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Rochester ‘old-timers’ celebrate the fall season at local senior home

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ROCHESTER, Minn. (FOX 47) -- On Thursday, The Waters on Mayowood Senior Living hosted its first outdoor event since the beginning of the pandemic.

The "Fall Follies" inspired event allowed residents to celebrate the beginning of the fall season while having fun in the sun.

"After the last 6 months of our residents just hanging tight and managing the pandemic as well as they can, we figured it was an opportunity to bring them outside. Enjoy the first week of fall," said Autumn Ostergaard, The Waters' Executive Director.

Since the pandemic began, residents were asked to stay in their apartments and avoid interaction with others to slow down the spread of germs.

"They were starved for socialization," said Mary Dahl, a staff member.

Luckily, the event served as a reunion for many seniors.

"I met friends I haven't seen for probably almost 6 months," said Don Christenson.

He said the gathering felt like therapy, and other residents felt the same way.

"At my age and this group, it don't get no better than this. Sitting here and having visits with friends, the sun is shining." said James Sorenson.

Residents said Thursday's sunny and 70 degree weather was the perfect day for the event.

The Waters staff had pretzels, mini donuts, apple cider and beer.

"Not root beer, just genuine beer," said Jim Lynburg.

The fun will also go beyond Thursday, Ostergaard shared upcoming themed events. "Next week we're going to be celebrating Oktoberfest and we are working on Back To School [theme event]. Now, we're going to start opening up and doing some more activities and such and enjoying the outside time while we still have the good weather."

Those are all efforts to keep senior citizen fun a top priority.

"I think it's a good idea, and I enjoy it. And I'm glad they do this for us old-timers here," said Don Tichelaar.

"We had such a good turnout, they were so excited about this," Dahl said.

KaMaria Braye

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