Wit and Wisdom Blog for Atria Senior Living

      Wit and Wisdom      

a new view on growing older

Keeping the Atria family safe


Posted on April 9, 2021 by Admin


The health and safety of our residents and employees is our highest priority, and to deliver on that promise, we launched the “Sleeve Up Atria” initiative in late December – ever since COVID-19 vaccines became available.  

 As of April 9, we have administered more than 50,000 doses of the vaccine to nearly 90% of our residents and employees in the U.S.

“In early January, Atria was the first large senior living provider in America to mandate the vaccine for our staff,” John Moore, Atria’s Chairman and CEO, said. “The results make us glad we made up our minds early. So far, the breakdown is that more than 92% of our U.S. residents and 85% of our staff have taken the vaccine.” 

How vaccinations benefit residents

For the more than 20,000 residents who call Atria home, the success of “Sleeve Up, Atria” has translated into the confidence to enjoy meals and programs together. 

“Knowing we are no longer in the thick of it and that we’re getting back to normal makes me sleep better at night,” Beverly, a resident at Atria Rancho Peñasquitos in San Diego, California, stated. “I’m still staying safe, but now getting out and about again, and feeling freer. My next stop is our salon.” 

The vaccinations, along with state approvals, have enabled Atria to expand resident gatherings from 15 to 20, and expand the number of visitor– including families, guests and older adults interested in moving in to Atria – from three to five at a time. 

“The pandemic is not behind us yet, but now I feel safe to be with people, even though I still have to be careful,” Jansie, a resident at Atria at Foster Square in Foster City, California, said. “I have plans to visit my family in Seattle and see my grandchildren again.” 

 

Learn more about how Atria is protecting the health of our residents and staff at AtriaSafeTogether.com.


Category: Community, COVID-19, Our Team, Wit & Wisdom

COVID-19 vaccine clinics are paving the way to a brighter future


Posted on March 3, 2021 by Admin


Atria residents and staff alike are celebrating their contribution to bringing normalcy back to communities and beyond as vaccine clinics continue.  As of this writing, every Atria community in the U.S. has completed their first clinic and has either completed or scheduled their second clinic; 95 percent of communities have their third clinic scheduled.     

Last December, Atria Chairman and CEO John Moore announced a vaccination mandate for all residents and staff.    

Atria’s number one priority is safety, therefore stringent COVID-19 safety protocols will remain intact until everyone in communities is fully vaccinated.   

“We continue to hear from residents and employees who say they feel it’s their patriotic duty to get the vaccine,” said Moore.      

Beyond a strong sense of duty, those within communities are expressing their gratitude for having been among the first to receive the vaccine.     

“I feel like a weight has been lifted off my shoulders. It’s so wonderful to live in a community that provided the shot to us,” said Sharell, a resident at Atria Copeland in Texas. “I feel safe knowing I can soon get out and be around people.”    

In communities, people are beginning to feel the positive impact of the vaccine as each day goes by.  

“Everyone is much happier now because a change is coming. Residents are starting to gather and visit with each other again,” said Lachaka Johnson, Engage Life Director at Atria Copeland. “I can’t wait to get with residents and play Skip-Bo and poker, and go for a joyride throughout the community, especially since spring is right around the corner. I’m ready to plan a movie night with concession stand favorites. I’m ready to get back to doing group exercise and paint and sip parties.”    

Plans are currently underway to resume group gatherings.     

“We talk more about what we want for our future and less about how things are currently,” said Ria Enore, Engage Life Director at Atria Willow Park in Texas. “I come to work and go home knowing we’re gearing up for a brighter future for everyone, and that in itself is absolutely encouraging.”     

After a year of creating safe ways to keep residents happy, connected, active and engaged, Atria is elated to see communities slowly bring them together, in-person, with their friends and family.     

“I am relieved because we are on our way to do the things we love to do,” said Mary, a resident at Atria Springdale in Kentucky.       

As final vaccination clinics are set to be completed, the last two months have proven that Team Atria is prepared to navigate even the most unexpected events in order to keep everyone safely connected.   

 

To see how Atria is creating the safest possible environment for residents and staff, visit AtriaSafeTogether.com.        


Category: Community, COVID-19, Our Team, Wit & Wisdom

Highly personalized care sets Atria’s Life Guidance® memory care apart


Posted on February 20, 2021 by Admin


At 94, Gloria had hardly ever washed her own hair, relying instead on regular visits to the beauty parlor. After moving to Atria, she kept up her routine at the community’s salon until it closed temporarily due to COVID-19.

That’s when Kelly Burnett, the community’s Life Guidance Memory Care Director, voluntarily took over washing and styling Gloria’s hair.

“That’s not her job, but she knows how important it is to my mother” said Gloria’s son, Bill. “It’s a great example of how caring the staff is. I’ll remember that forever.”

When Joe first moved to Atria, he was depressed. He’d just completed rehabilitation for a stroke, relied on a walker to get around and was developing mild symptoms of dementia.

Despite daily invitations to join his neighbors for gatherings and events, Joe stayed inside his apartment. But staff members didn’t give up. They continued their visits several times a day to say hello, check in and gently urge him to venture out.

It took a few weeks of patient encouragement before Joe started leaving his apartment. Soon he was participating in nearly every event.

“Everyone moves at their own pace,” said Tomika Polk, Divisional Director of Life Guidance Memory Care Operations. “Once Joe realized he could trust the people he lived with, he blossomed.” 

Caring for the individual

No two people experience Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of dementia the same way. The symptoms, behaviors and rate of disease progression look different for each individual.

Memory care at Atria is highly personalized to each resident, with one-to-one attention and support from caring staff in a secure, thoughtfully designed setting. Residents also enjoy daily opportunities to engage in meaningful pursuits such as art workshops, discussion groups and fitness classes.

Having worked in dementia care since 1993, Ron Bowen, Divisional Director of Life Guidance Memory Care Operations at Atria, says getting to know an individual’s likes and dislikes, personal history and what makes them tick is especially important when caring for a person with dementia.

“We want to understand the essence of a resident,” Bowen said. “We want to find out everything about Mom that will help us help her.”

To do this, caregivers collaborate with a new resident and their family to answer 116 specific questions, ranging from past occupations to favorite music genres to what calms and reassures them. Bowen refers to this as a resident’s life story.

“We take the answers to those questions and what they say about the resident, the things they like to do, and create a plan to keep them active and engaged.”

Most residents also receive a memory display to hang beside their apartment door. Families can choose to fill it with photos and meaningful mementos that illustrate their family member’s personality. The space also serves a practical purpose by helping the resident locate their apartment.

When staff members get to know a resident well, they can adjust the way they respond to certain behaviors. For some residents, music is a soothing antidote to aggressive behavior, which is a common symptom of dementia. Staff may help other residents focus on a simple task or project to redirect their attention in a positive way.

“What works for one person doesn’t always work for another,” Bowen said.

Developing emotional intelligence

A person with dementia can’t always control their emotions or communicate what they’re feeling. If they appear upset or confused, caregivers need to know the best way to respond.

Staff training at Atria includes universal dementia care methods such as redirecting or reducing distractions. Caregivers are also coached in more intuitive techniques such as “how to read a room,” as Bowen put it.

“We need to use our emotional intelligence when figuring out how to respond,” he said.

Emotional intelligence includes self-awareness, self-regulation, motivation, empathy and social skills. The more in touch a staff member is with their own emotions, the better they can assess another’s and respond appropriately.

“We ask family members how they approach Mom, and what kinds of emotions she typically shows. How we respond from an emotional standpoint is what helps the resident feel at ease,” Bowen said.

Polk agreed, adding that a caregiver’s mood also can impact the way a resident behaves. 

“People with dementia can sense your vibe and react to it,” she said. “I train staff members to put aside any personal issues as much as possible when they come to work. We want to create a peaceful, enjoyable environment.”

Building trust and communication

Forging a relationship with family is also key to Atria’s personalized approach. After a new resident moves in, a designated caregiver contacts the family with updates every day.

“It’s about connecting from the very beginning to make sure families are part of the process,” Bowen said. “Once they’re on board, it makes caring for the resident easier.”

Whether it’s making decisions together about medical treatment or discussing Dad’s need for a new pair of slippers, staff stay in regular contact with family. In her previous role as a Life Guidance Memory Care Director, Polk even sent photos to family members showing the resident active and engaged.

“We want them to know what their family member is doing,” she said. “That’s one way to gain a family’s trust.”

Bill says the staff members who  care for his mother, Gloria, have “just the right touch” and update his family regularly.

“When they call, the first four words are always ‘Your mom is all right,’ and then they talk about what’s going on. 

“From the beginning, I could see that these people truly care. I can’t imagine a better place for Mom,” Bill said.

 

If you or someone you know could benefit from Atria’s forward-thinking, highly personalized memory care, please reach out to the Atria community near you for more information.


Category: Active Aging, Community, COVID-19, Dementia & Memory Care, Wit & Wisdom

Personal care that empowers seniors to live more fully


Posted on February 15, 2021 by Admin


For older adults who want to maintain a level of independence – yet could use a helping hand to do so – assisted living offers a vibrant option.

Meet a few people who are enjoying a greater sense of well-being at Atria.

Jim and Rhea

Late one night, Rhea discovered her husband Jim lying on the kitchen floor, unable to get up. At 91, he was developing symptoms of dementia along with a heart condition that made him weak. For two years, Rhea had been her husband’s only caregiver and, at 88, she said she felt worn down.

“I had to take care of our four-bedroom house, pay the bills, deal with yard work, laundry,” Rhea said. “I was also taking care of my husband, who had just gotten out of the hospital. I had to do everything.”

Rhea knew caring for Jim on her own was no longer an option. After visiting four assisted living communities, the couple moved to Atria Cypresswood. 

“Life here is absolutely wonderful,” said Rhea. “The staff has helped me so much by caring for my husband.”

Soon after settling into their Atria apartment, COVID-19 began popping up around the country, spurring community restrictions to keep residents safe. Despite quarantine measures and suspended social gatherings, Rhea says she’s grateful they made the move when they did.

“Coming here was a blessing because we probably would have had COVID by now,” she said. “The staff does a great job keeping everyone safe and healthy.”

With her husband receiving support and care services daily, Rhea feels more rested. She loves having time to read and sew and even made Christmas gifts for the entire Atria Cypresswood staff. She says she and Jim look forward to joining group events once they resume.

“We’re extremely happy here,” said Rhea. “The staff is lovely, the food is good, the people are kind and generous. We are very, very content.”

Jean

After her husband passed away, Jean suffered a minor stroke. She continued living alone in her house.

During one visit they found Jean lying on the floor, unconscious. That’s when Jean’s daughter insisted her mother move across the country to be closer. They started shopping for assisted living communities, and Jean moved into Atria Cypresswood around the beginning of the pandemic.

“It was a blessing to move here right when COVID started,” said Jean. “I’m so much better off than if I’d stayed in my house. The support we get here is grade-A, and they make everything so fun and happy.”

“Being here takes a lot of worry off my daughter’s mind.”

Maurine and Larry

After 55 years in their home on Long Island, Maurine and Larry needed a change. At 92, Larry had suffered a few falls and relied on a walker to get around. Maurine, 89, has balance issues and was finding it difficult to keep hauling laundry and groceries up and down stairs.

With help from their four children, the couple began looking for assisted living options. Shortly after starting the search, they found Atria Kew Gardens, and despite moving to the community during a period of COVID-19 restrictions, Maurine says she and Larry are thrilled with their decision.

“I don’t have to carry bundles up the stairs anymore," said Maurine. "They do the housekeeping, the laundry – which is great – meals are delivered to our apartment.”

Maurine and Larry are also improving their strength, balance and flexibility with occupational therapy sessions twice a week. Once life returns to a sense of pre-COVID normal, both look forward to visiting with family in person and participating in classes and events at the community.

“Life is a lot easier.”

 

Discover how empowering the right care can be at Atria Senior Living at ExploreAtriaCare.com.


Category: Active Aging, Community, COVID-19, Wit & Wisdom

COVID-19 vaccine clinics are paving the way to a brighter future


Posted on January 29, 2021 by Admin


More than 90 percent of Atria communities across the U.S. have scheduled their first COVID-19 vaccine clinic, with almost half having successfully completed it. The safety of residents and staff remains Atria’s top priority, so receiving the vaccination was recently made a requirement for all employees. 

Atria is working hard to bring a sense of normalcy back to community life, and making sure employees and residents are vaccinated is the first step. 

The slogan “Sleeve Up Atria,” seen on posters and T-shirts throughout communities, has been used as a rally to encourage residents and employees to participate in vaccine clinics, which are administered by CVS Health professionals alongside Atria staff members. 

“We can’t wait for the vaccine to come to every one of our communities so that we can help residents continue living their best lives,” said John Moore, Chairman and CEO of Atria.   

More than 10,000 residents and staff have received the first dose of the vaccine, an exciting step toward a brighter future – a future filled with hugs and the joy of spending time with family and friends again.       

“Receiving the vaccine was so easy and quick that I didn’t notice the shot,” said Joan, a resident at Atria Newport Plaza in California. “I’m excited to get together and spend time with friends again.”     

Receiving the vaccine has prompted residents and staff to celebrate in different ways – some are preparing to reunite in person with family members, while others are writing down what they’re looking forward to doing most once pandemic restrictions are lifted.   

Moore participated in Atria’s very first vaccine clinic and recognized its significance.     

“From this point forward, the days get brighter,” he said. “Brighter for our residents. For our staff. For our company. And for our world.”      

As the number of people receiving the vaccine continues to grow, residents and employees are looking forward to safely connecting with one another in person.    

“Now that I have the vaccine, I feel much better,” said Ruth, a resident at Atria West 86 in New York. “I’ll be 100 in June, and hopefully we can have a party and my son can come.”   

Atria has already conducted 100 vaccine clinics, with 400+ – and counting – scheduled to take place by April. New residents who move to Atria prior to a scheduled clinic may have the opportunity to receive the vaccine. For complete details, please contact a Community Sales Director.  

As vaccine clinics roll out to all communities, safety and health will continue to be a top priority, and stringent protocols and testing will remain in place.   

“I’m happy to be one of the first people to get vaccinated because I know this will be the end of the virus,” said Mary, a resident at Atria Springdale in Kentucky.    

 

To see how Atria is creating the safest possible environment for residents and staff, visit AtriaSafeTogether.com.


Category: Community, COVID-19, Our Team, Wit & Wisdom

What older adults can do to avoid vaccine scams


Posted on January 15, 2021 by Admin


The big news making international headlines is the rollout of COVID-19 vaccines. As of January, about 11.9 million Americans have been vaccinated against the virus. While we can all be thankful for the speediness with which vaccinations have been developed and administered, the CDC, FBI and Department of Justice have sounded alarms about a concerning development: scammers using the rollout of vaccines to target and take advantage of seniors.  

These vaccine scams are so new that cases are just beginning to emerge. Ben Taylor, the Legal Aid Society's Elder Justice fellow, shared a few tips to follow to avoid vaccine scams.

Be wary of unsolicited messages 

The first two things to know about scammers are that they exploit people’s fears and revert to the same tactics over and over again. COVID-19-related scams involving fake PPE, cures and instant tests surfaced at the onset of the pandemic, and the same methods are repeating now with robocallsphishing emails, text and social media messages, and door-to-door solicitation.  

Here’s our advice, in shortNever interact with any unexpected messages from individuals or companies, even if they're known to you. If you receive an unexpected text message from someone claiming to be your healthcare provider, you can always call your provider directly to confirm its authenticity. Don’t click on any links in text messages or emails that seem abrupt or strange. And be skeptical of anything vaccine-related that asks for payment – the government is funding the vaccinations. Even if you have to pay for a shot to be administered to you, insurance will cover the charge. 

Don’t trust anyone who acts fast 

Another thing to know about scammers: They act fast and want to whip you into a state of panic so you act rashly. One strategy they employ is saying you’ll “lose your place in line” unless you pay for your vaccination right now. But no legitimate distributor is going to say you have to act immediately “or else. Older adults will be among the first across the U.S. and Canada to receive immunizations, but the process of immunizing the entire population will take months. 

Only share your information with trusted personnel 

One reason these scams may prove effective is because the vaccine rollout is such a massive undertaking, and distribution guidelines aren’t clear yet. Generally, the way the process works is the government provides dosages to states, and then state governors decide who receives the vaccines (while following CDC recommendations). While rollout and distribution details are being sorted, check in with your healthcare provider or local health department for further details.  

Finally, this above all else: Only trust your primary health provider with your medical and financial information. They are the only ones who will be able to tell you when and where you can be vaccinated. 

 

Atria Senior Living is the sponsor of the Legal Aid Society's Elder Justice program. Learn more about how to avoid vaccine scams at YourLegalAid.org/COVID19ResponseAndResources.

 


Category: Community, COVID-19, Wit & Wisdom

Reflecting on 2020 and COVID-19


Posted on December 31, 2020 by Admin


More than 4 million masks, 202,000 COVID-19 tests, 715,000 resident engagement programs, and 400 vaccinations. 2020 may have been rife with challenges, butthanks to the work and resilience ofAtria’sdedicated staff, residents and families, 2020 has also had its triumphs. As the year comes toa close, Atria is reflectingon the accomplishments achieved over the last year.

Fromthe inventive and delightful programs that keep residents engaged tothe COVID-19 testing strategies that keep residents and staff protected, #TeamAtria is grateful for a year that reinforcedwhat it means to be a team, community and family – no matter the circumstance.

Staying agile

Through hurricanes, wildfires, flu seasons and now a pandemic, agility and preparednesshave been key in helping Atria createenvironments that are as safe as possible for older adults.

In the earliest days of the pandemic, this meant dedicating manpower and resources to procuring and distributing personal protective equipment (PPE) to Atriacommunities and even families of residents and employees.

In March, as Atria manned and inventoried a PPE warehouse,a partnership with Mayo Clinic Laboratories began. The collaboration has served as the cornerstone for Atria’s testing strategies and has been instrumental in keeping residents and staff safe. Air freighters, jets and turboprops were utilized to ensure supplies arrived the minute they were needed inearly affected areas.

Astesting kits werebeing deployed to Atria communities, an internal team began tracking the spread of the virus behind the scenes.

From business analytics toviruspenetration analysis

Under the leadership of Atria’s Chairman and CEO, John Moore, a team began meeting nightly to track the virus’ penetration in Atria communities and across North America.

“Our charge in those meetings was to use our own data to see what the disease dynamics were in Atria communities, and then compare that to the disease dynamics within the cities where communities are located,” saidKyle Whittinghill, Director of Corporate Finance and Analytics at Atria. “This allowed us tounderstand what the risk levels were andhow to manage and mitigate those risks.”

That data has impacted every level ofthe business, allowing community and corporate leaders toswiftly escalate or deescalate safety protocolsand procedures accordingly.

“Wewere able toimplementscreening questions, PPE and infection controlmeasureswellahead oflocal mandates,” said Abby Figueroa, Senior Vice President of Functional Operations at Atria.

Keeping residents engaged during the pandemic

Like everyone else, Atria residents and their families became familiar with video conferencing, group chats andlivestreams. Accordingly, Atria’s Engage Life® team (those responsible for creating and arranging events and programs in communities)set out to keep residents engaged with their families and each other throughout the pandemic.

“From the very beginning, we wanted to make every interaction count. Whether it be through video calls or going door to door, we did whatever it took to give our residents the same excellent experience, as close as we could get it to what it used to be,” said Kristin Brown, Assistant Executive Director at Atria at Villages of Windsor in Florida.

As the virus persisted and cases rose, Atria communities enforced protocols that kept people together.

“What we feel the most is safe,” said Louise, a resident at Atria Darien in Connecticut. "And even though our protocols are strict, I’ve noticed people who were not exercising begin to exercise, and that’s rewarding."

Although keeping residents active through COVID-19 fluctuated between socially distanced activities and in-apartment programs, communitiescontinued to look for new ways to keep residentsengaged.

“Interestingly enough, the pandemic reminded us that human interaction is the element we all hold so close and prioritize. We just had to look at it differently,” Figueroa said. “We had to use different resources – obviously, technology, but it was also going back to basics.”

#SleeveUpAtria

As Atria begins hosting more and more vaccine clinics for residents and staff, all safety protocols currently in place will continue to be observed until everyone has received the required vaccine doses.

In the meantime, Atria communities will continue prioritizing resident well-being by offering opportunities for physical activity and connection within and outside of communities.

#TeamAtria wishes you a safe, healthy and happy New Year.

 

This blog represents the most current information available. We strive to present the best information available at any given moment, but please understand that this situation is fluid and evolving.


Category: Active Aging, Community, COVID-19, Our Team, Wit & Wisdom

Atria “sleeves up” for the first COVID-19 vaccines


Posted on December 21, 2020 by Admin


Hugging grandchildren. Bunco parties. Laughing with good friends. These are just a few of the heartfelt reasons Atria residents gave for “sleeving up” today as they were among the first in the country to receive the COVID-19 vaccine.

The first round of vaccines was administered today at Atria Springdale and will continue at Atria St. Matthews, Atria Stony Brook, Atria Elizabethtown and Atria Highland Crossing through the end of the month of December.

This is a critical early milestone in the “Sleeve Up Atria” campaign to vaccinate more than 20,000 residents and almost 12,000 employees across 26 U.S. states and seven Canadian provinces, as soon as vaccines are made available to their communities.

Atria Senior Living CEO John A. Moore also rolled up his sleeve for the vaccine today. “I knew some people felt a little nervous about getting vaccinated, so I wanted to lead the way by setting a good example,” said Moore. “We’ve been waiting for this day ever since the promise of a vaccine became a reality. I’m so proud of our residents and employees across the U.S. and Canada who have done so much during the COVID-19 pandemic to protect our communities and each other.”

When asked if she was excited to get her vaccine today, Atria resident Engolfia “Georgia” Christoff enthusiastically replied, “You better believe it! I missed Thanksgiving with my family this year and they are just up the street. I’m looking forward to three weeks from now when I get to be with them again.”

While residents are understandably eager to resume activities that they enjoyed before COVID-19 hit, Atria will continue to follow safety protocols and conduct ongoing testing with support from Mayo Clinic Laboratories as we continue to administer the vaccine.

“Atria’s stringent protocols and testing have served us well,” said Moore, “but it’s the vaccine that we hope will be the knockout punch we need to give this disease. We can’t wait for the vaccine to come to every single one of our communities so that we can continue to do all we can to enable our residents to live their best lives, regardless of the circumstances.”

To see how Atria is creating the safest possible environment for residents and staff, visit AtriaSafeTogether.com.

 

This blog represents the most current information available. We strive to present the best information available at any given moment, but please understand that this situation is fluid and evolving.


Category: Caregiver Support, Community, COVID-19, Our Team

Atria residents a top priority for COVID-19 vaccine


Posted on December 4, 2020 by Admin


Since the onset of the pandemic, Atria communities have been following guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and diligently taking precautions to make resident safety a priority – something that Atria has always done, no matter the circumstance. We quickly galvanized resources and enacted plans to keep residents safe and engaged during quarantine. This began with a nationwide testing program and a collaboration with Mayo Clinic Laboratories as the cornerstone to our COVID-19 safety strategy. Atria’s dedication to protecting residents’ well-being continues with its enrollment in the CDC COVID-19 Vaccination Program.

Additional partnerships have also been developed to ensure all residents and staff will receive the vaccination as quickly and safely as possible. This is a crucial development as we look toward a safe and effective vaccine that allows residents and staff to get back to “normal” in 2021.

 Atria residents and staff among the first to be vaccinated

In addition to the nation’s healthcare workers, advisors to the CDC recommended that residents and employees of long-term care facilities (which includes assisted living) be the first to receive a COVID-19 vaccine. The CDC’s vaccine schedule will be determined as the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) works through Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) and states finalize their individual distribution plans. Bear in mind that each state controls their own vaccine deployment plan and plans vary from state to state.

Every Atria community in the United States is enrolled in the CDC COVID-19 Vaccination Program, making us part of the first phase of priority access in the nation. We are optimistic that residents and staff could start receiving vaccinations as soon as late December.

A partnership that makes it quick and easy

Thanks to Atria’s partnership with CVS Health, residents and staff will be able to receive the first dose of the vaccine in their own communities. Once the COVID-19 vaccine is available, plans are already in place to ensure it is distributed to Atria communities as safely and quickly as possible. The vaccine will be administered by CVS in a way similar to the flu shot clinics conducted in our communities earlier in the fall.

Keeping our guard up

While Atria is ready for a successful roll out of the vaccine, all safety protocols will continue to be observed until all residents and staff have received the required vaccine doses. Until that time, Atria will continue to optimize the quality of life for residents by providing delicious meals and opportunities for exercise and daily engagement – with well-being and safety always top of mind.

To see how Atria is creating the safest possible environment for residents and staff, visit AtriaSafeTogether.com.

 

This blog represents the most current information available. We strive to present the best information available at any given moment, but please understand that this situation is fluid and evolving.


Category: COVID-19, Wit & Wisdom

8-28 Blog

Staying safely connected in a world with COVID-19


Posted on August 28, 2020 by Admin


COVID-19 has forced all of us to rethink how we interact with the world and each other. Still, staying connected remains vital to our well-being.

At Atria Senior Living, we believe people belong together. By making adjustments to Atria’s Engage Life® events program, team members continue to offer residents creative new ways to learn, engage and connect, safely.

Connecting across generations

Through a phone-based “reflecting and sharing” program, residents are sharing their unique wisdom with younger generations. Each week, they reflect on a current topic affecting society then share their collective insights over the phone.

In one recent example, residents who worked as teachers offered advice to parents teaching their children at home and professional teachers instructing students online during the pandemic. Soon, residents will reflect on the importance of voting and why younger generations should be encouraged to exercise their right in the upcoming elections.

A second wisdom-sharing program coming soon is a phone pal partnership with the Future Business Leaders of America (FBLA), where high-achieving students will be matched with older adults who have professional experience in their fields of interest.

These partnerships present valuable opportunities for diverse generations to connect from a distance over similar interests and benefit from each other’s perspectives.

Innovating to engage

At the onset of the pandemic, Atria communities were equipped with conferencing phone lines. The ability to dial in from the safety of their apartments has enabled residents to join neighbors for group sing-alongs, book clubs, art appreciation programs, word games, lectures and Broadway performances, to name a few. Many communities provide handouts to serve as visual aids.

Since residents aren’t gathering for group classes and events, Atria is bringing those experiences to them. Doorway and mobile cart events have inspired endless creativity. Staff have organized guided “paint and sip” workshops, container gardening and travel adventures via video, food samples and music. The popular Positivi-Tea program encourages residents to explore topics in the field of positive psychology while they sip a nice cup of tea.

Staying strong

With many gyms closed and exercise classes canceled, it’s no secret staying fit has been a challenge for many of us.

While Atria staff offer regular hallway workouts and outdoor walks at communities where local and state regulations permit, many will soon launch a new fitness challenge to further motivate residents. Small clusters of communities will compete against other groups to achieve their exercise goals and earn rewards and recognition.

“Exercise has been the most important, and probably the hardest, program to develop overall,” said Atria’s Vice President of Resident Engagement, Christy Phillips. “We’ve gotten really creative with helping residents maintain their physical strength.”

Celebrating resilience

Speaking of strength, Atria residents have persevered through world wars, economic depressions and personal challenges. They have so much to teach others and their resilience is a tool Catherine Schneider, Atria’s Director of Resident Well-Being Curriculum, hopes residents are willing to share.

“We’ve developed a program to collect the wisdom behind the ways residents have learned to cope during difficult times,” said Schneider. “After all, we’re going through this together. It’s an opportunity to share stories and learn from each other.”

 

To learn more about how Atria Senior Living is helping residents and families stay connected, visit AtriaSafeTogether.com.


Category: Active Aging, Community, COVID-19, Seniors and Technology, Wit & Wisdom

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