Episode 13: Staying Up-to-Date In Uncertain Times
Date: July 30th 2020
Hosts: Bryan Reynolds & Kristin Davenport
Guests: Residents, Brenda McKinney and Ann Reed
Update from President & CEO Laura Lamb
Episode 13 Transcript
Hello, hello, hello, welcome to Episode 13 of Linkage podcast
by Episcopal Retirement Services. This episode is for the week of July 20th, 2020. Thanks
so much for joining us. I'm Bryan Reynolds, vice president of Marketing of Episcopal
Retirement Services, and I'm here with Kristin Davenport, director of communications for
ERS and our executive producer. How are you, Kristen?
Hi, Bryan. I am doing well this week. How about you?
Doing really well. Really well. Great sunny day outside.
Yeah. Enjoying that sunshine.
Absolutely. So just as a reminder, The Linkage Podcast is dedicated to
educating our audience about issues regarding aging, informing people about the mission
of IRS and how that comes to life and our everyday interactions with our residents, families
and staff members. So we've got another great episode today. Kristin, wanted to tell us
about our lineup.
Bryan. I'd love to. So on the podcast with us as guests
today, we have two residents, Brenda McKinney, who lives at Shawnee Place in
Springfield, Ohio, and we have Ann Reed, who lives at Marjorie P. Lee in Hyde Park. Laura
Lamb will be on with us again to give us an update on all things ERS. Keep us in the loop.
Yep. Well, another great episode ahead of us. And I'd be
remiss without talking about our gala again. Together we rise, a virtual Gala is being held
on Friday, October 9th this year. So if you visit our Web site at EpiscopalRetirement dot
com and go down to the home page to the link to the Gala, you can find out more
information. Again, it's being held on October 9th. And we thank so much to our sponsors,
The Model Group, again, one of our great partners, especially on our affordable living
communities. And then the Ridge Stone Contractors and Builders who partner on many
projects on our CCRC are continuing care community retirement communities. We're really
looking forward to that, Kristin.
I am, too. I've got it on my calendar for October 9th.
Well, great. Well, with that, why don't you introduce our first
Absolutely. So up with us this day is Brenda McKinney.
Brenda lives at Shawnee Place in Springfield, Ohio. Let's meet Brenda.
Welcome, Brenda. Thanks for being on our podcast today.
Hi, it's a pleasure.
Well, it's good to talk with you and tell me, how are you
I'm doing very well.
Staying in out of the heat. That's something we all have to
do right now. It's a pretty, pretty warm summer for sure. Tell me, Brenaa, a little bit about,
and our listeners, a little bit about Shawnee Place and what it means to live in their.
I love Shawnee Place. It's just a big, happy family. You learn
to love the people because you're around them all the time. And the staff is amazing. They
do anything and everything they can to make you feel like this is your home. It's not like
any other rental property, you know, where they put you in and you're just an apartment
number. You're actually family here. And it's great.
That's wonderful. And you've lived at Shanee Place quite a
while, is that right?
Yes, I have.
I think around, seven years.
Wow. Wow. Well, you got some good, solid relationships
there then with with BrendA and Joanna and all the all the staff there. That's that's
Absolutely. I think you told me a little bit about you and
Brenda Go way back.
Yes, she worked for me when I was still working at a
restaurant. I was manager of a deli in a restaurant and she was my head waitress. And so
we go way back. We've been friends for a long, long time.
Well, then when you came to Shawnee Place, that was
really kind of just a homecoming then, you know, with your friend there.
Yes, it was.
We were really excited.
Tell me a little bit and our listeners a little bit about what
what kind of things are you doing right now? Because we're all trying to stay safe and
distanced and, you know, everything that we can to to stay healthy. What kind of things are
you doing to stay engaged at Shawnee Place?
Well, I'm kind of a crafty person. I'm not a great crafty
person, but I love doing it. So I bought myself, you know, things to make cards and I make
cards for people and give them to them. And they might not be perfect cards, but they
come from the heart and they mean a lot to me.
And I work a lot of puzzles. I love to do crossword puzzles.
You love crossword puzzles. Well, I read my Bible a lot, and I keep myself really busy. I
listen to books. Because it's more relaxing to listen to one than for me to read one. So I'm
busy all the time. I keep myself going all the time. I can't let myself be bored.
There you go. That's a good way to stay engaged, for sure.
And typically, you're very involved there. You're part of the
resident council, is that right?.
Yes, I am. I'm the treasurer of the resident council. And we
take care of so many things. And it's the people are so involved in it. The residents are so
involved. You know, they get to vote on things that they want. And it's just we bring in
money that way. We raise money by having potlucks, and they'll pay five dollars and have
a meal that would cost you thirty dollars in a restaurant. And the council money, you know,
the money we bring in, we make the meal. And we set up a little store in the winter when
people can't get out. We have a little store where they can come up and buy soups and
cereals and coffee and, you know, packages of coffee and stuff and. The council is
absolutely 100 percent for the residents. And we have four officers and then we have a
person for each floor, represent each floor. And if you have a problem or you want to bring
something up, you go to that person and then they bring it forward to the council people.
It's just some amazing things.
That it is. You sound like you guys are very well organized
and inclusive of everybody. That's that's wonderful to hear. I know a lot of your activities
have to be on hold right now, but you are still having sort of a meal.
That is absolutely amazing in the beginning of this
pandemic. They were doing it every week and they would the staff, Brenda and Rita and
Joanna, would get together and figure out what they wanted to make, what they could
make inexpensively, you know, because we got like 80 people and they would make us a
lunch. Put it in containers and come and put it in a cart and just come and check on your
door. And it always had delicious food. I mean, we've had grilled cheese. We've had pulled
pork. We've had spaghetti. We've had anything you can think of.
Wow. And they always put a search, a word puzzle in it. And
everybody filled that out and then you put it on your clip outside your door. Yes. And then
they pick it up and then they, you know, you fold them up and everything and they pick two
winners a week.
For a little gift. Yeah. Yeah. You got a little gift. If your name
So they're amazing people. They they truly are you. They're
not just employees. They're not just workers. They're dear friends to literally everybody
that lives here.
That's that's such good news to hear. I know, I treasure
them as as coworkers. So I'm glad that that continues on into the community there and
that they're taking good care of you. And I know you guys take good care of them as well.
Right. Well that's what family does.
That's what family does. That's so true. Well, Brenda, is
there anything that you are looking forward to when this is all over, something that maybe
you haven't been able to do recently?
Oh, absolutely. We play games here.
And we haven't been able to do that. And so I took my
games out to my daughter's house because I go out there once a week. And my
granddaughter actually said yesterday to me, she said, we're going to have to buy this
game when you guys open up again because you can take your home. I said, that's right.
But we played games every Wednesday night and we had a ball. And different people play
different games and come and set up their tables. And there would be four or five in there
or five of them here. And it's just the actual contact with the people on this. And that I'm
really looking forward to.
Well, Brenda, it was so great to talk to you. Here's to looking
forward to a game night, hopefully sometime in the not too distant future thing.
Thank you so much for joining me.
Oh, you're so very welcome.
Well, what a wonderful interview with Brenda Christian. It was
so nice to hear how much she appreciated the staff and how how supported she is up at
the Shawnee Apartments up in Springfield, Ohio.
It is so true. We we know those staff members pretty well.
But we haven't seen him in a long time. It was good to hear that all the residents are really
appreciating the things that they're doing to keep residents safe, but also keep them
engaged and enjoying life as much as we can right now.
Well, great. Well, with that, you want to introduce our next
Yes. OK. Next up, we're going to check in for our weekly
update with our president and CEO Laura Lamb.
So I'm back this week with president and CEO Laura Lamb.
Hi, Laura, how are you?
I'm doing well, Bryan. How about you?
I'm doing really well. Thanks for asking. So it's been another
kind of week that's gone by quickly with lots of things going on. But I thought I'd start out
this segment by highlighting the story on Local Twelve. They came to us about the topic of
visitations and I was wondering if you could kind of talk about the the story and in your
experience with that.
Sure. Bryan. I really appreciated them reaching out to us. And as
the news story shared, they had reached out to more than a dozen nursing homes in
Hamilton County. And the good news is that everyone's doing the same thing, which is not
allowing outdoor visits at this time, really. The governor has allowed visits across this state,
but have said you really need to take two things into high consideration. Number one, you
know, what is the incident or the occurrence rate of Covid in your building, as well as what
is happening around in that in the county itself? So Hamilton County and for us, we have
decided, like many, many, many nursing homes across the county, that because the
prevalence is so high right now in Hamilton County that we cannot afford to take the risk of
bringing that in via visitors to our communities. So I really appreciated them highlighting
that aspect of this of the story.
Yeah, yeah. I think such a important message. And while it's
tough, you know, for our residents and their families, you know, we certainly are making
arrangements for them to do Zoom calls and phone calls and things like that. I know the
staff got really creative.
Yeah, they they they really have Bryan. And, you know, no one
argues that this is taking a toll on our, you know, our psychosocial health. But, you know,
we are still in a pandemic and we have to uphold physical health first. And, you know, our
top priority is the health of our residents and staff is our top priority.
Yeah. And I know we're doing a lot of testing now among
throughout our communities. And this last week, but the week before, we of the National
Guard come in to Deupree House and do their testing as they had done it Marjorie P. Lee.
And we did a large testing down at ECH earlier this year. Incidence of those that are that
have been tested positive for the disease is really quite low as an organization. I wonder if
you could comment on that.
Yeah, I think we get hung up on the numerator the number of
actual cases. And and so, you know, the the rate of infection is extremely low. So give you
an example. The National Guard testing at Deupree. All but one test is back. And that's just
because that there's probably a typo somewhere in the data field, but all but one is back.
So we had one private duty out of one hundred and seventy. Well, that is less than one
percent. Incredible. So so those that's what you really have to look at. And so that got me
thinking about like all of our communities and all the testing and for Marjorie P. Lee,
Deupree and Episcopal Church Home that the testing and where we are right now, we are
in less than one percent and at all of the campuses. And so you look at that compared to
what Leading Age has shared when organizations do surveillance testing. And that's kind
of what we're doing. We're surveilling the community and looking for those asymptomatic
people that we all read and hear about. And other organizations when they have that
testing are getting these crazy rates of twenty five. You know, I've heard as high as 50
percent. So to have less than one percent is, you know, I use it as I point to that data. As,
you know, evidence that our very disciplined approach is working. You know, we're not
surprised that we're right here along this journey. I mean, we anticipated that there would
be cases in all of our communities. It wasn't a matter right there would. It was a matter of
time because two of our communities are in Hamilton County. Right. But I point to, you
know, the excellent processes and protocols that are our risk management team has put in
place in. And the way that they've done it, it's been fun to be a part of that because it's
rooted in the most up to date CDC guidelines. It's rooted in science and data. And it's
continual it's continually revised based on new information. You know, the guidelines for
CDC as an example have changed, you know, three times, you know, on what you do.
How do you return somebody to work as an example? Right. So the team has been
focused on making sure that we're we're up to date. We're revising. It's rooted in data and
Yeah. That that's been really fascinating to watch from my
standpoint. That's just how active and engaged in and and how thought thought provoking
a lot of those discussions have been and reacting to what's going on. But but and not only
that, but but I think even the fact that we've had this risk management team before and
had a lot of protocols and processes in place for maybe not a pandemic, but lended itself
well for a pandemic. It's just been really, I think, eye-opening for myself to just see how
well we were prepared. But kudos to the risk management team.
There's actually nine of us within our organization that have been
certified as certified risk manager. So, yes, it has. You know, we didn't do it to prepare for a
pandemic. But boy oh, boy, it's really it's really come in as a as a valued resource. So for
And I think it's very valued by our residents and their families,
too. I've heard a lot of feedback on how how much confidence they have in our
organization because of that, that I think that's really important to say as well.
And we would be remiss at saying, OK, let's give kudos to the risk
management team. But it really it really starts at the bedside, right? Yeah. And it you know,
we have such professional and caring staff as well. So it's it's leadership. But then, you
know, we could write all the protocols and create all the systems and it would be for
nothing if we didn't have that the staff the day to day. And when I say at the bedside, it's
not just the nurses, it's absolutely the nurses and our resident assistants. But it's also you
think about the impact that a housekeeper can make,.
On something like a Covid, an infection control type protocols. You
look at dining and, you know, it's just it's we have an incredible staff Bryan, as you well
Yeah, we really do. I'm so proud to work side by side.
We're so blessed. Referring back to that end of the story with
local twelve. You mentioned how, you know, as a community, not not just our retirement
community, but, say, the Cincinnati community or Louisville community, it really matters
what we're doing when we're outside of our own workplace as well. Interestingly enough,
you took some time with our staff this week to kind of talk about the levels of risk. You
know, by the different types of activities we may do in our daily lives. And I thought that
was interesting and wondered if you could maybe provide some some of some information
on what you shared, because I think it would be very helpful for the general public as well.
Well, I would love to share this because I said in the news story, if
everyone wants nursing homes that retirement communities to open we all have a part of
that and how we have to follow the guidelines, because what happens in the community is
reflected at in the nursing homes. It's not the nursing homes or creating the infection and
taking it to the community. It's the community bringing it into the nursing home. So we we
have to stop it as a general community. And Bryan you and I've talked. You know, we we
see our friends, our neighbors are the community doing things that are exactly the
opposite of what we need to do in this time. And we leave actually. A family member gave
me a resource from Texas Medical Association, which is just a risk assessment. So it takes
it puts it in context, which I like. You know, it says like, what is the least risky thing you can
do? And then rates it on a scale one to 10, you know, up to, you know, the most risky thing.
So not a surprise, you know. And my husband loved this, that playing golf is relatively low
risk. Right. Right. Going, you know, walking outdoors relatively low risk, getting takeout
from your restaurant, your favorite restaurant, to help our restaurants, low risk.
But then it goes up to moderate risk. Some of the moderate risks,
you know, would be, you know, going to a beach and being by yourself, but still be going to
a beach. And then all the way up to, you know, the highest risk is, you know, higher would
be going. Eating in a restaurant and going to a bar, which is the absolute worst thing you
can do at this scale. So with that, you know, the soundbite is and you know, you can't go
and play golf if you haven't been with people, you probably should wear a mask if they're
not in your family. And I know people don't like to hear that, but that is an absolute
essential is wearing your mask.
But when you're finished with that round of golf, you can't go to the bar and
have a drink and you can't go to the club and have one training. So that's what that's what
the assessment tool kind of helps us look at. So it was very helpful. I got a lot of positive
feedback for sharing it. People actually wanted the assessment tool like in their hands that
I think that they can use it with their their families honestly.
Yeah, well, absolutely. I plan on sharing it with my family as
well. You know, we get back into the fall where, you know, school starting and there may
be more temptations to, again, get back more than normal because of fatigue or, you
know, short sighted thinking. So it's very, very helpful.
Well, and it comes down to two things consistently, right? Social
distancing, even when you're outside and wearing mask, even when you're outside of
things. So those are the key messages.
Good lessons for us. Well, thank you so much for joining us
this week, Laura. I hope you have a wonderful week ahead and we'll look forward to
getting together real soon.
Absolutely. Bryan. Thank you.
Bryan, it was so great to hear from Lara again and hear just,
you know, how the staff are doing. Keeping up, staying ahead of that fatigue that can come
and keeping everybody safe and really just living out our mission every day and their work
there in the communities.
Yeah, yeah. Obviously, we talked so much about what we do
at home or outside of our homes matter so much. And I think she's really given some good
framework for our staff and really a good reminder for the public that, you know, following
the guidelines, you know, social distancing, wearing a mask is so important and also some
really good guidelines on what's, you know, what's maybe more risky behavior and what's
what's not quite as risky, because there are certainly things we can do, such as playing
golf, for example, that we talked about that really isn't quite as risky. So it was a really
Yeah. All good information for us to keep in mind. It was
wonderful, I guess. Next up, we've got your final interview.
Yeah. So I had the pleasure of sitting down with Ann Read
one of our residents at Marjorie P. Lee in our Cincinnati retirement community here. So
let's listen to my interview with Ann.
So I'm here this week with one of our residents from Marjorie
P. Lee. I'm here with Ann Reed, who has been at Marjorie P. Lee for seven years, and Ann
is a wonderful resident. She's helped us out a lot in our marketing department with photo
shoots and some of our commercials. So welcome, Ann.
Well, thank you again so much for joining us. I usually just like
to check in with our residents here, particularly during the pandemic, and see how are
you? How are you doing?
I'm doing well. We're used to not going to the dining room and but
still enjoying the good food and good days and bad days kind of goes with the weather,
But now we've had some sunny days. It's hot, but that's it. It's July.
So, I'm doing well.
Yeah. And you're getting out in the courtyard and doing a little
bit of walking or just sitting out there.
Yes. Every day walking in the courtyard or sitting and enjoying the
water fountain and watching the baby. Birds are now out of the nest and having a
wonderful time. So bird watching and just enjoying being here and being safe. It is. It's a
good place. Yeah.
So what what else have you been doing to stay active,
engaged during pandemic. I know you mentioned before, you know, we started the
recording, you were you were doing some some work with blankets and things, and some
We have a group of women at our church and somebody cuts the
like, the material, and then they bring it over to me. Now that's what we're doing. And I tie
the knot salt way around. So I've done about 20 of them recently. It's an easy job. You can
well, they don't take long and they're so we do some for children that our people mentor at
school. Second graders get a blanket. And then we also do the adult size for respite center
or whoever needs blankets. So it keeps your fingers nimble.
And it's about the only thing I can do anymore. I don't walk real well.
Mm hmm. And we can't get out to go anyplace. So you might as well stay home and tie
You said you're an avid reader and that the library.
I read a lot and do my crossword puzzles, my word find and
whatever else I can find to do. We have book club and we use the Zoom to do it. And I'm
not I'm not real good with electronic stuff, but I'm learning.
Yeah. Well, well, you're joining me for this interview, which is
great. I'm with that.
My next question. Are there any experiences from your life,
any past situations or crisis that you may have lived through that have kind of helped you
cope through this current pandemic?
Well, when I was eight years old, we were we were in quarantine
because the males in the family had scarlet fever. And I remember that I was only eight
years old, but I remember how the quarantine was and it was strict. But other than that, it
was a labor and delivery nurse for a long time. And you were just ready for anything. And I
think that's kind of helped know. Well, today just happening. So, OK, go with it. And I'm
kind of anymore just kind of laid back and wait and see what happens. And I'm here and
I'm being well taken care of and well-fed and I'm around when I see people. They're my
friends. Everybody's your friend.
So I'm content, but I wish it was over.
I know the longer it goes on, the harder and it does get for
Well, you know, and that is a problem because people think, well,
I've made it this far. Let's see.
I guess I guess I won't wear my mask today. Bingo. Yeah,
that's the thing. But, you know, you just do what you're supposed to do and things will turn
Yeah, well, I know we're all still really being very cautious and
that the messages are to your point wear a mask and social distance.
Yeah. And I guess the mask doesn't bother me because of my work
experiences at the time I worked. We wore masks most of the time. So I'm kind of getting
back in the feel of wearing a mask.
And being careful.
Yeah. This is still going on. But I this has always been a fun
question to ask. What are you looking forward to? Once the pandemic is over/.
You'll laugh at this. But what I miss maybe the most is my breakfast
in the dining room.
And there are many people that always have their breakfast in their
room like we do now. That was so set at a certain table. And usually, as usual, people
sitting at the table. So you immediately knew at seven or seven thirty or eight o'clock in the
morning that all your friends were up and able and eating and happy. So, yeah. And I miss
that. I say the most is my nice breakfast in the dining room. That sounds silly.
I think many of us are wanting to get back to our dining room for all
our meals, but we also know we can't do that. So that's what I'm waiting for.
Well, I think that's a great wish and in very reasonable. So
hopefully, hopefully at some point we can get get back to that.
Oh, we will. We will.
Yeah. Well, great.
Yes, Merry Christmas. We'll keep our fingers crossed
Well, and thank you so much for joining us on our podcast. It's
really been fun to catch up with you.
Well, another new experience.
That's right. That's right. So. And we'll make sure you can.
Thank you for having me.
Yeah, and we'll catch up soon. I would be remiss to say that,
you know, I mentioned at the top of our interview about, you know, taking pictures for our
ads. But you also were the star of our TV commercial for our our short term rehab services
with your Vespa motorcycle and and your your helmet there.
And that was so fun. Yes.
Well, I'll always have that memory.
Got a lot of very nice memories from my stay here. My living here so
far. And I'm sure there'll be many more.
Yeah. Absolutely. Well, we'll talk to you soon. Thanks again.
OK, bye bye.
Well, Bryan, it was great to hear from and today and again,
you know, there's this themes are coming through that the staff are are doing everything
possible to support our residents right now.
Yeah, she's obviously very grateful to that team over at
Marjorie P. Lee. And, you know, she's finding ways of staying engaged and and, you know,
just a very positive outlook in life despite any any hiccups or challenges. So really, really
enjoyed that interview. So with that being said, that's it for today's episode of the Linkage
podcast by Episcopal Retirement Services. For more information about us, you can visit
our Web site at Episcopal Retirement dot com with lots of great content, including our
Linkage online blog, some downloadable resources where you can learn more about aging
and the services that 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.
And we really love feedback and hearing from our listeners. If you have any questions,
please e-mail us at info at ERSLife dot org. The Linkage podcast is produced by Kristin
Davenport and Bryan Reynolds. Feoshia Davis is our associate producer and our technical
director as Michelle Hoehn. I'd like to thank our guests today, including Brenda McKinney
and Ann Reed and of course, always hearing from our fearless leader, Laura Lamb. On
behalf of myself, Bryan Reynolds, and Kristin Davenport. Thank you so much for joining
us. And we look forward to our podcast next week. Thanks so much, Kristen.
Bryan, I look forward to our discussion again real soon. Take