Vaccines, safety measures help Society locations open

High COVID-19 vaccination rates and safety measures at Good Samaritan Society locations across the country are helping residents safely get back together with their friends and family.

Seeing friends again

Don and Etta Smith live in an independent living cottage at Good Samaritan Society – Lake Forest Village in Denton, Texas. Now that the campus dining room is open, the married couple is enjoying lunch with neighbors again.

“Just to catch up on what people are doing and what they’re thinking and what they have read during this time,” Etta, 78, says.

The two have mostly kept to themselves during the pandemic.

“The dialogue is fun and we didn’t have it for a year,” Don, 84, adds.

Don and Etta have each had their first and second doses of a COVID-19 vaccine. Don jokes he only had to walk 60 paces to get his shot during on-site vaccination clinics in January and February.

“Did I mention this is a good place to live?” Don says.

Both had very few reactions to the vaccine and urge others to roll up their sleeves.

“We had no trouble. The arm was so little sore that you would hardly notice it,” Etta says.

Fighting back

Not too far away, Good Samaritan Society – Denton Village sits on the north side of the same town.

Senior Living Manager Gwen Dorwaldt says her location had on-site vaccination clinics earlier this year as well.

“It was wild,” Gwen says.

That’s because staff members and residents were excited for the opportunity to fight back against the coronavirus. Gwen says the vaccine is bringing hope for an end to the pandemic. Her mother, who just celebrated turning 91, lives at Denton Village and has been vaccinated.

“When I went to the luncheon for the birthday lunch, we almost cried. Just thinking about, it’s been a year since we’ve had one of these lunches. Aren’t we thankful that we’re here and we’re safe,” Gwen says.

Looking back, Gwen admits she hesitated at first to get the vaccine herself. After some research and deep thought, she realized it was the right thing to do.

“I would never be able to live with myself if I thought that I caused any harm to anyone else. So, I think that was a deciding factor for me. Working in a field like this and as a leader, it’s my duty to be as safe as possible,” Gwen says.

The Smiths admire the effort.

Etta is grateful for Society staff working to keep everyone safe.

“We certainly appreciate Lake Forest (Good Samaritan Society) and what they are doing for us,” Etta says.

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