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September 2006




The Fort Madison Health Center prides itself on its Dietary Department.  The selective menus, short order cook, and open seating arrangement allows many dietary choices for our residents.

A Best Practice is something that goes above and beyond routine and adds to customer service.  We have found that adding the popcorn machine has become more than a snack or an additional food, but has evolved into an event.  A nonworking popcorn machine was donated to the facility.  Our maintenance workers were able to do necessary repairs making it functional again.  This included ordering a new part or two and replacing broken wheels with spare wheelchair wheels.  After a couple of test runs for the staff, the popcorn machine moved into the dining area and has become quite a conversation piece.

Kitchen staff usually makes popcorn daily and many of our residents can be found waiting in line for the freshly popped corn.  Many comments can be heard about the smells drifting down the hallway. The smells often will draw additional residents to the dining area.  One of the resident women was heard to say it reminded her of the movie theater when she would take her children to the Saturday Matinee.

Mary R. will request a bag of popcorn daily after breakfast and many times will grab a second bag after lunch.  Staff will make a point of offering popcorn to residents and will often hand feed small pieces to a resident who especially loves popcorn but isn’t able to feed herself.

Gene B. will ambulate down the hall for an afternoon snack of popcorn.  “Oh, I just love this stuff!”

Many of our residents have enjoyed the Saturday afternoon movie, and now that the popcorn has been added to this activity, the numbers in attendance have made a slight increase. 

Residents have also voiced complaints about the popcorn.  The first major complaint was that the popcorn wasn’t being made early enough.  This was easily remedied by changing the popping time.  The second biggest complaint has been that the popcorn was gone before they were able to get some, thus requiring a second batch.

This makes for a more homelike, relaxed and fun environment where the residents can live happily to their fullest ability.  While it was thought to be “just popcorn” in the beginning, the little things that are added to the daily routine of everyday life make it more pleasant for the residents.  It’s the little things that count.




So, Why Do I Do What I Do?

I have been asked this question many times.  My response to this is: because I have a passionate desire to help and assist residents who can no longer help themselves safely.  They may have had an accident, illness, or a surgery that requires professional care with activities of daily living for a short period of time until they recover to independent status.  They may have a long term illness or disease that requires ongoing professional assistance of various levels to help them do their personal cares such as toileting, bathing, dressing and eating to maintain some sort of independence.  Or maybe they have a terminal disease or illness of an unknown time duration that they would need me to do their walking, talking, thinking and daily routine for them.  These daily activities that are compromised mean everything for their sense of independence, quality of life, and their end of life.

My reward is their acknowledgment of the value of what I do, such as a smile, a thank you, a please, their tears, and their good byes.  It is such a privilege and honor to be considered a part of their lives, and that is why I do what I do!!


Shelly Rhoades

Resident Service Director






The Iowan Motor Lodge has offered a special rate of $40 to family or friends visiting residents at Fort Madison Health Center, as well as Donnellson and Montrose Health Centers. Reservations can be made by calling 319-372-7510 or 800-423-2693




In youth we learn . . .

In age, we understand.         





Rosemary VanStrander 8/5; Melody Carter 8/6; Louise Hayes 8/11; Violet Abel 8/16; Harriet Anderson 8/17; Melvin Mathis 8/23


Glenn Miller 9/1; Johnnie Mathis 9/2; Edith Boyd 9/3; Gene Bagley 9/5; Donnalou Cornell 9/5; Paul Bowen 9/7; Alta Bangert 9/15; Marylene Burns 9/25; Margit Cook 9/30; Agnes Manka 9/30


Dorothy Phillips 10/3; Dorothy Bellamy 10/11; Terri Murphy 10/14; Roberta Wharton 10/17; Peggy Turner 10/24


Billie Rusher 11/11; Barb Weiler 11/18; Henry Hoskins 11/23; Guy Enke 11/30





Employees who mention the “Inhance Employee Discount” when making reservations will be given a discounted price for their room of only $25 per night.  Additional nights or rooms are $35.

As an employee you must present a recent pay check stub (not more than a month old) with a photo ID.

Reservations must be made either in person or by calling 372-7510.  Due to fire code restrictions, no more than four people will be allowed per room.

All rooms are subject to availability.




Richard Cain, his family and members of the FMHC staff, worked many hours on a float for the Sweet Corn Festival in West Point, Iowa. This float was awarded third place, for which we are very proud.

Richard, your hard work and determination are appreciated by all!









For those of you who have been blessed and have not needed our services for yourself or family members, I will tell you a bit about direct caregivers at Fort Madison Health Center.  We are guided to perform tasks that are ordered by doctors and other members of the health care teams.  We assist you or your loved ones with activities that need to be completed to assure their health, safety, and to help make their lives more complete.  We may assist you or your family member with bathing, walking, feeding, dressing, complete physical therapy needs and exercises.  We may place your doctor’s or physical therapist’s ordered braces or splints on necks, backs, legs, arms, hands, and check assistive equipment for safety or effectiveness and fit.  We may assist with getting a person in and out of bed, wheel chairs, other sitting devices, cars, and sometimes just sitting with a person until the family member charged with their care returns home.

What we do is professionally provide the assistance that is needed or ordered by the doctor to the person in need.  We do this with the most important goals for the person in need of the services we provide. We keep these goals/thoughts in mind whenever caring for the person we are charged with: their dignity and respect, their independence, their safety, their wishes and beliefs, and their privacy. Direct care workers at Ft. Madison Health Center are a professional group of workers in the health care field. We are vital team members that see to your health care needs as are your doctors, nurses, and others that provide your medical needs.

We are there for you when you need us.  Please recognize us as the professionals that we are!




Kathy Dye of Montrose was invited to tour the Ft. Madison Health Center on August 25th.  We surprised Kathy with over fifty teddy bears for her entertainment at the Watermelon Festival in Montrose.  Kathy usually gives away 140 bears each year. 

We would like to make this an annual event to help Kathy continue to put smiles on the faces of the kids at the Watermelon Festival.

Kathy Casey - Social Services Director






It’s been over six months since I accepted the position as Restorative Nurse here at the care center.  I’ve had a little “culture shock” but worked my way through that without too many bumps and bruises.

Restorative nursing is a very interesting part of nursing.  I’ve had the opportunity to work side by side with the two restorative aides here at the facility.  Debbie Bruno and Sharon Loffler are dedicated to their jobs and are very hard working.  I’ve made few changes in the program.  I believe the biggest changes have been changing some of the forms to a more user friendly format and introducing group therapy to the format.  I have focused on continuity of care and maintaining resident functional activity.  To accomplish this, programs are directed toward the individual needs and are goal oriented with a specific plan for desired outcomes.  Many times the goal is to maintain present function and while this may sound fairly simple and easy it takes dedication and determination from the resident and the Restorative Aides.

On the days that restorative is running smoothly I’ve had the chance to branch out in a few other directions.  One of the directions I have gone is towards the Alzheimer’s Cause.  Research shows that by the time a person reaches the age of 85 they have a fifty percent chance of being diagnosed with Alzheimer’s. This disease presents itself as a very difficult challenge.

Fort Madison Health Center has taken serious interest in our residents and families’ needs dealing with Alzheimer’s.  We are initiating an Alzheimer’s Support Group.  This support group will be open to the public and the first meeting is scheduled for September 26th at 1 p.m.

While we are on the subject of Alzheimer’s the Fort Madison Health Center is forming a team to participate in the Alzheimer’s Memory Walk at Crapo Park in Burlington on September 30th.  Our team will be the FMHC Magic Makers and I am personally inviting our readers to join us or offer your support.  As nearly everyone is aware the Alzheimer’s Memory Walk is a yearly fundraiser. Numerous events are being scheduled to raise funds inside the facility and money collected will be given to the Alzheimer’s Association to be used in their research to help fund a cure.

Phyl Hinds




Bobby Dorn and his wife came to play music and sing for us.  Everyone enjoys their performance so much!!  Thank you.

We hosted the Spelling Bee in July.  Helen Timmons from Lexington Square won the Bee, but we gave them a good challenge. Good job to those who participated in the Spelling Bee.

We started line dancing last month.  This has been really fun.  Some residents enjoy watching, and some join in and dance with us.  It’s something new we are trying.  Some of the residents wanted to learn how to line dance, so we thought we would give it a try.

On August 8th, a group went to Nauvoo and watched the International Folk Dance performance by Brigham Young University students.  The show was fabulous; everyone really enjoyed it.

Richard Cain, our Dietary Supervisor, entered a float in the Sweet Corn Festival.  We received third place for it.  Good job, Richard!

We also put a float in the Watermelon Festival.  A couple of residents rode on the float so they could throw candy. Everyone who shared in the outing had a wonderful time.

Coming in September, we have the Rodeo Parade.  We are going to enter a float in this one, too, and we will also take some residents to ride along and throw candy out to the children.   The name of the float is the Fort Madison OK Corral. Hope to see everyone there.

We also have some special entertainment scheduled in September.  Elvis and Patsy Cline will be here to perform.  Come on over and watch the show with us.  Oh, and don’t forget your blue suede shoes!!

Coming in October is Halloween.  So start thinking about what you want to be because it’s right around the corner.

James Albert donated fifty books and a book shelf to the facility.  Now we have a start on our library we are working on. Thank you very much for the donation - it will be well used.

In Housekeeping news, Beth Todd, our Housekeeping Supervisor, has a daughter who is getting married on September 30th.  Congratulations!

Elvia Clark, our linen lady, has been here for eighteen years now. Congratulations, Elvia.

Housekeeping Week is the 10th through the 16th of September.