The coronavirus pandemic has been tough on all of us.
Especially those in long-term care.
In an effort to keep residents safe, The Evangelical Lutheran Good Samaritan Society has maintained an exclusive visitor policy.
This has forced staff, and communities, to get creative in looking after both the physical, and mental, well-being of the residents.
Socially distanced concert
That creativity has shone bright at The Good Samaritan Society’s Sioux Falls campuses.
“Our leadership class of Sioux Falls, we decided that we wanted to spread some joy and happiness to the residents at the Good Samaritan Village,” said Midco enterprise account executive Andrew Simmons.
Simmons and the other inductees of the 34th class of Leadership Sioux Falls organized a free concert for the residents of the Good Samaritan Village.
“Our group came together over the last few weeks. We pulled our resources together, and contacted some music groups. We’re really excited to put on an afternoon of joy for them,” added Simmons.
Local bands Goodroad, Rich Rislov, and Mogen’s Heros all performed for the residents. Production was handled by Pinnacle Productions.
“Music has a way of uniting us,” said Pinnacle Productions CEO Chris Hintz.
“There hasn’t been a lot of positivity, but being able to do something to put smiles on peoples faces, have people inside tap their toes and bop their heads, and listen to something fun and inspiring. That’s really what it’s about,” said Hintz.
The dance community of Sioux Falls has also thrown their support behind Good Samaritan Society residents.
Move To Heal South Dakota is a Sioux Falls based nonprofit whose mission is to support long term care residents and children in hospitals.
“What we do is we come in and do classes that are catered to them. To move the mind, body, and spirit,” said vice president Lisa Conlin. “We do classes like chair yoga, dance movements, sitting in chairs, standing with chairs for support, and just bringing joy to the seniors.”
Conlin says the COVID-19 pandemic has ended in-person classes, and Move To Heal South Dakota has had to resort to virtual classes. The disconnect of face-to-face interaction inspired them to organize a dance performance for the residents at Good Samaritan Society Prairie Creek – The Lodge on June 3.
“Unfortunately these residents, we don’t know how long they’re going to be cooped up. Giving them a little bright spot in their day is so important,” said LiRa Dance Theatre Company member Kelsey Freidelnelson.
Amaze Dance Studio, Augustana University, and high school seniors also performed for the residents.
A needed reprieve
Director of social services at Good Samaritan Society’s Sioux Falls Village Hannah Peters says events like these were needed.
“It’s a really hard time right now. So, this is a really special event,” she said.
Peters and her team have fought to “keep resident connections alive during the pandemic.” They’ve helped to coordinate video visits, phone calls and window visits, among other things to keep spirits high.
She says while those efforts have been instrumental, the concert series shows the residents the community as a whole cares for them.
“It’s wonderful to hear that people are wanting to give in different ways. They’ve reached out and asked what they can do. Some have asked if they can plant flowers, others talked about music, and talked about lunches. It’s just so wonderful that people have jumped in and give whatever they’re able to.”
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