Definition of community: a feeling of fellowship with others as a result of sharing common attitudes, interests, and goals.
When we first began to see the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, it was clear to all of us at Lenbrook that we would need to shift and adjust as a community – quickly, and with intention.
As other departments began to work through new ways to deliver their services while balancing Lenbrook’s safety, the Interdisciplinary Team (IDT) began to focus on the psychosocial wellbeing of our residents. In addition to housekeeping and dining services, the residents’ mental and emotional states are equally important to us. Our team, which consists of members from our clinic, chaplaincy and LIVE team (Lenbrook Individuals are Vital and Engaged), quickly gathered together to work out a plan to conduct Wellness Calls to every resident in our community, supported by a few additional staff members within our Enrichment Department and Administration.
Since then, our commitment has been to call every one of Lenbrook’s 480+ residents at least once per week to check on how they are doing. Every week, we ask if they have any specific questions or concerns in our effort to stay ahead of any potential problems that may arise. We are up-to-date and ready to answer questions related to COVID-19 and the various changes in service that Lenbrook has developed in order to continue to meet the residents’ needs.
From outlining grocery shopping options to advising what will be expected of residents if they must leave Lenbrook’s campus for any reason (most likely a doctor’s appointment), to how the laundry or trash is handled, we’re here to help – and of course, we’re happy to discuss how beloved pets can be walked if any resident is required to self-isolate for 14 days. Every member of our Wellness Call team is also able to escalate concerns to the appropriate department to support or correct any issues in real-time.
The feedback we receive from most of our calls is gratitude. Residents are feeling cared for, supported and remembered during a time when many of us have not physically seen each other in several weeks. In addition, it is a time when they can offer suggestions that we can then bring forward to our Executive team to help finesse our programming or delivery of services to make life a little easier. We also use this time to create more sustainable plans of care for vulnerable residents who are currently most at risk.
Making these regular calls has brought all of us on the Wellness Call Team a sense of connection and we are so grateful for the opportunity to hear residents’ voices and have a moment to laugh together, share a special story, validate feelings and help them process this new reality – and so many wonderful things have arisen from this crazy chaotic time we find ourselves in.
Residents continue to be amazed by the efforts Lenbrook is making to keep them safe, informed and connected. Our Enrichment department has worked magic by bringing programming directly into their homes via our internal television channel so that they can still participate in events such as our fitness classes, vespers, women’s Bible study, movies, Sunday services, MD Showcase, Friends of the Arts and Forum Book Review – just to name a few.
Despite the difficulties and challenges we are all facing, we have truly stepped up as a community. Lenbrook continues to provide and deliver the programs and services our residents have grown to expect from us. Of course, our associates genuinely miss seeing our residents walking through the hallways, at our dining venues and event gatherings and we look forward to our future when what we took for granted as a given in our lives will be gifted back to us to enjoy together again. But until that time arrives, the part we play during our Wellness Calls to check in daily with all our wonderful residents has truly been a labor of love.