The Good Samaritan Society wants to keep everyone in its senior living communities safe during the pandemic.
New residents are asked to enter heightened observation for 14 days when they arrive. While that may sound challenging, staff members at locations across the country are coming up with fun activities to make the time fly by.
95-year-old Albert Brum is the newest resident at Good Samaritan Society – Pohai Nani in Hawaii. He just “graduated” from observation and was surprised at how smooth it went.
“At first, the 14-day period seemed daunting. Now that it is over, it went quite fast,” Brum said.
Neal Hendrickson is the sales and marketing director at Pohai Nani. He says his staff gets to know the incoming residents. Then, they customize activities for the first 14 days. The strategy is helping to ease concerns.
“They would say, ‘Oh, I don’t think I can do that.’ Then, they wouldn’t even consider coming in until all of this is over,” Hendrickson said.
Now he’s hoping future residents will look forward to those 14 days. It’s also when they meet all the key staff members.
Hendricksen says his group brought Albert, who has a military background, model airplanes and tanks.
“I was day 14. I gave him a model kit of an Army tank. He was very, very pleased,” Hendrickson said.
Other people baked him some goodies.
“Every day was special. People’s visits and gifts made me feel most welcome,” Brum said.
Staff members don’t go into the resident’s apartment during the quarantine. They stay outside and wear protective equipment.
“We hear a lot of thank you’s from residents about how we’re keeping them safe,” Hendrickson said.
Why the 14 days?
Good Samaritan Society locations have a variety of restrictions in place during the COVID-19 pandemic. Senior Living Operations Manager Corey Thompson says it’s because older adults are at a higher risk for severe illness and complications from the virus.
“Our elderly are at risk. They’re much higher risk to the COVID infection than say a 50-year-old or a 20-year-old,” Thompson said.
That doesn’t mean people should be afraid to move to a Good Samaritan Society location.
“We’ve really seen that in senior living, there’s still people that are knowing that this is a good service and a good setting for them. Look forward to getting through this pandemic and finally getting to the other side soon,” Thompson said.
In the meantime, she wants people to be comfortable coming to their new senior living home. Staff members are constantly interacting with residents. That social activity alone can be a major upgrade from their current situation.
“They maybe isolated from other family in their home. So, moving into the location, there’s still that staff contact,” Thompson said.
You’ll be surrounding yourself with people that care about your well-being.
“We want to keep them safe so that we can get through this and get back to normal quicker,” Thompson said.
The Good Samaritan Society is committed to making the first 14 days safe and entertaining. The organization has even created a task force to brainstorm ideas on how to make heightened observation fun for residents.
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