Living through a pandemic has been difficult for everyone. It can be scary, isolating, and frustrating. For senior living centers, it can be even more frightening because our residents are extremely vulnerable. But battling this common enemy has also brought us together. We are so proud of the way our staff and communities have come together to support each other and protect our residents. Avista Senior Living founder and CEO Kris Woolley said, “Our staff has been working around the clock, showing up every day and covering each other’s shifts to fight this common enemy. It’s brought out a lot of incredible aspects of humanity in our residents and their families.”
At each of our communities, we have been overwhelmed with the outpouring of love and kindness from the people both inside and outside of our communities. We want to take this opportunity to thank everyone for their efforts in fighting COVID-19. Here at Avista Senior Living, our residents’ safety and health is our top priority. Our team members have gone above and beyond to help our residents feel connected — all while having fun.
Amidst all the difficulties of the pandemic, we have seen incredible kindness and we’d like to share some of those uplifting stories with you. From lemonade chats to inflatable parades, our communities have been busy helping each of our residents stay connected. Here are just some of the fun ways they’ve been doing that:
Daily Phone Calls
We live in a time with great access to technology, which is helping our residents stay connected to the outside world when they can’t have traditional visits. Our team members at Terra Pointe have been making daily phone calls to residents’ family members to touch base, help them connect with their loved ones, and answer any questions.
Sometimes it’s just nice to see a familiar face. But to help our residents stay safe, we’re putting our windows to work! During our window chats, residents sit inside with their loved one outside, using a telephone to talk through the window. We’ve found this is a great way to show off milestones like new grandbabies or learning to ride a bike. At Avista Sun City West, they’re serving lemonade to keep everyone cool while visiting.
Parades are the ultimate in social distance entertainment. Our community at Spring Gardens Holladay hosted an inflatable parade, much to the joy of the residents. The Summit at Sunland Springs held a drive-through Mother’s Day parade. We’ve also had motorcycles and antique cars do drive-bys. We’ve found that the parades allow our residents to get outside safely and they always bring a smile to their faces! We really appreciate all the effort that has gone into putting on these wonderful events.
We’ve used several different platforms to help keep our residents connected to family. Our Facebook pages allow families to see what activities we are doing, ask questions from our care staff, and post messages of love and support. Our communities are now branching out into new social media. These residents at Spring Gardens Heber used Tik Tok to learn and perform a dance together. Social “dis-dancing” at its finest!
We’ve been so fortunate to have items donated to our communities from individuals and businesses. We really appreciate all of the items provided for our caregivers and our residents. From food to flowers and custom masks to craft supplies, we’re always grateful that local residents and businesses are thinking about us!
Our windows are a great way for family members to show off musical talents. Grandparents love seeing what new talents and abilities everyone has developed. It’s also a great service opportunity. A small church group came and sang for our Spring Gardens Mapleton community, and our residents loved it!
Although we can’t be together right now, we can feel more connected when we are doing the same thing. Avista Sun City West has had so much fun posting pictures of their themed spirit days. Some of their themes included crazy hats, sports, pajamas, crazy hair, and mix/match clothes. Spring Gardens Mapleton has taken the fun up a notch by delivering goodies to residents while dressed in zany costumes. Elvis was a crowd favorite as were the dinosaur inflatable outfits!
Saying Thank You
We want to say thank you to our team members, residents, and families for their strength and resilience during this time. During this time of uncertainty, our communities have seen the very best of humanity first hand. As we move forward, let’s continue to work together to share joy, express gratitude, and be kind to each other.