Most everyone would agree the past couple of months have been extremely difficult. By this point in the pandemic, most of us have been impacted significantly, or know someone who has. Many have lost jobs; some dual income families have lost both incomes. Some parents of young children have to choose whether to continue to work or stay home with children as they navigate a combination of remote or traditional learning. Tears have been shed over long-term coworkers that no longer sit in the office next door due to layoffs. We see the empty parking lots of businesses that once thrived in a hustling bustling economy before COVID. Some of our favorite local businesses have closed shops they’ve worked to build for years because they don’t have the technical capabilities, product or service to offer in a virtual world. We see the stress on the faces of grocery store workers trying to restock shelves met with both unappreciative shoppers as well as gracious customers who offer a kind word, all within the span of just a few minutes. We see red, tired eyes of nurses, case managers and others at medical establishments who have had to take on additional responsibilities or a different job all together; and that is if they still have a job. EMS workers don’t have the luxury of staying six feet apart from those whose lives they run to save. And finally, the heartbreak over losing a loved one to the virus, or trying to help someone we know cope with the loss of a parent, a church member or friend.
How in the world do we make sense of all of this? After working in senior living for more than 16 years, I have found that cherishing every special moment, positive word or personal connection is what helps a lot of us appreciate each day and end each day on a positive note. Brookdale University Park has worked diligently to make sure our residents are engaged using a very personal approach. From the start of COVID, we implemented a resident engagement survey to help identify specific interests for each resident. This has become the framework by which we hand deliver activities to each resident’s door, consisting of adult coloring, reading material, flower planting kits and so on. We’ve done courtyard concerts, themed snack carts and provided virtual opportunities for residents to engage with their families. We are currently collecting photos from our residents during their “School Days” so that we can compile them all for our residents to see on a display as well as digitally to reminisce and bring back fond memories. We’ve had more one on one conversation with our residents and their families. We’ve learned more about our residents’ lives before they moved to Brookdale. Caregivers have sat in rooms and gone through years of photo albums while listening to their life stories. We’ve partnered with churches and groups to provide encouraging notes for residents and pizza parties for associates. We are celebrating small and large wins and make sure we have something to look forward to every day.
No one asked to be challenged by a life-changing global pandemic. But it has surely helped us set our eyes on good things and appreciate things that may have gone unnoticed and we are all stronger and better for it! Below are some ways you can get involved with Brookdale University Park even during COVID that may just give you something to look forward to:
- Be a pen pal with a resident
- Send a note to an associate
- Let us host your retiree/social/civic/church group virtually
- Let us call or drop off a meal to an older adult you know
Call me at 205-613-0688 for details or to be connected to one of our dedicated Associates to help with your specific need or question.
Brookdale University Park
Hope for Healthcare Workers in COVID-19 World
Speaker: Bobbie Harrison, BS, MA,CMC, Healthcare Consultant
Date/Time: Thursday, September 17, 2020, Noon – 1 p.m.
Session Objectives: Nurses and healthcare workers discover personal “Stress Resilience” in a Covid 19 work environment, evaluate personal risk for depression and anxiety, and develop tools to avoid pitfalls and negative outcomes. The session will also teach how to build a spiritual and emotional oasis into your life from which you can draw strength against the stresses of your day.
Hosted by Brookdale University Park this free session includes Contact Hours for Nurses, Social Workers, Occupational Therapists and Physical Therapists provided by Human Resource Options, LLC. This free virtual experience is RSVP only so email Leanne Messer at email@example.com today for the registration link.