Hugs & Exercise are Good For The Heart: Episode 30
Date: February 17th 2021
Hosts: Bryan Reynolds & Kristin Davenport
Guests: Dossie White, Chloe Hough & Laura Lamb
Episode 30 Transcript
Bryan Reynolds [00:00:03] Hello, hello, hello, welcome to Episode 30 of a linkage podcast by Episcopal Retirement Services. This episode is for the week of February 15th, 2021. 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 and our executive producer. How are you, Kristin?
Kristin Davenport [00:00:26] Hey, Bryan. I'm doing well. It's good to be back.
Bryan Reynolds [00:00:29] Good, good. So the Linkage podcast is dedicated to educating our audience about the issues regarding aging, informing people about the mission of a ERS and how that comes to life in our everyday interactions with residents, clients, families and staff members. So, Kristin, you want to tell us about our upcoming episode?
Kristin Davenport [00:00:48] Yes, Bryan. We have a really great couple of guests. We've got Ms. Dossie White. She's a resident at Marlow Court. Dossie was one of the very first of our affordable living residents that was able to get vaccinated. And we checked in with her to talk to her about her decision and her experience. And I also was able to catch up with our wellness director, Chloe Hough. And Chloe is just really a motivational person. She's a great person to know not only for our residents, but also for our staff members. And we caught up about Heart Health Month, which is February. And we had a great conversation, too. And as always, we have our president and CEO Laura Lamb, who you were able to check in with and hear about all the exciting things going on around ERS communities.
Bryan Reynolds [00:01:43] Awesome. Looking forward to hearing from Dossie and Chloe. So with that being said, Kristen, you want to introduce our first guest?
Kristin Davenport [00:01:52] You bet. Bryan. So, Ms. Dossie White gave me a call when she got her first vaccine and she was really excited to share with other other residents, other members in the broader community and all our listeners about what it meant to her to get vaccinated. So, everyone, please welcome Ms. Dossie White.
Kristin Davenport [00:02:24] Well, welcome to our podcast, Ms. Dossie White, I'm so happy to have you on our podcast today. How are you doing?
Dossie White [00:02:31] I'm doing fine. I had my shot and I feel good.
Kristin Davenport [00:02:36] Oh, that is such good news. Tell me about your decision to take the vaccine. Were you excited from the beginning or did you need more information? How did that go for you?
Dossie White [00:02:49] In the beginning I needed more information. I listened to the doctors and on TV. I talked to our pastor. He had spoken to us about that. And the main thing is I. So many people had died from that, that I feel like that in order for me to live, I would have take the test. I never thought about not taking it. I was worried, but I've made up my mind after seeing people that I know pass and some of them get real sick from it.
Kristin Davenport [00:03:47] Oh, my goodness. I'm very sorry that you've lost some loved ones to covid. It's very sad. And I and I'm really sorry for your loss.
Dossie White [00:03:57] Thank you.
Kristin Davenport [00:03:58] I'm glad that you've been well and I'm glad that you decided to take the vaccine. Are you encouraging your neighbors as well?
Dossie White [00:04:06] Well, most of my neighbors, they I'm not sure because most of them don't talk about it.
Kristin Davenport [00:04:16] Yeah, well, I hope they're at Marlow Court that when the opportunity comes around for others that they take their chance as well. We can all be safer the more of us that that participate. And that's for sure.
[00:04:34] Well Ms. Dossie, I know that you have been doing your best to stay active and engaged right now. You mentioned to me when we were talking earlier that you enjoy sewing. Would you tell our listeners a little bit about your sewing hobby and maybe how long you've been doing it and what things you like to sew?
Dossie White [00:04:55] Well, I've been doing it for at least 20 years or more. I started because my father, you know, he used to sew quilts by hand. So after he passed, I decided to start sewing quilts, but I'd do it that machine. Also, I do art pictures, you know, with fabrics.
Kristin Davenport [00:05:22] Oh, wow.
Dossie White [00:05:24] Yes. And this is what I do most of the time because I love it and people actually laugh so all the time. I say, "because, you know, when you like something, you do." And I used to bowl a lot to establish some pretty good bowling. And my highest game I bowled was 275. So I did pretty good.
Kristin Davenport [00:05:53] That is good! Well, I love that you're creative and sewing still. I know that's a wonderful way to stay engaged and keep your mind working and that that creative side of you is is still able to to continue on, even though we're we're restricted from going out on certain things and and doing maybe certain activities we were used to doing. But it sounds like your sewing is kind of been that thing that you've you've kept going. And I can't wait to see a photo of some of your quilts and some of your your art pieces. That sounds really exciting.
Dossie White [00:06:37] Some of them on Facebook.
Kristin Davenport [00:06:38] OK, well, I'm going to look that up.
Kristin Davenport [00:06:43] Ms. Dossie, tell us one more thing, maybe that something that you are looking forward to once we're past all this and more folks are vaccinated, will probably still be wearing our masks and we might still be distanced a little bit. But hopefully, you know, we can get back to some of the things that we were used to. What's one thing that you're really looking forward to once we're past this Covid?
Dossie White [00:07:09] I'm looking forward to seeing my I have a great granddaughter and I haven't seen her in about a year. So she's she's three. And that's one thing in my family. And, you know, we're not I'm on the phone with them, but I haven't been around to look at them in the face, you know.
Kristin Davenport [00:07:35] Right.
Dossie White [00:07:36] And it's looking I'm just looking forward to get out and be around people.
Kristin Davenport [00:07:42] Yes, I agree. Well, it's been a real joy to to meet you and to talk with you. And I look forward to meeting you face to face, hopefully here in the near future. I'm so happy that you've you've been doing well and that you have had your first dose of the vaccine. And I'm sure you're looking forward to that second one and things getting a little bit more back to what we were used to.
Dossie White [00:08:11] Yes, I'm looking forward to with the first one. I thought I was going to be sick and all of that, but I was on my arm, got a little sore and that's it.
Kristin Davenport [00:08:26] Well, good. So your side effects were manageable. That's really good news. That's really good to hear.
Dossie White [00:08:31] Yes.
Kristin Davenport [00:08:32] Thank you so much for joining us today, Ms. Dossie. And you have a wonderful rest of your day and rest of your week. You take care now.
Bryan Reynolds [00:08:50] Kristin, that was a wonderful interview with Dossie. It's so exciting to hear her enthusiasm to get vaccinated. And I found a very interesting you know, she talked I know with you at one point about her, her pastor, Damon Lynch, talking to to to his congregation about the importance of getting vaccinated. And I thought that was so neat. You know, as we've discussed, the vaccinations that are our continuing care retirement communities, we've done a lot of outreach and efforts to get our our residents and our affordable living communities vaccinated as well.
Kristin Davenport [00:09:30] It is is good to hear. It's very encouraging. And and her her confidence that that was the right decision. I think she hopes that that'll encourage others in her neighbors and and others in the community to to do the same.
Bryan Reynolds [00:09:48] Yeah. So that's that's, like you said, very encouraging. You know, I think we're seeing a correlation, hopefully, in our community numbers going down now as people get vaccinated. And that just continues to happen so that we can eradicate this nasty virus.
Kristin Davenport [00:10:05] That is so true, Bryan. Well, I think next up, we're going to hear from you and our president and CEO Laura Lamb looking forward to that discussion.
Bryan Reynolds [00:10:17] So we're back again this week with president and CEO Laura Lamb. Hi, how are you, Laura?
Laura Lamb [00:10:22] I'm doing well, Bryan. How about you?
Bryan Reynolds [00:10:24] Doing good. Today is a great day in the history of ERS, as I think there's been a fun, fun activity that that's been going on at our our retirement communities. And I wondered if you could tell our audience about about the special day.
Laura Lamb [00:10:44] Oh, it's it's a great day. It's like going to Kings Island when you're a kid. It's just so much fun. So today in celebration of Valentine's Day, which, of course, is just a couple a couple of days away, we decided that we all needed a hug and that what better holiday to celebrate love and hugs than Valentine's Day. So at our three retirement communities, we have five what we've lovingly coined, Hug Huts. And if you can imagine a safe way to hug someone in a pandemic, we have figured it out. I told one of the local reporters today we we deconstructed the hug and figured out how to make it safe. And so for your listeners, if you visualize like a a small tailgate tent with a side panel and we've cut a window in the side panel and of course, have plastic in the window, and then we have slits that you put your arms through.
Bryan Reynolds [00:11:56] Right.
Laura Lamb [00:11:56] And oh my gosh, we have gloves that come up to your shoulder that I won't say anymore than they're used in veterinary science. You know, everything available on Amazon.
Bryan Reynolds [00:12:14] Listeners use your imagination.
Laura Lamb [00:12:16] Exactly! Exactly. But it's so cool that we were able to, like, take a problem and find a creative solution. And the problem was, you know, one of our residents, when I asked, what do you miss most? She said a good old fashioned hug, one one and one resident actually said to me, "you know, I asked Alexa. What a hug was, because I had forgotten it's been so long."
Bryan Reynolds [00:12:51] Did you ever think in your career you would deconstruct the hug?
Laura Lamb [00:12:55] No, I didn't think that. Well, my family will tell you because it became a family project. My husband was involved. My son helped me do all the cut outs. And and our front hallway was a store like a mail room for Amazon for about a week. But we did it. There's five of them up and around our communities. And they are we by the end of today, by seven o'clock tonight, we will have had more than one hundred and fifty people hugged.
Bryan Reynolds [00:13:26] Oh, wow. That's great.
Laura Lamb [00:13:29] Oh, I know! It is a good day.
Bryan Reynolds [00:13:31] Yeah. And not you know, not only is just the act of getting the hug in, but how cool is it that it that it turned out right around Valentine's Day.
Laura Lamb [00:13:42] Yeah, it is. I'm telling you nothing like the love holiday to get you get you motivated.
Bryan Reynolds [00:13:49] Yeah. And as you alluded, we had a couple of news stations here in Cincinnati show up. So it'll it'll be on Channel five and Channel nine here in Cincinnati. And down in Louisville, it's Channel 3 ABE, the NBC affiliate. Isn't that wonderful? So you could see it really resonated not just with our residents and families, but with our community, too.
Laura Lamb [00:14:17] Yeah, I think, you know, we I had one resident say that, you know, she's never going to take a hug for granted again. And that that's the that's what the pandemic has done. It has really just made it crystal clear what we need as humans. And, you know, that comfort. You know, it's funny, we mentioned the people, the residents and the families, you know, who else the recipient of this is? You know, I can't tell you how many how many staff have called me, emailed me, text me today. Yeah. Here's themselves. Just seeing the pure joy of our residents. All right. That's that's why we're here, not to, you know, be pandemic police officers. You know, we we are here to enrich the lives of older adults. That's what we do. And today we were allowed to do that again Bryan the day we lived our mission.
Bryan Reynolds [00:15:24] Yeah, yeah. I remember when we started this podcast, you know, just a month or two in and I asked that question, what what do you miss? And I remember it was a hug and I so it's great.
Laura Lamb [00:15:36] And how many months ago was that? I mean, some of our elders have not had a hug from anyone.
Bryan Reynolds [00:15:44] Right.
Laura Lamb [00:15:44] It'll be a year. March 16.
Bryan Reynolds [00:15:47] Right. Gosh, it's hard to believe it's been that that much time and and, uh, the ups and downs through it all for sure. Well, good. And then, you know, beyond that positive news, I know you've you've been able to share some positive news in our communities here in Ohio as well at Marjorie P. Lee and Deupree House about opening up a little bit more than where we've been.
Laura Lamb [00:16:14] Yeah, we were just we understand. But we're you know, we're disappointed that the vaccination rates aren't a light switch. You know, we've been saying that. But, you know, we we want CMS to take vaccination rates in a community kind of as a criteria. And and we're not right. We're not there. So we're the group that says, OK, what can we do? We're not going to focus on what we can't do. What can we do? Right. So, you know, we have a huge high number of vaccinated residents. Ninety nine, nine eight one percent of residents have been vaccinated. We decided to we looked internal and we said within the guidelines with this high rate and the fact that we have not because we have a high rate of vaccination, we have not had a lot of cases, particularly in the last two weeks since we're on our second dose at each at each building community. And the good news in that is we said, OK, wellness, instead of having two people in the fitness center at a time, could we have four people as an example be and still social distance and still clean and still wear masks and all those important things. But could we expand the ability so that more people can work out and exercise? Because that just makes us all feel better.
[00:17:44] Dining we hadn't had in dining because the holidays were brutal and the surge was brutal. Yeah, we just couldn't bring people together without masks on to eat. So again, socially distance wearing masks when you're not eating, you know, sitting with people that you either live with or six feet apart from people that you don't live with. We even we've deconstructed that to Bryan. And the cool news is, is that in in dining in the dining room, dining will start again at both Marjorie P. Lee and Deupree on the twenty second. Wow. So residents are super excited about that as well.
Bryan Reynolds [00:18:30] Yeah, I know how much that means to so many to be able to go down there and get their favorite meals. And, you know, I know we've got to do it in smaller groups and probably not as social as before, but I can only imagine how much they're looking forward to that.
Laura Lamb [00:18:47] Oh, my gosh. It's so you know. It's difficult when you eat in your room. You miss that socialization. I don't think food tastes good when it's delivered in Styrofoam or with thick. And I think just having the ability to go down a couple times a week and eat off of China. I mean, again, look at all the things that we've taken for granted.
Bryan Reynolds [00:19:15] Yeah, sure.
[00:19:18] Well, as the vaccinations, you know, are spreading throughout not just our communities, but the greater community. And we're seeing rates go down, positivity rates go down. I know there was some news from the CDC this week that they talked about how people that were vaccinated would not necessarily need to go into quarantine if they were exposed. But but there's another side of that story as it relates to retirement communities. I wonder if you could kind of clarify that for our listeners, because we've gotten a lot of questions about that.
Laura Lamb [00:19:54] Oh, my goodness. We have. And I tell you, you know, it's a love hate relationship with the sound bites, right? Yeah. Well, so everything you said is accurate, but everywhere in that document, the carve out is health care residents and residents. So the great thing is that ERS is so connected through Leading Age and Leading Age Ohio. And I had a call with the CEO of Leading Age Ohio on this very topic this morning and just really wanted clarification.
[00:20:28] So, at the present time, the Ohio Department of Aging and our Department of Health is saying that health care applies to any licensed building so any skilled nursing and any residential care. So that would be all of Deupree and all of Marjorie P. Lee. Right, because we're licensed. So but there is it's under review, not in the nursing home. And I just I feel like I need to be very clear about that. I don't think that's going to change before spring. Yeah, because that's not a state issue. That's actually a federal issue. Nursing homes have to comply with the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services. And they've told us we're not even going to revisit this till spring.
Bryan Reynolds [00:21:24] Right.
Laura Lamb [00:21:25] But there is a window of opportunity in Ohio related to residential care. So the residential living portion of Marjorie P. Lee, a Deupree we are advocating and frankly, lobbying really, really hard. So we're hopeful. But right now it's a no with they were reviewing this one portion of it.
Bryan Reynolds [00:21:53] Right. Right. Well, and I think as things become more dynamic, I'm sure you and I will have more more updates to share over time as we get feedback from CMS and the CDC and the state and the county and all this with varying regulatory bodies. So or or or those that issue guidance.
Laura Lamb [00:22:20] So I have no doubt I mean, it changes, as we've all said, just literally daily, so. I'm so fortunate to have leading age as are on a national and a state level level, just full time. They've been our advocates for the last 11 months.
Bryan Reynolds [00:22:44] Yeah, well, there's a lot of great minds thinking things out. And, you know, as you're doing with you mentioned with with our CEO of Leading Age Ohio. So. That's that's comforting to know that people are really putting some hard thought behind all of this.
Laura Lamb [00:23:01] I agree, I agree.
Bryan Reynolds [00:23:03] Well, Laura, thank you so much again for joining us this week and we'll look forward to catching up again here in the next week.
Laura Lamb [00:23:12] It's so much fun, Bryan. Thanks for having me.
Bryan Reynolds [00:23:15] All right. Have a good one.
Laura Lamb [00:23:16] You too.
Kristin Davenport [00:23:20] Bryan, it's so good to hear from Larra all the positive progress we're making, able to open up dining in our CCRCs and just a lot of good news this week.
Bryan Reynolds [00:23:31] Yeah, yeah. It was, you know, the hug huts that she was referring to. And it was really a neat story, particularly in light of Valentine's Day. Yes. And yeah, it certainly is. People get vaccinated and the positivity rates go down in the community. I think people are feeling a little encouraged, a little more encouraged right now. So that's some great news.
Kristin Davenport [00:23:58] That is so true Bryan, I was able to be at our hug hut down at our Louisville community, and just you could just feel the energy and all the warmth family members, you know, physically reunited with their loved ones. And, you know, they all mentioned how they've been doing the window visits, but there's nothing like, you know, that physical touch. And that was really heartening to see and hear all that.
Bryan Reynolds [00:24:28] Yeah, I could feel and see the energy from the photos and the videos that were coming all day long. So that was really neat. Well, next up, I'm going to introduce your interview with ERS wellness director, Chloe Hough. Chloe, just, as you mentioned, a great inspiration to many residents and staff. And here's Kristin's interview with Chloe.
Kristin Davenport [00:25:02] Welcome, Chloe, to our podcast. I'm so glad to have you here. I know you've got a lot of great wellness and fitness tips for our listeners. So why don't you just start by introducing yourself and tell us a little bit about your career with ERS?
Chloe Hough [00:25:17] Sure, absolutely. I have been with ERS for about a year and a half now, so it's been a great year and a half. It's been a really quick year and a half. But basically my role, I oversee all of the wellness activities between Marjorie P. Lee and Deupree House. So that's everything from classes to wellness challenges, to personal training, to maintain the pools and the fitness zones and our wellness staff. So it's every day is an exciting day and a different day, that is for sure.
Kristin Davenport [00:25:52] And the pandemic has given us some new challenges. But it's been great to watch how you've been able to bring new ideas. I know that we kind of got our heads together, the marketing team and you, and we came up with the idea of doing some wellness videos. Why don't you talk about those and what those have meant for residents?
Chloe Hough [00:26:18] Yeah, absolutely. So our wellness videos, it just is a different outlet to be able to make fitness accessible, especially during a pandemic when you might not have access for a little bit. Our fitness zones were closed, so nobody had access to the new steps or the weight machines that they would have typically relied on. So the fitness videos were a great way to say, hey, listen, all you need is a chair or all you need is a countertop to hold on for balance. And we can still make sure that you can stay active during this time and introduce maybe some new exercises that residents hadn't tried before, all while making sure that they're safe and comfortable in their home. They don't have to go out and be around others necessarily or do the exercise with a face mask on things like that. So basically, the videos were just a fun way to get some new exercises out there and make sure people can stay active even during a little bit different time. We just had to get a little bit more creative with it.
Kristin Davenport [00:27:22] That's for sure. And besides the videos, you've also got some Zoom exercise classes going on, too, is that right?
Chloe Hough [00:27:29] Yes, absolutely, we hold I teach three Zoom classes a week, Monday, Wednesday, Friday, and it's a chair-based class with hand weights and a ball and a resistance band, and it's really fun. And that way, again, residents can exercise from their homes. And it's nice because they can see me and I can see them, especially for the residents I haven't been able to see in person yet. So it's a great way just to check-in, see how you're doing and get that fitness in for the day and then always look forward to seeing me in a couple of days after that.
Kristin Davenport [00:28:05] That is so true. I know I have a few residents that I check in with regularly, and one of them was telling me about her coveted seat in the events center because I guess there's a few residents that actually get to be there live.
Chloe Hough [00:28:19] Yes, yes, we still hold the in-person classes Monday, Wednesday, Friday, but because we have to limit the number of residents that can be in the event center at the same time, that's why we try to also make the Zoom class an option for those who don't get there's a sign up sheet to be able to fit into those nine slots for the in-person classes. So we're just trying to make fitness as accessible as possible right now.
Kristin Davenport [00:28:45] Well, I love it. I, I if any of our listeners are paying attention and have heard more than one podcast, I'm sure they'll hear a common thread through out most of our interviews. People are, you know, relying upon staying active, staying fit, and they know how much they appreciate your classes and in every way that they can can take part. It sounds to me from talking to our residents that most of them are are doing a little bit of everything, which I think is great. You got to mix it up.
Chloe Hough [00:29:16] Yeah, absolutely. It keeps you on your toes a little bit. And, you know, I always tell people that exercise isn't just for physical well-being. I mean, there's a lot of mental health that comes into exercise. You get those endorphins going when you get to class, you see maybe your neighbors that you don't get to see. Otherwise, they're on the Zoom, especially when I have both buildings on the Zoom they're seeing people that they don't get to see right now due to being quarantined. So I always think there's multiple benefits to staying active, especially during a pandemic. So you might as well keep moving.
Kristin Davenport [00:29:50] That is wonderful. And it's good for employees like myself. I know. I do appreciate the contests and the the the ways that you've engaged employees are team members and staying well and active. I know right now you've been leading a heart health emphasis with some some activities for the month of February. You want to talk a little bit about February being Heart month.
Chloe Hough [00:30:20] Yes, absolutely, so February is an important month to me, heart health month. So my mom had open heart surgery when I was a junior or sophomore, I think, in high school. So from then on, like I've always known, I was going to be in fitness. But Heart Health Month has always been really important for our family. So and I know that heart disease affects a lot of our residents and their family and a lot of our staff and their family members. So I always think it's important to bring February Heart Health Month to the forefront. And so basically the idea is that heart disease affects women in a greater capacity, I guess you could say, than in men. And unfortunately, it's also commonly misdiagnosed or underdiagnosed for women compared to men. And so we're doing a fun little fitness challenge for our staff for Heart Health Month, where they have to focus on their cardiovascular exercise for their heart health.
Kristin Davenport [00:31:21] So good to hear. I love to hear that our residents are still getting enthusiastic about these wellness challenges and things like that. I'm not getting to see them in person, but I always appreciate when you send me your your cell phone photos. So thank you for doing that. And we'll be posting them on social media along with if you go to our website, you'll be able to see Chloe's wellness videos and read a blog all about Chloe and on our social media, on Facebook, on Twitter, we'll be posting things about Heart Health Month, including some recipes and some other things like that. So, Chloe, it's been great to have you as a guest on the podcast. Thanks for being here.
Chloe Hough [00:32:10] Perfect. Thanks so much for having me.
Kristin Davenport [00:32:12] All right. Well, fantastic. Thanks again. I hope to have you back as a guest. Maybe as things open up, we can talk a little bit more about what things people are able to do when spring hits. So thanks for being a guest on. Yeah, absolutely. It was fun. I'm happy to help.
Kristin Davenport [00:32:35] Well, Bryan, as you can hear, Chloe has a lot of energy for keeping us all healthy and well, she's done Zoom classes and videos and and there's just so much going on that that she's been a part of at Deupree House and at Marjorie P. Lee.
Bryan Reynolds [00:32:53] Yeah, yeah. It was good, good to hear from her. And like you said, she's just such a positive influence on on so many people. So keep up the good work, Chloe, and we'll look forward to maybe checking in with her again and in the future as well.
Kristin Davenport [00:33:08] Good idea.
Bryan Reynolds [00:33:10] That's it for this latest episode of the Linkage podcast by Episcopal Retirement Services. For more information about us. You can visit our website at EpiscopalRetirement.com. We've lots 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 follow us on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and YouTube to see what's going on within ERS in our communities. Do you have any questions or feedback for us? Please email us at info at ERSlife.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. I'd like to thank our guests today include including Dossie White and Chloe Hough and a special thank you as always to President and CEO 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, Kristin.
Kristin Davenport [00:34:09] All right, Brian, thank you. Take care.