CORONAVIRUS UTAH

Utah County Assisted Living Center Reopens To Visitors

Mar 14, 2021, 6:29 PM

PAYSON, Utah — For nearly a year, many assisted living centers were closed to the outside world as health officials fought the COVID-19 pandemic, but with vaccinations underway, it has become increasingly safer for them to reopen.

Assisted living communities have been especially hit by the pandemic and cost the lives of many residents, but things are looking up.

On Sunday, the Elk Ridge Assisted Living Center allowed KSL-TV cameras inside. It was the first time in nearly a year that residents could welcome visitors.

The color has to be just right, but once 94-year-old Ruth Sommers made up her mind, she let her inspiration flow.

“The thought gets put in my mind, what colors to use,” she said. “It’s not me, it’s coming from up there.”

Ruth has spent hours bringing these pages to life because the COVID-19 pandemic has kept the rest of the world out of her reach.

“It’s relaxing, very relaxing, and the world is somewhere else,” she said with a laugh. “I’ve always liked to color, but I never knew I’d do this.”

The year has been tough for the center. Isolation — the pandemic’s collateral damage — has taken the lives of more than a dozen residents from loneliness, a failure to thrive.

For Ruth, the hardest part is now behind her as she’s received the COVID-19 vaccine.

“I’ve had two of them,” she said. “I’m done with those. I hardly knew I had them they went so smooth.”

Along with the other residents at the Elk Ridge Assisted Living Center, Ruth is more than ready to let the outside world in.

On Sunday, some of Ruth’s long lost friends — Lisa Bradshaw and her two daughters, Abby Bradshaw Sudweeks and Carley Bradshaw — stopped by to play music for the residents.

“In the past, we’ve come a lot,” said Carley Bradshaw. “We wanted to come, but (with COVID), we haven’t been able to until now.”

Visitors have only been able to say hello from outside the window.

“It’s fun. It feels really good to be here,” said Carley.

One could say this wasn’t just music to the ears, but therapy for the soul.

As Ruth in her wisdom shared: you just have to be you.

“Be yourself and that’s all we can do,” said Ruth. “You need to copy other people, but be what you feel inside.”

KSL 5 TV Live

Top Stories

Coronavirus Utah

The Nurse Crisis and Patent Risk....
Debbie Worthen

Utah registered nurses are leaving the field, creating the ‘perfect storm’

"Without nurses, we can't have hospitals." Utah nurses are overworked and underpaid. Some say it's put people at risk.
9 days ago
Four-year-old Viola Fairfax-Panza Getting her COVID-19 vaccination, held by her mother Keke Fairfax...
Jed Boal

Salt Lake Co. distributes COVID vaccines for children 6-months and older

Salt Lake County begins COVID-19 vaccinations for children 6 months and older.
9 days ago
FILE PHOTO (Photo by Stephen Zenner/Getty Images)...
Jed Boal

Utah’s youngest kids should be able to get COVID-19 vaccine next week

Kids as young as 6 months old should be able to get their first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine by the middle of next week. This is an eagerly awaited opportunity for many parents and an issue of concern for others.
13 days ago
Utah COVID testing site. Getty images...
Cary J. Schwanitz, KSL TV

New mobile COVID-19 testing sites open in Utah

With the summer travel season underway and a steady stream of people still testing positive for COVID-19, Nomi Health opened several mobile testing sites across Utah.
22 days ago
The CDC is released updated mask guidance as researchers learn more about COVID-19. (KSL TV)...
Michael Houck, KSL TV

Charter school asks students not to mask to help ‘normalize’ not wearing masks at school

The American Preparatory Academy asks students not to wear a mask during their last three days of school to help with their 'academic and emotional growth.'
1 month ago
AURORA, CO - DECEMBER 15: (EDITORIAL USE ONLY) Rocky Mountain Regional VA Medical Center investigat...
Jed Boal, KSL TV

Pfizer booster shot is now approved for children 5-11, here’s what a doctor advises

The CDC now recommends Pfizer COVID-19 booster shots for children ages five to 11. But, a leading pediatric epidemiologist suggests some parents may want to wait based on their summer plans.
1 month ago

Sponsored Articles

hand holding 3d rendering mobile connect with security camera for security solutions...
Les Olson

Wondering what security solutions are right for you? Find out more about how to protect your surroundings

Physical security helps everyone. Keep your employees, clients, and customers safe with security solutions that protect your workplace.
Many rattan pendant lights, hay hang from the ceiling.Traditional and simple lighting....
Lighting Design

The Best Ways to Style Rattan Pendant Lighting in Your Home

Rattan pendant lights create a rustic and breezy feel, and are an easy way to incorporate this hot trend into your home decor.
Earth day 2022...
1-800-GOT-JUNK?

How Are You Celebrating Earth Day 2022? | 4 Simple Ways to Celebrate Earth Day and Protect the Environment

Earth Day is a great time to reflect on how we can be more environmentally conscious. Here are some tips for celebrating Earth Day.
Get Money Online...

More Ways to Get Money Online Right Now in Your Spare Time

Here are 4 easy ways that you can get more money online if you have some free time and want to make a little extra on the side.
Lighting trends 2022...

Lighting Trends 2022 | 5 Beautiful Home Lighting Trends You Can Expect to See this Year and Beyond

This is where you can see the latest lighting trends for 2022 straight from the Lightovation Show at the Dallas World Trade Center.
What Can't You Throw Away in the Trash...

What Can’t You Throw Away in the Trash? | 5 Things You Shouldn’t Throw in to Your Trash Can

What can't you throw away in the trash? Believe it or not, there are actually many items that shouldn't be thrown straight into the trash.
Utah County Assisted Living Center Reopens To Visitors