SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) – Independent living at the Good Samaritan Society Prairie Creek Village is back to normal: from allowing guests, to residents being able to do activities with each other through special clubs. Now, these aren’t new to the residents, but after not having access for over a year due to the pandemic, they feel like a breath of fresh air.
Volleyball is a real hit for the residents staying at independent living in the Good Samaritan Society’s Prairie Creek Lodge.
“There’s a lot of laughter and a lot of kidding one another,” Newell said.
Ken Newell has been staying with them for 14 years, and he plays as often as he can.
“It’s helped me to keep more active, and more sharp, and keep my coordination up,” Newell said.
Volleyball club recently came back after being closed down due to the pandemic. Now that things have returned to normal, activities are spiking.
“For all of us, I think, COVID has taken a toll with that isolation that we all experienced over time and, maybe, didn’t take as good of care of ourselves as we should have and it’s getting back into that wellness,” O’Neill said.
Senior Living Administrator Alecia O’Neill – who occasionally joins in on the fun herself, says they play the game twice a week and it creates great social opportunities.
“It just feels good to have things going back on again and have everybody integrating. Everybody’s vaccinated so that helps us be able to not wear the masks anymore,” O’Neill said.
But they are wearing gloves. That’s one of the rules of the game so any rings or bracelets they wear don’t pop the ball. Any age range is allowed to join in, with guests at the age of 90 years and older joining in.
“We like to have about 6 on a side. We have had as many as twenty on a side,” Newell said.
But it seems that now that things are open, nothing can deflate the spirit or fun of the game.
“It’s the thing where you can belong and everybody is welcome,” Newell said.
The team has a record of 566 consecutive hits during a single game. The volleyball club is every Tuesday and Thursday at 10 a.m.