Mulberry Place residents record their walking distances on the boots above as they “Give Alzheimer’s the Boot” during National Alzheimer’s week.

Residents participate in Walk to End Alzheimer’s

Mulberry Place is celebrating its 20th anniversary during Annual Assisted Living Week Sept. 12-18.

Gloria Garner, Manager of Mulberry Place, said the facility was officially opened with an open house on July 29, 2001. Janet Schwieger was the administrator of Bloomfield Care Center at the time and Mulberry Place was constructed and became part of the continuous care facility under her guidance.

“Janet and the ABCM Corporation Board in Hampton began the venture in 1999 and held the open house in 2001,” said Garner, who was Director of Nursing at the Care Center at the time.

“The 14 apartments were listed as assisted and independent living units and have housed many wonderful clients in the past 20 years,” Garner said. The units are currently home to 15 residents.

Garner has served as Manager of Mulberry Place since 2014.

Attesting to the quality of life offered to Mulberry residents, Garner said the clients continue to be active in the community while residing at Mulberry.

“One of the greatest community events that Mulberry is proud to be a part of is the annual Walk to End Alzheimer’s,” Garner said.

The tenants use Assisted Living Week as a time to do their regular walking and go above those steps to be a part of the annual Walk.

This year’s theme is “Giving the Boot to Alzheimer’s.” Each tenant has a boot constructed of cardstock with the distance they walk each day recorded on the boot. At the end of the week, the distances will be totaled and a $50 gift certificate from ABCM Corporation given to the winner and $25 certificates from Wells Hometown Drug and Hy-Vee Pharmacy given to second and third place winners.

Each tenant will also be filling plastic boots with colored sand designating the number of donations that come in. “Our goal is to fill our boots to at least the $600 level,” Garner said.

“The past three years our tenants, family members, friends, and neighbors have reached out and exceeded our goal. We had $600 the first year and $700 the second year. Last year with COVID restrictions we did in-facility bowling to ‘Knock Out Alzheimer’s’ and made over $800.”

Anyone who wishes to donate to the fund may do so by mailing or leaving a donation at Mulberry for the Walk to End Alzheimer’s.

The schedule of activities for Mulberry residents during this week of celebration includes a special breakfast for residents on Sunday, Grandparents’ Day. On Monday, John Stookesberry will visit to kick off the Alzheimer’s Walk.

Tuesday, there will be a review of walking stats and sand art with the clear plastic boots. Wednesday, there will be a remote Bible study with Pastor Thom Bryant of the Bloomfield United Methodist Church and residents will add sand to the boots.

Thursday will feature a special Bingo game.

Friday, figures will be tallied and winners of the walk announced. The homecoming parade will also drive past the facility.

Saturday is National Cheeseburger Day and cheeseburgers will be the featured menu item.

Garner said the residents of Mulberry may be old, but she doesn’t let them give up. “It blows people’s minds sometimes when they see us out,” she said. “They may be old, but by golly, I don’t let them give up!”

Residents not only visited the Davis County Fair, but Elaine Spurgeon, Ilene Carter, and Mary Lou Myers won blue ribbons on quilts and embroidery items they entered in the Art Hall competition.

“We had four or five visiting the fair,” Garner said. “Mildred (Spilman) was there at age 101. She has attended every fair since she was six weeks of age.”

Garner said the residents are very grateful for their neighbors and Davis County residents. “Davis County supports them,” she said. “People bring in fresh vegetables from their gardens. Dollar General donates outdated magazines.

“People care about Mulberry,” she said.

Guests are welcome to visit Mulberry residents in their apartments. Visitors are to contact Mulberry staff and arrange for a screening at the time of the visit. They will be given a disposable mask to wear while visiting.

“Anytime is a good time to visit or call your tenants,” Garner said. “Assisted Living Week would be a great time to do it or take your tenant out for a treat or a just a visit.”