Episode 10: "It's Never Too Late To Try Something New"
Date: June 30, 2020
Hosts: Bryan Reynolds & Kristin Davenport
Guests: Resident, Kay Hauer
Update from President & CEO Laura Lamb
Episode 10 Transcript
Bryan Reynolds [00:00:04] Hello, hello, hello, welcome to Episode 10 of Linkage podcast by Episcopal Retirement Services. This episode is for the week of June 22nd, 2020. Thanks so much for joining us. I'm Bryan Reynolds vice president of marketing for Episcopal Retirement Services, and I'm here with Kristin Davenport, our director of communications for ERS and our executive producer. How are you today, Kristin?
Kristin Davenport [00:00:29] Well, I'm doing well, Bryan. I'm enjoying summer.
Bryan Reynolds [00:00:33] Absolutely. Can you believe we're already at episode 10?
Kristin Davenport [00:00:37] I love it. This has been a lot of fun, actually. It's gone by pretty quickly for me.
Bryan Reynolds [00:00:41] Yeah, it has. I think when we first started on this in late March, I never imagined we'd get to 10 episodes. But it's certainly been a labor of love, you know, with a I've had a background in media and I know you've you have to, but this has been a lot of fun to produce. And and I think what I've really enjoyed is the conversations with our residents and those weekly updates with Laura.
Kristin Davenport [00:01:07] Definitely, connecting with the residents and getting to hear Laura's take on the week has been just the best part about this for me.
Bryan Reynolds [00:01:15] Well, let's keep the good times rollin. You want to give us a little rundown of today's episode?
Kristin Davenport [00:01:20] Today joining us on the show is Deupree House resident, Kay Hauer. Kay, I got to know really well. She is a resident volunteer over at our support office, and I got to know her there. Of course, we haven't seen each other in a few months, so it was nice to catch up with Kay. Course, we'll be getting our weekly check in with president and CEO Laura Lamb.
Bryan Reynolds [00:01:42] Sounds like we have a wonderful show again today. Kristin, so excited to get started. Why don't you go ahead and introduce our first guest.
Kristin Davenport [00:01:49] Kay and I got to connect this week. So here's our interview.
Kristin Davenport [00:02:02] Welcome, Kay Hauer, resident at Deupree House. Kay, thanks for joining me.
Kay Hauer [00:02:06] Oh, I am delighted. I'm delighted just to be a part of Deupree House. I really am.
Kristin Davenport [00:02:14] Oh, thank you. We're talking with our residents who we have as guests on the podcast. Is what you're doing to stay active and engaged right now? I know that you're one of those folks that doesn't, you know, let any grass grow under her feet. You're always out about it.
Kay Hauer [00:02:34] Well, I yeah, I guess that that's a pretty good way of saying it out and about. I do like. Yes, I do like to be active and I do a lot of that. They all tease me about my bouncy ball. Instead of walking around the grounds, which, you know, a lot of people here do and the grounds are very lovely. But I. My legs were very happy to walk around, but my arms are saying we're bored. And so I got a tennis ball. And so now I bounce the ball all around the grounds and the other people just look at me and smile. But anyway. But my arms and hands are happy now. So that was good.
Kay Hauer [00:03:15] And also then I've been jump roping and I start you up and jump roping since I was, you know, nine or 10 years old, I guess, as a child. And I haven't done it until about maybe four years ago. Four years ago, we started again. And I thought, well, I just want to get out and, you know, just the activity, say, I hate to sit and do nothing. But then the athletic man here, Greg, said, well, you can jump. I can see that. Kay, why don't you jump backwards to do that for a little bit? And I thought, well, I thought the man was crazy.
Kristin Davenport [00:04:00] Well, that's a challenge.
Kay Hauer [00:04:00] I said, What do you mean, jump backwards? So but I tried it here. He did say it wouldn't kill me. And I tried it. I loved it. So I've been doing it ever since then. And also, I like being outside because around here I've seen a turtle, I've seen deer several times and some hawks flying around. And of course, if when you're walking around here, you'll see a dog of every kind that here on Earth. Yes. We're we're very close to a no-kill place. And there are nice people walking dogs around all the time. So it's kind of fun being outside.
Kristin Davenport [00:04:42] I know of you see are our own gigi Deupree from time to time walking with Tracy.
Kay Hauer [00:04:48] Oh, OK. Oh my goodness. Yes. Oh yes. Definitely yes. So and then inside of one of the most active things here are, one of the many active things I should say, is the library that we have here. And so I have been kind of active in that is I mean, so many other people have also. But our library, it's a 24 hour library, which we're trying to be convenient, right?
Kristin Davenport [00:05:15] Yes, absolutely.
Kay Hauer [00:05:17] Yeah. You can go down there any hour you wanted to. Can't sleep at night and it's midnight and you think I just can't get to sleep and go down, turn on a couple of lights, grab a book. You can go upstairs and read again.
Kay Hauer [00:05:32] Yes. Well it's always available. And then we do have more than 2000 books in the library. It's kind of interesting. Some books that are we buy and bring in there, like, well, one book comes to mind over the .... thing. It came in in the library. Never saw it, I guess, for the next three, three or four months because it was so popular because it went person to person. Oh, let me have that when you're finished. Let me have that. And so, as I say, the library itself never saw it for months. But so that's the way the library works. It's they will wait until you finish your book that you're reading before they want it, which is nice. So. But all through this, I think the main steady thing that is very beneficial and lucky or lucky for the residents, is the staff is kind of willing to put up with a lot of us, you know that.
Kristin Davenport [00:06:38] So I don't think they feel that way.
Kay Hauer [00:06:41] But yeah, but so but they and they show the fact that, yes, there they are cooperative. And if you do ask for something that you think, oh, this is crazy, but it really would be nice. They'll say, oh yes, I think maybe we can arrange that. The staff here is a tremendous. I moved here, because back in, well, 2007, if you can believe that, that's how long I've been here now. But yeah, yeah, I'm 90 years old, but I came in with my husband because my husband had Parkinson's and Alzheimer's, and that's not a good combination. So that's why we moved in. And then he died a couple of years later. And then I thought, oh, what will I do? And I thought, well, I could move to a condominium or something. And I thought, Oh. But then I couldn't see Sally again. I couldn't see Susie again. I couldn't see Mary Lou again. I mean, really, God, that I couldn't do all the the activities because it sounds like much more fun than a condominium. So I've been here ever since. And happy.
Kristin Davenport [00:07:51] So and you know, you bring up a good point about the staff. And during these times, yes. So many those things that we relied on are not accessible to us right now. So, you know, it's been really fun to see the creativity that comes out, the new ideas of different things that that we can still do that keep every out.
Kay Hauer [00:08:14] Absolutely. Really, I think the staff is the unnoticed because they do it so well. Yes. You know, the way they act and act around us and think what they really are, óglaigh think that they really are glad that they can help us. Now that's pretty good. That doesn't happen everywhere. Yeah. Of course now we're waiting for any change of structure as far as the virus is concerned.
Kay Hauer [00:08:47] It would be nice if things improve. But until then, we're enjoying it here. Yes. And in that there is a there are gatherings that we can play cards together occasionally. So it still is very nice. And I will say that now we're learning more about Zoom than a lot of us ever would have realized through the efforts of Deupree House that uses Zoom. And I'm talking like a 90 -year-old. I'm seeing Zoom like it's a foreign word. And to me, it is a foreign word. But now you I'm it's not so foreign with me anymore.
Kristin Davenport [00:09:27] We're zooming how. And you're doing great.
Kay Hauer [00:09:30] OK. Oh.
Kay Hauer [00:09:33] Oh. Listen, Kristin, thank you very much. Yes. It's never a dull around here.
Kristin Davenport [00:09:41] Always something new. Yes. And we always appreciated your help when you were at the support office as a volunteer. And that's actually how I met and got to know you. And we have that journalism background. They all came and we really hit it off. But I know one of these days we'll get back to that where we can be together and engaged together.
Kay Hauer [00:10:06] Oh, yeah. That was great. Right. The constant work, I mean, it's always something I never started and twiddled thumbs I just never got a chance to. So maybe that's something I can try to do, but I doubt it. Of twiddling thumbs and doing nothing is not. I would love getting back to ordinary life. But in the meantime, it's you know, I'm still having fun. Yeah.
Kristin Davenport [00:10:30] One other question came asking those that I'm interviewing here on our podcast as well. What might be on your summer reading list? Is there anything in particular you're gonna read this summer that you can recommend?
Kay Hauer [00:10:43] You never should have asked me that question. Now, that was the first mistake because I do have a new book is called Die Laughing Killer Jokes for Newly Old Folks. How about that for a title?
Kristin Davenport [00:10:59] That sounds really good.
Kay Hauer [00:11:02] I've been reading it and some of the jokes. I mean, it's a good book. It's funny. And I can't worry about anything else when you're laughing. Chris, I just opened this book up and it said that this one thing I'm sure that at my funeral people will be saying, I didn't know that he owned a suit. And again, without a date. So. So it's cute. Cute, though. Okay, well, that's that's my latest book.
Kristin Davenport [00:11:35] And thank you for joining us today on the podcast.
Kay Hauer [00:11:43] OK, fine. Thank you. Good to see it again or not -- talk to you again. Kristin Bye.
Byran Reynolds [00:11:56] Kristin, it was so nice to hear from Kay. Kay, as you mentioned, is a resident volunteer and I haven't seen her in several weeks. So, so great to hear that interview and all the unique things she does really to to stay busy and engaged and entertained.
Kristin Davenport [00:12:14] Yeah, so I don't know if I say this every week, but that had to be one of my favorite interviews. Getting to connect with Kay again. Always good to hear her positive thoughts and her inspirations for how to, you know, switch it up, learn something new and stay involved and engaged.
Bryan Reynolds [00:12:31] Well, you want to tee up with the next segment.
Kristin Davenport [00:12:33] Next up is our president and CEO Laura Lamb. Let's listen as Bryan and Laura talk about the week at ERS.
Bryan Reynolds [00:12:46] So we're back this week with president and CEO Laura Lamb. How are you, Laura?
Laura Lamb [00:12:52] Great Bryan. How about you?
Bryan Reynolds [00:12:53] Doing good. Doing good. It's been a really nice weekend. It's good to be back with you, as always for our weekly update. This week we had our staff meetings and you always share some great stories that happen throughout our communities with our staff. And I always like to have you share those with our listeners, too. Seemed to kind of have a couple of different kind of cool groupings this year, one about exercise and the other more around the topic of food. So I was wondering if you could share with our listeners some of the kind of interesting stories about exercise in our communities and among our teams.
Laura Lamb [00:13:32] You know, it's funny, like as I was sharing with the staff meeting, I had this ha ha that I did group them exactly the way you said. And my husband had a theory on that is that at home, really working on getting our steps so that we can have dessert, that that was a subconscious or subliminal kind of thing that I was working on. So, you know, obviously exercise and wellness is a key part of the work that we do with our residents and our staff, for that matter. And a few stories that really caught my eye this week around ERS were, the first one is at St. Paul Village. And it you know, it's St. Paul village, but it's really all of our communities. But the example is just how our wellness staff at all locations have been able to take the lemons, you know, not being able to have our gyms open, and make lemonade, which is why we still need to keep moving as people. We can't, you know, forget our exercise and our wellness regimen. So the build on that is, you know, holding exercise in smaller groups, holding exercise, wearing masks six feet apart. And we can do that when we can do that. You know, we also continue to do our exercise classes, via Zoom in technology. And I love listening to one of our residents on our podcast a couple weeks ago saying, well, I hope they don't get rid of those Zoom classes. Right when we get back to, quote unquote normal. Because I really I really like doing them in the comfort of my apartment versus, you know, in a congregate space. So, yeah, I love that story because it just showed us how we are continuing to re reinvent how we do things.
Bryan Reynolds [00:15:21] Yeah. And then I think the example that they had at St. Paul Village was I think they were playing chair volleyball or.
Laura Lamb [00:15:28] Exactly. So again, you could do they had gloves on because they were all touching and false. Nice to see. Yeah. And then the other one came from Parish Health Ministry. And what I really like about this one is that it's kind of digging deep into our toolkit. Right. So Parish Health Ministry introduced a program. It's been, Bryan, I think it's been more than 10 years ago. Yeah, 50 miles in 50 days. And, you know, as we started again hunkering down and couldn't go out, the folks at Parish Health Ministry realized that, you know, there was an opportunity to resurface walk 50 miles in 50 days and. This a program, if you're not familiar with it, that is just so wonderful, because what it does is it combines physical wellness with spiritual wellness. So the challenge is you need to get up and walk 50 miles in 50 days. And I guess you could just do that. But because it's Parish Health Ministry and because we're ERS, we would like our participants to, you know, stretch and use that those miles as ways to meditate, to pray, to reflect. And we had more than 20 people answer the charge. Ah, the challenge. And in the course of that 50 days, they walked more than two thousand miles, which, you know, of course, the math. You don't have to have a calculator to know that they did well more than 50 miles per participant. So really, really cool to see what a great program is.
Bryan Reynolds [00:17:06] And as you said, it just at a very timely point with all this stress and challenge in our lives. And to have that spiritual base along with the exercise, I think is, to your point, very important.
Laura Lamb [00:17:19] It is. And it's something that is so you know, that's one of the things that I mentioned that we've been doing at our house. It's like at the end of your day, you know, getting out outside is a wonderful way. Just I don't know about you, but it just recharges me. It's like I'm not even into my stride and I'm already feeling better just being outside, getting some fresh air and walking. So, yeah.
Bryan Reynolds [00:17:45] Yeah, Absolutely. Getting out and walking our dog has been very helpful during these times for sure. So I know the other topic was around food in our communities as well. Can you tell us a little bit about that?
Laura Lamb [00:17:57] Yeah, I just you know, dining services are dining staff or just top notch everyday, but they've really gotten out of the box when it comes to what they can do to help all of the staff, the nurses, the social workers, our life enrichment. They're doing their part. So I wanted to highlight them. One example is, you know, in this area, the country we all live for summer when we find out the peach truck's coming. Right. So, Pete Juszczyk at Deupree House. You know, knows how much he enjoys peaches and knows that our residents don't have that access that they might have had in previous years. So we secured delicious peaches and gave them with each and every one of our residents when they delivered the nightly meals. Similarly, at at Marjorie P. Lee, we created these really cute surprise snack bags that Carol and her team send out to all the residents and have fun. Yeah. And then the ECH team, you know, they decided that their expression of food and love this last week was going to be in the form of a banana split. So, again, you know, it's a real indication that it is summer is to be able to enjoy a banana split. So in the book, the pictures of our residents and staff enjoying banana splits were just just incredible.
Bryan Reynolds [00:19:29] Yeah. We put the pictures of the banana split on Facebook at ECH. And boy, those looked like good, yummy. And back onto the peaches. I will say that made me rather jealous. And my wife picked some up from our local fruit stand up here and made peach cobbler. So that motivated my family.
Laura Lamb [00:19:52] Oh, well, glad I could help you. Bryan you owe me one.
Bryan Reynolds [00:19:55] Thank you.
Laura Lamb [00:19:56] You didn't offer to share the peach cobbler, but OK.
Bryan Reynolds [00:19:58] But next time we'll bring it down. We've had some discussions over the last few weeks, and last week we had a pretty serious discussion about kind of where we were as a country with Covid 19 and really needing to hunker down. But I think, you know, as the news has gone on more and more this week and our governors have made updates and we've certainly seen more hotspots and more hospitalizations and things like that, I just wanted to bring that back up with you on that. There's certainly been some things that have been happening within our communities this past week. So starting with Marjorie P. Lee, I know there's been some testing there. So I was wondering if you could maybe share your thoughts and and give us an update on what's going on with Covid 19 within our communities.
Laura Lamb [00:20:50] Absolutely, Bryan. And I know that I'm going to sound like a bit of a broken record. But I just think we have to just start in and everything we do with, you know, we are we are living and working in communities that have we're we're going through the search. Right. Many of our communities, I think there I read something that said, you know, it became Labor Day came and went and we got excited about some summer and we all lost our minds.
Bryan Reynolds [00:21:22] Right. Right.
Laura Lamb [00:21:24] You know, oh, it's summer. We don't need masks because it's hot or we don't have to do social distance.
Laura Lamb [00:21:29] And I would just implore every one of our listeners whether or not you're a staff member or a resident, a family member, just someone in the general public, you know, the only way to stop this virus in its tracks is the guidelines from CDC, which are social distancing, wearing masks and proper hygiene. And we're not doing that consistently as a community. And it is frightening. And I would go even further to say that the unintended victims of our lack of vigilance on this as a society are going to be our frail elders. And that just gets me I just can't can't allow any conversation to go without saying we have to do better guys when it comes to making sure that we're being extremely careful and abiding by these guidelines. So that that's been the message to our staff.
Laura Lamb [00:22:42] Bryan, you know, that we've had staff meetings and I've been a little bit more than outspoken. And, you know, first our staff, you know, we've said to to everyone, you know, no one's forced you to work in aging services. Right. We've all made a decision to work in this amazing field. With that comes a responsibility. So we can't let our neighbors or our friends or our, you know, the community at large decide what we can and cannot do. We are folks that live and work in our residents home, and therefore we have to hold ourselves and one another to a much higher standard, much higher standard. You know, we can't I I've not. And I know you haven't. We none of us are eating in restaurants. As an example. You know, we are being choiceful on how we're spending our time away from our communities because we know that we none of us would want to be the one to contracted or be asymptomatic and bring it to our residents.
Laura Lamb [00:23:59] So it's been a it's been a difficult, you know, period, because I feel like we're we're all getting tired of being cautious. And, yeah, there's a term that I heard caution, fatigue, and I get that, you know, we're we're not through it, guys. We have to keep doing it and doing it consistently every time every time we're out in public, you know, by your keys, you should have a mask. Right? Right. Right. Well, we we're it's like right by the keys are our masks so that it's that constant reminder when you leave this house, you have a mask on.
Bryan Reynolds [00:24:40] Yeah. Yeah. What what's the there's like the four main things we've been kind of hearing from the CDC. Wear your mask, wash your hands. If you cough or sneeze, sneeze in your elbow and keep your physical distance. I know we talked about that at ECH a couple of weeks ago, but we've been having that at Marjorie P. Lee this week.
Laura Lamb [00:25:02] Yeah, we started the week thinking we were gonna have Deupree and Marjorie P. Lee's testing this week, but the National Guard, who's facilitating it, pushed off hour to pretesting until mid July. But we were able to begin the Marjorie Lee testing that was held on site on Tuesday. And in the course of four and a half hours, the National Guard tested about 250 people, which was amazing, amazing to watch. I was tested. I had the test. And it does not touch your brain. I want to say that that was the joke around. It's like that's. No, it doesn't. It's not physically possible, but. Yeah. So two hundred and fifty of us were tested. And if we just reach the 72-hour mark this morning at 9:00 a.m. So as you can, as you can imagine, the test results are starting to trickle in. We expect to have the majority of the test response or test results back by Monday, is kind of what we're thinking based on the pace that they're coming in.
Bryan Reynolds [00:26:12] OK, good.
Laura Lamb [00:26:13] Well, I've got the other to share kind of the results, I would think, next time we're together.
Bryan Reynolds [00:26:18] Yeah, yeah. Great. And then I know down at ECH there and down in Louisville and Kentucky, the governor is given some new instructions about opening up nursing homes and senior living organizations. But I know you've you've got a message for our listeners down there that we still need to be cautious during this time and really look at what we're doing for the long term.
Laura Lamb [00:26:45] Yeah, for sure. And unfortunately, the sound bite in the media can only get so many words in, you know, to a 30 second story. And I get that that. But the sound bite led people to believe that personal care is opening up on Monday for family visits.
Laura Lamb [00:27:03] And Episcopal Church Home, as you know, Bryan is a retirement community. So we are meaning that we have multiple levels of care. So we're held to the standard of the most restrictive guideline, which is the skilled nursing. So the earliest any one in a retirement community, multiple level care could have visits would be actually July 15th, not next Monday. So that's an important clarification. The other thing is this is guidelines. So the governor is not saying. Hey, all nursing homes, you have to open July 15. He has to trust the leadership of all the nursing homes in the state to understand that only the staff at those nursing homes understand what's happening in their building and whether or not they're ready for that. So it's guidance. It's not a mandate. That's an important distinction. So at ECH. You know, now that we have the guidance that we could open that up in mid-July. Now, the real work begins with the leadership team to say, OK, with this guidance, are we ready and what are the systems and protocols that put in place? So, again, I understand a little sound bite. Everybody's excited, but I just want to cautionary. Just to say it's not quite as it appeared. Again, what a few seconds it was recorded.
Bryan Reynolds [00:28:36] Yeah. And I think just to underscore what you said, it's not even just about when things happen, but how it all happens and having that thought process so that we're looking out for our residents and our staff and the family members.
Laura Lamb [00:28:52] Well, you know, all the hard work that we've done in the organization over the last, it's it'll be four months. Yeah. Would be for not. Could go away so quickly if to your excellent point, Bryan, that we don't focus on the how.
Bryan Reynolds [00:29:08] Right.
Laura Lamb [00:29:10] And open up. So that's what we're doing. I commit to all of the listeners where we're really making sure that that's that what we're doing. It's not not so much the when, but how we're gonna do it.
Bryan Reynolds [00:29:22] Well, I think that's. That's it for this week. Laura, thank you so much again for joining us and providing your weekly update.
Laura Lamb [00:29:29] You are most welcome. I hope you enjoy your weekend. And we'll see each other next week, I hope. Yeah. You too.
Kristin Davenport [00:29:45] Bryan, it is always so great to get these updates and success stories from our president and CEO Laura Lamb. It's inspiring to me and it helps me keep going through the week knowing that wonderful things are still happening all around our communities.
Bryan Reynolds [00:30:02] Yeah. Yeah. She had some great, great stories once again, with the dining teams really going out of the way to serve our residents and of course, getting our residents and our clients active. So it's fun. Fun, as always. Well, that's it for this latest episode again, episode 10. Wow. Thanks so much. Next week, we're actually going to be on a break. It's the week of July 4th.
Bryan Reynolds [00:30:28] So I'm gonna take a few days of rest off and we'll come back strong right after the Fourth of July. For more information about ERS, you can visit our Web site at EpiscopalRetirement dot com. With a lot of great content, including our linkage online blog, resources to learn more about aging and the services we offer and so much more. You can also follow us on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and YouTube to see what's going on within ERS and our communities. If you have any questions or feedback from us, we love hearing from our listeners. You can email us at info at ERSLife dot org. The Linkage podcast is produced by Kristin Davenport and myself, Bryan Reynolds. Feoshia Davis is our associate producer and our technical director is Michelle Hoehn.
Bryan Reynolds [00:31:18] I'd like to thank our guests today, including Kay Hauer of Deupree House and of course, Laura Lamb, president and CEO for always being available to give her updates and the great things going on within ERS. On behalf of myself, Bryan Reynolds and Kristin Davenport, thank you so much for joining us. We look forward to you joining our next podcast in two weeks. Thanks so much, Kristin.
Kristin Davenport [00:31:41] Bryan, have a great holiday.
Bryan Reynolds [00:31:44] You too.