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Daughter of Billings memory care resident praises staff in wake of COVID-19 outbreak

Posted at 8:43 PM, Jul 21, 2020
and last updated 2020-07-22 11:08:09-04

The daughter of a Billings care home who recovered from COVID-19 said Tuesday that her family was kept well informed of her mother's condition and living arrangements during the pandemic.

Janet Jordan, 91, has been living at Canyon Creek Memory Care since April 2019 after moving from another senior home in Miles City. Her daughter Karen Jordan, 50, lives in Minnesota and said staff have always worked well with the family and her mother.

"I can't stress enough how caring the staff has been and how well the staff has taken care of her and how loving and compassionate they've been. And that is very humbling to us as a family. That there is a place where our mom can be where she's well cared for and loved, that's priceless to us," Karen said.

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From left to right: Bob Chambers, Sharyn Pezant, Janet Jordan, Karen Jordan, Karl Jordan

Earlier in July, Canyon Creek Memory Care had 91 positive COVID-19 cases in the facility, including 36 employees and 55 residents. Karen said her mother tested positive about three weeks ago and is no longer showing symptoms.

"She came through it like a trooper. The test was almost three weeks ago, so I sort of feel like she’s beaten it. If she hasn’t shown any big symptoms right now, I think that she’s in a good spot. It makes me hope that I had inherited her genes, I’ve got to tell you," Karen said.

Luckily, Karen said her mother had a relatively easy time with the disease. She said her mother only felt "extra tired" and didn't have to go to the hospital or be put on oxygen.

Karen said her mother had a bout with influenza last year and prevailed. She also had surgery to repair a broken hip just before the pandemic really started. She had faith that her mother would recover from COVID-19.

"But of course, you don’t know what the outcome is going to be. But I felt like she was a tough woman and if anyone could beat it, it’s her and she seems to have done that. But I do recognize that there are a lot of people who didn’t beat it and I really want to share my condolences with those families who lost loved ones during this difficult time. My heart breaks for them," Karen said.

Thirteen residents at Canyon Creek have died after contracting COVID-19, which has contributed to making Yellowstone County a hot spot for the disease.

While the COVID-19 outbreak was happening at Canyon Creek, Karen said staff kept her family well informed of the situation. She received over 10 emails from staff after the first positive case and had over 50 calls with nurses to talk about her mother's condition and living space.

"That was helpful to know that we had the up-to-date information. We all felt in the loop and my siblings as well. We were all able to feel like we were in the loop with what was going on," she said.

She was also able to have a few video calls with her mother. Since Janet has dementia, it's tough to hold a conversation, but Karen said it was good to see her mother's living space.

"That’s helpful because you can actually see, even if it is just for a couple of minutes. We could see the new setup in the room because everyone is living in their room and they are eating in their room and they have tables and everything," Karen said.

Before the pandemic, Karen said staff did a good job with engaging all residents of Canyon Creek in activities. During her visits, she didn't see anyone parked in front of a TV. She spoke highly of the staff members that help care for her mother.

“It’s really humbling to me to know that there are people who are willing to walk into that building and they know that there’s COVID-19 everywhere, but they still walk into that building every day. That staff is there and they take care of my mother. That is incredibly humbling to know that there are people like that and I really appreciate what they are doing for her," Karen said.

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