Team gets creative to keep spirits high at Westmount Gardens during pandemic

Staff members are thinking outside the box to put smiles on residents’ faces while adhering to important safety guidelines
3/25/2020  - Deron Hamel

In the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Westmount Gardens team has been working hard to keep residents’ spirits high while maintaining important protocols to ensure the safety of all residents at the London, Ont. long-term care community.

There are currently no large-group activities being held for residents, so team members have been using their creativity to keep smiles on residents’ faces and maintain an upbeat atmosphere.

For example, on March 19, team members accompanied a small group of residents outside to the enclosed courtyard to enjoy the sunshine on the first day of spring.

For fun, the group posed with a sign that read, “Happy 1st day of spring … from us at Westmount Gardens”.

Under ministry guidelines effective at the moment, only “essential visitors” (who must be screened at the door) are presently allowed to enter Ontario long-term care communities.

This means many residents are not getting the regular visits from family members that they were before the pandemic began.

However, one resident, Joe Lohonyay, who is used to having regular visits from his wife, Christina, had a chance to “visit” with her at the closed and locked glass-door entry.

Life enrichment worker Adnan Resh and receptionist Cindy Bergmann accompanied Joe to the door where Christina was waiting on the other side.

With Christina pressing her hand against the glass door from one side and Joe pressing his hand against the glass door from the other side, the couple was able to enjoy a meaningful moment.

“Christina’s usual routine was to visit Joe every other day, and they share a strong bond of love,” says life enrichment manager Deb Lines.

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