Recess is in session at Cedarwood Senior Living CommunityJun 11, 2020 12:46PM ● By Stephanie De Graw
By Stephanie DeGraw | [email protected]
Recess is keeping the residents of Cedarwood healthy during the pandemic. The Cedarwood in Sandy, part of the Kisco Senior Living group, is going old school with a twice-a-day break in the outdoor courtyard.
“There’s always something to do here. The staff takes very good care of us,” Anna Pattillo, a 90-year-old resident, said. “I like recess. Our courtyard has such beautiful flowers, too.”
Social distancing is in place while community members enjoy hula hoop and hangman contests. Recently some residents played tic-tac-toe through the windows with children from the neighborhood. While inside or outside the community, residents and associates are wearing masks. The Cedarwood community has provided everyone with a reusable mask. Family members of residents have also donated masks for their loved ones.
“While the community is practicing safe social distancing, it doesn’t mean residents need to feel confined to their apartments,” Jesse Buntjer, executive director of Cedarwood, said. “COVID-19 has caused us to make adjustments to life in the community, and it is our job to make sure that it’s still a life full of safety, comfort and happiness. Recess has been really fun to see in action. I love that we’re making the most of our community’s space.”
Around 100 people visited Cedarwood recently for a special parade for the members. “We try to do things differently here. We try to mix it up and make it fun,” Buntjer said. Many family members decorated their cars with signs and balloons. The Sandy Fire Department also took part in the parade.
“Getting outside to take in the sunlight and fresh air is very beneficial to the residents. The social aspects of recess are important. It’s healthier for people to feel engaged for their mental and physical well-being,” Buntjer said.
Other activities include; hula hoop contests, dance parties, bubbles, and musicians performing music live. “We like to mix it up and make it fun,” he said.
One challenge of the pandemic is keeping residents in touch with their families, Buntjer said. Cedarwood staff helps residents have Zoom or Facebook Portal calls with their families. They have even had some Zoom birthday parties.
If a member decides not to go outside, there are still many activities going on throughout the day at Cedarwood. They hold some activities in the hallways, such as bowling and exercising. “I like bingo. There is also blackjack, dice and a lot of games to play,” Pattillo said. “We social distance and wear our masks the minute we step out of doors.”
She is an official Cedarwood ambassador and has lived in the community for five years. Pattillo gives out handwritten letters to each resident. “I wanted to let everyone know we are there for them. We may be far apart but so near. I think of you and hope you are getting to know yourself.” Her favorite saying is, “How beautiful it is to do nothing and then rest afterward.”