“This is a tough time to be in long-term care,” Good Samaritan Society President Randy Bury said April 16 during a Facebook Live Q&A event to address the latest on the coronavirus pandemic.
“You see every day in the media the impact this is having on the elderly, in particular. This has been described as a war, and it’s starting to feel that way,” Bury said.
While Good Samaritan Society hasn’t seen any significant outbreaks, Bury still calls this a “sad situation.”
“The closest we’ve come to any significant outbreak, thus far, is in Blaine, Washington,” Bury said. “A couple of residents were symptomatic, tested positive. All residents were tested. We ended up with a total of 14 residents testing positive.”
He says all of those residents were properly cared for in their own facilities and didn’t require hospitalization.
Safety measures have been in place for several weeks at all facilities, including visitor restrictions, increasing the use of personal protective equipment and and requiring staff to wear face masks.
‘We’ve had a lot of really neat stories’
Bury praises his 18,000 staff members in 260 facilities across 24 states for their efforts to keep their residents safe. The Good Samaritan Society serves roughly 7,000 long-term care residents and 4,000 residents in senior housing facilities.
He says his team has been inundated with stories from or about staff, residents and visitors who are going above and beyond right now.
After years of serving in hospital administration with Sanford Health, Bury says the relationships in long-term care are different.
“In long-term care setting, we’ve got caregivers … that have been providing care to a resident for years in many of our settings,” Bury said. “The relationships are a lot deeper, a lot more personal. We’ve had a lot of really neat stories.”
Good Samaritan Society purchased 1,000 iPads to distribute to facilities across the nation so residents can stay connected with loved ones.
Bury emphasizes the importance of continued connection from afar, and the Good Samaritan Society is making it easy through things like the free Send A Note service to residents.
Check out the video for more, including PPE supply, COVID-19 case protocols and Bury’s message for the community.
- Sanford, Good Samaritan Society implement universal masking of caregivers, providers
- Soothing souls: Pianist writes song for health care workers