Pott. County nursing homes getting through winter storm

Elisabeth Slay
The Shawnee News-Star
Residents at McLoud Nursing Center got through the winter storm by playing games and enjoying each other's company.

This week, Pottawatomie County residents have dealt with the difficulties of extreme winter weather, including the residents of area nursing homes who are braving the storm with help from staff members and the community.

According to Marilyn Love, McLoud Nursing Center administrator, the facility has dealt with some issues related to the extreme cold, but they've powered through the struggles.

"We are doing well — just meeting normal challenges that everyone has, even at home, like making sure pipes don't freeze and heat (is) working and maintaining (it)," Love said.

She explained the facility changed the residents' menu to feature various forms of comfort food such as stew, chili, chicken and dumplings, and beans and corn bread.

In addition, Love said some members of the McLoud Nursing Center staff have stayed at the facility so they can avoid driving on the snow-packed roads.

"Some staff (members are) able to drive in but some (are) picking (other staff) up in a four-wheel Jeep," Love said. "Of course some live in the country where it is impossible to get them here."

While it has been challenging, she said overall everyone has had a nice time adjusting to the weather.

"We like to think of this as we are having a huge slumber party with lots of snacks, board games and cards," Love said. "Our objective, as always, is to make sure our residents know they are loved, cared for and safe."

Along with McLoud Nursing Center, the Golden Rule Home in Shawnee has also faced challenges this week due to the extreme weather. 

According to Administrator Jessica Mitchell, staff members have struggled but they've continued functioning safely while helping residents. 

"It’s been an obstacle to get around, staff are already tired and over worked due to COVID-19; now add snow and ice to the equation," Mitchell said. "We have managed very well to continue the safety of the staff and residents during this time."

She explained residents have continued their daily activities and have been able to bundle up from the cold when needed. 

"For the most part it does not seem to have effect their daily routines," Mitchell said. "The facility is kept warm and cozy, we have additional blankets stored for those who prefer another one."

Due to the snow and extreme cold, Mitchell said the facility did deal with some frozen pipes and water leak issues, as well as some staff struggling to get to work. 

"We have managed. If staff call saying they are stuck in the snow at home and cannot get out for work, our director of nursing has been diligently using her 4x4 to pick staff members up," Mitchell said. 

The administrator said it would be helpful if Hardesty Road near the facility could be cleared as it would make it easier for staff to make it to work.