At 105, Laura Nadeau is first Guardian Angels Care Center resident to get COVID vaccine

by Joni Astrup

Associate Editor

A 105-year-old woman who has lived through two pandemics in her lifetime became the first resident of the Guardian Angels Care Center in Elk River to get the COVID-19 vaccine on Tuesday.

Laura Nadeau, as well as other residents and staff, were vaccinated by Walgreens personnel during a clinic held at the care center, located at 400 Evans Ave.

Nadeau was just 3 years old when the 1918 pandemic hit, and a centenarian by the time the coronavirus pandemic struck.

Nadeau’s daughter, Jan, said it was exciting that her mom was receiving the vaccine. She said she felt her mom would have not survived the COVID-19 pandemic if not for the wonderful and loving care she received from the Guardian Angels Care Center staff during this difficult time.

Nadeau was one of almost 200 residents, staff and a few contracted/vendor individuals who are in the facility frequently who were vaccinated during the Dec. 29 clinic. Guardian Angels officials said participation in vaccination by residents and staff was very good.

“Guardian Angels Senior Services is so thankful that the vaccine is finally here,” said Dan Dixon, Guardian Angels president and CEO. “It is a vital step in continuing to protect our residents and staff from this terrible life-depleting virus. The vaccination promises a better tomorrow for all of us.”

Frances Reinhart, a registered nurse who has been with Guardian Angels Care Center since 2014, was the first employee to receive the vaccination. She said she just wants to keep her residents and family safe.

Other staff members also explained why they wanted to get the vaccine. 

“I want everyone to get back to the lives they deserve to live,” said Father Joe Calandra, director of chaplaincy at Guardian Angels.

Erik Eue, director of nursing at the care center, said he got the vaccine to save lives and get the world open again.

Guardian Angels Care Center has three scheduled vaccination clinics including the one held Tuesday. The next vaccination clinic will be Jan. 26, then Feb. 23. Residents and staff who were not vaccinated on Dec. 29 can begin the two-dose series on Jan. 26.

Dates to 1962

Guardian Angels of Elk River was founded in 1962 under the sponsorship of Holy Trinity Episcopal Church of Elk River in cooperation with Elk River’s business leaders and medical community.

Today, Guardian Angels Senior Services is a faith-based, nonprofit senior care organization that serves more than 3,000 individuals and their families each year in the communities of Albertville, Becker, Elk River, Otsego, and Zimmerman.

Guardian Angels’ mission is to provide exceptional health care, housing, and supportive services to seniors and their families in the spirit of Christ’s love.

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