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Connecting on campus during the COVID-19 pandemic

Life around the Presbyterian Manor has been anything but usual during the COVID-19 pandemic. But we’re finding creative ways to stay connected with residents while keeping a safe and healthy distance.

In the cottages and duplexes, resident June Thomsen is writing a newsletter called “The Cottages and Duplexes Sequester” as a fun and encouraging way to share what’s happening in that community. A group of four to five residents in this area are also calling residents in Health Care and Assisted Living to discuss everything from what’s for supper, feelings about the coronavirus, how to manage exercise and the weather. One resident is also sending notes through the mail to residents in the main building.

Birthdays are celebrated in cottages and duplexes, too!

“We’re gathering near the birthday person's place in the afternoon at a specified time, and then singing Happy Birthday to them. We are very careful to remain six feet apart and find that we are still able to converse very comfortably that way for a while. It is simply grand to see one another's faces and chat in person after being cooped up inside,” said June.

These efforts seem to help create a positive atmosphere at a difficult time.

“As far as I can ascertain, the spirit of residents who live in cottages and duplexes is good. I think most of us are counting our blessings, despite the dire predictions on the constant news feed. Of course, it is easier to say that when most of my exposure is to those who can get out to exercise, garden or work in their yards. We do have several who are living with pain, grief and illness; surely the present constraints make their lives harder,” said June.

Other efforts to connect during this crisis include several staff members making weekly calls to each resident in independent living to hear how they’re doing beyond survival.

“It’s great to hear that they’re happy and content, missing their friends and the extra fun, but relieved to live here and not have to worry about so many of the details they would have in their own homes,” said Noelle Dickinson, director of marketing and senior living counselor. “In all, our community is doing a remarkable job of staying positive and connected.”

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