Keeping busy during the pandemic


SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) — The coronavirus pandemic has led to some people picking up new hobbies while spending more time at home.

About five years ago, Pete Geyerman became an independent living resident at the Good Samaritan Society’s St. Martin Village.

Soon after his arrival, he found a new passion– at the age of 89.

“Here’s one of my early ones. It’s a bird house, out of a yellow poplar. It’s a small one and it’s more of a display one,” Geyerman said.

For about four years now, Geyerman has been spending about four days every week in woodshop class.

He says he didn’t know much about woodworking before attending, but wanted an activity to keep busy.

“When they opened the woodshop, I had very little experience with woodworking,” Geyerman said.

It didn’t take long for his experience level to grow. He’s now making bowls, urns, birdhouses and more.

“Every birdhouse that I do is a little bit different or the bowls are different. I use a lot of different woods,” Geyerman said.

Senior living manager Jimmy Ray Dalton says keeping active through classes like these is crucial for residents.

That’s especially true with visitor restrictions and other COVID-19 safety precautions in place.

“It’s very important. Cause it’s, it’s not only healthy for them, but it’s spirit lifting,” Dalton said.

Geyerman says woodworking has given him something positive to focus on, and his positivity is making its way through the facility during a time when it’s needed most.

“It makes me feel good. And unfortunately, when they get depressed, I get a little down on myself too, because I want to lift their spirits and with the classes and stuff, this is how we can do that. And it makes me feel good,” Dalton said.

And while many may be stuck at home or inside due to the pandemic, Geyerman is proof that anyone can start a new hobby at any time in their life.

For more information on senior living at Good Samaritan Society, click here.

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