As the Executive Director of a senior living community, the past few months – as you might expect – have been remarkably intense. There have been sleepless nights thinking about the safety of our residents, staff and families as COVID-19 has impacted so much about the way we operate at Springwell. We truly miss gathering for large group activities, seeing families daily and hosting celebrations. We know this has been a worrisome time for all of us (residents, families & staff) as we navigate our way together through a global health crisis.
One thing that has not changed is the spirit of the Springwell community. I first want to acknowledge and thank our independent living, assisted living and memory care residents and their families for their patience and understanding. It is not easy to be separated from loved ones, particularly at a time of heightened concern for the health and well-being of our seniors. Your encouragement of our efforts and respect for the policies we’ve needed to implement have been greatly appreciated.
Prior to March 2020, we were already aware that we have the best staff in town. The care and compassion they show to our residents and their families every day is unmatched. But even in the face of the greatest health challenge of our lifetimes, they’ve continued to give their all each day and selflessly assist our residents, who are like family to them. Our managers have taken a “roll up their sleeves”, total team approach to the myriad new tasks we’ve faced, while upholding their regular duties. And a special thank you goes out to the families of our staff as well, who have supported their loved ones as they performed essential work during this time of so much unknown.
While minimizing the risk of infection has taken on heightened importance over the past few months, we have remained cognizant of the vital role that mental health plays in the physical health of our seniors. That is why – from the beginning – we’ve been facilitating communication with families and checking in on everyone regularly for some degree of safe social interaction. We’ve also been slowly reintroducing – under accepted public health guidelines for senior living communities – some small group activities including exercise, memory care dining and other services like our salon, to try to minimize the potential negative effects of isolation. Of course, we still have all preventative measures in place including a strict mask policy, PPE for staff, daily temperature screening, increased sanitation and only essential “comings and goings”.
We are hopeful, and have been advocating for, approval from health officials to initiate modified group dining and arrange for some kind of outdoor family visits before the
end of the month. We’re not there yet, but you will hear from me as soon as we know more… and we truly can’t wait to see you all again. In the meantime, my sincerest gratitude to the entire Springwell community for working together through the first few months of this unprecedented time.