Good Samaritan Society residents are preparing to get social, safely, on Mother’s Day 2021.
More in-person visits are allowed at the Society thanks to new guidance from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services. It’s bringing a much-needed boost to those living and working at locations across the country.
“Oh yes. Oh my goodness. Even just starting visits in the last couple months, staff has been pumped,” Lara Carlson at Good Samaritan Society – Park River in North Dakota says.
Pumped to see residents in such good spirits surrounded by loved ones.
“These residents have had a long year and they deserve to have their families with them,” Lara says.
'Thankful to see each other'
Lara’s family is one of a few at the Society with a unique situation. Her grandmother, Inez Laugtug, lives in the skilled nursing facility in Park River. The proximity has been invaluable during the pandemic.
“We still have that connection here, her and I. We’ve been very thankful to see each other,” Lara says.
Especially after Inez, a former schoolteacher, came down with COVID-19 and beat it.
“I cried. I was scared,” Lara says. “She even got pneumonia afterward. A little scary, but she pulled through."
Now, the 88-year-old hopes to see some of her three kids and eight grandkids more often.
“We used to have to interview in the window, but we don’t have to do that anymore,” Inez says.
A full 100% of Park River’s residents are vaccinated.
“We can even leave our masks off in certain places,” Inez says.
Activities and dinner with neighbors are back on the table.
“We just went back to full community dining here,” Lara says. “They can have their meals at a table together again. Instead of one at a table or roommates at a table. That’s huge for them. Activities have resumed. Bingo and devotions here and there. They need that interaction.”
Celebrating Mother's Day with family
Mary Voboril is interacting once again with her big family, too. The 77-year-old resident at Good Samaritan Society – Albion in Nebraska is getting plenty of visitors and is the proud mom of five daughters.
“The first four were born within five years. It was busy. Then the last was born 14 years after,” Mary says.
As for what happened with the last one, “We don’t know. We thought we had it figured out before but we didn’t.”
Kassie Voboril is that youngest and last piece to the family puzzle. She’s also a resident and medication assistant at the Albion location where her mom lives.
“It’s nice. I like to be able to take care of her,” Kassie says.
Being nearby during the pandemic is a blessing.
“It was easier for me and my family. If they had questions or trouble getting ahold of her on the phone or the portal, I could help her personally,” Kassie says.
She’s been there for less than a year, but Mary says life in assisted living is where it’s at.
“It’s the place to be. You get fed, you get a place to sleep," Mary says. "You can walk around the halls, you can see people."
'Spending time with all my mothers'
Working on Mother’s Day this year, Kassie will get to see her mom and her cherished residents.
“I’ll be spending time with all my mothers, as I call them,” Kassie says. “They all hold a special place.”
A treasured spot in her heart she doesn’t take lightly.
“I think in the last year we’ve really learned to not take the little things for granted. Spending time with your loved ones and being able to hug your family member,” Kassie says.
Mary says to hug your loved ones and remember nothing is guaranteed.
“Enjoy whatever minutes you can have, because you never know if that’s going to be your last minute with them,” Mary says.