As if going home post-rehab weren’t exciting enough, St. Teresa Rehabilitation and Nursing Center in Manchester, NH, has created a ceremony to make each patient’s exit even more special.

Each therapy “graduate” gets a send-off by employees and fellow residents, who gather to sing their original going away song “Show me the way to go home.” They also get a loaf of tea bread, a certificate of accomplishment and hugs goodbye.

Administrator Luanne Rogers wants to ensure a meaningful parting for each of the roughly six residents who leave monthly.

“We shouldn’t just escort the people who die,” Rogers said. “We want to make leaving here happy because we just like to have fun!”

When the time comes, some patients laugh, some are shocked and some cry.

One of Rogers’ most memorable send-offs was for a 93-year-old woman who had fallen at home. She was determined to return to her previous routine. On her way out the door, she raised her arms high above her head in triumph. 

“Wahoo! I’m going home,” the woman roared to applause.

The tea bread is a recent addition that is made in-house by kitchen staff. Rogers makes it a point to attend every send-off and encourages patients to enjoy it on their first morning home.