It’s understandable if you find the news headlines frightening. Each day, the death toll of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic climbs higher. And it also seems like nearly every day, there’s a new story about a nursing home hit with cases of COVID-19 among their residents and/or staff.
Lessons in Resiliency from Vista Grande Villa Residents
But there are many stories of resiliency, hope, and optimism in the news of how senior living residents — especially those living independently — are handling the COVID-19 situation. We are seeing first-hand how resilient residents at Vista Grande Villa are. These uplifting, positive stories are encouraging examples of how amazing our residents are, even during difficult times.
Reconnecting with long-time friends
With social distancing top-of-mind, residents are enjoying connecting frequently with their children and grandchildren over Zoom meetings and FaceTime. We’ve heard stories of how others are taking the lockdown as an opportunity to reconnect with lifelong friends via email and phone conversations. Reaching out to childhood, college and military buddies, plus old work colleagues — some of whom they haven’t spoken with in years.
One resident explains: “Just talking and saying, ‘How are you guys doing? Is there anything going on in your state that you’re concerned about locally for you?’…And that’s been terrific, and it’s led to us saying while we can’t see each other right now, that when this thing has passed — and it will go passed — then we need to make an effort to get together because it’s been too long.”
Creative outlets and communication
Our staff is actively assisting residents to connect through technology including video chats with friends and loved ones. Here are a few things we’ve been facilitating to keep everyone active and engaged:
- Socially distant sing-alongs and celebrations
- Parades to celebrate milestones and "just for fun"
- Special food menu items for residents
- Residents crafting signs with positive messages or words of gratitude to staff
- Zoom online meetings to facilitate at-home exercise classes or other remote learning opportunities
- Fresh air fitness, a time to get outside and do some light exercising while socially distancing
An enduring spirit of resiliency
Vista Grande Villa residents are buckling down like the rest of us in order to “flatten the curve” and guard against exposure to COVID-19. This is crucial in senior living communities in order to reduce the likelihood of spreading this deadly illness to vulnerable people. Meals, previously enjoyed with friends in the on-campus dining room, are now either picked up and taken “to-go” or delivered to residents’ units. It’s crucial to not lose sight of the fact that these strict measures are being enforced to ensure our staff and residents’ safety.
But as these anecdotes from across the country show, many people living in senior living communities seem to be rising to the occasion during this pandemic, voicing their extreme gratitude for the caring staff, and relishing the enduring sense of community. We can all learn and benefit from this type of grateful mindset, especially those at Vista Grande Villa.
We’re in this together.