Easter’s Promise of “New Horizons” Is In Full Flower at St. Ann’s

By Michael E. McRae
President & CEO, St. Ann’s Community
April 10, 2020

 With Easter upon us, it’s easy to feel the loss presented this year by our inability to gather in celebration.

But just as the miracle of Jesus’ resurrection brought us new life, so too does this strange and uncertain period in our lives bring opportunities for renewed faith and, yes, community.

Asked for his thoughts on coping during the coronavirus pandemic, Pope Francis said:

“I’m living this as a time of great uncertainty. It’s a time for inventing, for creativity. The creativity of the Christian needs to show forth in opening up new horizons, opening windows, opening transcendence toward God and toward people, and in creating new ways of being at home.”

That spirit of creativity and new horizons is in full flower across St. Ann’s Community.

We are, of course, taking every precaution to keep our residents and staff safe during the coronavirus pandemic. (Find out how here.) At the same time, we’re taking unprecedented measures to build a renewed sense of community and to combat the effects of extreme isolation, a major challenge everywhere under the current circumstances. Some examples:

  • At Chapel Oaks, an in-house pizza shop (created by Chef Todd and his staff) allows residents to call in their orders and have them delivered to their apartment door. They can also order groceries and even beer and wine for delivery, compliments of Chapel Oaks’ Food Service team.
  • Our Adult Day Services staff is making home visits to participants who would normally come to us. They’re delivering nutritious meals and pantry staples as well as prescriptions and home medical devices. St. Ann’s social workers are providing services by phone.
  • Creative ideas from the staff at Cherry Ridge include activities like social-distance bingo and a mobile “Courtesy Cart” of snacks, games, and books. They’re also getting an assist from Hegedorn’s Market, which is paying special attention to our residents and making sure their phone orders are delivered as quickly as possible.
  • At St. Ann’s Community at the Greens, staff from every department are pitching in to make life as enjoyable as possible for their residents. (The Environmental Services team, for example, has demonstrated a talent for doing residents’ nails as expertly as they maintain our facilities.)
  • At St. Ann’s Home, our in-house TV channel has taken on a bigger role than ever before. Residents can tune into Ch. 28 to get live broadcasts of entertainment, music therapy, chair yoga, morning meditation, and religious services including Mass and the Stations of the Cross. We also have a Buddy Program in place, in which non-medical staff are paying regular visits to our residents for companionship and family communication. More on this in the next Open Mike.

We are  called St. Ann’s Community, and in these trying times, we’re showing exactly what “community” is all about. My most sincere thanks to our employees for their dedication, to our residents for their resiliency, and to health-care workers everywhere for their bravery and service.

May you enjoy a happy and blessed Easter as you “open transcendence toward God” and toward one another.

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