Senior Connections - September/October 2020

September / October 2020
This is a combined September / October issue .

September / October 2020

VOLUME 2 | NO . 5 SeniorConnectionsHJ . COM

Note to our readers :

This is a combined September / October issue .

The greatest generation is resilient amid pandemic

Staff Writer
COVID-19 has had an impact on everyone in some way , shape or form . That is certainly no different for our local senior living and memory care facilities .
Most of these facilities have been on a lockdown of sorts since about March 12 , when the plan for # StayatHomeMinnesota began . It has been difficult for everyone , staff and residents alike , to work through these troubling times . However , resiliency was something that Tammi Dahlman , the director of social services with Cokato Charitable Trust , noted as an important trait to have .
“ The doors were shut and we weren ’ t able to have the many families and volunteers that we have been blessed with into the building , but the residents are resilient . It isn ’ t an ideal situation , but everyone is doing the best they can ,” Dahlman said .
This reaction is in response to the Center for Disease Control , MN Department of Health and Governor Waltz ’ s guidelines on how to safely operate the facility . Dahlman also noted that there have been changes in staffing to limit the amount of staff coming and going , everyone wears masks and everyone social distances when possible .
Just recently , window and outdoor visits were allowed , which has been a strong pick-me-up for both residents and their families , as in many cases they hadn ’ t shared face to face interaction in months .
One big help during this time has been technology . More than ever before , residents with the help of staff are using iPads , Skype , Zoom , Facetime and whatever other video technology exists to help connect residents to their families , who they dearly miss .
However , some residents don ’ t have family nearby and visits aren ’ t always an option . In that regard , there have been plenty of other ways to help the residents know that they are cared for . For example , a local Girl Scout troop donated some cookies for the residents and a local church has vases in every room that they constantly replenish with fresh flowers .
There is another way that the average person can help out the residents , without leaving their home or knowing any of the residents and that is by writing them cards .
Birthday cards make a resident ’ s day
There are a lot of negative aspects to social media , but every once in a while , a positive light shines through . This happened last week in the Facebook Group Real Life in Dassel & Cokato , a group where residents of the two towns are able to share opinions , information on businesses , and stay connected within the community .
Jeffrey Otten posted in the group Aug . 3 asking for a favor . Due to COV- ID-19 , his mother , Nancy Davis , has not been allowed any visitors for six months at Heritage Place Memory Care in Cokato . With an upcoming birthday on Aug . 13 , Otten wanted to see if community members could help him wish his mother a very happy birthday by sending her birthday cards .
“ It has been a struggle for those in memory care to truly understand what is going on ,” Otten said . “ It ’ s
Nancy Davis , who resides in Heritage Place memory care in Cokato , received plenty of birthday cards recently , due to her son Jeff ’ s Facebook post .
hard on the residents and lonely on them . It also tears at the family as well . It ’ s hard for them to understand the social distancing , the masks .”
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