Like everywhere else, life at Northaven has been greatly altered this spring by the coronavirus. As of this writing we, thankfully, have no known cases of Covid19 on our campus.
Residents have been asked to not make any unnecessary trips, and all visitors, except medically necessary personnel, have been asked to stay away. Activities that bring residents together have been canceled. Even our dining rooms have been closed, and residents now have their meals delivered to their apartments.
Leadership staff members have been meeting twice a day to review the latest updates from the State Health Department, the CDC, the City of Seattle and King County, as well as other trusted sources, in order to stay on top of the latest protocol recommendations, and they have pivoted quickly to make adjustments as new facts and recommendations come in. All staff members now have their temperature taken as they arrive for work. As always, our staff has been tremendous, taking on extra duties, covering for each other, doing everything they can to keep residents safe and healthy.
All of this is taking a toll on our residents. The social isolation is particularly difficult. By the time people move into Northaven, they have let go of many of their possessions; they move into a space that is often much smaller than they have been used to; their mobility is decreased; and many of their family members and friends have died. Northaven becomes their community… their family. So life confined mostly to their apartments becomes boring, especially as the days and now weeks drag on.
Family members and friends have been encouraged to make extra phone calls and send cards and notes. They can bring gifts and treats and are met at the front door by staff who can take the gifts to the resident.
Residents share their thoughts
I know it’s not easy to design new systems and strategies to conform with specialized health policies and fluid regulations. And it’s not always easy for us to accept changes in our routines and expectations. But the kindness and caring you show in your work sustain us when times get rough. Thank you!
Leadership and staff are making wise decisions for
our health and safety, which started with diligent disinfecting of just about everything(!) and ended, as the virus spread in our area, with closing the dining room and Olympic View Activity Room. Yes, this feels like a loss. But I feel like I (and we) are in good hands!
“We will weather this storm”
No one can deny the stress of this public health crisis on our vulnerable enclave here at Northaven, but when you are part of an already well-functioning support team, it makes adjusting to the challenges, new tasks, and constantly changing procedures manageable. We are finding the residents appreciative and more adaptable than even they expected. We will weather this storm and come out more connected than ever. It takes a village!