Medicine Wheel Village welcomes first resident

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by Ross DuBray

Duane Mandan made history last week as he became the first resident of the  Medicine Wheel Elderly Village in Eagle Butte.  Mandan was presented a star quilt and an honor song was sung for him upon his arrival. Photo by Ross DuBray

Duane Mandan made history last week as he became the first resident of the Medicine Wheel Elderly Village in Eagle Butte. Mandan was presented a star quilt and an honor song was sung for him upon his arrival. Photo by Ross DuBray

Nearly 10 years after the initial planning stages and five years after completion, the Medicine Wheel Elderly Village in Eagle Butte opened its doors to the first resident last Wednesday.

After residing in Mobridge for the last two years, Duane Mandan made the trip back to Eagle Butte to be the first resident of the assisted living home. About 5:30 p.m. on Wednesday evening, Mandan arrived at Medicine Wheel and was greeted by family, members of the CRST Administration, Medicine Wheel Task Force, and staff.  An honor song was sung for Mandan.

Upon arrival, Mandan was shown his room and given a tour of the facility.  Supper was served for those in attendance. Mandan was impressed with the facility but was just happy to be back in Eagle Butte.

“It’s good to be home,” said Mandan. “I’d like to be here as long as I can.”

CRST Chairman Kevin Keckler said that he is happy for our elders. They no longer have to live away from here, they can come home.

“That’s what it’s all about,” said Keckler. “It’s been a long time coming.”

On June 7, the staff received the provisional license from the South Dakota Department of Health to operate a 30 bed assisted living center.

“The difference between a dream and goal is a date,” said Ramona Simon, Staffing Director of Medicine Wheel Village. “Medicine Wheel got that date on June 7, 2013 at 3 p.m.”

News of Mandan’s upcoming arrival spread to other nursing homes, as staff started receiving calls from other area elderly who wanted to move into Medicine Wheel.  After Mandan, two more residents were scheduled to move in last week, and again this week.

The facility includes 23 furnished apartment rooms and seven single furnished rooms. Nursing staff will be on hand 24 hours along with security. Medicine Wheel received a $1.6 million dollar operating grant from TECA funds.

Resident elders won’t be the only ones to benefit from the facility.  According to Simon, an adult daycare will soon be available.  The adult daycare will operate from 7:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m., Monday through Friday, and is available for elders so they are not home alone during the days.

According to Simon, there are a lot of grandmas and grandpas that live with family but are home alone during the day while their family is at work. The daycare will provide them somewhere to go where they can interact and not be alone. Activities will be provided along with meals.  Baths will also be provided for those who require assistance. Simon is hopeful that the daycare will be ready the first week of July.

A grand opening is planned for next Monday, on Victory Day and is open to the public.  To learn more about Medicine Wheel Elderly Village or are interested in becoming a resident, contact Ramona Simon, Catherine Lawrence, RN Manager, or Gaylene Pretty Bird, Administrator for Assisted Living at 965-8155.

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