Providing accurate information quickly is a key component of effective leadership during a crisis. To keep residents fully informed, Springmoor Executive Director Brandon Hair has been conducting town hall meetings for the community since March 25, 2020—a couple of days before Governor Cooper announced a statewide stay at home order in response to COVID-19.
Broadcast on Springmoor’s in-house, closed-circuit TV, the town halls are one of the primary ways residents access the latest information regarding the rapidly evolving coronavirus situation. The meetings last approximately 30 minutes, and residents have the opportunity to call in with any questions. The town halls are then archived on Springmoor’s Pathways Portal, so residents can access them whenever convenient.
All the News that’s Fit to Broadcast
So that residents have the information they need to stay healthy and make the most of each day despite the pandemic, Brandon covers a wide range of topics during his town halls. “We’ve tried to strike the right balance of making sure everybody at Springmoor is as safe as possible but also allowing residents all their rights and freedoms,” says Brandon.
Springmoor plans to continue to broadcast every Wednesday at 2:00 pm until life gets back to normal. Subjects routinely addressed include:
- An overview of the current safety precautions being taken in the community, including health screenings for staff.
- Detailed information on takeout and delivered meals, as well as the hours, capacity, and procedures for the dining areas.
- Guidelines for visitors to Springmoor.
- Information on the emotional support and spiritual guidance the chaplains and other staff are offering to residents during this challenging time.
- The initial suspension (and cautious resumption) of popular activities, such as fitness classes.
- The new procedures and protocols that need to be followed as Springmoor facilities such as the pool reopen.
Providing Multiple Kinds of Information through Different Kinds of Media
Recognizing that people like to receive information in different ways, Brandon and his team also frequently share written memos about how the pandemic is affecting Springmoor. These memos include updates from highly reliable sources regarding the broader effects of the crisis on the state and the country as a whole. Updates are also posted on the website.
“It’s reassuring for everyone to know we’re following recommendations from LeadingAge, as well as the state, the CDC [Centers for Disease Control and Prevention], CMS [Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services], and DHHS [Division of Health and Human Services],” says Beth Holden, Springmoor’s Director of Sales and Marketing. “Each day we strive to shape our ongoing response to the pandemic in ways that are best for everyone in the Springmoor family.”
Staying Connected During the Pandemic Is Easier with the Pathways Portal
In addition to access to the town halls, the Pathways Portal provides residents with a wide range of resources. They can interact with Springmoor employees, keep up with current events and cancellations, view newsletters, see announcements, and check the dining menus.
Daniel Sekeras, Director of IT at Springmoor, personally helps any resident reluctant to try new technology to access the portal. During these times of social distancing, the portal provides a great way for residents to communicate with others in the Springmoor community from the safety of their homes.
The portal helps you find other residents with the same interests, from your favorite activities, to your favorite dining, to your faith. Reaching out using the portal allows you to connect with your neighbors, find new friends, and keep in touch with old friends.
During the pandemic, family members outside the community can also access certain features of the portal so that they have up-to-date information. “It’s been a period of rapid adjustment and a learning process for everyone,” says Beth. “We quickly progressed from residents conveying to their families outside of the community what was happening at Springmoor to using the portal to help families stay connected.”
Supporting Residents and their Families as We All Adjust to the “New Normal”
Brandon has begun to provide detailed updates from each Springmoor department during the town halls, as the effects of the pandemic on daily life continue into the third month. As of this writing in early June, he has been able to share exciting news about Springmoor amenities beginning to reopen carefully.
“The reopening of some amenities will be done slowly and on a limited basis,” Brandon explained during the town hall on May 25. “Springmoor’s return to normalcy will be slower and more limited than that of the general public. This is how it needs to be, due to our environment and the people we serve.”
For example, during the phase of reopening that went into effect in late May, the state began allowing restaurants to open at 50% capacity. Out of an abundance of caution, the Springmoor team decided to reopen the dining area in the first week of June but limit seating capacity to 25%. Springmoor continues to offer takeout and meal delivery options, to ensure that residents can return to using the large dining room only when they feel ready.
Contact us today at Springmoor at 919-848-7080 to find out more about the resources available to our residents during this challenging time. We look forward to sharing more about all the steps we’re taking to keep residents and their families safe and informed as the situation continues to evolve.