A year in the life of an assisted living director in Brandon, Florida during Covid, has been memorable in multiple ways. It started with a cold fear of the unknown just over a year ago. I spent many sleepless nights as I worried about how to keep our residents safe in a Covid world, while helping them to stay engaged with family. Well twin Creeks did not have any cases that turned serious, we, like almost all long-term care communities, did experience the concern of having a positive Covid test for a loved one in our building. Our care team and housekeeping staff did a phenomenal job of containing any spread, and I cannot be more impressed with what they accomplished!
In a long term care community, CDC rules became our standard, and my Community Life Director was a lifeline of creativity for the residents, while keeping Twin Creeks Assisted Living and Memory Care compliant. Her energy pushed us to a high level of creativity.
When we had to close the dining room, we didn’t settle for our residents eating alone in their rooms. But instead, our team got donations of TV trays so that each person could sit at their doorway, safely distanced, but still connected to others in their hallway. This set up also helped our nursing staff monitor them for safety during the meal. occasionally our dietary team would serve a fancy meal, on China, to their private TV tray, just to give them a special experience.
Our Community Life Director at Twin Creeks Assisted Living, set up individual bags of bingo chips and cards that she would sanitize and that would be used by the same person every time. They sat at their TV trays and played bingo every afternoon, to help keep their minds engaged.
The residents began to sit at their TV trays between meals and bingo, and the hallways became the place where they socialized from their doorway. At least two very special and long term relationships were formed during that time! They truly made lemonade out of lemons!
Once we were able to use the dining room again, it was all hands on deck to figure out a seating arrangement where they could feel connected while being socially distanced. The dietary team worked through two separate seating to accommodate safe distancing, and to thoroughly sanitized the dining room before setting up for the second group.
I think our most creative solution for our people, was the tall Plexiglass drum surround that allowed an entertainer to step in from outside in the corner of our dining room, behind the plexiglass wall. We had experimented with having an entertainer on the patio, and speakers in the dining room, but keeping them outside just wasn’t the energy that they were used to having when Elvis comes!
Once we were able to eat in the dining room with a safe arrangement, our chef came through with special dinners that included prime rib, flaming desserts, and unusual sides! We are blessed to have a chef who truly loves our residents through their food! He has created a pretty special treat for those who come to tour and see what life at Twin Creeks is like today, as we have figured out how to navigate coming out the other side of Covid. At Twin Creeks Assisted living we are not locked down. We continue to explore safe ways to connect and engage our aging population.
When you visit Brandon assisted living communities, Fishawk assisted living or Riverview retirement communities, make sure that Twin Creeks is on your list of visits! I think you will find that while the world has been falling apart, we have grown closer together. We would love to include you, or your loved one, in our special assisted living community.