CARLISLE, IOWA — The pandemic year of 2020 was hard on everyone – but perhaps nowhere was it felt more than in the halls of nursing homes and long term care centers. Those facilities were closed off to visitors for nearly a year as Iowa’s most vulnerable population was kept as isolated as possible from COVID-19. Now those restrictions are being lifted and life is returning to normal – just in time for National Nursing Home Week.
On Wednesday staff and residents at Via Health Services in Carlisle celebrated the occasion with an outdoor carnival. There were games and prizes, food and root beer floats and other surprises for residents – though staff were having just as much fun.
“Not gonna lie. It has been real tough,” said nurse Eric Kirk, “There’s been tears. There’s been laughter and joy but I think every nurse around the country has experienced all of those emotions throughout this last year so.”
“Everybody here works hand and hand to take care of these residents,” said Via Health Services owner Jennifer Conner, “And this is a week just celebrating all those people and all of our residents they are the ones we wake up and come to work and see everyday. They’re the ones that give us purpose in this job.”
Resident Norma Barnes summed up the day for everyone: “The air is great and the sun feels so good on us and we have all the these wonderful people out here to take care of us.”