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March 2007


   About once a year many of us get that urge to clean. This is what is commonly known as “Spring Cleaning” and this term has a very interesting history.

   The origins of spring cleaning date back to the Iranian Nourouz, the Persian new year, which falls on the first day of spring. The practice of “khooneh takouni” which literally means “shaking the house” continues to this day. Everything in the house is thoroughly cleaned, from the drapes to the furniture.

   Another origin of spring cleaning can be traced to the ancient Jewish practice of thoroughly cleansing the home in anticipation of the spring-time holiday of Passover.

   The spring cleaning tradition was brought to North American by European settlers. And with good reason: homes were heated by wood fires, and during the long, cold winters the wood smoke would permeate the entire household. Come spring, at last the linens and carpets could be cleaned and aired outside, and walls and windows could be scrubbed clean. This doesn’t hold true in our modern times but the concept is still the same.

   So for those of you who love “Spring Cleaning” (many of us do), don’t forget about your loved one here at the Care Center. This would be an ideal time to come in and go through closets and drawers - our very own “khooneh takouni”!





   Fort Madison Health Center is sponsoring an Alzheimer’s Support Group. 
The meetings are as follows:

 April 24

 May 22

 June 26


 All meetings will be held in Room 125 at 1 p.m. All are welcome!





Zelma Lancaster 1/7; Kenny Baker 1/8; Billie Rusher 1/11; Doyle Christy 1/11; Janella Swanson 1/12; Anna Glasscock 1/17; Mike Olsen 1/20; Joyce Ewing 1/27


Eddie Hayes 2/1; Mary Lorton 2/5; Mike Massick 2/6


Lloyd Kelly 3/1; Pauline Nowokunski 3/5; Bernice Holtkamp 3/6; Netha Bell 3/8; Una Hucke 3/11; Norma Lutz 3/11; Charles Cecil 3/14; George Risinger 3/17; Catherine Mehl 3/18; Delya Cecil 3/22; Helen Manka 3/26; Cecelia Denning 3/27


Jim Sommers 4/3; John Clatt 4/14; Jeanne Kruse 4/16; Mavis Madole 4/16; Felix Sanchez 4/17; Vera Wright 4/20; Letha St. Clair 4/21; Ernest Denning 4/21; Leland Fehr 4/23; Iona Whiting 4/30; Verna Yaley 4/30


Elizabeth Reeder 5/11; Carol Weber 5/12; Norm Thompson 5/14; Marjorie Bagley 5/15; Sue Magee 5/24; Dorothy Cross 5/25; Donna Link 5/27; Elizabeth Christie 5/28; Ann Moore 5/21




  CNA Sue Egley’s son, Ryan, who is in the fourth grade, scored the highest (98%) overall on his ITBS test. Ryan won a scholarship for college. Sue also hung up on the governor! When he called, Sue could not believe that it was him.

Congratulations, Ryan Egley! Way to go.



 We would like to welcome new staff members to our team. We hope they enjoy being with us as much as we appreciate having them here.

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Spring is when you feel like whistling even with a shoe full of slush.
  zDoug Larson



    In December we had our annual Christmas potluck supper. We all had a wonderful turn out. Everyone really enjoyed themselves with good food and conversation. Santa and Mrs. Clause were here to give each resident a gift for Christmas.

   In January we toasted to the New Year. February was a busy month with our Valentines Day party. Staff and residents voted for King and Queen. David Sheets was crowned King in the general population, and the Queen was Josephine Pendry. On the Unit we crowned Ernest Marsh and Calletana Juarez. Congratulations to all winners!

     A youth group visited, giving each resident a Valentine they had made. They also sang a few songs for them. This was enjoyed by all.

    The Lincoln School Kindergarten class visited and played Bingo; they also brought cookies and Valentines for the residents. Everyone had a ball! A youth group dropped off Valentines they had made for each resident. We enjoyed seeing the young people at our home, sharing their time and talents with us.

    In March we will be having a St. Patrick’s Day party, as well as a contest to see who is the best Leprechaun. We have a Girl Scout group coming in to have a St. Patrick’s Day party with us earlier in the week also.

   In April we will have our annual Easter Egg Hunt with a Magic Show. The date is April 7th at 2 p.m. Everyone is welcome, with the age group being birth to twelve years. There will also be a bake sale along with it.

   Please feel free to stop out anytime and see what’s going on.


Spring is Nature’s way of saying, “Let’s party!”
  zRobin Williams




Just a reminder, when you bring in clothing and personal items, blankets, etc., mark each item with a permanent laundry marker. The laundry department has been getting numerous items without names; they then don’t know where to deliver the items. Unmarked items, after attempts to find the owners, go to the lost and found and are frequently never returned to their owners. Markers may be found with the charge nurses or Shirley West.

Also, don’t forget to get your yearly Medicaid reviews in on time to avoid interruption in your assistance. DHS requires they be returned in a timely manner.

  Thank you,

  Kathy Casey, SS





 Fort Madison Health Center is proud to be a member of the American Health Care Association as well as the Iowa Health Care Association. This year the Iowa Health Care Association held its quarterly conference in Des Moines on December 6, 2006. At different times throughout the year IHCA holds contests. The contest for December was “Art From The Heart”. Stipulations of the art exhibited were that it had to be created in the last year and that the artist had to reside in long term care.

 For the first time, Fort Madison Health Center entered the contest.The categories included writing, crafts, sewing, needlework, jewelry, drawing, and other assorted handiwork. Netha Bell was nominated by the FMHC staff for her painting of a winter barn scene.

      More than one hundred attendees were present to vote for their favorite projects. Our own Netha Bell took first place in the painting category. For those of you who know Netha, painting is only one of her talents; she also has published six books, which she co-wrote with Gary Scholl. The Fort Madison Health Center is very honored to have been able to share Netha’s talent with others.

 Netha’s famous painting now resides safely in Netha’s room. Please feel free to ask to be shown this beautiful work of art when you are visiting the facility. 




1.  Live an active life, both mentally and physically. Keep Moving!!

2.  Stay married. Numerous studies indicate that married people live longer than single people.

3.  Maintain your ideal weight.

4.  Drink moderately and don’t smoke.

5.  Have good genes. Extreme long life seems to run in families and may be based on common genetic and environmental factors.

6.  Eliminate unnecessary stress as it shortens your life. Finding satisfying, meaningful work is likely to contribute to a long life. If you’re retired, do something that gives purpose and value to your life.

7.  Develop close and respectful relationships with your friends and loved ones.

8.  Live simply.


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Don’t forget to “Spring Forward” on March 11th - turn those clocks ahead one hour - Daylight Saving Time begins.




   There are many activities here at the Fort Madison Health Center that would not be nearly as successful without our volunteers. At times volunteers are hard to find, and perhaps not as appreciated as they should be.

   Nearly every month you will see Larry Cameron, Tom, and Sally Stowe here for Happy Hour. Larry and Tom will be behind the microphone singing their hearts out and entertaining. Sally can be found drifting from resident to resident, passing out drinks and snacks, offering a smile and conversation, not to mention a shared joke with a resident or two.

   Every Wednesday you will find our Bingo ladies. Normally rain or shine, sleet or snow, our ladies are here faithfully.

   Thank you also to the ladies who come in for Rosary. You help meet their Spiritual needs and often bring comfort to those around you.

   There are so many others who take time from their busy schedules to come in and spend some time with our residents. Whether it be Men’s Group, Bible Study, one on one visits, coming in for special events, we here at the Fort Madison Health Center want you to know how very important you are to all of us as well as the residents.