Today’s Front Line Hero is Lutheran Services in America member organization Good Shepherd Lutheran Community, a 71-bed nursing home in Blair, Nebraska. Good Shepherd has instated new protocols to keep residents safe from COVID-19, and adapted the way it engages with families to prevent residents from feeling isolated.
The COVID-19 outbreak has been particularly challenging for nursing homes, as seniors are especially susceptible to negative outcomes associated with the virus. To keep the virus from spreading in their facility, Good Shepherd Lutheran Community is bringing residents’ meals to their rooms, and checking each resident between two and three times per day for COVID-19 symptoms, including fever, cough, and shortness of breath. Good Shepherd also enacted new protocols for any employees or caregivers entering the building, taking their temperature and screening them for signs of the virus.
In addition to prevention, Good Shepherd is also prepared if the virus were to enter their community. Administrator Sharon Colling said they have established an isolation wing for anyone presenting symptoms of COVID-19. The wing is also used to house residents who return to the facility after leaving for outside business, such as hospital visits. Good Shepherd is utilizing protective equipment they have available, and is reserving donated fabric masks received from the community for emergency situations, as obtaining adequate supplies and protective gear continues to be a challenge.
The precautions Good Shepherd has taken to prevent the spread of COVID-19 in their community means that the facility is closed to outside visitors. To keep residents connected to their families and loved ones, Good Shepherd is providing iPads with Skype, FaceTime, and Zoom so they can video chat. Families are encouraged to call as often as they wish, and to visit outside the windows of the residents’ rooms.
Thank you to Good Shepherd Lutheran Community for your commitment to keeping seniors safe and healthy during the COVID-19 pandemic, and for ensuring they can stay connected to their families during social isolation!