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Silvergate Fallbrook residents find joy in new normal

 

Last updated 4/24/2020 at 11:18pm

FALLBROOK – Residents and staff have rallied together to face and adapt to the challenges presented by the governor's stay-at-home order at Silvergate Fallbrook, a senior living community serving the area for more than 30 years.

Like many retirement communities around the country, Silvergate has initiated strict safety protocols to safeguard residents, such as restricted entry to the property, daily temperature checks on residents and staff and the use of face masks and social distancing. Adjusting to this new normal, however temporary, has elicited strong solidarity amongst residents, staff, family members and the community at large.

"Everyone connected to this community has stepped up and stepped in to ensure that our residents are safe, secure and just as importantly... emotionally cared for during this time," Patty Martinez, executive director of Silvergate Fallbrook, said. "We have seen amazing examples of residents chipping in to raise the spirits of other residents. Our staff has worked tirelessly to stay in tune with how our residents are feeling and has provided support in every direction possible. Then there are the family members who have parents and loved ones living here and our volunteers outside Silvergate. They currently can't visit our residents but they're finding incredibly creative ways to connect and engage with our seniors."

Residents found new ways to adhere to social distancing guidelines.

In the last year, seniors Betty McKim, Sandy Starr and Jean Bryson all settled into their new homes at Silvergate Fallbrook. As they met, became friends and talked about their interests, they discovered they all liked to walk for exercise. The trio banded together for daily walks, taking in the fresh air and talking about family, friends and their day. Not much thought went into each outing before the COVID stay-at-home order. Now, their walks have been modified, but their time for socializing and catching up is just as important as it ever was.

"To make the social distancing easier for us on our walks, Silvergate gave us 6-foot ribbons to stretch between us so that we would keep a safe distance from one another," McKim said, who has found that walking with friends helps ease the anxiety that can come with being cooped up indoors during the day.

"We may not be watching movies together in big groups right now, but we're still finding ways to have fun together and share what we're all going through," she said.

Another example of caring and concern focused on the Silvergate community has come from local children who feel compelled to share their concern for their senior neighbors. Youngsters and sisters, Mabel and Penny spent time at home composing words of encouragement to Silvergate's residents and creating unique works of art for residents to enjoy.

"It is so touching to know that the smallest among us are reaching out to let us know they're thinking of us," Amelia Wiener, a new resident of Silvergate Fallbrook, said. "I hope they know how much we appreciate their outpouring of love."

Inside Silvergate, residents pitch in during pandemic stay-at-home order.

While visitors, vendors and delivery personnel are restricted or have limited entry into Silvergate, many residents have stepped in to help with everyday tasks that keep operations humming along at the community. Resident Shirley Fell volunteered to help in the community mailroom in an effort to keep correspondence with family members moving along.

"The staff here at Silvergate is so busy keeping us safe from this unbelievable virus," Shirley Fell said, who has been working with resident neighbors Sally Cook, Bobby Wheatley and Cathy Evans to manage the community mailroom.

"While they're taking temperatures and monitoring folks, I decided to don my gloves and mask and get to work with some of my friends here to ensure that everybody gets their mail right now. It may seem mundane...but it's important to residents who are eagerly waiting for cards and letters from loved ones every day," she said.

Management at Silvergate said they expect to continue to observe current COVID-19 guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention as long as needed to safeguard the senior population living within the community. Until then, the staff at Silvergate will continue to educate residents about how to reach out to loved ones by phone, email, Zoom.com, Skype.com and FaceTime to stay connected during the stay-at-home order.

Silvergate Fallbrook offers independent living, assisted living and memory care in a premier senior living community that features studio, one-bedroom and two-bedroom accommodations. To take a virtual tour or learn about apartment availability, call marketing director Helen Gray for the community at 760-728-8880 or visit https://www.Silvergaterr.com.

Submitted by Silvergate Fallbrook.

 

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