Mark Twain once said, “Never regret anything that made you smile.” Nowadays we can’t see everyone’s smile due to face masks–but we’ve noticed a lot of residents’ and employees’ “smiling eyes”! Why? Because even amidst social distancing and stay at home orders over the last few months our community has continued to thrive, engage and connect. Here are just a few ways we’ve been able to live vibrantly and creatively at Friendsview:
- All residents receive a weekly gift from Community Life at their front door. Stefanie, Resident Services Coordinator, says that the response from residents is one of gratitude and anticipation. Ranging from sweet and savory treats to special notes to “praise journals”—it’s a surprise that the residents look forward to each week.
- Every Monday morning there is a video devotional from either a staff member or a resident waiting for the entire community to view.
- Live performances from local musicians that residents listen to from their window or balcony and more recently outside—while keeping 6 feet apart of course!
- Weekly Meditation Monday and Wellness Wednesday connect the community emotionally and physically.
- There are frequent zoom meetings with staff members and interest groups such as the Garden Committee and Resident Council.
- The Education Committee now features video presentations from residents called, “A Brief Reflection of a Memorable Experience.” Each speaker shares an international adventure that impacted their life in a significant way.
- Community life has hosted two photo contests: photos of pets and best pandemic photos.
- Our Annual Friendsview Writing Contest kicks off in June and a virtual award ceremony will take place in August or September.
- Consistent ice cream delivery from Dining Services.
- Yoga on Zoom and other exercise opportunities.
- Staff members call residents regularly just to touch base about daily life. The Friendsview team is dedicated to ensuring that no resident feels isolated and is able to connect with a live person as much as possible.
- Community Life is sponsoring a weekly “celebrate summertime” hour where residents choose their favorite fruity and refreshing drink, such as lemonade or punch.
- The beauty salon is now open and seeing resident’s one hallway at a time, while following closely the restrictions recommended by OHA for beauty services.
Even though restrictions have loosened up around the country, for long term care facilities the opening up process is a bit slower. According to Jack Honey, Administrator for DHS, “These communities are subject to additional regulatory and safety oversight due to COVID-19 risk factors for older adults…Residents in these facilities share the same rights as any other Oregonian but must also share additional responsibilities if the community is to ensure the safety of all residents and staff.” Phase 2 for reopening Yamhill County began Saturday, June 6th. Even with this phase just beginning, Friendsview is keeping its Safety Guidelines for staff in place at this time per DHS suggestions.
We have always taken the CDC and DHS recommendations very seriously and will continue to do so. The health and wellness of every resident and team member at Friendsview remains our priority as we cautiously and methodically consider what areas will open back up and when. We continue to have no active COVID-19 cases and we are determined to keep it that way.
In the meantime, be assured that our community is smiling behind our face masks while we maneuver through an unprecedented time in history.