HarborChase keeping residents busy during COVID-19 pandemic

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HarborChase of Jasper is providing many activities for senior residents to stay busy during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Residents at the facility haven't been able to venture out since March as a precautionary measure due to COVID-19, but that doesn't mean they haven't had adventures and the opportunity to explore their creativity in special ways while socially distancing.  

For example, hallway bingo has allowed the residents to play a game together while being socially distanced in their studio apartment doorways. The facility also held an indoor 5K to keep residents active. 

HarborChase of Jasper Executive Director Anita Williams said weekly canvas painting has been a favorite activity for residents. 

"The paintings they've been doing have been fantastic, and we've had a good response on wanting to do the paintings," Williams said. 

An ice cream truck cart was used one day to deliver ice cream snacks to residents, and the facility's courtyard has allowed seniors to sit outside while socially distancing.

"We've just been trying to keep them socially distanced and active," she said. "The enclosed courtyard has been perfect for the residents to be outdoors and get fresh air and sunshine."

Another resident was allowed to use a kitchen on-site to do one of her favorite activities — baking.      

"That just thrilled her to death," Williams said. "As a matter of fact, she has brought her KitchenAid mixer down here and some cake pans."

Since March the facility has restricted access to visitors due to COVID-19, which has only allowed residents to talk on the phone with family members or have window visits with their loved ones. 

Window visits provide residents an opportunity to see family members through a window while talking to them on a phone. 

Williams said all staff members have been wearing face masks, doing temperature checks, and spending time with the residents to comfort them as much as possible while up close, personal visits with family members are not allowed.  

"We have babied them and pampered them. We have been their family through all of this," Williams said. "We have been their closeness — socially distanced closeness — but we have been their closeness. It's brought us closer together as a community, the residents, the associates, everybody. We're just one big family."

HarborChase is an assisted living facility that provides memory care, independent living, and skilled nursing services in Jasper and at other facilities across the country.