Moving into assisted living during the pandemic

Diane Nichols safely moved parents to Good Samaritan Society community

A Good Samaritan Society assisted living resident hugs her husband over his shoulders in their new apartment.

Diane Nichols’ parents had lived in the same house in Pipestone, Minnesota, for 40 years when the idea of moving the couple to an assisted living community became part of the conversation within the family.

That’s where it stayed for a while. But when Diane’s father got seriously ill in August, she and her siblings knew it was time for a change.

On a Friday this summer, Diane, her husband Lonnie and their daughter Emily were able to move the couple into Good Samaritan Society – Prairie Creek in Sioux Falls.

When Diane’s mother saw her new home, which now included pictures and furniture from their house in Pipestone, it was obvious the family had made the right decision.

“When my mom walked in, that’s all she kept saying — it looked just like home,” Diane said.

Safety first

Like everyone who moves loved ones to a Good Samaritan Society community, the Nichols family followed strict guidelines in relocating Diane’s parents, Darrell and Carol Foss. These guidelines ensured safety for staff, residents and themselves.

“The assisted living is a very safe place to move your loved one into,” said Nikki Nearman, senior living director at Good Samaritan Society – Prairie Creek.

“We have the nursing staff to help care for them. Our staff is educated and very aware of all the PPE policies and procedures. We communicate with the families ahead of any resident moving in to make a really good, solid, safe plan.”

Prior to moving to Prairie Creek, Diane’s father had been in rehabilitation at Good Samaritan Society – Sioux Falls Village.

“The people in charge were great about connecting us to the people at Prairie Creek,” Diane said. “It was a very easy transition.”

Spirit of cooperation

Likewise, the staff waiting for Diane’s parents at Prairie Creek had that same level of collaboration. This was the first time she needed to find a new place for parents, after all. The spirit of cooperation extended from these two Good Samaritan Society communities was invaluable.

“They’ve been very accommodating,” Diane said. “They had ideas on some of the transition details that were very helpful. We’ve been very appreciative on all of the work they do on their end.”

Diane’s parents are getting out for walks now. In addition, they’re eating three meals a day and Diane’s father is making progress in getting around without his walker. It’s something he hadn’t done in more than a year.

“They’re doing very well,” Diane said. “We know they’re safe and this is where they need to be. It’s all the way it’s supposed to be now. I really appreciate how everyone has helped us get to this point because back in March, it all seemed pretty dismal. The people at the Good Samaritan Society have really helped me through it.”

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Posted In Community, People & Culture, Senior Services

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