Visitor restrictions have been in place at all Good Samaritan Society locations for several weeks and residents are getting used to a new normal.
“We’ve seen really good spirits,” says Scott Chadwick, chaplain at Good Samaritan Society – Denton Village in Denton, Texas. “Most folks are encouraged by the good care they’re receiving and the majority remain positive.”
But even though many are doing well, Scott says some are experiencing fear and don’t come out of their apartments very often.
“Fear’s a natural response at this time,” he says. “We’re dealing with that too. It’s a balance so far.”
Scott and the other staff members at Denton Village and all locations across the Society are working hard to make sure residents can weather all the emotions they may be experiencing during this pandemic.
Each weekday morning and on Sunday afternoons, Scott and fellow Chaplain Ken Hovland from Good Samaritan Society – Lake Forest Village in Denton hold a conference call with residents from both locations. The two chaplains share scripture with residents and pray for them.
Scott says it’s been a great experience because it helps residents stay connected during a time when they can’t gather in person.
“It’s been a real blessing to hear them on the phone,” says Scott.
In addition to the calls, he also sends out a weekly prayer guide and visits the assisted living building once a week where he sings hymns in the hallway. Each resident is also given devotionals in their mailbox.
At Good Samaritan Society – Water Valley Senior Living Resort in Windsor, Colorado, Chaplain Janice Mount does church services and a weekly Bible study through Zoom.
She makes personal visits to residents and emails a daily video devotion to them. Staff members also add videos and encouraging words on the closed-circuit TV channel.
Janice says most residents there remain positive and at peace during this time of dramatic change.
“They’re in a place of waiting and are patient and quite appreciative of staff and what they’re doing to make them comfortable during this time,” Janice says.
Scott, Janice and the other chaplains throughout the Society do their best to help residents and watch for signs of depression.
“We encourage everyone to request a personal visit if they’re struggling with anything going on,” says Janice. “I’ll do a visit or phone call whatever time of day it is, and if I need to refer them I will.”
Both chaplains say that staff members, and even fellow residents, are focusing on encouraging those around them.
“We’re seeing people pick one another up, and it’s not just staff,” Scott says. “It’s really nice to see the love of Christ poured out through residents and staff together.”