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Assisted Living Facility Raises Money for Residents to Ride Sun-Spot Bus

Emily Ness
Updated: February 06, 2020 07:41 PM

With age comes wisdom, and more difficult winters. This is why one local assisted living facility is raising money to provide their residents with rays of sunshine. They will be doing this through the Sun-Spot, a bus equipped with lights that provide people with Vitamin D, serotonin and warmth.

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“You get to see them excited about something and the families are getting excited too and it’s just so good to feel all of this love in here,” Emily Cagle, RN at Augustana Care Moose Lake Assisted Living said.

The beauty of the bus is also that it will come directly to the facility, Cagle said.

“It’s so hard to get everybody to go somewhere and this was the perfect opportunity to bring that to them so that they don’t have to worry about: ‘How are we going to get 40 residents anywhere?’ You know, safety concerns, travel concerns, it’s just such a great community way to get these guys something a little more fun,” Cagle said.

Beyond being fun, the bus will also be good for resident's health.

“This bus is the only one of its kind anywhere in the world and it’s called the sun bus—the sun spot and what we do is we are a mobile rescue unit bringing light for serotonin, light for Vitamin D, to our neighbors in the Twin Ports,” Katherine York, co-owner of the Sun-Spot bus said.

For many, it will be a new experience.

“They have happy lights on the bus,” Duane Coil explained to his mother Cecilia, a resident of the housing facility. “It lightens you up cause you’ve been inside all winter. You said you hate the cloudy days. So, this will cheer you up.”

Jan Summers is another resident of the housing facility. She says she prefers summer. After all, it is her last name. But, she is looking forward to trying out the bus.

“I like things like that. It’s fun—different,” Summers said. “I haven’t been on a bus for a long time,” she added with a laugh.

Rene Svenstad, another resident at the facility said that he is open to trying new things.

“I’ll try anything once. If I like it, I’ll try it twice. It’s interesting you know, we’ll see what happens,” Svenstad said.

In addition to lights, the bus includes games, massage units, snacks and beverages—all to make the experience relaxing and enjoyable.

“When we have people on board who are excited to get on board and then they leave happier and giggling and having a great time, then we have accomplished what we built the company to do,” York said. “And we have fun with people of all ages, but we really like going to the assisted living places. It’s kind of a blast. We turn on Elvis. Folks gather on board. There’s singing, there’s chatting, there’s knitting, there’s cards going on—it’s a blast."

On the day the facility books the bus, they plan to rotate groups of residents so that everyone gets a chance to soak in the rays.

“Those light boxes and the UVB rays help produce serotonin and boost the vitamin D absorption and both of those working together really just help elevate the mood and ease those seasonal effective depression disorder symptoms so it’s something simple and something non pharmaceutical that we can go, ‘Hey this will help a little bit,’” Cagle said.

Through this event, organizers hope to make winters a little more enjoyable for the wise.

“Oh I think it’ll be very enjoyable for them—for the residents here,” Coil said.

Those who will like to donate to Augustana Care Moose Lake Assisted Living to help fund the Sun-Spot can email Emily Cagle at emily.cagle@cassialife.org.

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Emily Ness

Copyright 2020 WDIO-TV LLC, a Hubbard Broadcasting Company. All rights reserved

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