A Special Birthday Not Forgotten
It’s been tough on many of us to adjust to life during the pandemic. But it’s been even tougher on patients in nursing homes and assisted living facilities who haven’t been able to see their loved ones. Most have had little to no in-person contact with their families for almost the past year and have had to rely on virtual visits.
Now more and more facilities are allowing visitors in depending on their own COVID-19 restrictions and policies.
Hazel Karner has lived at Lake Mills Health Services (LMHS) for the past five years. She lost her husband in 2012 and her daughter, her only child, passed away two years ago. Her son-in-law, Ron, is still very involved in her care and Hazel loves it when he and her two grandchildren and two great-grandchildren come to visit her. Unfortunately, they weren’t able to be with Hazel this year when she celebrated a rare milestone.
Rainbow Hospice Care social worker Nicole Sommerfeldt and LMHS social worker Laura Beckett teamed up to make Hazel’s day a special one. After all, it’s not every day you have a patient who turns 100 years old. Nicole coordinated with Humphrey Floral and Gift in Fort Atkinson to drop off flowers and she also picked up and delivered birthday cupcakes from Bon Ton Bakery in Jefferson. The smile on Hazel’s face couldn’t have been bigger, as she also received a stack of cards from Rainbow Hospice volunteers and staff, and some employees at LMHS. Even though her own family couldn’t celebrate with her, Hazel was overcome with emotion and overwhelmed by the generosity of how many people thought of her on her special day.
‘‘Hazel has gotten a lot of cards and she’s just thrilled by them,” said Beckett.
“Hazel had such a great birthday,” said Sommerfeldt. “She was tearful when she got the cupcakes and the flowers and just was so happy that Rainbow and Lake Mills Health Services were able to make her 100th birthday such a good one despite the pandemic. The fact that we can shine some light on a difficult situation when it’s hard for families to see loved ones and put a smile on Hazel’s face, makes it worthwhile.”
When Hazel’s son-in-law Ron does get a chance to see her soon, the birthday girl will have quite a story to tell him about how she spent her 100th birthday. When he looks around her room, he’ll also be able to see the signs of how Rainbow and LMHS made her birthday one to remember.