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Every Day is Veterans Day at Silver Bay Veterans Home

Updated: October 30, 2019 07:48 PM

Home to over 80 veterans, the Minnesota Veterans Home in Silver Bay treats every day like Veterans Day, where those who served their country find love, care and respect from staff and their community. 

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"They've done so much for us and our country. It's just great, it feels wonderful to be able to give back to them," said Erin Thompson, the Life Enrichment Director at the Minnesota Veterans Home in Silver Bay.

The open house was a way to show community members, future residents and potential new employees the facilities. It served simultaneously as a job fair, with interviews being done on site. 

Veterans whose service includes World War II, Korea and Vietnam live in the facility.

"We are really a beautiful state of the art facility. We house 83 veterans and we feel that a lot of people don't really know who we are or what a great facility [we have]. We just thought this was great opportunity for people to come see us, maybe [they'll] work here down the road or maybe come stay here as a veteran," said Joyce Scott, the Public Relations and Volunteer Service Coordinator at the Minnesota Veterans Home in Silver Bay.

The Minnesota Veterans Home in Silver Bay is one of five in the state, but the only one in the Northland. The other Minnesota Veterans Homes are in Hastings, Fergus Falls, Luverne and Minneapolis. 

A skilled team of 155 employees provides a wide variety of medical care, while over 30 volunteers offer various activities and entertainment for residents. 

"We do a lot of outdoor activities here we actually take some of our veterans hunting, we go ice fishing, we have a pontoon. We go trout fishing every week in the summer," said Scott.

"I was down in Luverne at the veterans home there. I came up here and I got a tour of the place and they told me some of the programs they had ,and one of them included hunting and fishing. It didn't take me too long to decide where to go," said Mike Doeden, a veteran resident at the Minnesota Veterans Home in Silver Bay.

Doeden served in the Army and Navy for Minnesota. He was a helicopter mechanic and crew chief in the Army serving in Vietnam, and a boiler operator in the Navy. 

In Silver Bay, medical care ranges from physicians, psychiatrists and nurse practitioners to dental care, massage and chiropractic services. Additionally, more than half the beds are dedicated to dementia care. 

Residents are free to spend their days as the please, waking up as early or sleeping in as late as they please. They enjoy delicious meals when they're hungry, all in the comfort of their residence. 

"Everyday you have an opportunity to give back to those that gave so much for us and to work and to help out veterans in their time of need is so rewarding at the end of the day," said Scott.

Each residence includes a living room, dining room and kitchen, where meals and activities are available for each resident's preference. Some of the activities volunteers run are both on and off-campus, including music, art, boating and fishing and more. 

At the open house, visitors could learn about the admission requirements for veterans who may benefit from care at the Home. Residents must be veterans from Minnesota, or current residents, who served 181 consecutive days on active duty, unless discharged for an injury. A spouse of a veteran that is at least 55 years old, and able to demonstrate medical or clinical need, is also eligible. 

They home is at capacity with 83 residents. The wait list is about 8-12 months.

Copyright 2019 WDIO-TV LLC, a Hubbard Broadcasting Company. All rights reserved

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