Young woman finds the care she needs at the Good Samaritan Society

When Katelyn Sandbulte moved to Good Samaritan Society – George, Iowa, at the end of 2022, she and her mother, Tara Hansen immediately felt at peace.

When Katelyn Sandbulte moved to Good Samaritan Society – George, Iowa, at the end of 2022, she and her mother, Tara Hansen immediately felt at peace.

“It’s the little things that make Kate feel important and that she’s a human here and wanted and needed and loved,” says Tara.

Kate has Huntington’s disease and is 100% dependent on others for her care. Her mom is grateful for the compassionate caregivers.

“I’m really impressed with the staff and their willingness to accommodate Kate’s special needs,” Tara states. “Kate has gotten healthier being here. She’s very well cared for.”

Caregivers give Kate her medication, help with baths and make sure her feeding tube is clean. They also provide speech therapy to help with her swallowing and physical therapy to help her muscles stay limber.

“She’s in her 30s, so it’s a little different for them to work with her versus somebody who’s elderly,” Tara says. “But it’s amazing how much they take the time to do her hair or paint her nails.”

A welcoming place

Kate and Tara are especially happy with the home-like atmosphere of the building.

“I love the fact that it smells like a home – not an institution. Caitlin smells like Caitlin. She has purple fingernail polish on,” states Tara. “That warms my heart because I know somebody loves her like I do, or at least cares enough to do those little things.”

Everyone from the certified nursing assistants to the dietary staff members makes sure Kate is cared for just like she would be at home.

“She has a specialized wheelchair. They take her out to dinner, lunch and breakfast. She might only have one bite or she might only take a drink, but it makes her feel like she’s part of a family.”

The center has music time where residents get to choose different songs to listen to. Kate loves many different types of music and when it’s her turn to pick, the other residents are open to listening.

“She likes everything from Charlie Daniels to the big band era to Nirvana, all of it,” Tara says. 

A comfortable room

Kate likes being with other residents, but also enjoys spending time in her room watching TV or talking with visitors. Her room is personalized with the things that bring her joy.

“She likes the bulletin board right by her bed with all the pictures that she has and stuff that her daughter makes her. We hang it all on the bulletin board,” states Tara.

One of Kate’s regular visitors is the 2-year-old granddaughter of a nurse.

“She will run down the hall to Kate’s room and she and Kate will talk and talk and talk,” says Tara. “I think it’s wonderful that a family member of a staff member can come in and build that relationship.”

When Kate’s daughter visits, caregivers set up an area where they can sit. Sometimes Kate prefers to be on the floor with her daughter, so they set up a cushion and place her on it so she and her daughter can interact more.

Kate and her roommate also have a special bond.

“She can be found tucking Kate in or talking to her very softly,” Tara says. “They made the effort to find somebody that would work well with Kate so she’s not alone.”

Peace of mind

Kate knew she needed additional care after falling and hurting herself in October 2019. She told her mom that it was ok to find a nursing home.

Kate moved to a different care facility and lived there during the pandemic, but it wasn’t the right fit for her or her family. They are grateful to have discovered the Good Samaritan Society.

“It allows me and my husband to rest. It allows her brothers to be ok with her being here,” says Tara. “The peace of mind is priceless. I know that no matter what happens, Kate will be taken care of. I couldn't ask for better people and a better place. They are amazing.”

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