OHCA Oregon Caregiver Spring Summer 2020

www.ohca.com SPRING/SUMMER 2020 The Oregon Caregiver 11 FEATURE Seniors at Marquis Plum Ridge received hundreds of letters and cards frommembers of the community. Visits through windows have become the norm for residents, families, and communities. Here Dave and Ike the dog visit residents at the Veterans' Home in The Dalles. “We’re driving down the highway at 70 miles an hour, laying pavement in front of us, remaining flexible and being responsive to the ever-changing guid- ance and availability of equipment or a lack of information,” said Odegaard. “I think they have done a marvelous job. Both of our state veterans’ homes responded aggressively with screening and doing a lockdown, making sure that we are very responsive if you saw signs and symptoms of any kind.” Odegaard says the track to get lives back to normal will not be a sprint, but a marathon. It will test every long term care community’s infection control protocol, no matter how robust. The new normal will consist of face masks and gowns and more Zoom calls, but caregiv- ers are up for the challenge. Many facilities see this pandemic as a learning opportunity, gleaning from both the mistakes and triumphs of their fellow long term care providers. “I’ve learned so much through this experience. I’ve learned to be a better administrator not only for my residents, but for my staff. I learned that I can survive in drastic times, in hard times, and I can pull my team through. I’ve also learned that my staff is more resilient than I could have ever imagined. I have residents that are very appreciative and patient even with what they’re going through,” said Reid. “I’ve learned to have a smooth system implemented during this time that works. It was trial and error, but we’ve locked one in that absolutely works.” Despite the hardships during this time of uncertainty, there is a sense of unity, especially in the long term care sector. People around the world are rallying around health care workers and spend- ing more time thinking about and connecting with loved ones. Long term communities are using the time to help residents cultivate and renew relationships, learn new technol- ogy to enjoy regular activities, find creative outlets to explore, and appreci- ate the simple moments they may have taken for granted.