Moving into assisted living during the pandemic


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.

Diane Nichols' parents smiling in the living room of their new home at Good Samaritan – Prairie Creek.
Diane Nichols' parents smiling in the living room of their new home at Good Samaritan – Prairie Creek.(Photo by Lonnie Nichols)

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 and her husband Lonnie and their daughter were able to move the couple into Good Samaritan – 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 says.

Safety first

Like everyone who moves loved ones to a Good Samaritan community, the Nichols family followed strict guidelines. It ensured safety for staff, residents and themselves.

The assisted living is a very safe place to move your loved one into." – Nikki Nearman, senior living director at Good Samaritan – 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 – Sioux Falls Village.

“The people in charge were great about connecting us to the people at Prairie Creek,” Diane says. “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 communities was invaluable.

“They’ve been very accommodating,” Diane says. “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 says. “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 have really helped me through it.”

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