Tag Archives: Sheldon

An oasis in the side pocket

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Here’s a riddle. When can a pool table be a concession for both candy and hair conditioner? Vista Prairie at Fieldcrest in Sheldon, Iowa has the answer. Once a month, Jan, a four-year Fieldcrest resident converts the community’s game room pool table to a pop-up store covered with convenience items that residents want most.

Fieldcrest activities manager Judy Wallace remembers Jan’s reaction when she recruited her to manage the store, “She said ‘Yes I’ll do it. I think it’ll be fun.’ Toothbrushes and toothpaste, those are the necessities, but the candy is what really flies out of there,” Judy reports.

Initially, it was fun for Jan and for the residents to have another outlet, “It gets them out of their apartments to another area to socialize. Seeing other people helps us mingle and feel connected,” Jan reflects.

But having a social oasis hasn’t replaced the family interaction that residents miss so dearly since the coronavirus hit. “It breaks my heart that I can’t see them as often as I’d like,” says Jan. With the pandemic now seven months old, Jan feels lonesome and yearns for family visits free of time limits and conditions. With positive tests still high in Northwest Iowa, it’s a prevalent feeling among all residents and staff. Fieldcrest would like nothing more than to open up, as soon as it’s safe.

“It’s harder than I could have ever, ever, ever expected,” says Judy. “Being on the front line every day is very challenging. I’ve cried more tears than I knew were possible.” Still, she’ll keep coming up with innovative ideas to help residents feel engaged and part of the community.

Fieldcrest Assisted Living offers 69 one- and two-bedroom assisted living apartments for seniors who need access to personal care and supportive services. We also offer 12 memory care suites that provide a long-term option for seniors diagnosed with Alzheimer’s or other forms of dementia.

An inquiring mind

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Martin under model of a Farmall tractor and bailer

Farming and agri-business are the roots of the geographic region we serve in Minnesota and Iowa. And few people personify that spirit better than Martin, a 92-year-old resident of Vista Prairie at Fieldcrest in Sheldon, Iowa. He’s pictured here below a model of his trustworthy Farmall tractor, towing a baler. Implements like this got plenty of use during his 80 years of farming, which started when he was a boy.

Martin’s heritage goes back to 1913 when his family immigrated from Holland, in part, to avoid the bloodshed that would soon overtake Europe in the First World War.

“We lived on five different farms,” Martin recounts, “and the last one we lived on we bought.” That farm was 160 acres, close to Sheldon. Martin, his wife and five children did just about everything you can do on a farm, raising dairy and beef cattle, hogs, and cultivating corn, soybeans, alfalfa and oats.

One of his sons bought the farm and still maintains it. Martin was as wise as his years when asked if he thought his son is doing a good job running the farm, “He’s the son of his mother, so he’s smarter than I am.”

About 18 months ago and after he had lost his wife a year earlier, Martin moved to Fieldcrest with the support of all five children. While he’d rather be back on the farm, he’s made the most of his time, with his humor and his inquisitive mind. ”I would ask questions,” Martin says, “and when you ask somebody a question they talk, and you may learn something.”

Fieldcrest assisted living offers 69 one and two bedroom apartments for seniors who value a variety of ways to spread joy, and want access to personal care and supportive services. We also hope you’ll visit our 12 memory care suites that provide a long-term option for seniors diagnosed with Alzheimer’s or other forms of dementia.