SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) — Staff at Good Samaritan Society in Sioux Falls are working hard to keep their residents safe.
The pandemic has taken a toll on people everywhere, and for those with family members living in nursing homes, the distance wasn’t easy.
“If it hadn’t been for the technology that dad knows how to use, it would have been very tough. We were able to use FaceTime, and the communication was as good as it could be given the circumstances,” Patti Guthrie said.
But today, Patti Guthrie is able to sit in person with her dad, Gordon Carlson, who is 100 year’s old, putting him at a high risk of complications if contracting COVID. That’s why knowing that staff at the assisted living center are fully vaccinated means so much.
“All of our staff did choose to get vaccinated in our Prairie Creek assisted living. And it’s just amazing that they were able to take that step, to protect themselves and their families. But more importantly, I think it was to protect our residents,” Alecia O’Neill said.
Staff are encouraged to get the vaccine, but not required. O’Neill was one of the first to become fully vaccinated.
“This was really, in my mind, the vaccine was one way that we could allow our families to maybe come back and do some normal activities with their loved ones that live with us,” O’Neill said.
Activities like gardening, one of Carlson’s favorite hobbies.
“I’ve got a couple of raised garden beds in the back and I’ll be able to furnish gladiola bulbs next. I mean, flowers, they’ll start blooming next month,” Carlson said.
And being able to spend time alongside her dad and take part in his hobbies with him is something Guthrie couldn’t be more thankful to staff for.
“He just loves being outside and being with people. And so it’s just, it’s nice to know that he’s able to enjoy that freedom and have the space to be able to go outside, be inside, all the various facilities in here, makes it so nice. He’s not confined to a little room,” Guthrie said.
O’Neill says vaccination rates among all Good Sam facilities is continuing to rise.