Avera Medical Minute: Prince of Peace opening up for visitors

Published: Apr. 12, 2021 at 10:14 AM CDT
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SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (Dakota News Now) - An optimistic outlook has helped Jean Knips make it through the tough times.

“My motto is: just take one day at a time, and surprising, the months, just do seem to roll by,” said Jean.

Her son Dave has watched Jean set an example of strength and perseverance through the years.

“She turned 90 in March and she stopped counting her cards when she got 150. So she’s done very well,” said Dave.

There’s a sense of relief that the family can hug their beloved Grandma Jean again.

“I don’t think anybody had any idea that this would be over, over a year. Yeah. And it started out with telephone calls,” said Dave.

Zoom calls followed, chilly visits outside her window, followed by plexiglass dividers inside.

“Visitation booth, which we call the chatterbox,” said Dave.

Having a year-long disconnect from family was certainly difficult for the retirement community residents. Daughter-in-law Brenda Knips also felt for others affected.

“It wasn’t just the residents and families that suffered with this, it was the employees. There are so many things they had to pick up on,” said Brenda.

Prince of Peace Director of Nursing Alice Ronk is seeing more smiles as visitors can see family members in person again.

“I think it is probably one of the biggest blessings we’ve had in the last year. Residents have been lonely, and they want to see their families,” said Ronk. “Just wrap your arms around them and let them know that you really care and they care about you is a huge, huge thing for our residents.”

Spirits are lifted.

“They are perking up they’re getting happier. You can see that they have more to live for,” said Ronk.

Grandma Jean looks forward to the return of even more visitors.

“Such a large family of over 100 of us,” said Jean.

And enjoying celebrations in the future.

“One of the grandkids getting married. Life just goes on and. And I really feel blessed. The Good Lord is taking good care of me, along with my kids,” said Jean.

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