One of six centenarian Glenmeadow residents and clients to get their vaccine doses on January 23, Thelma was the first in line on our campus to receive her vaccination.
At present, all 150 Glenmeadow residents, along with a majority of our team members, have received two doses of the Pfizer vaccine.
Our commitment to the entire Glenmeadow community since the beginning of the COVID-19 crisis has been unwavering. When the pandemic reached the US last March, Glenmeadow followed CDC guidelines to protect our residents, but since social isolation is as damaging to older adults as smoking cigarettes, our team members quickly reinvented what it means to engage. For example, we piped the sound of an old-fashioned ice cream cart into hallway speakers and delivered ice cream to residents as they waited in their doorways. Glenmeadow also created many creative opportunities for educational enrichment, using our in-house TV station, Channel 918 to provide all kinds of programming, including exercise classes, trivia games, word games, Bingo, Jeopardy, and Scrabble.
In fact, our COVID-19 response earned us recognition by LeadingAge Massachusetts, a nonprofit member organization for partners that serve older adults.
We decided early on that we would make testing readily available and be completely transparent in sharing positive COVID-19 results. Since the physical safety and wellness of our residents, clients, and team members is always our top priority, we installed 22 free-standing hand-sanitizing stations throughout the building, and two temperature screening kiosks for team members and visitors. To date, we have performed more than 50,000 symptom screenings for team members and visitors, and administered more than 2,200 tests and partnered with CVS to provide vaccinations to over 300 residents and team members members.
This has been a challenging year for everyone, but there is light at the end of the tunnel. This spring will certainly not be as ominous as last spring. Vaccinated residents and team members are now building immunity, but in our reopening plans we will still err on the conservative side to reduce exposure. Residents are still asked to wear masks in common areas and when they’re participating in a life enrichment program. It’s going to take time to get back to pre-COVID conditions.
We continue to update our policies and procedures as we get through the next stage of the coronavirus, always following CDC and guidelines and recommendations from LeadingAge.
“The pandemic has made us stronger as a team, and we continue to bolster our residents in many ways,” said Glenmeadow President and CEO Anne Thomas. “The vaccinations, precautions, and new life enrichment programming have been important steps toward coming out on the other side of this pandemic, but we still need to adhere to universal precautions as we begin a cautious reopening of programs and services.”
She added that she continues to be inspired by the resilience of our community: “It is so encouraging to enter the building in the morning with residents eating breakfast in the Doorstop Café—and to see friends and family visiting again. You see people coming and going, and you hear laughter. Our Glenmeadow vibe is back.”