The holidays are typically a time for gratitude. We reflect on the year that has passed and look with hope to the future. We enjoy special get-togethers with friends and family and celebrate time-honored traditions.
This year, many of us are experiencing anxiety or a sense of loss. We’re feeling deprived of togetherness with the people we love most. We may be grieving for the way our life was before the pandemic.
Though it may be more difficult this year, counting our blessings daily can help. We know this holiday season will be different, but that doesn’t necessarily have to be a bad thing. We’re trying to stay focused on what we can do, rather than what we can’t—and at Springmoor, what we can do is a lot!
Outdoor and Virtual Activities for the Holidays and Beyond
Our chaplains are leading The Weary World Rejoices: An Advent Bible Study as a four-part series during December. A limited number of residents are participating in-person. This examination of traditional Advent topics like hope and joy will also be live-streamed on Springmoor’s closed-circuit TV station.
And on the lighter side, we’re offering Christmas Bingo! To allow as many people as possible to play, residents will tune in to Springmoor Channel 1341 on December 18, and numbers will be called live. When someone thinks they have bingo, they call it in as quickly as they’re able.
Turns out bingo isn’t just a frivolous pursuit. A face-paced game, bingo enhances hand-eye coordination as players mark the numbers they have on their cards. In addition to being fun, playing bingo and similar games creates new neural pathways and gives brain function a little boost.
Photo and coloring contests are perennial favorites that residents can engage in outside and while observing social distancing. Raleigh winters are typically relatively short and mild, with even nighttime temperatures staying above freezing about 75% of the time. Putting on the Springmoor Green is yet another outdoor and socially-distanced activity that residents can appreciate on many December afternoons.
Adapting Our Programs in a Myriad of Ways
Although all group art activities were initially canceled when COVID first hit North Carolina, our Meraki Art Studio has been available for independent creative projects throughout most of the pandemic.
We were able to offer numerous art classes outside on warm, sunny fall days. Now that colder weather has arrived, classes for six people or fewer are being held inside the studio. Everyone is masked with noses covered, and seats are distanced.
Our art teacher, Gretchen Phillips, provides the know-how to make special holiday gifts for friends or family. Hands are sanitized before getting materials, which include fun, seasonal beads and charms for making jewelry. In our felt crafting class, residents use easy-to-follow patterns to make Christmas ornaments, hair clips, and felt pins.
If reading is your favorite pastime, you may be interested to know that our book clubs are resuming after a hiatus of many months due to the pandemic. Two clubs will be available for a limited number of participants so that social distancing can be maintained.
Residents volunteer to lead the discussion of books such as Just Mercy: A Story of Justice and Redemption by Bryan Stevenson. This powerful true story was #1 on The New York Times Best Seller list. In 2019, it was made into a biographical legal drama starring Michael B. Jordan and Jamie Foxx.
Modifying Celebrations To Help Everyone Stay Healthy
Because the only thing we want to spread this year is holiday cheer, we’re modifying the ways we celebrate to meet current safety guidelines. Instead of our formal holiday gala with a sit-down dinner, for example, we’re taking advantage of smaller, socially-distanced gatherings such as our Reindeer Romp cocktail party.
Holiday movies in our Auditorium are a long-standing tradition. As in the past, we’ll screen old favorites like White Christmas and It’s a Wonderful Life. Residents will also enjoy more recent releases like The Man Who Invented Christmas, an instant classic that tells the story of Charles Dickens writing A Christmas Carol in 1843.
As with all indoor, in-person gatherings, the number of participants at movie screenings is limited. We wash hands, wear masks, and stay at least 6’ from those outside of our own household.
CCRCs Are Generally Well-Positioned to Keep Residents Safe During a Pandemic
Continuing Care Retirement Communities (CCRCs) like Springmoor are generally well-positioned to keep residents safe during the coronavirus pandemic. We were much better prepared for these unprecedented times than most other industries, due to our extensive experience preventing the spread of other highly contagious viruses like the flu.
“We’ve doubled-down on the many illness prevention efforts we were already accustomed to implementing,” says Beth Holden, Director of Sales and Marketing. She adds, “CCRC residents tend to be healthier to begin with, due in part to all the programs we offer that help seniors achieve optimal mental, physical, and emotional health.”
In addition, if a Springmoor resident experiences health issues, they have access to many services from our outpatient clinic and home care, to therapy and short-term or long-term stays in our health center.
For all these reasons and more, nonprofit CCRCs such as Springmoor that have entry fees are experiencing higher occupancy than other types of senior living facilities during the pandemic. We’ve had 43 move-ins this year, which is slightly higher than in 2019.
Our friendly team would welcome the opportunity to share what sets Springmoor apart during the holiday season and throughout the entire year! Call 919-848-7080 to schedule a COVID-careful personalized visit or click here to request an information packet.