Activities department hosts wild game tasting for long term care residents

 November brought with it a deer hunting season and local cravings for venison. However, at the Mille Lacs Health System, long term care residents recently got a taste of even wilder fare. The activities department hosted a wild game sampling party, and on the menu were venison, bear and elk.

Amber Sjodin, activities director with Mille Lacs Health System Long Term Care, explained that the activities department has monthly meetings and strives to come up with new ideas. “A lot of our ideas come from our residents,” she stated, “what they want to see, hear and do, we try to adapt to make those ideas happen.”

Citing events of months past, Sjodin said that October had featured a presentation from the DNR for National Bat Month. The staff had also previously learn choreographed dance and put on a “hoe down” for the residents, which included hiring a DJ and bringing in a root beer keg.

On Monday, Nov. 26, the event was a wild game sampling day, held at 2 p.m. in long term care. Sjodin stated that meat for the event had been provided by the Health System’s rehab department, and the samples of game available for residents to try included bear (brought by physical therapist Laura Bly), pheasant roast (brought by physical therapist Patrick Coomes), elk meatballs (brought by rehab manager Sharon Grassel), and venison breakfast sausage (brought by physical therapist Lindsey Johnson).

“We are very thankful that our team involves others in our facility,” Sjodin said. “We ask around, such as we did with the wild game feed, and we never seem to fail finding someone willing to help our residents here in LTC.”

At the dinner, Sjodin said those in attendance reminisced about their pasts and whether or not they had ever tasted the various meats before. People also gave their thoughts on the various meats. When the residents were asked which of the meats they liked the best, Sjodin said, the general response was that they loved them all.

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