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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.


Center news highlights

Dec 19, 2014


Wee Care volunteers collected, organized and distributed gifts to area families in need on Dec. 13.

 

(Omaha, Nebraska) – Imagine going to sleep hungry because your family doesn't have money for groceries. Then imagine you don’t even have a bed to sleep in. For many of the 1,042 people helped by Project Wee Care in Millard, this is a reality every night.

 

Project Wee Care, a program coordinated by the Millard Business Association and The Millard Business Community Foundation, seeks to end that reality.

 

Each year, local businesses, schools and individuals team up with Project Wee Care to help families in need. Emphasis is placed on helping those who have lost jobs, are dealing with illness, youth who have suffered the loss of a parent or head of the household, and families where one or both parents have left.

 

In the last eight years, Project WEE Care has reached out to numerous area families. In 2011, the program helped more than 130 families. This year, Project WEE Care helped 673 Millard children and 369 parents and older siblings,  for a total of 245 families and 1,042 people.


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Center news highlights

Dec 10, 2014


(Le Mars, Iowa) – If your mind and body began to fail you, you’d feel overwhelmed and frustrated. This is a daily struggle for people with Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias.

 

The anxiety and agitation that can come with the symptoms of Alzheimer’s can be profoundly devastating — which is why Good Samaritan Society – Le Mars is working so hard to combat them and make residents feel more comfortable in their surroundings.

 

The center created a sensory room, specially catered to help soothe and calm those living in the memory care Cottage Center.

 

The sensory room works on the senses through soothing lights and music, aromatherapy, textured items, weighted blankets that give the sensation of being swaddled or hugged, an electric fireplace, and comfortable furniture like bean bags, recliners and soft couches.

 

Several residents visit the sensory room every day. The room’s benefits are helping to reduce agitation in residents needing a space to find calm and quiet, and providing residents and families a place to minimize the effects of agitation.

 

“We’re trying to make life a little easier for those who need memory care, and for their family members, by trying to help residents function to the best of their ability.

 

“We offer an environment that promotes safety, with familiar routines and activities,” says staff member Amy Harnack.

 

“Our staff members really get to know residents and their family members in order to deliver personalized care.”

 

The center’s efforts were recently recognized by the Iowa Health Care Association.

 

The organization bestowed its Quality Program Award for Quality Care to the center for its Cottage Center sensory room.

 

“This award shows we go above and beyond the normal scope of care to try to provide a serene environment for those with Alzheimer’s and other dementia-related disorders,” Amy says.

 

“It’s the kind of quality, innovative and compassionate care people can expect at Good Samaritan Society – Le Mars.”

About Alzheimer’s

  • Alzheimer’s disease affects an estimated 5.4 million Americans, including one in eight older adults.
  • Alzheimer’s is the sixth-leading cause of death among all ages.
  • It’s the fifth-leading cause of death for those 65 and older.
  • There is no known cause, cure or prevention for Alzheimer’s.
  • Establishing a simple, familiar routine in calm surroundings can help those with Alzheimer’s feel more comfortable and at ease.
  • Opportunities for exercise, games, storytelling and favorite hobbies can help spark memories.
  • Additional resources and information about Alzheimer’s disease can be found on the Alzheimer’s Association website, alz.org.

 


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Center news highlights

Dec 10, 2014


Click the video to watch Ruth's story

 

(Loveland, Colorado) – Exercise means everything to Loveland Village resident Ruth Reeser.

 

"I go to Floor fitness on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays," she says, "Tai Chi on  Mondays, Thursdays and Saturdays. I go to seated movement Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays, strength training Tuesdays and Thursdays; and circuit training on Wednesday and Balance 2 on Tuesdays and Saturdays. That’s 14 a week. That’s what I do for a hobby."

 

Eighty-eight year old Ruth Reeser’s health is her hobby. Just three years ago, after spending years caring for her husband and becoming dependent on a walker, Ruth had to, in her own words, “re-invent herself.” By the spring of 2014, Ruth had transformed herself and the walker was long gone.

 

What seemed incredible six months ago has become almost routine for Ruth in Wellness Manager Jeff Finer’s fitness classes.

 

Planks are now a starting point. Ruth moves from those, to these crab walks, to mountain climbers, to something called “bird dog extensions” that test her strength and balance even further. Some of this growth comes from hard work. Some comes from a setback May 6, in a class just like this.

 

"I fell while I was exercising, while I was floor exercising," Ruth explains. "I got up in a hurry and moved too fast and hooked my foot underneath a mat and went down."

 

She was on the floor. She rose up from the floor without her chair, and caught her foot on the mat.

 

The fall left Ruth with a broken hip, but there was only one word to describe her recovery.

 

"Startling…nobody…I mean…I’ve never seen anything like it," says Jeff. "I don’t think anyone has seen anything like it."

 

 

Eighty-eight year old Ruth Reeser’s health is her hobby. Just three years ago, after spending years caring for her husband and becoming dependent on a walker, Ruth had to, in her own words, “re-invent herself.” By the spring of 2014, Ruth had transformed herself and the walker was long gone.

 

 

 

"I was in the hospital two days and they decided they couldn’t keep me anymore," says Ruth. "They put me in rehab for four days and they decided they couldn’t keep me there anymore."

 

"People ask, 'you were home in six days?' Yes, and I have a replacement hip, uh huh."

 

"They said it was a new record. It’s because I had all these exercise programs before, I’m sure. Built up my muscles and bones."

 

"I think that’s a body, mind, spirit question too," says Jeff.

 

"I think Ruth is engaged, extremely engaged. Her general conditioning is really, really high. So she can sustain a trauma like that and come back from it. She wanted back in that class before I wanted her back. I was uncomfortable with her being there. But I didn’t argue with her doctors, and we just set some parameters and said some of these moves are dangerous right now. You know that will all come in time."


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Corporate news

Dec 08, 2014



Dr. David Basel, medical director of Avera Medical Group Quality, shares goals behind the partnership with long-term care providers, including the Good Samaritan Society, to establish the Avera Virtual Care Center for Long Term Care.

(Sioux Falls, South Dakota) – The Good Samaritan Society is embarking on a three-year project designed to reduce re-hospitalization rates while caring for residents in the places they call home.

 

Through the Center for Medicare & Medicaid Innovation, Avera Health eCare is collaborating with long-term care providers, including the Society, to establish the Avera Virtual Care Center for Long Term Care.

 

Avera Health received an $8.8 million grant to support the effort.

 

Ten Good Samaritan Society communities in South Dakota, Nebraska, Iowa and Minnesota have been chosen to participate in the grant program. They are:

 

  • Estherville, Iowa
  • Edgerton, Minnesota
  • Pipestone, Minnesota
  • Tyndall, South Dakota
  • Tripp, South Dakota
  • Brainerd, Minnesota
  • Holstein, Iowa
  • Alma, Nebraska
  • Corsica, South Dakota
  • Howard, South Dakota

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Corporate news

Dec 07, 2014


Sweetie (left) and her mother, Gita, make greeting cards as a source of income for their family. Click here to see more photos of the recent mission trip to Bangladesh.

 

 

 

(Sioux Falls, South Dakota) – Against a blue and white fabric background, a beige dove offers the gift of a green branch to a viewer. Neatly framed with red, recycled thread, the greeting card image embodies hope.

 

Its creator, Gita, sits on the ground nearby stitching more images. Extensions of Gita’s humble life, these cards are her only source of income. Like many of the women in Hatidanga, Gita lives with her extended family in an 8-by-10 room built of bamboo support poles, clay bricks, mud and tin.

 

But recently, when Gita welcomed a group of 12 people with ties to the Good Samaritan Society into her home, she offered them all she could, preparing a dish of sweets and some tea for her guests, and sending her husband to borrow chairs so that the guests could sit out of the dirt.

 

 

“These people have nothing, and here they are, going out and spending what would probably get them groceries for a week to offer you something. Hospitality is everything to them, and it’s a precious gift.”

– Sue Becker

Good Samaritan Society staff member



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