Long-term care residents in McClusky find creative ways to stay busy

Published: Oct. 17, 2020 at 6:46 PM CDT
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BISMARCK, N.D. (KFYR) - Seven months into the pandemic and administrators at long term care facilities are juggling how to keep residents active while being safe. At the Sheridan Memorial Home in McClusky, residents are finding creative ways to stay busy.

“Ok, here we go,” said a Sheridan Memorial Home nurse.

Every week, residents at Sheridan Memorial Home get competitive.

“Bingo!” yelled a resident.

Bingo is one of Betty’s favorite past times.

“I get such ‘goody’ prizes and then I get to give them away [to family] for Christmas! My Christmas shopping is done,” said Sheridan Memorial Home resident, Betty Nathan.

Betty is one of only 11 residents at this long term care facility in McClusky. She’s also this week’s bingo grand prize winner.

“Thank you very much," Betty thanked a staff member.

Melva Schindler or ‘Grandma Mel’ loves to make jokes with the staff.

“Oh we have our funny times yeah,” said Schindler.

At 98-years-old, she the facility’s oldest resident and believes a good game of sudoku helps her stay young.

“Let’s see what we can do up here,” said Schindler playing sudoku.

She had a message to family outside.

“I’m well taken care of and they don’t have to worry about me,” said Schindler.

Administrators said having a small population is an advantage.

“We were pretty rural when they started the re-phasing so we were able to skip to phase 3 in our re-opening plan fairly quickly,” said Sheridan Memorial Home director, Missy Axt.

Each resident are allowed up to two visitors at a time according to Axt. As those visitors and staff walk through the main entrance they’re greeted with the tree of life. A tree painting on the wall with a picture of each resident. A reminder that residents are in this together.

All visitors are required to schedule a visit ahead and follow CDC guidelines.

Those rules even apply to us, our reporter was granted access inside the facility after he tested negative for coronavirus, passed a temperature check and thoroughly cleaned camera gear and microphones before entering the building.

Sheridan County remains in the low risk level category.

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