Dubuque assisted-living facility residents celebrate special St. Patrick’s Day after year in isolation

The Rose residents had not been able to socialize with each other for over a year because of COVID-19 restrictions. That changed on Wednesday.
Published: Mar. 17, 2021 at 9:21 PM CDT
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DUBUQUE, Iowa (KCRG) - For Kathy Kuriger, who lives at The Rose, an assisted-living community in Dubuque, it has been a long year.

“I have been very isolated and I do not like it,” she said. “I need a dog or something, and we do not have that or a live bird; I do have plants, but it is hard not to have other things around to associate with.”

But today, that isolation turned into jubilation... a very green and Irish one for that matter. The Rose residents got together today for the first time in a year.

“I am excited because more and more of us are able to get together, so it is nice and it is social,” Kathy commented. “I like to do things, I talk a lot and I like to do things with other people.”

But aside from St. Patrick’s Day they also celebrated a major milestone: having received both doses of the COVID-19 vaccine, which also means The Rose has now loosened up some of its COVID-19 restrictions.

“Everyone has been so excited to be able to just get out, even just to go to the grocery store has been so exciting for them too,” Carol Sheets, The Rose’s administrator, said. “And to see family and friends and have family and friends come in and visit them, actually hug them and touch them, because we have been isolated now for a whole year.”

Despite many of the residents now being vaccinated, Sheets said they are still enforcing some safety guidelines like, for example, wearing a mask. She said staff must always wear a mask and residents need to wear one when outside of their rooms.

In regards to visitations, the staff is now allowing visitors to go into the resident’s rooms. However, they want to avoid having visitors in the common areas to avoid congregation.

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