FONTANELLE — Visitors have been restricted for more than two months, but the residents of Good Samaritan Society in Fontanelle are keeping their spirits up thanks to the employees at the facility and a supportive community.
Facility administrator Mallory Wheatley and Activities Director Sheona Fienhage say some residents, for example, are allowed out of their rooms to take part in individualized activities. A select few are event allowed to eat outside their room, though no true communal dining is happening right now.
Some of these individualized activities include walks in the hallway or van rides around the area. Whatever the activity, Fienhage said staff are tailoring them to fit each resident’s needs.
One event that is fast approaching is a John Deere parade June 5 at 10 a.m. in front of the center. All those who own John Deere equipment and wish to participate should contact the facility at 641-745-4191 for further instruction. This event is to thank Deere and Company which donated 10,000 face sheilds recently to Good Samaritan Society, which operates over 250 centers and employs over 24,000 nationwide.
“Each person’s different and we want to make sure we’re doing everything possible for them. We have some who still like to listen to the devotions, some work on crosswords in their rooms, but we want to make sure we’re staying away from each other as much as possible,” Fienhage said. “We still play Bingo, we have a garden in the prayer garden we’ve been planting and we’ve been giving van rides to individual people. We’ve been driving all over, honestly. We greatly encourage [them to wear masks].”
Fienhage began at Good Samaritan early this year and said she appreciates the team Good Samaritan has, how everyone is playing a part in the operation of the facility in a tough time.
“We have our silos within the facility. I think all the departments kind of have to work together, especially to do 1-on-1s, to talk to each resident each day and to make sure they’re getting what they need,” Fienhage explained. “Something that is fantastic here is that we have such a great team.”
Meanwhile, Wheatley describes that all staff and residents are adjusting to what the facility calls its “new normal.” For example, all staff are still being screened upon entering the facility to work.
“All our employees have been really flexible as we continue to change some of our processes and ramp some of them up. We’re still doing all of the employee screening as essential employees come in the door,” Wheatley said.