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Society news

Events, milestones and celebrations occur every day within the Good Samaritan Society. Here, you can read
all corporate news, Society news, center news or center news highlights.

Corporate news

Apr 27, 2015


(Sioux Falls, South Dakota) – The Good Samaritan Society is among many care providers that are turning to the idea of using patience and understanding, not drugs, to care for people with dementia.


Using antipsychotics to treat symptoms of dementia can calm a person in the short-term, but these drugs can have deadly consequences and need to be closely monitored, according to research recently published in the journal JAMA Psychiatry.


For many years, dementia patients in hospitals and nursing homes have been prescribed antipsychotic drugs in an effort to calm the behaviors that stem from dementia.

But in 2005, the Food and Drug Administration warned against prescribing these drugs for people with dementia, noting that they were approved for people with mental illness, not dementia.


Since then, the federal government has worked with senior care advocates to develop a plan for addressing a growing population of people with dementia and establish best practices for dementia care.


In 2012, the Department of Health and Human Services established the National Alzheimer’s Project Plan to educate the public about Alzheimer’s disease.


At the same time, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services created The National Partnership to Improve Dementia Care in Nursing Homes, which provides nursing homes with federal guidance and tools to reduce the use of antipsychotic drugs over time. Any nursing home receiving Medicare or Medicaid funding must uphold specific standards of care, which includes monitoring all medications a resident receives.


In January 2015, the CMS added antipsychotic drug use to its annual health inspection survey and its five-star rating system. If nursing homes with high rates don’t start cutting back on antipsychotic drugs, they will effectively be penalized by losing stars and possibly losing Medicare funding.


By the numbers

  • When established, the goal of the CMS partnership was to reduce antipsychotic drug use by 15 percent by the end of 2012.
  • As a whole, nursing homes did not reach this goal, but by 2013, usage had dropped from 23.8 percent to 20.2 percent.
  • In 2014, a new goal was set: to reduce rates by 25 percent by the end of 2015 and 30 percent by the end of 2016.



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Center news highlights

Apr 21, 2015

It's Monday morning and the crayons are out at Water Valley Senior Living Resort.


Resident Mary Alice Jensen

(Windsor, Colorado) – Who says coloring is only for children?

Every Monday morning, the Coloring Club gathers at Good Samaritan Society – Water Valley Senior Living Resort. Residents are invited to express their creativity with crayons and coloring books made specifically for adults.

While coloring is a lot of fun, it also benefits seniors’ health with its capacity to stimulate the brain and reduce stress. Many publishers have been launching coloring books specifically for adults. The trend is growing in Europe and North America.


Resident Jo Ebben had been coloring for some time after her daughter introduced her to adult coloring. She recommended a coloring program to the campus’ director of Lifestyle Enrichment, and Jo donated several coloring books to get the group started.


The group has as many as 11 participants at one time. They listen to music while coloring, and residents say the creative time is very relaxing.

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Center news highlights

Apr 19, 2015

Campus becomes a Certified Wildlife Habitat



(Kissimmee, Florida) – Carolyn Lamond (pictured above) is most at home with garden shears in hand and a little dirt on her knees. Gardening is a way of life for her, as it is for many at Good Samaritan Society – Kissimmee Village, the senior living resort where Carolyn and her husband have retired.


Carolyn knew gardening would be a lot different when she and her husband left their New Jersey life for a home in Florida in the 1990s.


“When we moved, I saw an ad for a master gardener training, and I knew this was what I needed to do before I made too many mistakes,” she says. Soon, the backyard in the Lamonds’ home was flourishing.


When the strain of maintaining a house and large lawn got to be a little too much for the Lamonds, they decided to move to Kissimmee Village, where “the living was a little easier,” she says.


At Kissimmee Village, Carolyn found a new place to use her master gardener skills: the campus’ butterfly garden.


Kissimmee Village raises butterflies from the egg stage, and provides all of the plants necessary for caterpillar feedings and nectar. Carolyn’s just one of the many dedicated resident volunteers who tend to the butterfly garden’s ecosystem.

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Corporate news

Apr 14, 2015


You want your mom or dad to live in a quality nursing home.


One tool that can help you select a location is the Nursing Home Compare website managed by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS).


The website allows you to compare nursing homes within a specific geographic area by viewing performance in three categories:


  • health inspections
  • staffing
  • quality measures


It's important to remember that the website does not provide a complete picture.


You should also gauge a location through personal interaction.


Visit potential homes. Visit with staff members. Visit with the administrators. Visit with residents.


The information you get from them cannot be reflected in a score.



Calculating five-star quality ratings

A nursing home's five-star quality rating is calculated using a formula based on scores tied to:


  • health inspections
  • staffing
  • quality measures


A rating of one to five stars is given to each.


These ratings are then combined to produce a nursing home's overall five-star quality rating on the Nursing Home Compare website.


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Corporate news

Apr 13, 2015

Volunteers give priceless gifts of time, kindness and love to the people we serve at our locations nationwide.


Here’s what some of them have to say about why they volunteer:


Oren Sprague, volunteer at our location in Greeley, Colorado


“You don’t do this for six years if you don’t get something out of it yourself — blessings go both ways. When you make them happy, they make you happy.”


Click here to read more about Oren.


Irene Dunbar, volunteer and resident at our location in Hastings, Nebraska


“Volunteering is a great way to keep involved, meet new friends and have a reason to enjoy every day.”


Click here to read more about Irene.

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