2020 has finally come to to an end! And while it has definitely been a memorable year, there were some wonderful moments that we can surely never forget.

Early on in the year, and at the start of what we will remember as the “2020 COVID-19 Pandemic”, residents participated in creative new ways to experience the activities that they love to enjoy. Residents played BINGO in their hallways, in their doorways, in assigned small groups, in their rooms-everywhere but the moon! Residents also had the chance to express themselves in small group painting and craft classes, as well as with painting and craft kits delivered right to their door! They were also challenged to thought provoking games like Pictionary, where wearing a mask really challenges the guessers! As well as fun scavenger hunts with clues that encouraged residents to not only use their skills and knowledge, but to also get them moving. Residents were also offered some one on one, as well as small group walking times with staff, to take advantage of the beautiful, warm weather for a nice change of scenery, as well as some exercise.

And when residents weren’t taking part in these activities, they were experiencing new technology to help keep them in touch with loved ones. A lot of residents, and their families,  learned how to use FaceTime, Microsoft Teams, and Zoom for the first time and are now professionals in video calling! Residents also took advantage of arranging window visits with friends and loved ones. This was especially nice during the hot summer months!

Believe it or not, the residents had a lot to do! But even more fun than that, was the outpouring of love and support from families, friends, staff, and the surrounding community. Families came together to do a “Drive-By Parade” for the residents, with decorated cars, signs, music, and lots of honking, to remind residents that they are not forgotten just because they are “stuck at home”. Local companies such as, Third Street Dance & Theatre Company, brought dance troupes together to perform for the residents, twice! We even had a solo cellist come and perform a beautiful medley for residents.

But through all these exciting and new opportunities, there remained one constant, the health and safety of our residents. And while staff did, and is continuing to do, the best they could do, given what a rough year it has been, our residents are our heroes. Without their determination to get through this, and their encouragement to each other to be safe, wash their hands, wear a mask, stay six feet apart, etc., we would not be as successful or as creative as we have been. Although we are all tired and ready to get back to normal, our residents have not given up hope and that has inspired us all  (staff, family, friends, loved ones) to keep moving forward, finding new ways to have fun, to reach out and communicate with each other, and to get through this moment in time stronger than ever.