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Cornish hens, fine china, good company make for fine “Friendsgiving” 

Clients staying in St. Ann Center’s temporary overnight respite care unit over Thanksgiving celebrated the holiday with a down-home feast and good company,  

Because caregivers need breaks, too, St. Ann Center’s respite care service is open every day of the year, to help families get that time to themselves. During the holidays, caregivers may need time off to travel themselves, to assist other family members, or just to take care of their own health needs. St. Ann Center allows them to do so knowing their loved ones are in being provided with compassionate, competent care – and engaging activities.  

That includes engaging activities, like Thanksgiving dinner. 

This year, team lead Tywona Cooper prepared a mid-day feast for her co-workers and the eight clients here for the holiday. To ensure timely serving, she began food prep the morning before while outlining the menu that included time-honored traditions and a few surprises: Cornish hens, dressing, macaroni and cheese; string beans, rolls and for dessert, caramel banana pudding and a Key lime cheesecake. 

While most communal meals in respite take place in the English Cottage Dining Room, the staff arranged a fireside feast for Thursday, pushing back the large, leather recliners from their spot in the living area to make room for a table, Clients dined from elegant fine white bone china plates, edged in a green and blue Art Deco pattern and trimmed in gold.  

Tywona, a St. Ann Center employee since July 2022, taught herself to cook as an adult, and enjoys trying a variety of recipes to challenge herself. She discovered while working in group homes that she found it especially satisfying to cook for others, since she cooks for herself alone at home. “Food is meant to be shared,” she said with a smile.  

Those interested in trying the respite service for their loved one may call (414) 977-5007, or email cclark@stanncenter.org. Be aware that initial enrollment in respite care can take several weeks, as medical clearances are obtained, so it’s a good idea to book a planned stay several months ahead of need.