Good Luck

July 05th, 2020

community family paradeFriends and family members wave to a Wheatridge resident as the community family parade passes that facility Saturday morning in Liberal. L&T photos/Robert PierceROBERT PIERCE • Leader & Times


The COVID-19 pandemic has been hard on everyone, with stay-at-home orders being in place throughout much of the virus’ run.

The situation has been particularly tough on senior care centers with families and friends not being able to see each other or having limited access through windows.

Saturday morning, three senior care facilities  in Liberal teamed up to bring a little joy to both their residents and the family and friends of those residents.

Wheatridge Park Care Center, Brookdale Liberal Springs and Liberal Good Samaritan hosted a community family parade in which family and friends could drive by the respective  facilities while honking, waving, yelling and cheering.

Wheatridge Director Brady Nordhus said the process of putting the parade together was relatively simple.

“We reached out to Brookdale and Good Sam to see if they would be interested in getting a community parade between all three buildings and getting involved with the City of Liberal, bringing our residents out for some fresh air, to wave and say hello to their families without a window barrier,” she said. 

Nordhus said officials at all three facilities were very cooperative in planning the parade.

“Everybody was on board,” she said. “Everybody was excited for this. It was pretty fun collaborating.”

The parade began at the parking lot between Walgreens and the fire station on West 15th Street, first going to Brookdale before making its way to Wheatridge and finally to Good Sam. Nordhus said she was quite pleased with the results the parade produced.

“It definitely surpassed my expectations seeing all the families’ involvement, seeing all the notes posted on the windows, the posters, the cheering from all the families,” she said. “You could definitely see all the smiles on the residents’ faces and we know they all enjoyed it.”

Despite the situation the pandemic created, Nordhus said conditions at Wheatridge have been good for the last few months.

“None of our residents have gotten sick,” she said. “None of them are showing any signs of symptoms, so we are very fortunate.”

Nordhus said Wheatridge officials are working with caution as the facility begins to open back up after the pandemic.

“We are taking a more conservative approach, we’re working with the county on the phases and the steps we need to take to open,” she said. 

Nordhus said Wheatridge is gathering paperwork and following guidelines from both the Centers for Disease Control and the Kansas Department of Health and Environment as they work through the reopening process. She said does not have a definite date at this time for the facility to be fully reopened.

“It depends on the amount of cases in Seward County,” she said.

Nordhus said she liked the spirit shown by all three facilities to make Saturday’s event come together.

“It shows that as a small community, we can all come together and put our residents first, put them front and center and collaborate as a group,” she said. 

Nordhus said the parade was also a great thing not only for Wheatridge’s residents and staff, but for those at Brookdale and Good Sam as well.

“I can only speak for our facility, but I can only imagine the other residents in the other facilities, it brought a smile to their faces and made a fun day happen here,” she said.

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