Prior to installation, residents struggled to maneuver through the large heavy doors that lead to the courtyard or those between the linked hallway that connects the independent living area to the nursing home. It wasn’t just the size and weight that were the problem but also the fact that some of the residents use walkers and wheelchairs, making the task all that more difficult.
“We have one couple, she comes over, gets her spouse and brings him back over to her apartment. That was all very cumbersome when she was pushing him, but now it’s slick as a whistle,” said Trina Kuper, administrator at Fellowship Village.
Waunda and Bob Johnson are the couple Kuper was referring to. They have greatly benefited from the new system and use it daily. While both husband and wife live in Fellowship Village, Waunda lives in the independent living section and Bob lives in the nursing home. Regularly, Waunda gets Bob and brings him back to her living area on the other side of the compound. Before it was difficult for her to keep the door open while trying to get Bob’s wheelchair through it. Now, however, it’s as simple as typing in a code and then pushing a button.
There are two areas of the building that received the new doors. The system is similar to most entrance doors of larger public buildings. Depending on which door it is, they work by entering a code and then pushing a button on the wall, or by simply pushing the button. Since the doors within Fellowship Village are generally larger than typical internal doors, the need for the system has been around for a quite some time.
“One of our other residents uses a walker, and she really wanted to come and go out of the courtyard this last summer. It’s just too hard to maneuver a walker and get through two sets of doors,” Kuper said.
The total cost of the project was $9,916.35. Through various fundraising efforts, Fellowship Village raised approximately $2,000. The rest of the money was covered by the competitive grant awarded by Lyon County Riverboat Foundations distributions. The openers were installed by Viking Glass of Sioux Falls last November and took only a day to complete.
Improving the lives of Fellowship Village residents, the automatic doors make it easy to move more freely throughout the building despite the limited mobility that often accompanies aging.
Small changes make big
difference at Fellowship Village