By Caitlyn Gudmundsen, Senior Manager Program Development and Outreach
Today’s Front Line Hero is Lutheran Home of the Good Shepherd (LHGS), which has been working hard to meet the physical and spiritual needs of its residents during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Lutheran Home of the Good Shepherd is a skilled nursing facility in New Rockford, North Dakota, focusing on high quality long-term care for residents. When the COVID-19 outbreak began, LHGS quickly took the necessary precautions by limiting visitors to keep residents and staff safe from the virus. LHGS has made great efforts to keep families up to date on happenings at the facility, link them to resources from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and encourages families to schedule time for virtual visits with the residents.
In addition to keeping residents physically healthy, Lutheran Home of the Good Shepherd is also attuned to their spiritual needs. Paula Loewen, who provides pastoral care at LHGS, holds church services in each unit on Sundays in which residents can attend physically, but remain at least six feet apart. LHGS even purchased a portable sound system so all the residents can hear these services, since they are taking place in a larger space than usual. Paula also provides one-on-one spiritual care, and LHGS recognizes how important faith is for many residents, particularly in the midst of uncertainty that COVID-19 brings.
The Activities Department has been busy with more one-on-one activities and Intercom Bingo, to name one, to help with the isolation. Dietary is providing meals in rooms as well as dining rooms to safely provide for social distancing. Nursing is on the ball keeping residents’ families as involved as possible from a distance and providing outstanding care during a time that even doctor visits can be risky. A couple of residents are busy making masks or sewing buttons onto headbands for the masks. And all departments are trying to staying tuned into the possible rise in depression in staff as well as residents.
LHGS is in a unique situation in that they also offer staff childcare in the Childhood Development Center, managed by Ruth Braaten. The staff entrust their little ones to the outstanding daycare providers. With COVID-19, new responsibilities have been added including facilitating online schooling for some 12+ children who attend daycare in several different grades and two different schools. This has helped their employees rest assured that their child’s education has some continuity and allows for less stress when they get home after a strenuous day working.
In an effort to support the community of New Rockford that has for so long supported LHGS, they are purchasing on-site lunches from local establishments. The residents are really enjoying a lunch from the places that they frequented themselves through the years! It’s all about connection…even at a distance.
Thank you to Lutheran Home of the Good Shepherd for the holistic and attentive care you provide to your residents!