Goat parade entertains Good Samaritan Society-Waukon residents and staff ...

With local long-term care facilities implementing visitor restrictions during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic in the interest of the health and safety of residents and staff, the family of Nick and Lana Dahlstrom of rural New Albin paraded some unique visitors around outside the windows of Good Samaritan Society-Waukon for residents and staff to enjoy in an effort to help alleviate some of the downside of the current unique visiting situation.

“We have been sharing photos with the residents through their website, https://www.good-sam.com/locations/waukon/send-a-note, to help the residents feel they are not alone or forgotten during this time,” Lana Dahlstrom shared. “It may be hard for them to understand or cope with why family is not visiting, and we wanted to do something to brighten their day.”

Dahlstrom’s sister, Lori Weymiller, is a Registered Nurse at Good Samaritan Society-Waukon, and she helped introduce the idea of an outdoor goat parade to the facility’s administrative staff. Good Samaritan Society-Waukon Activities Coordinator Judie Hanson reached out to the Dahlstrom family to make arrangements, and the day of the event one staff member of the facility helped guide the parade around the outside of the building, alerting staff inside the building where they were so they could have residents available to look out the windows and see the goats. The family lifted up the goats where windows were higher, and sometimes the goats lifted themselves so they could see in as much as residents wanted to see out (as in the photo below).

“Our neighbors, Ron and Joyce Vonderohe, are current residents at Good Sam,” Lana Dahlstrom relayed. “When we used to visit a family member at Good Sam, we got to meet some of the other residents. It was a good experience for the kids to interact with the residents. When our family member passed away, the kids missed going, so we try and stay connected with residents with random visits throughout the year.”

The Dahlstrom children also made signs describing their goats so the residents could read about them and learn such things as their names, what breed of goat they are and what some of their habits might be. Pictured, left to right, in the photo above, Caleb, Breelyn, Lana and Tegan Dahlstrom display those signs and their goats, named Olaf, Sven, Milo and Otis. Breelyn and Tegan Dahlstrom are members of the Bear Creek Kids 4-H Club and they show goats at the Allamakee County Fair. This year they have two boer goats and two dairy wethers for one of their many 4-H projects.

“It was amazing!” Lana Dahlstrom said of the reaction of the Good Samaritan Society-Waukon residents to the goat parade. “The staff was wonderful to go to each room and have residents ready to see out the windows. It really took everyone involved to make the parade a success. We were so happy to see the residents’ faces! You could see their faces brighten up, it brought tears to our eyes to see the joy this little act of kindness brought to others. It impacted the kids by seeing the emotion and joy it brought to the residents. The children were very happy to share their goats with others. The children had a lot of fun and would love to do it again.” Submitted photos.