In addition to organized activities such as exercise classes, book clubs, and art projects, Lutheran Senior Services (LSS) Care Center residents’ days are filled by enjoying the company of one another and their caregivers. Family members of LSS residents can be assured their loved ones are getting extra attention, love, and care from staff who strive to make each day just a little more special. LSS caregivers are making a concentrated effort to spend even more one-on-one time with residents during the times of this pandemic when long visits with family members haven’t been an option.
“I have been working on puzzles with a resident,” explained Jennifer Nowak, an LSS Health Services Counselor. “This has been a great time to get to know her better as she shares stories while we work on the puzzle.”
“We’re making sure to give extra attention to our residents, especially now,” said Tonia Jackson, an LSS Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA). “We visit with them and talk about their families, movies they like, what their jobs used to be. It’s just like visiting with a friend.”
LSS staff members are also communicating more with family members to keep them updated and schedule outdoor or virtual visits. Activity departments throughout LSS communities have scheduled hundreds of video calls to help residents see the faces of family and friends when in-person visits aren’t possible.
Staff are also working with residents’ family members to learn what more their loved ones might enjoy. One LSS resident had expressed a wish to have his camera to photograph nature around the community. When the family member told staff, they were able to set him up with the community’s camera and help him print his photos onto cards to share with his family.
Sometimes it’s the simple things. Jackson often asks residents what would make them really happy, something out of the ordinary. Most often the answer is something simple like getting ice cream on a Tuesday, which Jackson happily makes happen.
Another precautionary measure is limited use of the beauty shop, which many of the female residents look forward to. In the Care Center, residents receive direct care from staff who have been going the extra mile by creating their own beauty shop days. Much to the residents’ delight, caregivers style residents’ hair, do a little makeup, and also polish nails.
“I really want family members to know their loved ones are well cared for,” added Jackson. “We’re working hard to fill the void of them not being able to visit as much as they used to by giving extra attention and tender love and care.”
“Our staff has been creative in coming up with new ideas,” said Nowak. “I also want family members to know that we, the staff, miss seeing them, too!”