We are in this together…by: Kathy O’Connell, WinterGreen Housing Director


I like children’s books, don’t you?  A lot of them have beautiful illustrations that you can really get lost in.

For several years now, I have been buying a new Christmas-themed children’s book for my own personal library, to have when my grandchildren come to visit.  This year I brought home the bookRed and Lulu” written by Matt Tavares It’s the story of a cardinal couple whose lives abruptly get disturbed.  The unbelievable happens, and a sudden move is made; a move that is not planned on. But once Red and Lulu are reunited, they adapt to their new location.  It was the beginning of a new chapter in their lives.

I couldn’t help but think that our residents sometimes have similar situations like Red and Lulu.  Health conditions can change in the matter of seconds and suddenly we are flung into the unknown.  When our feet finally hit the ground again, we may be in a different location under different circumstances.

I often tell people that the beauty of our campus is that we are all connected.  Sometimes, when health conditions change, there may the need to be in a different apartment or room on our campus, as a result of the change.  But none-the-less we’re still together.

Just like Red and Lulu, the message of their story is just how important it is to be surrounded by love.  We as a campus “Family” go thru many changes during a year.  Residents come in and out of our lives.  A bond is made.  Together we work side by side assisting each other along the way.  We learn so much from each other.

During the holiday season, many families get together to celebrate.  Perhaps you’ll be visiting a parent that you haven’t seen for a while.  You may come away from your visit with some concerns regarding their abilities to stay in their current living arrangement or there may be more to their health issues than what you knew or thought.

Often times, January can be a busy month for us, with calls from children inquiring about our campus life for their parents.  We are happy to send out information or meet with you to show you our campus and what we have to offer here.  Being pro-active and gathering information ahead of time, gives you and your parent an opportunity to look into future options.  Unlike the story of Red and Lulu, who had to quickly react to their sudden, unforeseen situation, you and your parent will have started the conversation and gathered information to help you make some decisions.

When you gather your information for future living arrangements, keep in mind that there can be reservation lists and reservation deposits due.  Sometimes, people can be on reservation lists for six months, a year, or more, before their name is gotten to.  Just because a decision is made to make a move, doesn’t necessarily mean there will be an immediate opening.  Starting the process early may lead to a less stressful situation.  Your parent will be able to move where they want to versus having to react quickly and take what they can find on short notice, if their health condition changes. For more information on starting the conversation click here.

What questions to ask can be found here.

From our family at Christian Community Home campus to yours, have a very Merry Christmas surrounded by love.

Remember, we’re all in this together.






Hygge ~ by Kathy O’Connell, Senior Housing Director




Highgee what?

This word has been popping up in various articles that I have  read this year.  So I decided to dig in a little and learn about Hygge (pronounced HOO-GA).  It’s a Danish word which loosely translates as a feeling, a sense of comfort, togetherness, and well-being.  According to Meik Wiking, in his book titled “The Little Book of Hygge”, you know hygge when you feel it.”  Meik says “Hygge is about an atmosphere and an experience, rather than about things.  It is about being with the people we love.  A feeling of home.  A feeling that we are safe, that we are shielded from the world and allow ourselves to let our guard down.  You may be having an endless conversation about the small or big things in life – or just be comfortable in each other’s silent company – or simply just be by yourself enjoying a cup of tea.”

While doing my curious research, a thought started to emerge in my mind.  A smile started to cross my face.  “Hmmmm”, I thought, “I feel that we have hygge at WinterGreen.”

Often times, people that I give tours to will tell me that it feels comfortable, warm and inviting here.  Hygge (Hoo-ga!)

In our apartments, residents will often set up the area in their bay windows as a “nook” that they can sit in, reflect, observe life/nature outside, wrap up in a blanket with a book (from our library of course) and simply sip a beverage of their choice.  It’s a comfy space.  Hyggekrog (Hoogacrow).

Candles.  According to the book, this is like the top of the hygge list.  It says “No candles, no hygge.”  Now, we don’t encourage real candles at WinterGreen.  Battery ones are fine, however.  We do have little white twinkle lights in the atrium.  Warmth, coziness, hominess.  Hygge (Hoo-ga).  Who knows, maybe I’ll put a candle on my desk this winter.  Battery operated, of course.

Games.  That’s hygge?  Yes.  Our residents enjoy a varied list of games that are played during the week.  From cards to board games to BINGO.  Socialization.  Bonds are created.  Camaraderie.  The comfortable feeling that you are getting to know the person sitting next to you.

A fireplace.  Our Atrium has a two sided one.  Some apartments have them.  The fireplace is somewhere we can sit and rest by ourselves or visit with friends and experience feelings of coziness and warmth.  As I’m writing this, people are sitting by the fireplace.  It’s not even on.  There’s just hygge going on out there!

Potlucks.  Our residents enjoy the special potluck suppers they organize.  According to my research “When everybody shares, everybody gets hygge.”

Books.  Our library is full of books that have been donated over the years by many generous donors.  Residents can cuddle up in their hyggekrogs (nooks/bay windows) and enjoy a good read.

Casualness.  According to my research “Most hyggelige moments seem to be built on a foundation of casualness.  In order for you and your guests to be able to hygge, you need to feel relaxed.  There is no need to make things formal.  Come as you are and be as you are.”  I believe that our residents enjoy a casual atmosphere and a casual dress code.  Drop-in morning coffee times, happy hours, movie nights.  All are simple, casual times that residents can enjoy together.

Cake.  Cake?  Cake!  Hygge.  Often times, someone will bring a homemade (or store-bought) sweet treat to share at drop-in morning coffee time.  According to my research “Hygge is about being kind to yourself – giving yourself a treat” now and then.  Well then….bring on the cake!  Just shut your eyes and think of that first bite of sweetness and the feeling that you get.    Awwwww…..hygge.  (Good thing we have FREE memberships to the Red Oak Center for Wellness, on our campus, so that we can run off the good hygge cake calories!)

I could go on and on, but I think that you get the feeling.  Labor Day is coming soon.  Some say it’s the start of the “Fall Season.”  It’s a great time to introduce hygge into your life, if you don’t already have some.  I bet you already do, though.  You just didn’t know what thatImage result for Winnie the pooh feeling was called.  When asked how to spell a certain emotion, Winnie-the-Pooh said “You don’t spell it, you feel it.”

If you haven’t done so already, give us a call and come by to visit WinterGreen, or any place else on our campus here in Hudson and Osceola, this fall.  We’d love to meet you and share some more examples of our hygge.

Meik also shared in his book, “Hygge may help us to be grateful for the everyday because it is all about savoring simple pleasures.”  From all of us here at Christian Community Homes and Services, have a simple, safe and relaxing Labor Day weekend.

Speech Therapy and the Older Adult~by: Melissa Herbst, Rehabcare

RehabCare provides speech therapy services from American Speech, Language, and Hearing Association (ASHA) certified clinicians who provide services in the following areas:

  • Stroke Rehabilitation
  • Dysphagia; Swallowing issues resulting in choking, chronic cough and throat clearing, upper respiratory issues, and pneumonia
  • Voice Therapy for the following: Muscular Tension Disorders, Paradoxical Vocal Cord Dysfunction, Vocal nodules, and voice loss
  • Traumatic Brain Injury and Parkinson’s Disease
  • Dysarthria Therapy; Focus on speech clarity, vocalizing with increased volume and decreased rate control, achieving fluent speech
  • Cognition; including memory, attention, problem solving, sequencing, and planning


Meet Sarah Soderberg, CCC-SLP

Sarah is the Speech Language Pathologist  at Christian Community Home of Hudson

Sarah graduated from UW-River Falls with her Masters in Speech Language Pathology. She has been a practicing Speech Language Pathology (SLP) for 11 years in the areas of short-term/transitional care, long term care, and outpatient settings.  Sarah’s areas of specialty include: geriatrics, Dysphagia (swallow disorders), and cognitive linguistic function.  She lives with her husband and 3 kids, including twin boys, in Baldwin, WI and enjoys camping and being active outside with her family.

Meet CCH-Osceola’s Speech Language Pathologist ~ Kasandra Cedergren

Kasandra attended University of Minnesota Duluth to pursue a degree in Communication Sciences and Disorders; where she also completed her graduate schooling to become a Speech Language Pathologist. She then moved to Stillwater, MN, following graduate school to begin her career in a Skilled Nursing Facility (SNF) setting and found she absolutely adored working with our elder population. When she finds the time, she enjoy being outside, traveling with her fiancé, and visiting friends and family!

Time to Get Stroke Savvy

Strokes are more common as we age, however they can happen to anyone. Patients who arrive at the ER within 3 hours of onset of their first symptoms have less disability 3 months after. Know the signs of a stroke and act FAST.

Signs of a Stroke
  • Sudden numbness or weakness of the face, arm and/or leg
  • Sudden confusion, trouble speaking or difficulty understanding speech
  • Sudden difficulty seeing in one or both eyes
  • Sudden trouble walking, dizziness, loss of balance, or coordination
  • Sudden severe headache with no known cause
  • Face: Ask the person to smile. Does one side droop?
  • Arms: Ask the person to raise both arms. Is one arm weaker?
  • Speech: Ask the person to repeat a simple phrase. Is the speech slurred or strange?
  • Time: Time to act is NOW! Call 9-1-1

Signs of Swallowing Issues:

  • Coughing during or right after eating/drinking
  • Wet or gurgling sounding voice during or after eating/drinking
  • Food or liquids that get stuck or leak out of your mouth
  • Extra effort or time to chew or swallow
  • Chronic pneumonia or upper respiratory illnesses
  • Chronic weight loss or dehydration due to inability to consume foods/liquids
Get Thinking Program for Cognition

RehabCare Speech Language Pathologists are trained in helping the older adult preserve and maintain an active, safe, and healthy lifestyle in their current living environment. Get Thinking targets mental alertness, attention, concentration, memory, physical health, stress, and medication to help individuals be less forgetful and make safe decisions.

If you have noticed any of the following concerns you may be appropriate for Speech Therapy.

  • Impaired concentration, focus, and attention
  • Difficulty with short term memory
  • Verbal Expression
  • Difficulty remembering your medications


Speech Therapy can help with many different conditions and illnesses. All of our therapists are trained in these areas and are ready to help.  Please contact your therapy team today for questions and concerns.

Christian Community Home of Hudson Red Oak Center for Rehabilitation and Fitness 715.386.4528

Christian Community Home of Osceola 715.294.1116

References:     National Stroke Association www.stroke.org

ASHA American Speech, Language, and Hearing Association www.asha.org

by: Brenda Magadanz, Director of Pine Ridge Assisted Living & Memory Care

I am asked frequently about dementia so I try to educate our families on dementia and what it is and isn’t. I have included some of the most common questions or incorrect information I hear.

“My mom doesn’t have dementia she has Alzheimer’s” or “My mom doesn’t have Alzheimer’s she has dementia”
  • To best explain the difference would be to think of a bowl of fruit – dementia is the “bowl”. Inside the “bowl” are many types of “fruit”. It may be Alzheimer’s disease or Lewy Body Dementia or Vascular dementia or one of 70 other types of dementia. Therefore if someone has Alzheimer’s Disease, they have dementia. It is true if you are told someone has dementia they might not have Alzheimer’s. But dementia is not a diagnosis, it is a syndrome.

How do you know if it is dementia or just getting old?

  • Dementia is not a normal part of getting old. Each type of dementia is basically a brain failure disease; just as heart disease can be caused by different factors. Yes as we get older it may take a little longer to remember something but we do remember; it may take a little longer to analyze a situation and make a decision but the decision gets made; and our responses may slow but we do respond. I always say “If you remember you forget, you are OK”. A person with dementia will not remember they forget. They may say they realize they forget in the early stages but they are probably saying that to help cover for the deficit they know they are experiencing.
Does it matter what is causing the dementia? In other words what difference does it make if I have Alzheimer’s Disease or Vascular Dementia?
  • In the long run it doesn’t matter. Both will cause brain failure that will lead to end of life. But the process will differ and that will matter as to the approaches used or possible medications used. Some medications used with Alzheimer’s Disease can actually be detrimental to someone with a Lewy Body Dementia. Approaches used with someone with Vascular dementia may be different than those used with someone with Alzheimer’s Disease.

There are so many great resources available to help people understand the many aspects of dementia.

Most helpful is the

Also on (YouTube) search the words dementia or Teepa Snow.

How can you help???

CCHS is sponsoring a team in the 2017 Walk to end Alzheimer’s in New Richmond. Saturday, September 16th; 9:00 AM- registration. 10:00 ceremony. If you would like to join our team or make a donation to help us reach our goal in this fight against Alzheimer’s, click here!


Time to get moving! by: Melissa Herbst, RehabCare

Summer is just around the corner. Are you ready to get outside and enjoy the weather?  If not, now is the time to get up and get moving. But first, ask yourself the following questions:

  • Have you fallen before or been injured because of a fall?
  • Do you feel weaker than you used to or do you have less strength in your arms and legs?
  • Have you stopped doing daily activities or avoided exercise because you’re afraid of falling?
  • Do you experience incontinence?
  • Has your hand strength decreased?
  • Has your eyesight diminished?
  • Do you feel dizzy when you stand up?
  • Do you have foot ulcers, bunions, hammertoes, or calluses that hurt and cause you to adjust your steps?
  • Do you feel unsteady on your feet or shuffle when you walk?

If the answer is yes, you might be at risk for a fall.  Don’t let a fall get you down this summer and prevent you from enjoying the summer season!  The outdoors may present you with new obstacles to maneuver. Please be careful when walking on wet grass, uneven surfaces, and while navigating new territory.

Environmental Factors that Contribute to a fall:

  • Poor foot wear
  • Clutter where you walk
  • Obstacles on the floor
  • Poor lighting
  • Inadequate walking devices
  • Unsafe steps or walking surfaces
  • Moveable objects on wheels
  • Unfamiliar settings
  • Lack of railings or grab bars

Individual factors that can lead to a fall:

  • Medications
  • Vision
  • Decreased strength and flexibility
  • Pain
  • Cognitive or memory issues
  • Gait disturbances
  • Medical conditions
  • Balance

How to Prevent Falls

Take Care of Yourself!

  • Know your medications
  • Check your vision and hearing regularly
  • Make sure you have shoes that fit properly
  • Exercise regularly
  • Install grab bars, nonskid mats, and use a bath bench
  • Watch doorways, rugs, and clutter
  • Rearrange furniture
  • Keep your house well lit
  • Store items on low shelves
  • Use cane or walker as needed

Tips to stay safe in the sun

  • Stay hydrated
  • Stay cool
  • Protect your eyes
  • Wear a hat
  • Wear sunscreen
  • Exercise Smart
  • Know who to call

How Can Therapy Help?

Therapy can help you get moving whether it be from a wheelchair or walking!

  • Balance Assessments
  • Gait Training
  • Exercise Programs
  • Walking Devices
  • Wheelchair Mobility
  • Environmental Modifications
  • Strength/Flexibility/Coordination
  • Activities of Daily Living

For more information please contact your therapy department.

Red Oak Center for Fitness and Rehabilitation      715.386.4528

Osceola Campus  715-294-1116



A thought for the weekend…

Loading into the back of our car the whisk broom,  weed trimmer, scrub brush, bucket, etc.  signals to us that Memorial Day is coming.  It has become my husband’s and my privilege to go to the cemeteries where our loved ones are at rest and clean-up around their headstones and foot stones.

I look forward to it every year.   Now, don’t think of me as strange, but as I’m cleaning, I use my time at each site to talk with that loved one.  I’ve never had the opportunity to meet my mother-in-law, for she passed away when my husband was a child.  I use this time to “talk to her”, to update her on her son and his family.

As I look at the military service inscriptions on these stones, I am reminded of the bravery and personal sacrifices these loved ones, our fellow Americans, made so that we- so that I- can enjoy the independence, freedom and democracy that we have today. These men and women blazed a trail for our freedom.  They had great courage and  dedication to our nation. 

I ask myself “Have I earned what all of you have done for me?”  It encourages me to live a life that is respectful, and to remember what others have done to protect the freedom that I have today.  As I scrub the stones of our loved ones, I express my gratitude to them.

In the movie “Saving Private Ryan” words are spoken to Private Ryan that carry over to us today; “Earn this. Earn it”.  At the end of the movie Private Ryan asks his wife “Have I been a good man?”  We need to ask ourselves the same.  Have I led a life that has not taken for granted the freedom I have, but honored and respected it?  Have I earned what all of you have done for me?”  Am I a grateful citizen?

President Lincoln said “that from these honored dead we take increased devotion to that cause for which they here gave the last full measure of devotion—that we here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain— ”.

I encourage you to let this be a Memorial Day where you ACTIVELY remember your ancestors, family members, loved ones, neighbors and friends who gave the ultimate sacrifice.  Visit a cemetery. Have a few “talks”. Attend a  local remembrance ceremony.

If you’re not able to do that, participate in the National Moment of Remembrance at 3 p.m.  on Memorial Day, to pause and to think upon the true meaning of the day. I also encourage you to honor and respect our veterans and our men and women who are currently serving in all branches of the military.

A couple of weeks ago one of our residents, at WinterGreen, was honored with a Quilt of Valor  ceremony.  The mission of this Foundation is to cover service members and veterans touched by war with comforting and healing quilts of valor made by volunteers.  The quilts are patriotic-themed and very beautiful.  The ceremony was very touching.  I don’t think that there was a dry eye in the house.  As we listened to his story, we were humbled and grateful for what he had done for us.

Thank you, Jim.  Thank you for the freedom that we enjoy today.

On behalf of all of us at Christian Community Homes & Services…have a safe and blessed Memorial Day.

Are Mom and Dad taking their Medication Correctly? ~ by: Mary Eells, CCHH Director of Operations

Thanks to many breakthroughs in medicine people diagnosed with previously non-treatable illnesses can now be maintained with oral medications.  Older people are now prescribed more medications than ever before.  Having multiple medications to take everyday day at different times can be extremely confusing to the elderly, and negative outcomes can result.

Not taking medication as prescribed by a physician properly or having medications prescribed by different physicians can cause concerns.   Patients must keep accurate lists of all medications and have good communications skills at physician appointments.

Harmful drug interactions are a common result of not managing medications properly.   Over and under-dosing is a common problem.   Recent numbers state that around 30 percent of hospital admissions of older adults are medication related.  Taking medication incorrectly can also increase the risks of falls which could lead to major injury.  There are several reasons why older adults have difficulty with medication management a few include:

  1. Physical ability concerns such as poor vision and low dexterity. Many elderly people cannot read the labels because the print is small.  Often the pills are small and get misplaced instead of taken.  Poor hand strength can make it difficult to get into bottles or use inhalers properly.   Sometimes medication is accidentally dropped and they don’t even realize it.
  2. Cognitive ability has declined and forgetting to take medication on time or not at all. Many elderly will not remember if they took the medication and take a second dose this can be very dangerous.
  3. Intentionally not taking their medication is often the result of not understanding the seriousness of their illness or they start to feel better after getting home from the hospital so they feel they no longer need it anymore. Saving money is also a common concern, so not taking the medication will save money. Or sadly they simply cannot afford the medication.

Working as an RN in the health care industry for many years I have seen numerous elderly people needing to be hospitalized due to poor management of medications.  Some of these situations were very dangerous.  Many medications are prescribed to save lives but if taken wrong can be deadly.

  • Taking too many blood thinners can cause serious bleeding situations.
  • Medication for heart failure not taken can lead to congestive heart failure rapidly. If taken to often can cause dehydration leading to weakness and injury.
  • Blood pressure medication missed can cause an increase resulting in many concerns.
  • Heart medication taken in excess amounts can lead to dangerous heart rhythms.
  • Pain management medication not taken will lead to poor pain control and if over taken excessive sleepiness or other serious concerns.

Family members can be extremely helpful by investigating medication organizer systems.  Many pharmacies provide a variety of reminder systems and medication delivery systems to help.  Often these systems will help the elderly person maintain medication management at home for a while with the help of a family member or friend.  Many family members help the elder to keep updated lists of medication and consult with physicians during visits.  The problem is that even with a medication management systems mistakes are made that can lead to hospitalization and injury.   As cognition and vision fails many things can happen so that wrong dosing will again become a problem.

The elderly living in a senior living communities could also benefit from purchasing some medication management help if the facility offers these services.  These management programs include keeping a record of the elder’s health and updating family and MD with changes.  They can offer services at the level the person needs from setting up boxes with reminders to actually delivering the giving the medication.   Older people will often resist this help due to cost but they and family need to realize this could be the best way to assist them in remaining at home and not end up with repeated hospitalizations and eventually long-term care.   Medication management has proven to be the most helpful assistance to assure the elderly can age at home as long as possible.

The cost of medication management in assisted living is only a fraction of the cost of hospital stays and nursing homes.  As a health care provider I encourage you not to assume your love one is taking medication safely.  If you are looking for more information I found several great articles by googling “Medication management for the Elderly.”

Here is one:  How do I know if mom is taking the proper dosages of her medications at the right time?

Don’t Be A Victim: Education is your best defense!


What do you have in store for your retirement?

My retirement will consist of me waking up each morning, making myself a cup of coffee, and relaxing out on my beautiful deck that overlooks the woods with my two hound dogs… or will it?

You may have planned a relaxing retirement or one filled with monthly vacations and lots of exciting experiences, but what happens when you or your significant other fall and break a hip? What if one of you come home one day from a doctor’s appointment diagnosed with Dementia or Alzheimer’s? Are you prepared for that? Or are you going to be another victim?


What does your insurance actually cover? Find out! It would behoove you to find out what your insurance actually covers. Medicare A does NOT pay for long-term care. However, if you qualify, it may pay for your short-term rehabilitation. Do you have a supplemental to cover the daily copay of your short-term rehabilitation? If you don’t know, I urge you to find out. Stop by or call your Aging and Disability Resource Center; they have individuals who can help you understand your insurance plan. Maybe you have Medicare Advantage… that is a whole different ballgame.

Does your wife have Alzheimer’s? Who’s going to care for her? Not you, you’re too weak. Maybe your daughter can care for her?  No, she really needs to keep her job to maintain her own medical insurance or maybe she just got the promotion she worked so hard for. She has her own life. So now it’s an emergency and your wife needs to get into an assisted living with memory care ASAP. She’s not on a waiting list… because this was never going to happen. Do you have an extra $2,000 to $5,000/month for assisted living expenses? If not, you can just spend down all your liquid assets and sign up for medical assistance. Don’t worry about the farm you were going to give to Bobby… that’s now going to be the states.

Why am I urging you to take action? So many times I find myself speaking with families and/or residents who are shocked that their insurance does not cover long-term care. Did you know the average monthly cost of a skilled nursing home stay is around $8,500? Did you purchase that long-term care insurance in 1962? Does it only cover $100/day? Again, I urge you to find out. Most likely that long-term care insurance policy won’t even pay for half of your stay.

Don’t be the victim. Educate yourself! Then plan your defense!

April is Occupational Therapy Month

What is Occupational Therapy?

Occupational therapy is the only profession that helps people across the lifespan to do the things they want and need to do through the therapeutic use of daily activities (occupations). Occupational therapy practitioners enable people of all ages to live life to its fullest by helping them promote health, and prevent—or live better with—injury, illness, or disability. Occupational therapy practitioners ensure that people recovering from illness or injury, or with a disability, can function in all their environments with the ability they have. They reduce health care costs by promoting independence and self-care.

Common occupational therapy interventions in a skilled nursing facility include helping people recovering from injury or illness to regain skills, and providing supports for older adults experiencing physical and cognitive changes. Occupational therapy services typically include:

  • Training in self care skills
  • Training in the use of adaptive equipment
  • Exploring adaptations and developing compensatory techniques
  • Environmental modifications
  • Addressing behavioral and mental Issues
  • Training in functional mobility and community reintegration
  • Assessing posture, positioning, and wheelchair seating
  • Training in exercise and pain reduction in order to complete daily activities


Occupational therapy practitioners have a holistic perspective, in which the focus is on adapting the environment and/or task to fit the person, and the person is an integral part of the therapy team. It is an evidence-based practice deeply rooted in science.

 2017 marks an important year for occupational therapy: We will celebrate 100 years of the profession!

 OT Throughout the Years

The founders of Occupation Therapy 1917 .

Gardening as Occupational Therapy during WWI 


 Learning how to use a prosthetic arm in the 1950’s

Using adaptive equipment during daily living tasks

Occupational Therapists and Certified Occupational Therapy Assistants help individuals across the lifespan, live independently as possible in the following areas:

    • Bathing, showering
    • Toileting and toilet hygiene
    • Dressing
    • Feeding
    • Functional mobility/transfers
    • Personal device care
    • Personal hygiene and grooming
  • Instrumental activities of daily living (IADLs)
    • Care of others
    • Care of pets
    • Child rearing
    • Communication management
    • Driving and community mobility
    • Financial management
    • Health management and maintenance
    • Home establishment and managements
    • Meal preparation and cleanup
    • Medication management
    • Religious and spiritual activities and expression
    • Safety and emergency maintenance
    • Shopping
  • Rest and sleep
    • Rest
    • Sleep preparation
    • Sleep participation
  • Education
  • Work
    • Employment interests and pursuits
    • Employment seeking and acquisition
    • Job performance
    • Retirement preparation and adjustment
    • Volunteer exploration
    • Volunteer participation
  • Play
    • Play exploration
    • Play participation
  • Leisure
    • Leisure exploration
    • Leisure participation
  • Social participation
    • Community
    • Family
    • Peer, friend

For any questions please contact us:

CCH of Hudson Red Oak Center  Rehabcare Occupational Therapy Team


  • DeAnna Carey, OTR
  • Nikki Kauffmann, OTR
  • Mary Ellen Smith, COTA

CCH of Osceola  Rehabcare Occupational Therapy Team


  • Rachel Hall, OTR
  • Denise Suennen, OTR
  • Heather Ross, COTA

Resources: The American Occupational Therapy Association, Inc.

Is the egg empty? ~ by: Kathy O’Connell, WinterGreen Housing Director

My mind was wandering as I sat bedside holding my sister-in-law’s hand.   It was after midnight and my husband, my other sister-in-law and I had settled into holding vigil for her for the night.  As I sat there I was reminded of “The Empty Egg” story.   Perhaps you’ve heard it before.  If not, you can get the full story on line.  I will try to condense it for you here.

This story talks about Jeremy, a physically handicapped and mentally challenged 12 year-old boy who was in the 2nd grade.  His teacher was frustrated with him because he would squirm in his seat, make grunting noises and distract the other students.  It sounds like she was at the end of her rope and even had approached his parents to see if they would look into other options for schooling.

A few months later, as spring was arriving, the excited children began telling the teacher about their anticipation of Easter coming.  The teacher began telling the story of Jesus and emphasized the idea of new life springing forth.  She gave each of them a large plastic egg, “Now I want you to take this home and bring it back tomorrow with something inside that represents new life,” she told her class.

The next day the children placed their eggs in a basket on her desk.  She picked up the first egg, opened it and found a flower.  “Oh yes, a flower certainly is a sign of new life,” she said.  “When plants peek through the ground, we know that spring is here.”  A small girl in the first row waved her arm, “That’s my egg”.

The next egg contained a plastic butterfly. “We all know that a caterpillar changes and grows into a beautiful butterfly.  Yes, that is new life too.” the teacher said.  A small boy raised his hand, “That’s my egg.”

Then the teacher opened another egg.  She gasped when she saw the egg was empty.  Realizing that it was Jeremy’s egg, assuming he didn’t understand the assignment, she didn’t want to embarrass him so she set the egg aside and reached for a different egg.

Suddenly, Jeremy spoke up, “Miss Miller, aren’t you going to talk about my egg?”

Flustered she replied, “But Jeremy, your egg is empty.”  “Yes, but Jesus’ tomb was empty too.” he said.

Then she asked him, “Do you know why the tomb was empty?”  “Oh yes,” Jeremy excitedly replied, “Jesus was killed and put in there.  Then His Father raised Him up.”

The recess bell then rang and the children ran outside.  Miss Miller sat in her seat and all of the frustration she felt towards Jeremy suddenly melted away.

Three months later, Jeremy passed away.  Those who went to pay their respect at the mortuary were surprised to see 19 eggs on top of his casket…..all of them empty.

As I reflected on this story, my mind kept focusing on the vision of the empty egg.  It was empty. Like the tomb.  So simply, Jeremy had explained the whole Easter story with an empty plastic egg.  “His Father raised Him up” he had said.

When my sister-in-law passed, my mind immediately came back to the empty egg story.  I thanked God for my sister-in-law.  I thanked God for Easter.  I thanked Him for the empty tomb.  For without it, where would our hope lie?

I plan on placing an empty egg amongst the flowers at the celebration of life service this week.  How fitting that this is also Holy Week.  Some may look at it and think it strange that somebody left behind an empty plastic egg.  Others may realize what it symbolizes, thanks to Jeremy’s story.

How about you?  Is the egg empty?





Happy Easter from ALL of us at CCHS!