepsie, NY | 12603 US

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