Many words have been used to describe the year 2020: Unprecedented. Challenging. Difficult. Uncharted. Bizarre. (And a whole host of epithets not fit for publication.)
Blessed is not one of those words. It’s a pretty safe bet that this year isn’t going down in the history books as one for which to be particularly grateful. Yet, as Thanksgiving approaches, we find ourselves thinking about our blessings, those things we name around the harvest table. Even in 2020.
Senior living has had a tougher time than most industries navigating the strange new world of COVID-19. Countless negative stories in senior communities have fed reporters a steady diet of bad news for months, as well as some unscrupulous lawyers an opportunity for exploitation of the worst kind.
What good could possibly come from senior living in 2020? Plenty, if we really take a look.
COVID has brought forth abundant blessings from the wellspring of necessity, invention, and human goodness. This time of year, we at IVY would like to share some of our clients’ most hopeful stories from 2020.
Never before have essential workers faced more challenges and, at the same time, proven more heroic. Faithful staff and healthcare professionals in senior living have gone above and beyond anything previously imagined to keep residents physically, mentally and emotionally healthy – even during a pandemic.
Three Hundred Thirty-Five Years and Counting (Eastcastle Place in Milwaukee, WI)
Longtime Nursing Staff Is Family to Residents (The Danish Home of Chicago, IL)
Monticello West Senior Living Community Turns Things Around During COVID-19 (Monticello West in Dallas, TX)
Inspiration, ingenuity and resourcefulness have taken center stage during the pandemic, as both staff and residents have thought far outside the box for most of this year. They have conceived numerous novel ways to stay connected, engaged, and stimulated – all at safe social distances.
Fashion and Benevolence Go Hand in Hand (Monarch Landing in Naperville, IL)
GreenFields’ Own Lollapaloosa Event (GreenFields of Geneva, IL)
On a Hawaiian Cruise (Monarch Landing)
Hugs, One Cross Stitch at a Time (Friendship Village in Schaumburg, IL)
Creativity and Ingenuity (Eastcastle Place)
2020 has been an epically trying time, testing the limits of our patience, fortitude and hope for the future. Yet, the new decade has also inspired countless acts and expressions of human kindness. For all the strife in our world today, the present hard times have shown that most people are caring, helpful and inherently benevolent. The heartwarming stories that have come out of senior living this year, including an entire kindness campaign at one community, restore hope and faith.
Campaign of Kindness (Eastcastle Place)
Kindness Rocks (Monarch Landing)
Sharing the Love: Residents’ Grandchildren Bring Good Cheer (GreenFields)
Without virtual technology, we might all be at a very real loss during the time of coronavirus. Videoconferencing, webinars and online programming have enabled our work, school, social events, celebrations, healthcare, and more. Senior communities (and the residents living in them!) have embraced technology to an unparalleled degree. Virtual tours have allowed prospective residents and their families to safely explore senior communities, and online events and programs have proven to be successful alternatives to in-person experiences.
Bridging Generations Through Technology (Monarch Landing)
Touring Senior Living Communities During COVID (Friendship Village)
Danish Home Bonds Shine Through Second Virtual Event of the Year (The Danish Home)
Staying Active During Social Distancing (Friendship Senior Options)
Fabulous Food Service
In accordance with state and federal health guidelines, residents in senior living have needed to dine in their apartments instead of the outstanding restaurants and dining areas in their communities. While they have greatly missed eating with friends, they have received “room service” fit for a king or queen from friendly dining staff members delivering the same delicious, fresh cuisine they know and love. Even some local food establishments have brought meals to residents!
Friendship Village Steps Up to Serve Residents (Friendship Village)
McDonald’s Brings “Happy Meals” to Residents (Lexington Square of Lombard, IL)
GreenFields Steps Up to Serve Residents (GreenFields)
One of the greatest benefits of community senior living is the opportunity to make new friends, mitigating loneliness and isolation. COVID-19 has ushered in yet another avenue to new friendships: pen pal programs! Seniors and people of all ages, including teens, have been exchanging physical notes, cards and letters. In the process, they are making new friends through good, old-fashioned mail.
Loving Family and Friends
“Window” and “drive-up” visits have become part of our COVID lexicon. Family, friends and neighbors have found new ways to spend time with people in senior living. Special occasions like birthdays and holidays have not been foregone; they have been re-invented! And when outside visitation opportunities opened in some communities during the summer and early fall, spirits were lifted by safe social calls from loved ones in the fresh outdoors.
Close Encounters of the Loving Kind (GreenFields)
Outdoor Visits Bring Danish Home Loved Ones and Residents Together Again (The Danish Home)
Yes, We’ll Be Your Neighbor! (Friendship Senior Options)
Senior citizens have the unique advantage of a long view of life. They have seen a lot, experienced a lot, endured a lot. Unlike younger people, seniors can more easily put difficult times in perspective and realize that “this too shall pass,” and what doesn’t kill you really does make you stronger!
Milwaukee Man Explains How He Stays Positive at the Age of 100 (Eastcastle Place)
Across the Ages: Why Intergenerational Relationships Mean So Much (Friendship Senior Options)
Studies have shown that sheer thankfulness is beneficial to overall health and well-being. While 2020 has brought with it many unanticipated concerns, there is comfort and healing in literally counting our blessings.
The Healing Power of Gratitude (Eastcastle Place)
Nothing pleases our IVY team more than bearing good news. Now more than ever, let us help your community be part of the larger – and true – story of joy and thanksgiving in senior living.
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