Silver Linings Day recognizes senior care in North Dakota

Day celebrates long-term caregivers as bright spots in challenging times

An occupational therapist works out with a senior woman who is lifting hand weights on an outdoor patio.

The unprecedented challenges of the coronavirus have been greeted with similarly unique levels of courage and energy in North Dakota.

At Augusta Place, a Prospera community operated by the Good Samaritan Society and Sanford Health in Bismarck, they’re celebrating “Silver Linings Day” on June 23.

In this case, a classic car show and a cookout will be accompanied by a proclamation that applies to all of the Good Samaritan Society locations in North Dakota.

“I called the car club right away and they were so ecstatic to come and do this,” said Lori Roehrich, activity director and volunteer coordinator at Augusta Place. “They told me it won’t be a problem getting a lot of cars because they’ve had to cancel so much. Our residents have loved the antique car shows in the past so we’re excited about that.”

Celebrating silver linings

North Dakota Gov. Doug Burgum’s official Silver Linings Day proclamation includes the following:

“Whereas, long-term care staff have responded to the challenges and pressures of a pandemic by providing tireless, compassionate care; and whereas, long-term care staff are exceeding demands in response to the COVID-19 pandemic; their passion and dedication has become a silver lining during challenging times.”

Ignoring the formality of a proclamation for a moment, the words stood out on their own. Indeed, responding to the challenges and pressures of a pandemic by providing tireless, compassionate care is worthy of recognition.

In this case, that includes some celebrating that has been a long time coming for both staff and residents.

“It’s really time to get out and enjoy the outdoors for a lot of our residents,” Roehrich said. “If you maintain your distance and you’re wearing a mask, we can still have a good time.”

Community as family

To that end, Roehrich and administrator Bruce Kallis put together a plan for Silver Linings Day at Augusta Place. With the guidelines of community safety, several Good Samaritan Society locations have planned celebrations that will incorporate both staff and residents.

At Augusta Place, it will start with a parade of classic cars circling the block. The cookout will follow with food brought inside for the residents. Staff will take those living in the community outdoors to see the cars in small groups during the afternoon.

“And,” Roehrich said with a laugh, “it’s jeans day for us. So that’s always good.”

The challenges of the past few months will undoubtedly add to the festivity of Silver Linings events. It’s not over, but maybe it’s getting a little better, bit by bit.

“It’s been difficult for staff, for families and our residents,” Roehrich said. “It’s definitely been a trying time. When you work within a community like this, the staff and the residents become family. We’re just excited to be able to enjoy the day with them.”

Read more inspiring accounts about how the staff and residents are coping.

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Posted In Bismarck, Community, Coronavirus, Senior Services

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