Matthews, North Carolina--Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, the tireless work of employees and the dedication of residents to safety have strengthened the already solid bond at Windsor Run, an Erickson Living developed and managed senior living community in Matthews, North Carolina.
"Management acted quickly in the early stages of the pandemic to restrict visitors, implement social distancing and create important protocol," says resident Maureen Hlavacek. "Each day, we witness employees doing multiple jobs, not just their 'normal' job, to protect our safety."
Windsor Run employees have provided residents with daily meals and delivery of essential goods as well as constant communication to keep everyone informed.
"The staff who have stepped in to provide concierge services like delivering mail, packages, and our groceries have really helped us limit our potential exposure to coronavirus," says Maureen. "It's a comfort to all residents to know that, should we have a critical situation, we have someone to help us."
Leading the charge
At the helm is Windsor Run Executive Director George Comfort. Leading by example, Mr. Comfort works tirelessly to ensure that the needs of all residents and the staff who serve them are met.
"Words cannot express my appreciation to George Comfort and the entire Windsor Run staff," says Linda Haigh. "When I visited Windsor Run prior to my move, I asked residents in small groups and individually what they liked most. Very frequently, 'family' was the word used in the response."
The Windsor Run leadership team ensures that critical information is shared with the entire community. In April, Windsor Run's campus television station debuted, providing an additional mode of communication. Mr. Comfort and other members of management have been able to give daily updates through the in-house channel, which reaches every Windsor Run home. These updates are also uploaded to YouTube, allowing family members and friends to stay connected and informed.
"This is one of those times when saying thank you doesn't seem like enough," says Don Snyder. "My wife Carolyn and I want to express our deepest appreciation for all that is being done to keep our 'island' as safe as possible. It is truly a monumental task and it is being executed so seamlessly by such a caring staff."
One of the many ways Windsor Run helps keep community members safe and healthy is through the convenience of the on-site medical center.
"Having the medical center so readily accessible is a real plus," says Robert "Bob" Mack. "I recently had my first-ever video doctor's visit. And although it was not in person, it was complete and thorough."
Hard at work each day, Windsor Run's dining services team ensures that every community member receives healthy, delicious meals delivered right to their homes.
"While we miss the social activity of dining with our friends, we've been spoiled with a knock on the door and a friendly face delivering ready-to-eat meals," says Maureen. "We have been impressed with dining's ability to completely redo how they operate in a very short time to meet our shelter-at-home needs."
Sheltering at home has also led to community members and staff creating new ways to stay active and engaged.
A private Facebook group made up of Windsor Run residents provides a forum for sharing photos and videos of activities around the community, recipes, mask-making techniques and completed craft projects.
"Thanks to the nice Carolina weather, we are able to enjoy walks outside while maintaining appropriate social distance," says Maureen. "It's a great way to see each other and say 'hello.'"
Many Windsor Run neighbors join together each day to sing "God Bless America" in the courtyards, and the popular garden club tends to their flowers and vegetables while maintaining distancing precautions.
"I enjoy spending time on my spacious, screened balcony for frequent fresh air breaks, the serenades of songbirds," says Ginny Bernstorf. "It's where I can observe the emerging beauty of springtime while greeting walkers as they pass."
Bob enjoys watching the ongoing construction at White Oak, Windsor Run's newest residence building, and Piedmont Overlook, the on-site continuing care neighborhood.
"It brings out the little kid in all of us as we watch life-size Tonka construction toys operate," he says.
"Residents also learned new techniques like Zoom video conferencing, which allows resident and staff committees, such as dining and technology, to continue to meet," says Maureen. "And many are using these platforms to visit with family and friends."
Earl and Claudia Davis recently celebrated their wedding anniversary in a unique way.
"We received a phone call from our daughter Cheryl telling us to look out our window," says Earl. "Looking down on the parking lot we saw a group of people yelling and holding up signs. We opened the window and heard shouts of 'Happy Anniversary' and 'Congratulations.' In addition to family, numerous staff members, including George Comfort, were part of the group. It was the most memorable anniversary we've had, and it meant very, very much to us."
About Windsor Run: Windsor Run, situated on a scenic 60-acre campus in Matthews, North Carolina, is one of 20 continuing care retirement communities developed and managed by Erickson Living®. The community is home to more than 450 residents who are supported by a team of more than 110 employees. Additional information about Windsor Run can be found at WindsorRunCommunity.com.
Written by Kelly A. Shue