Claire Kenney
Freelance Writer
December 7, 2023 // Diocese

Advent, Christmas are Special for Saint Anne’s Residents

Claire Kenney
Freelance Writer

While the Advent and Christmas seasons can be difficult for seniors who reside in assisted living or nursing care facilities, employees of Saint Anne’s Communities in Fort Wayne help their residents prepare their hearts for the coming of Christ by organizing fun and holy traditions. Each year, throughout Advent, Saint Anne’s residents actively participate in community events.

“Christmas is always a special occasion at Saint Anne’s,” said Elaine Wilson, the Chief Operating Officer/ Administrator at Saint Anne Communities.

The elderly who reside at Saint Anne’s vary in their ability to leave the campus. Many cannot leave without assistance. By hosting special seasonal events on Saint Anne’s grounds, all residents can comfortably and easily celebrate. The retirement community, which offers services ranging from rehabilitation, to assisted living, to memory care, independent living, and 24-hour nursing care, even includes the opportunity for the families of residents to celebrate the season with them.

Each year, Saint Anne’s hosts the Winter Wonderland Christmas Dinner “to help ensure these residents get special time with their families,” Wilson told Today’s Catholic. “For two nights, the Saint Anne’s team takes on the role of wait staff, and the residents and their families are invited to an evening of a three-course meal, music, and a beautiful environment in which to celebrate.”

Bill Langschied, a longtime volunteer with Saint Anne’s and member of its administrative team, said the event is a wonderful way to create beautiful Christmas memories.

“Winter Wonderland is a celebration of Christ’s joy with residents and their families – spectacular memories of Christmas!” he said.

In addition to Winter Wonderland, Saint Anne’s also organizes a way for residents to give back at Christmastime.

“Something else that we have done for several years here at Saint Anne’s to help celebrate the joy and true meaning of Christmas is we have two nurses who organize donations to help support a local family for Christmas,” said Miranda Haupert, Director of Fund Development and Marketing.

Saint Anne’s staff and others come together with residents to help support the sponsored family.

“The entire facility is given a list of items that are on the children’s Christmas list, and staff, visitors, and residents are invited to donate to this cause,” Haupert explained.

This year, like others, the event was quite successful. “We come through every year,” Haupert said.

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