Known for its warm and welcoming culture, Sanders Glen Assisted Living may have modified its daily operations, but not the spirit in which the staff undertakes those operations. The facility has remained completely free of COVID-19, due to the caring diligence of the long-term staff. Residents and families agree that there has never been a better time to reside in the community.
The longevity of the Sanders Glen staff is rare to find in elder-care facilities. Most department heads have been in their positions for 10 to 12 years. Likewise, the dietary, nursing, activities, maintenance and environmental services staff consists of many individuals who have been employed for more than 10 years.
“Families and residents continually express appreciation for staff efforts in monitoring during this time,” says Debbi Smith, director of marketing. “Temperatures and oxygen readings are taken daily. Precautions such as mask wearing were taken even before it was mandated, as a way to keep our population safe.”
Even though social distancing is practiced, residents avoid the feeling of complete isolation. Two patio spaces with umbrellas have been set up to allow families to have 45-minute visits with their loved ones, while sitting six feet away and wearing masks. Participants must have their temperature taken and answer screening questions before the session begins.
Meals in the dining room and bingo games have resumed, with smaller groups and designated time slots. In both instances, only one person is seated per table. Although they remain six feet away from each other, residents find it reassuring to see that their friends and staff are healthy and doing well.
“Socialization isn’t the same as usual, but it’s still very much alive and our friendly spirit can still be felt,” Smith says. “Even though staff wears masks, residents can still see our smiling eyes.”
Coming soon to the campus is The Cottages at Sanders Glen. This new project is designed to meet a need for maintenance-free, independent living in Westfield. It will carry on the tradition of Sanders Glen’s friendly and welcoming atmosphere.
“The feedback we get from residents is that staff makes them feel safe and secure by monitoring their health during this time,” Smith says. “They are glad they don’t have to be home alone during the pandemic.”