Over the last 12 months, Ashby Ponds, an Erickson Living-managed community, has gone to great lengths to ensure that community members continue to enjoy their best lives, even in the midst of extraordinary circumstances. With flexibility, creativity, and unmatched dedication, Ashby Ponds staff and management developed new ways to keep residents safe and connected.
“I've always been so happy and grateful to live at Ashby Ponds,” says community member Marge Van Lierde. “This became even more evident during the pandemic. I couldn't help but think – how would I be dealing with this if I were still in my house? I would have been so isolated. But instead, I was impressed by the creativity and optimism of the staff who brought joy into our lives at every turn, working hard to keep our spirits up.”
“The Ashby Ponds staff devote themselves to actively engaging their time and resources for the betterment of the larger community,” says Executive Director Will Nance. “It is this sense of responsibility that is at the core of our mission. Over the last year, in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, our staff has gone above and beyond in meeting, and exceeding, the unique needs of each of our residents.”
The optimism and confidence in the future are bolstered by the fact that more than 98 percent of residents at Ashby Ponds received both doses of the COVID-19 vaccine during clinics held on campus.
At the heart of Ashby Ponds' pandemic response is consistent, open communication. Beginning with daily updates on Ashby Ponds-TV, Will and other staff members addressed all issues head-on. In addition, family members and friends were kept informed through postings on the MyErickson app and social media.
“Our incredible staff must be writing the book on how to cope, plan, and make calm, professional, kind, intelligent decisions,” says community member Joanne Harney. “Every member of the staff did an absolutely magnificent job in handling dozens of questions and unique problems with smiling, pleasant help.”
In an effort to ensure that Ashby Ponds community members safely received important day-to-day supplies, the community launched a concierge program, facilitating the doorstep delivery of newspapers, packages, and other important items by staff members. Appropriately re-named Amazon Ponds, this program helped minimize outside visitors, further keeping community members safe and healthy.
Committed to providing more than the necessities, Ashby Ponds staff members continually looked for creative ways to keep community members happy and connected. These efforts included special holiday deliveries, online happy hours, and special guest musical performances. During the height of social distancing, staff delivered Thursday morning care kits filled with thoughtful ways to spend time including brain games, crossword puzzles, Sudoku puzzles, and snacks.
“The outpouring of love from staff to our residents is heartwarming,” says director of sales Holly Henderson. “While many staff members work outside their typical roles to best meet the needs of our community, they do so with a generosity and love that is unmatched.”
For their part, community members engaged in creative ways to stay connected with their friends and neighbors. Recently, the annual talent show, traditionally held in the Great Oak theater, was videotaped and shared online.
“Although we were unable to perform live, in the auditorium, it was enjoyable to still watch friends, neighbors, and staff perform on TV,” says Jane Gatchalian. “Putting our talent show online illustrates the camaraderie among staff and residents and shows that Ashby Ponds is a fun-loving community and that, in spite of the pandemic, can find ways to have fun while staying safe.”
Community members also jumped at opportunities to support and connect with neighbors as many of the numerous clubs and activities went virtual, including exercise classes, book clubs, and religious services.
Community members, energized by the support received over the last year, and the completion of community-wide vaccinations, proudly share their experience with friends and neighbors. As a result, the last year has witnessed an unprecedented increase in demand for the Ashby Ponds lifestyle. This summer, Hamilton Way, the newest residential building, will open in an effort to meet these demands.
“We are continually told that, while quarantining alone in their homes, many people began to re-evaluate their retirement needs,” says Holly. “We've seen a substantial increase in resident referrals. As our community members connect with friends, they share just how safe life is at Ashby Ponds and the many efforts taken to keep our community engaged and happy.”
Peace of mind, socialization, and quality care are just a few of the benefits of the Ashby Ponds lifestyle. Request a brochure or schedule an appointment to take a closer look at this sought-after community.