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Senior Living Blog

Protecting Retirement Community Residents & Employees During COVID-19

Posted by Jan Wieder on Jul 14, 2020 12:06:00 PM

Never in my entire career have I or my team felt this amount of compelling need to keep residents, families, and employees safe.  We all know that working with seniors is a calling.  We hire our team members not only for a specific skill set but for a heart to serve and a passion to maintain our residents’ wellness.

Protecting Washington Retirement Community Residents & Employees During COVID-19 (2)

History has repeated itself as we find ourselves in the midst of a worldwide pandemic similar to the early 1900s.  I am glad that our systems have evolved to keep our retirement communities safe.

 

Village Green Retirement Community Director and Head Nurse For Resident Safety During CoronavirusWhen we first realized that the Coronavirus was a threat, Village Green took immediate steps to prevent and protect all who had contact with anyone in our buildings.  We shut down the dining rooms, canceled all group activity, instituted a no visitor policy, and screened each employee daily for symptoms. We also required our staff to make Village Green their single place of employment. This minimized the exposure from other facilities. 

 

Furthermore, every resident now has their temperature and oxygen saturation monitored daily. We have increased our cleaning and sanitization of all touch contact surfaces.  Our staff wears personal protective gear consistently while in the community.  

 

(Pictured) Kim Salas, Executive Director and Susan Patnode, RN Assisted Living Director standing beside the COVID-19 Information Sign at Village Green Retirement Campus.

 

Keeping Residents Safe & Active During COVID-19

Five months into the pandemic, we are COVID free.  It has been a lot of hard work and as well as holding firm with our virus protocols.  However, this achievement has come with a great deal of change to the everyday routine.  

 

Staff wearing COVID-19 Face Shields and Masks at Village Green Retirement Community in Washington

Our residents have been supportive of our in-home dining program.  We take pride in serving a varied menu and bringing joy to our residents as much as we can.   

  • We celebrated Mother’s Day with chocolate and flowers. 
  • The barbecue steak received great reviews on Father's Day.
  • We have done strolling happy hours and gone door to door with special tea and cookies. 
  • Last weekend we hosted a popcorn night. 

 

All of this is done in the hopes that we can create a special moment for our residents.

 

(Pictured) Staff Wearing Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)

 

Keeping Residents Connected & Supported During COVID-19

Village Green Zoom meeting with Family (1)We understand that there is a loss of connection when families cannot visit.  We have several laptops and IPADs available. The staff has made themselves accessible to help facilitate a virtual visit.  Now that the good weather is here, we have allowed some outside social distancing visits. 

 

(Pictured) Village Green Retirement Campus Resident on a Zoom Virtual Call with Family and Friends Using Community Sponsored Laptop.

 

Our activity directors are busy visiting residents on a one to one basis.  They have created games, crafts, and phone conversations to keep everyone in touch.  They have organized car parades and welcome events in our parking lots for all to view from the comfort of their balcony. Read more »

 

Our residents interact with multiple staff each day.  Our dining staff, care staff, and activity staff all play part in creating a sense of community.

 

As a company, we do our utmost to support our community staff.  They are the backbone of our operations. We know they have the same concerns has our residents – keeping safe and healthy. Their level of dedication is impressive.  We host special theme days to keep morale high.   It’s not uncommon for a staff member to receive a thank you treat as they start their day.  In addition, we hold regular Zoom meetings with key staff to keep the communication flowing.  We recognize that everyone has a part to play in the well-being of our residents.

 

Staff Celebrating Susan, RN and Head Nurse at Village Green Retirement Community in Federal Way, WA

(Pictured) Village Green Retirement Campus Staff Celebrating Susan Patnode, RN at Village Green Retirement Community in Federal Way, WA

 

A Huge Thank You to Our Superhero Staff

What I am most proud of and grateful for, is that despite our residents being unable to gather with friends and neighbors over the past several months, we have managed to create a sense of connectedness and safety here at Village Green.  We have received countless letters and phone calls from residents and family members with the dominant message being one of gratitude as they feel peace of mind living in our community.

 

I know the news reports are not favorable as it relates to COVID 19 in senior living communities. HOWEVER, we will continue to put our residents and employees first.

 

Once again, I am extremely proud of our COVID free accomplishment in the community.  Thank you to all of our team members -their compelling desire to take care of our residents never wavers.

 

 

Jan Wieder

Executive Vice President

Powell Communities

 

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Tags: Village Green News