March 16, 2021, marked the one-year anniversary of when Deupree House and other Episcopal Retirement Services’ (ERS) communities closed their doors to prevent the spread of COVID-19.
It’s been a challenging year. But, through it all, our residents have remained strong and resilient. ERS team members also rose to the occasion to continue providing the best, most engaging, and safest care.
We’re not out of the woods yet, but as more and more people get vaccinated, things are looking up! Notably, the number of positive COVID-19 cases in Cincinnati, OH., and the surrounding communities have dropped significantly — close to pre-surge levels. That, alongside the high vaccination rate among our residents and our staff, has caused ERS’s incidence rates to go down, too.
What does that mean for the Deupree House community?
Life at Deupree House
A lot has changed over the past few months — and they will continue to change.
That’s a big deal. Throughout the pandemic, if residents left the campus — either to go to a wedding, take a trip, or something else — they needed quarantine for 14 days when they got back. But, with the newest Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services and CDC guidelines, that restriction has loosened quite a bit.
Slowed community spread and high vaccination rates at Deupree House also mean we can start having some indoor visits. That’s a huge step as far as reuniting residents and families.
We have continued to find innovative ways to engage residents and connect with loved ones while adhering to health and safety guidelines. On February 12, 2021, for example, we held the first “Hug Hut” at Deupree House and our other premier retirement communities. At the event, residents could stand in our disinfected Hug Hut and safely embrace their loved ones for the first time in months.
Watch this short video to learn more about the ERS Hug Hut on February 12, 2021.
This event brought so much joy to our residents, families, and even staff.
I’m thrilled to see how we can continue to expand visitation options as vaccinations increase and positive COVID-19 cases decrease.
Stories of Strength
In April 2020, we started the ERS Linkage Podcast as a way to share how our residents are continuing to Live Well Into the FutureⓇ during this challenging time.
Nearly every episode features an interview with a resident from either our premier retirement communities or one of our affordable living communities. Hosts Kristin Davenport and Bryan Reynolds learn more about each guest’s life and about how they’ve been staying engaged and keeping their minds sharp.
In Episode 10, “It's Never Too Late To Try Something New,” we hear from Deupree House resident Kay Hauer. Kay is a resident volunteer at the support office who always has a fun, positive attitude.
In her time at Deupree House, Kay has started jump roping, an activity she used to love when she was ten years old. But that’s not all. Not only has Kay begun jump roping again, but she’s also added in a new challenge: jumping backward!
Kay also enjoys keeping her mind active and is a frequent visitor at the Deupree House library. She says she sometimes heads to the library in the middle of the night if she can’t sleep. During the pandemic, she’s learned how to use Zoom, so she can stay engaged and active.
Pictured: Kay Hauer celebrates her 90th birthday in light-up shoes and a custom t-shirt.
Kay isn’t the only Deupree House resident who has stayed active during the pandemic, though. I encourage you to listen to ERS Linkage podcast for even more inspiring stories of strength and resilience!
We’re in This Together
We’re all undoubtedly feeling optimistic right now. However, we have to remember that there’s still work to be done.
We have to wear masks. We have to social distance — even those of us that have been vaccinated. We have to take care of ourselves, our bodies, and our mental health.
If we do all that, then we can hope that this summer will be very different than last summer. That’s my hope for sure.