Dedicated staff in each department at Springmoor have been working hard to make sure residents can enjoy life to the fullest, despite the pandemic. Many of our residents are extremely active, and they participated in a wide range of programs before COVID-19. While taking necessary safety precautions, we at Springmoor remain committed to offering the members of our community a variety of life enrichment opportunities.
“Much of life here has gone back to normal,” says Beth Holden, Director of Sales and Marketing. “Staff adapted quickly to provide residents with many safe, fun activities that include video and other virtual options.” Springmoor residents keep a positive attitude during the pandemic by focusing on all they can do right here on campus: get their hair done, work in their gardens, socialize at coffee hour, attend religious services, participate in fitness classes, and so much more.
What’s Life Like at Springmoor During the Pandemic?
When the coronavirus first descended on North Carolina in March 2020, activities were very limited to keep everyone safe, but they’ve gradually expanded. With almost five months of the pandemic behind us, the Resident Life department is able to provide residents with a robust monthly activities calendar that addresses the needs of mind, body, and spirit.
“We’ve evolved to meet the needs of residents,” explains Leah Willis, Pathways/Resident Life Director. “As more information about the virus has become available, we’ve adjusted our strategies so everyone who lives at Springmoor stays active and connected.”
With so many choices, it can be difficult to decide what to do first. The resident portal provides access to a number of fun and enriching pursuits like art lessons, poetry and photography contests, fitness classes, virtual bingo, and discussion groups. Residents can also make a reservation to work on individual projects in the Meraki Arts Studio or the woodworking shop.
Lending a helping hand provides meaningful ways to connect with others, and on-campus volunteer opportunities include staffing Springmoor’s library and convenience store. Residents also provide the vital service of delivering the mail each day.
Cooking with Family
Virtual cooking parties are one of the many unique virtual activities being organized for residents during the pandemic. Joanna Bell, RD, Springmoor Dietitian, hosted one party in mid-August and has another planned for September. Residents registered in advance to join Joanna and other members of the community on a Zoom call to cook Vegetable and Bean Quesadillas together.
“We think of each other as family, and we can still get together to cook virtually during the pandemic,” says Joanna. The Springmoor chef created bento box-type packages with all of the recipe’s ingredients and included a chef’s hat, and Dining Services delivered these to the door of each participating resident. Joanna received many emails from residents saying they enjoyed the class and that the quesadillas were delicious.
Food Services at Springmoor During COVID-19
Writer Virginia Woolf said, “One cannot think well, love well, sleep well, if one has not dined well.” The Dining Services Team at Springmoor has provided healthy, delicious options to residents throughout the pandemic. Meals have been delivered to residents’ doors since March, and many members of the community continue to enjoy getting their meals this way.
Once Governor Cooper moved North Carolina to Phase 2 of the state’s reopening plan, we were able to open our main dining room to 25% capacity. Our Bistro is now providing takeout, giving residents even more options. The Garden Grill in North Village is also open and offers casual fare such as salads and sandwiches.
Creating and Maintaining a Beloved Community During a Challenging Time
Springmoor is fortunate to have two chaplains, Lori Higgins and Juliana Lindenberg. Pre-pandemic, residents came together for Vespers each Sunday evening in the auditorium, which accommodates more than 100 people. Lori and Juliana would conduct a nondenominational Christian service with a sermon and communion.
When the pandemic first began, the chaplains livestreamed the service, as well as recording it for residents to watch at a later time. “It’s been wonderful to see the residents adapt for the need for more technology, as we all have,” says Lori. The livestreaming and recording continue, and now a group of fewer than 10 residents can also attend in-person while observing recommended safety precautions such as mask wearing.
Residents can also participate in multiple discussion groups, including Bible study and a group following a curriculum titled Vital Conversations on Racism. Pre-pandemic, groups met in-person and averaged 15 to 20 people. Now meetings are either conducted on Zoom or offered to a group of fewer than 10.
Vital Conversations on Racism focuses on race, class, and how we relate to one another from a biblical perspective. This group evolved from a prayer group that wanted to pray about current racial tensions and concerns. The curriculum includes a series of videos in which diverse speakers discuss inequities in our society and how we can become the beloved community God calls us to be.
Movement Is Medicine
You can hear the enthusiasm in the voice of Kari Richie, Fitness Director, when she talks about the many fitness opportunities available to Springmoor residents—even during a global pandemic. For starters, we’ve been offering six aqua classes since May. Residents can sign up for one of these water aerobics classes or make a reservation to use the saline lap pool on their own.
Springmoor water aerobics classes provide an excellent example of how the fitness center has adapted. Pre-COVID, one large class was offered three days a week. Now one smaller group meets on M/W and a second meets on T/R. A max of 10 attend each class, and everyone has a dedicated pool noodle.
A wide range of “land” classes has also been available since May. There are now 41 classes offered each week, and ramped-up cleaning protocols help ensure safety. Grids on the floor make it easy to maintain social distancing, and offerings include cardio, Tai Chi, and strength and balance.
For those who don’t want to exercise in-person, the closed-circuit TV station offers a variety of pre-recorded fitness programming created for the Springmoor community. In March, the Fitness Team distributed dumb bells, exercise balls, resistance bands, and sturdy chairs for chair exercises to all residents who wanted them. They could create their own routine or follow the guidance provided in the recorded programming.
“Residents have been so appreciative of the opportunities to exercise and to stay connected,” says Kari. “Many have told me the classes have helped them stay much more positive and hopeful during the pandemic.”
Kari also partnered with Springmoor’s chaplains to provide “Soulful Stretching,” a light chair yoga class. Recognizing that people are anxious due to the pandemic, the class included calming affirmations and encouraged mindfulness.
Contact us today at 919-848-7080 to find out more about the exceptional activities we provide every day. Our friendly team is also happy to answer questions about the many steps we’re taking as a community to keep residents and staff safe and healthy during the pandemic.