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Delbert Berninghaus Shares His Story With Legislators

By Staff | Jun 21, 2011

Delbert Berninghaus, a resident at Lakeside Lutheran Home in Emmetsburg was selected to have his life story shared with Iowa’s state legislators at an event on Mar. 29, in Des Moines. The Every Senior Has a Story display was sponsored by the Iowa Health Care Association and Iowa Center of Assisted Living and was presented to legislators at a reception held by the association’s member nursing facilities, assisted living communities and residential care facilities.

The Every Senior Has A Story display featured 11 Iowans ranging in age from 78 to 106 who live in nursing homes and assisted living programs in 10 different communities across the state. Long-term care professionals commemorated the remarkable lives of all their residents in nursing facilities and assisted living communities by submitting the life story of one resident to the Every Senior Has A Story program.

Legislators and other attendees at the reception had an opportunity to read a brief biography of each senior, which was accompanied by current photos and younger photos of the individuals. These 11 are representative of the 42,000 frail and elderly served annually by Iowa’s long-term care profession.

The intent of the display was to reiterate to elected officials that long-term care residents have brought and continue to bring immeasurable value to the lives of all Iowans.

“These seniors’ contributions to our state and nation remind us of the importance of providing adequate funding and support for the health and well being Iowa’s frail and elderly,” said Steve Ackerson, IHCA Execute director.

Delbert Berninghaus, a resident at Lakeside has an inspiring life story. Delbert’s Army Unit had to surrender to the German Army after being surrounded on Dec. 16, 1944. As a result, he spent five months as a prisoner of war. Delbert feels that sharing his experiences with others has been helpful.

Delbert stated, “Burdens shared are easier to bear.”

Therefore, Delbert wrote a book in 1992.

When Delbert was asked what he would want others to learn from his experiences, he stated, “To be brave and do something when the time comes. Do the right thing and stand up for what you believe in.”

His is only a glimpse of one resident’s story. There are many other remarkable resident stories shared by those living at Lakeside and throughout the community.

Lakeside Lutheran Home is a member of the Iowa Health Care Association (IHCA) and the Iowa Center for Assisted Living (ICAL) which are nonprofit trade associations, whose 587 facility members and 113 associate members span the continuum of long-term care. IHCA ICAL members provide services to Iowa’s frail and elderly served through nursing facilities, assisted living and senior housing communities, and residential care facilities. Both organizations are dedicated to enhancing long-term care in Iowa by providing leadership, advocacy, information and education to a broad range of providers, consumers, government agencies and others comprising the long term care community. They are affiliated nationally with the American Health Care Association and the National Center for Assisted Living

Delbert is a widower and resides at Lakeside. He enjoys singing and playing his harmonica for other residents and staff. His book is available for purchase at Lakeside Lutheran Home.