SPRINGHOUSE SENIOR LIVING – MAY 2020 NEWSLETTER
GRATEFUL for the so many masks
“Good friends show their love in times of trouble, not just in times of happiness” is a quote from the Euripides, a tragedian of classical Athens. Springhouse Senior Living has a lot of love! Friends, resident families, friends of friends and so on have donated hundreds of cloth masks for our residents and staff. The outpouring of love is simply tremendous. Just to name a few of the amazing people who donated: Thelma Pierce and the Girl Scouts of America, Lisa Spalding, Masks Made with Love, Blanca Bastanzuri, Heather Izanec, Siobhan Kelleher, Phillipe Saad, Lynda Nijensohn, Amy Parker, Jane Bergman and Heather Springer. We also need to thank Steele Canvas for their denim mask donation. We have protection and style now! We apologize if we left anyone out.
A Very Busy April
Our residents enjoyed new puzzles, a rolling pep rally and parade with lots of music and dancing, a parking lot concert, with even more dancing. Some residents just wanted quiet time to check up on email and enjoy photos sent from loved ones. Here is a snapshot of April at Springhouse Senior Living.
We’d like to send a special thank you to DJ George Landers for volunteering his time to spin feel-good tunes for our residents and staff to enjoy! Our “parking lot concert” sure brought some joy and lifted spirits! We can’t wait to have him back in May!
April was National Volunteer Month and as were unable to hold our annual Volunteer Appreciation event, we’d like to take a moment to thank our volunteers for their gracious service!
From piano concerts, to pet therapy visits, scrabble games, religious services (now virtual!), and adventures exploring local gastronomy, our volunteers bring a wide variety of talents and programs to Springhouse and enhance the quality of life for our residents. Several groups of student volunteers also visit us regularly. We enjoy social visits with Japanese students from SHOWA Institute for Language and Culture, as well as Students to Seniors from Northeastern University and the Harvard College Alzheimer’s Buddies. Weekly technology help is offered by B.C. students, coordinated by Little Brothers Friends of the Elderly.
While our volunteers are unable to visit us at the moment, several have offered other services to make life a little easier and more enjoyable. Our residents have appreciated receiving friendly notes and cards, as well as help with obtaining groceries and other essential items. The Springhouse staff are especially grateful to our friends at the Caring Canines who dropped off a lovely care package of healthy snacks to keep us well nourished at this busy time!
We’d also like to say thank you to the residents and their family members who give back to our community by serving on the Resident Advisory Council and adjunct committees, sharing their special skills and hobbies in programs and those who participate on the Springhouse Independent and Assisted Living Associations.
Thank you to all our volunteers! We appreciate you and can’t wait to see you again!
After a brief hiatus due to the COVID19 pandemic, Springhouse’s Expressive Arts Therapy interns resumed their internships remotely at the beginning of April. The extra support they’ve provided our residents at this time has been invaluable. From friendly check in calls, to more regularly scheduled telehealth meetings and even virtual groups.
We are so proud of our interns for adapting their work and the creative ways they’ve been able to serve our residents at this uncertain time.
Cassandra Knowles-True was able to continue her book reading and discussion group with Allen House residents twice a week over a video chat that is projected on our large screen TV. After finishing their current book, Marley and Me, the group hopes to spend a session or two reading short stories and poems. It has been so great to “see” Cassandra again and it felt as though she was still in the room with us!
In addition to participating in our virtual shabbat services and offering individual support to residents, Bed Hermin has created and shared a number of resources. She’s curated upbeat playlists of music from all around the world to keep our spirits up and bodies moving. Some of the arts related resources Bed has shared with our community are compiled in a list that can be accessed on her website here: Quarantine Things.
We would like to congratulate Cassandra and Bed who will be graduating from Lesley University with Master’s Degrees in Expressive Arts Therapy and Mental Health Counseling this month! Well done!
May is Mental Health Awareness Month
Tips to manage your mental health and anxiety during a pandemic
Stay social: We can still be social without being physically social! Don’t isolate yourself completely. Isolation can increase anxiety and depression. Maintain connections to others through virtual contact, don’t shut yourself in. Phone calls, video calls, writing letters are all good ways to stay connected with family and friends. Call at least one person new from your contact list everyday. It will eliminate them from feeling isolated as well as yourself!
Practice Relaxation Techniques: Deep breathing exercises, progressive muscle relaxation, and imagery relaxation techniques may help take the edge off anxiety.
Learning to be present in the current moment can help calm one’s body if feeling overwhelmed. Mindfulness is about acknowledging emotions and thoughts, but not necessarily getting caught up in them. It is also how to be present with the here and now without judgment of experience and learning to take action with intention.
Practice self care: Sleep, exercise, healthy eating, brain games are all ways to practice self care. Try something new in your home. Reorganize different rooms, try a jigsaw puzzle or organize old photographs! Keep your mind active.
Limit your stress and fear: It is important to remember that not everything we read online or watch on TV is accurate. Only listen to trusted sources to receive your information. Reduce how much time you spend reading or watching the news, especially
if it is bad news.
Have a plan ready in case you do start to feel overwhelmed. Don’t hesitate to talk to a counselor, social worker or other type of therapist if your anxiety feels out of control.
Support group updates at Springhouse Senior Living
At Springhouse Senior Living, we have acknowledged the need to keep positive and support our mental health during COVID-19. Our Care to Care support group is currently suspended until further notice, however for those caring for a loved one with dementia, the Alzheimer’s Association has put together a number of online resources which you can access here: https://www.alzmassnh.org/virtual-programs/
The Living with Loss support group is being held virtually via Zoom. For more information, please contact Adrianna at email@example.com or call 617-522-0043 x 2103