Moving to assisted living during pandemic

HealthBeat

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) — Helping a loved one make the decision to move into assisted living can be difficult, even more so during a pandemic.

Becky Neu and her husband Dick recently helped her mother, Martha, move into assisted living at the Good Samaritan Society.

The two say the process was emotional.

“When you’re putting your mother into an assisted living area, you feel kind of… am I doing the right thing?” Dick said.

To complicate things even more, the move took place in the middle of a global pandemic. Fortunately, Kathy Manning with the Good Samaritan Society says families can rest assured that moving in now is safe.

“When a resident does move in, we limit the family movers to a group of two, and that those movers are screened at the door for COVID symptoms and exposure to COVID. And like our staff, they are taught to practice, good hand washing, mask and socially distance,” Kathy Manning said.

Once the resident is moved in they are considered what she calls a ‘gray zone’.

“I do want to emphasize gray zone does not mean quarantine or isolation. It really means more that they have a higher level of observation for just that two weeks when they come into the, to the building. It’s a precaution we take for themselves as well as other residents,” Manning said.

Virtual and window visits are encouraged, as regular visitation is dependant on community spread.
The Neu couple has taken advantage of window visits, and say Martha’s doing well in her new home.

“She takes her own pills, takes her own showers. Nobody is in there. She’s very independent and everyone that she sees and talks to says how much better she looks and sounds,” Becky said.

That’s not uncommon for residents according to Manning. In fact, she says oftentimes a resident’s health improves after moving in.

“It just can be really improved by making sure that their medications are being taken on time and that they’re taking their medications and they’re eating well. And they’re getting some regular activity, just can really make a difference for them,” Manning said.

While it isn’t always an easy decision, The Neus say doing what’s best for your loved one is what matters most.

“The need for care doesn’t stop even when we are in a pandemic. And, yeah, my mom is happy. She’s doing well. And, and I just think it went really well,” Becky said.

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

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