Therapy assistant at Society known as a 'great motivator'

Fridays at Good Samaritan Society – Sioux Falls Center in South Dakota are kicked up a notch these days. You could call it “Tammy time.”

“Tammy does a great job. She always thinks outside the box,” Anna Stach, a Society occupational therapist, says.

Tammy Jans, an occupational therapy assistant, is over-the-moon excited to offer group therapy once again and it shows.

“I started calling it 'Fun Friday,'” Tammy says.

'A great motivator'

James Raker is healing up at the location following foot surgery and participates in the active men's group.

“She’s a great motivator. She’s got the energy and she knows how to work on your body parts to make them work again,” James says.

He's putting in a lot of work with Tammy and his neighbors to get stronger.

“They’ve got good staff. They’ve got good people to talk to. That’s the good thing about the men’s group. I’ve found people I never would have met,” James says.

Like 82-year-old Fred Dieters.

“I had a fall and was in the hospital. My wife had pneumonia at the same time. We went to the hospital together and we got a room here together,” Fred says. “Taking a lot of therapy. So is my wife. We hope to get home."

“Believe it or not, this men’s group has really taken off,” Tammy says.

Improving 'quality of life'

An important activity is to get residents out of their rooms and moving again after COVID-19 pandemic restrictions were lifted.

Occupational therapist Anna Stach says it’s about creating a positive experience.

“A lot of people just love getting out of their rooms even if it’s just for coffee and a chat. That’s just important to them for quality of life,” Anna says.

After some sweat equity, they get doughnuts and fellowship with a view.

“I just think, at the moment, how can you inspire somebody and empower somebody to do their best? If you give them positive feedback, they’re always going to try harder and do better,” Tammy says.

In fact, James signed on for even more therapy, physical this time, minutes later.

“The people are awesome,” James says. “If you don’t try to get better, you’re not going to do well. I’ve seen older people give up and that’s a sad deal."

'Always bring somebody up'

Taking a whole-person approach to caring for body, mind and soul.

“No matter what I’m doing, it’s the quality of their life,” Tammy says. “I think that is the most important thing is to just always bring somebody up."

Tammy also offers a women’s group at the Society. She uses activities like gardening and cooking to entice people to get the most out of their rehab services.

Good Samaritan Society – Sioux Falls Center offers inpatient occupational, physical and speech therapy. The location also features long-term care services.

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