This morning, the sky is blue and the spring birds, newly returned, are singing loudly in the dawn. When you peer out the window, life seems quite normal. It’s spring and the grass is turning green before our eyes. However, things are not normal. We are practicing isolation as we weather the storm of a pandemic. This is unique, it’s unprecedented and it is challenging.
Kingsbridge Retirement Community residents’ daily lives are much different right now. We are practicing safety and wellness processes, as directed by Public Health and the Retirement Regulatory Authority that often evolve constantly, in an effort to protect us from the spread of COVID-19. Our usual social mingling is now limited to small gatherings of 5 people or less, spaced out to allow for social distancing; balcony programs of exercise, sing-songs and mindfulness sessions; and fresh air walks around our property. We conduct wellness checks twice a day to ensure all is well with each and every resident. Meals and snacks are delivered to residents’ suite by our cheerful and energetic staff.
We are grateful that Kingsbridge residents are continually expressing their gratitude and appreciation for the work that our staff is doing to keep them safe, engaged and comfortable during this time. Our residents understand the importance of ‘staying home’, where measures are in place for them to be nurtured and nourished. Patience is an important virtue to practice these days and our residents exemplify this in every way.
Kingsbridge is offering video chatting with family members, so that residents can stay connected with the ones they love, in a special way. In between these visits, chatting by phone is a regular spirit booster and medicine for the soul. We hope that families are hearing about the many ways that Kingsbridge is supporting our resident. We are still receiving deliveries from family members at our front door, for anyone that wishes to drop supplies. Who doesn’t love a care package?
Kingsbridge staff is being cared for as well. Our parent company, Signature Retirement Living, is communicating with us daily to ensure we are in full compliance of all new developments and practices. We are screening employee wellness twice a day and staff are rewarded for all their efforts in positively impacting the lives of their coworkers and residents. We consistently witness acts of kindness as we care for each other like family. We laugh together, share our concerns openly and strategize great solutions. We recognize and celebrate the inspiring efforts of those going above and beyond their regular tasks. We are even taking a break every day to find ‘calmness’ in our busy world, practicing self-care with mindfulness moments and daily, inspiration readings about positivity.
Kingsbridge has developed a list of resources for seniors living in the Kingston region. We are reaching out to those we have met in the past, by phone, to check in and offer this sort of support of connecting seniors with services. So far, we have had telephone conversations with over 300 people and we are on the phones to continue with this outreach.