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ERS Linkage Podcast - Episode 8

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Episode 8: ERS Wins Again!

 


 
 
Date: June 16, 2020

Hosts: Bryan Reynolds & Kristin Davenport

Guests: Resident, Corky Ladd and family member, Leni Speece

Update from President & CEO Laura Lamb

For our eighth episode, we hear from resident, Corky Ladd at Marjorie P. Lee and resident family member, Lei Speece. Plus, we hear from President and CEO, Laura Lamb.

Click on the link above to listen now. You can also listen to our podcast on Google Play Podcasts and Apple Podcasts.

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Episode 8 Transcript


Bryan Reynolds [00:00:05] Hello, hello, hello, welcome to Episode eight of the Linkage podcast by Episcopal Retirement Services. This episode is for the week of June 8th, 2020. Thanks so much for joining us. I'm Bryan Reynolds vice president of marketing for a Epsicipal retirement services, and I'm here with Kristin Davenport, our director of communications at ERS and our executive producer. How are you, Kristen? 

 

Kristin Davenport [00:00:30] Bryan, I'm doing well. Thanks for asking. How are you today? 

 

Bryan Reynolds [00:00:33] I'm doing really well. It's a beautiful day outside and the weather's nice. I'm really enjoying the day so far. 

 

Kristin Davenport [00:00:39] Yeah, I can't get enough of the sunshine. 

 

Bryan Reynolds [00:00:42] So the Linkage podcast is dedicated to educating our audiences about issues regarding aging, informing people about the mission of ERS and how that comes to life and our everyday interactions with our residents, clients, families and staff members. This week Kristin, I wanted to mention a little bit about our our Gala that's coming this fall. It's "The Dream a Little Dream Gala. And it's going to be a little different, as with everything this year. It's going to be a virtual event. It's gonna be held on Friday, October 9th this year. And it may be an hour of some great entertainment with some live jazz, and a celebration of just kind of the heroism that we see throughout the organization. So world, we're looking forward to hosting that. And of course, we really want to thank our sponsors, the model group who has been such a great supporter of our organization this year as our major sponsors and Rich Stone Builders, who has also been a great partner with us over the years as well. So with that said, Kristen, why don't you tell us a little bit about what we've got coming up on today's show? 

 

Kristin Davenport [00:01:47] I'd be happy to Bryan. We have three guests with us today, Corky Ladd, a resident of Marjorie P. Lee, Leni Speece who's a family member of one of our residents, also at Marjorie P. Lee. And we've got Laura Lamb, our president and CEO. We're gonna check in with Laura and see how things are going this week. 

 

Bryan Reynolds [00:02:07] Great. Well, we've got a great, great show going today. So with that, you want to introduce your first guest? 

 

Kristin Davenport [00:02:13] I do. Thank you. So today, joining me is Corky Ladd. Corky is a five year resident at Marjorie P. Lee. But that's not her first contact with Marjorie P. Lee. She's been volunteering there now for 25 years. So Corky's been very engaged. And let's get to know Corky a little bit. 

 

Kristin Davenport [00:02:39] Welcome, Corky. Thank you for agreeing to join me on our Linkage podcast today. 

 

Corky Ladd [00:02:45] Well, you're very welcome, I'm happy to be here. 

 

Kristin Davenport [00:02:48] I think, first off, we should start with your very unique first name. Tell everyone about that. 

 

Corky Ladd [00:02:56] My mother and dad many years ago during the Depression, bought a big farm on the west side of Cincinnati and they had seven children. And I was the last of the seven children. And there was a cartoon in a newspaper called Gasoline Alley, and they had a baby born on the same day I was born. And they named their baby Corky. You can check this out in the library if you like. It's a true story. 

 

Corky Ladd [00:03:26] OK, so they and mom brought me home from Christ Hospital and all the other six siblings, as you could imagine, are looking as they come in with me and my little basket or whatever. And my dad said, now we have our Corky. 

 

Kristin Davenport [00:03:41] Yeah. 

 

Corky Ladd [00:03:42] And dad, unfortunately, died five months later of pneumonia. And so that name just stuck with the family. And I'm really only known as Corky. 

 

Kristin Davenport [00:03:56] So your given name is Helen, but no one knows that. Everybody just knows you as Corky. 

 

Corky Ladd [00:04:01] Absolutely. Absolutely. The only reason I ever use Helen is for legal purposes. 

 

Kristin Davenport [00:04:09] Yeah. 

 

Corky Ladd [00:04:10] So your mom stayed on the farm with all of us kids, and we lived there till I was 18 years old. And that was our livelihood, believe me. 

 

Kristin Davenport [00:04:22] Well, Corky, I knew that you have lived or five years at Marjorie Peaslee, but that's not your your first relationship with our campus there. You've been involved for quite a long time. Why don't you talk about that and your volunteering then at Marjorie? 

 

Corky Ladd [00:04:39] Sure. I'd be happy and honored to. I was a volunteer here for about 20 years before I moved in. And so it was almost like coming home. My moving in to Marjorie P. Lee because I knew so many people, so many of the staff. But I was on the Auxillary during those years for a few years. And I think that was probably like 10 years. And I worked in the corner store, which is a shopping area for residents here. When the manager and I started, we were in a little closet. Down at the end of the hall. 

 

Kristin Davenport [00:05:19] I can't believe that. I didn't know that. That's wonderful. 

 

Corky Ladd [00:05:22] Yeah, that was down past the beauty parlor here. And so she fought for a long time trying to get us more space because we were just pushing ourselves out the door with, you know, products for the residents to buy. So she was finally successful and we moved in to the room that they made for us, which we are still there. And the corner store has a pop machine. We have ice cream, we have snacks. We sell anything that you could buy in a drug store, like in over-the-counter kinds of things. Lots of the pens that that's sort of need for this age group. We really are busy. It's very popular. And if a resident comes in and we don't have something, the manager will get it for that person. 

 

Kristin Davenport [00:06:18] It's a wonderful resource for our residents to have their residence,. 

 

Corky Ladd [00:06:23] It's lots of fun to work there. 

 

Kristin Davenport [00:06:25] So residents do have the opportunity pre-Covid, and I hope post-Covid, to go shopping at Kroger and get those kind of places and pick up things that they need. Right now, they're relying on families. It's nice that that resource on the corner store is there on the campus, forthere's little incidentals they might need. 

 

Corky Ladd [00:06:44] Yes, and with the Covid 19 virus, it's a godsend to have that store down there. 

 

Corky Ladd [00:06:52] Yes, that's wonderful. I'm so thrilled to hear that things there are some humming along and it's operating under a very good arrangement. Of course, it's closed for now and has been since, I think the 15th of May or something. The person goes in, one of the maintenance people goes in and they take orders from ten thirty to twelve thirty. And then later on in the afternoon they're delivered to the residence. 

 

Kristin Davenport [00:07:20] Well, I had not heard that, but I felt sure that there was some kind of innovation happening so that we could stay on top of what was needed for the residents. So that is good to hear. Thank you for sharing this. Tell me a little bit more about what you're doing during these times. Keep yourself healthy. Keep yourself active and engaged. 

 

Corky Ladd [00:07:42] We're not able to exercise on the regular basis that we had before the virus. But we do now, we are able to exercise on the computer with a video that is up in the event center and it's, you know, on our home channel here at Marjorie Lee. So that's presented most every day. And they have just recently started having a live are one of our wellness persons in there videotaping. And then that is the newest thing, is that we can have somebody that human if they're going to exercise with us. 

 

Kristin Davenport [00:08:25] Yes. Yes. Because we all need those human contacts. And finally, we're getting to the point where it's safe for residents like yourselves who are very independent. 

 

Corky Ladd [00:08:36] Now, last week and last week, was our first week to be up there and everything, the instructor had just everything done perfectly. And of course, we wore masks and the chair distancing apart. And it was just wonderful and lots of fun. 

 

Kristin Davenport [00:08:54] Yes, I know you've walked a beautiful gardens there many times, but I'm sure eventually that gets a bit old. So it's nice to have some variety. 

 

Corky Ladd [00:09:05] Yes. Yes. That's another wonderful thing, is that we can be outdoors in the courtyard if the weather is permitting and it's comfortable to be out there. It's wonderful to be out there. And we all sit and we can visit. And then one of the things that personally I appreciate as I have. There are four of us who are neighbors here in the apartments. And we started, I don't know, about two, three weeks ago meeting out in the common area, which is very close to us. And we the four of us sit there. We distance ourselves and we visit from seven thirty until nine. And during that time, they bring the wagon around. That's for continental type breakfast. 

 

Corky Ladd [00:09:52] We just we all say now we couldn't do without this activity because it's wonderful just to be able to sit there, you know, for that amount of time and share things about our lives or just, you know, everything and anything. 

 

Kristin Davenport [00:10:09] So that's what I've always loved about Victoria Building. Every few apartments has outside where there's congregational space, where there is comfortable seating, bookcases and tables and things like that. And everybody's got space where they can congregate and be together. Thankfully, we're to the point where that's a smart and healthy thing to do again. There's some folks that do puzzles together and that type of thing. So it's always wonderful to walk through the hallway, hopefully it won't be too long before I can do that again safely. 

 

Corky Ladd [00:10:50] And I think that's why we've been so safe and stayed healthy. Because the administrators are really, I can't say enough about that, about taking care of us and seeing that we are kept safe. 

 

Kristin Davenport [00:11:04] Yes, it's important. And it's our number, job number one for sure. Especially you got it. Something else that keeps has kept me going and keeps me occupied is reading. And I know that you're also an avid reader. Why don't you tell our listeners what's on your reading list right now? 

 

Corky Ladd [00:11:24] Yes. I think since if I'm a retired school teacher, that's that's just part of a part of being a reader. Yeah. But I'm reading. I love mysteries. That's like Grisham. And, you know, those kinds of guys, you write these wonderful, like, page turners. You can't wait to turn the next page and see what's happening. But one book that I'm reading now, Kristin, that is just wonderful. It's King Henry the Eighth. And I do love historical novels. 

 

Corky Ladd [00:11:58] And this is actually it's more a, what do I want to say? History type if it's not a novel or a story, but it is telling so many interesting things about the fifteen hundreds. And for example, right now where I am in this book, they have a plague. And because of the plague their, the king is trying to put the people at risk because they're protesting. 

 

Kristin Davenport [00:12:32] Just amazing how history repeats. Isn't that something? 

 

Corky Ladd [00:12:36] I mean, that's just where I am. And it's about halfway through the book. The book is about. It's heavy. I mean, it's like a six-inch book. 

 

Kristin Davenport [00:12:45] Yes. 

 

Corky Ladd [00:12:46] But it's just wonderful. Yes. King Henry and his court. 

 

Kristin Davenport [00:12:50] Wow. 

 

Corky Ladd [00:12:51] Yes. I love it. 

 

Kristin Davenport [00:12:53] A fascinating story. And to know that its history makes it even more so. 

 

Corky Ladd [00:12:59] Exactly. Yes, exactly. 

 

Kristin Davenport [00:13:03] Well, I know that Marjorie P. Lee Has several libraries, but I know one of them was moved when we completed the Master Plan a few years ago to make way for the Meyer Family Rehabilitation Center, which I know is near and dear to your heart. 

 

Corky Ladd [00:13:24] Right. 

 

Kristin Davenport [00:13:24] Your family so generously supported during the Master Plan, the creation of a new therapy center expanded and so much more inviting and beautiful for those that need therapy. You know, no one likes to do therapy, I don't think. But the space that was created there is is wonderful for the patients that come there and are there to heal. But that did cause us to have to move. One of the important libraries out of that space to make way. Why don't you tell everyone listening about the new library that's been created.

 

Corky Ladd [00:14:04] Of course, we have libraries, actually, you know, on the first floor. There are few books in different places. And I think on the third floor, the Cincinnati Library brings books occasionally, I think every month or something like that. But our main library was moved from where the Meyer Rehabilitation Center is now. And I'm very proud of that. Kristen, my family, my siblings, they're all gone. But it's just a wonderful, wonderful thing to have done. But anyway, the library was moved because of it up to the sixth floor. And I tell you, it is just a wonderful, wonderful place. It's very cozy. 

 

Corky Ladd [00:14:53] They have books that are cataloged like Under Mysteries and Health or Legal or whatever. They have a big library table with paper, pencils. If you wanted to write anything down. And of course, there is a place there also to check out books and they have a couple of lounge chairs and a lamp. It's just it's wonderful. It's just and it's very quiet. And as I said, it's just a very warm, cozy place to go sit and read a book. 

 

Kristin Davenport [00:15:29] Wow. Another resident recently told me she just had been there and that there is an area where it's no more of like a grab table. And so someone had left a book there by an author that she had been interested in but had never read this particular book. And she was just thrilled, just like, you know, you just don't expect in this this day and age when, you know, you're you're you're at home and you're sort of confined just to have that kind of wonderful surprise. And she's just thrilled to find an author there that she was interested in and just in. And it really enriched her day to have that that little surprise there. So it sounds wonderful. I can't wait to see it in person and hopefully that won't be too long for that can happen. 

 

Corky Ladd [00:16:19] Wonderful. 

 

Kristin Davenport [00:16:19] Corky. It's been wonderful to talk with you. Is there anywhere else that you would like to share with with our listeners, maybe any other words of wisdom that you have just to help us get through these times? 

 

Corky Ladd [00:16:33] I think this is a very difficult time for everyone, not just residents at Marjorie P. Lee and I am a spiritual person and I have hope and I'm thankful that I'm here. This is the best place I could ever be at this time. And I would also like to mention that for five years I was the chairman, Kristin, for the Christmas fund. The Christmas fund is the fund that we give since we cannot give gifts to this wonderful staff that is here. The Christmas Fund at the end of the year is where we collect the money. I was the chairman for five years. This is my first year off of that committee. And because I'm on a number of committees and David Lowry wasthe Treasurer. I'll tell you, this is a thing that comes from my heart, because these people here, these staff members are so kind, so wonderful that they deserve everything that we can give them at Christmastime. So they would receive a monetary gift depending on how long they've been here, etc. and then we would have a big party at the end of the year. 

 

Corky Ladd [00:18:08] Yes, yes, yes. They bring their children and it's fantastic. And I loved doing it. So I just wanted to mention that because that was one of the happy things that I did for five years, among others, of course. 

 

Kristin Davenport [00:18:25] Well, thank you for serving in that way. I know that that's the beautiful thing about Marjorie P.Lee, is when you're there, there's plenty of ways to get involved and get engaged. And that one is so appreciated. I know. 

 

Corky Ladd [00:18:39] Very, very important. 

 

Kristin Davenport [00:18:41] And that's mutual love societies where you love them and they love you back and it's hard to find that type of thing anywhere else. It really is. 

 

Corky Ladd [00:18:50] Right. And believe me, they're working twice as hard, you know, because of the virus. 

 

Corky Ladd [00:18:57] We were just listening last week to Laura Lamb talk about how every single job in our organization, all 700 jobs, have changed. No one's job has remained the same. And we're all challenged. But you know what? This team is rising to that challenge and gather and we're going to keep on. And I'm glad, your hopeful, because I am, too. Corky, thank you so much for our conversation today. 

 

Corky Ladd [00:19:26] Thank you so much. 

 

Bryan Reynolds [00:19:35] Wow, Kristin, that was a great interview with Corky. It's so interesting to hear from somebody that's had such a big impact on the ERS organization, both as a donor and just somebody that's given their time over the years before they were a resident. Now that they are resident. 

 

Kristin Davenport [00:19:53] Bryan, that's so true, I love staying connected with our residents and I learned something from them every interaction that I have. There was many things I learned from Corky today, including the fact that the corner store used to be in a closet. So that was a new one for me. 

 

Bryan Reynolds [00:20:09] I didn't know. 

 

Kristin Davenport [00:20:10] Next up, Bryan, we're going to check in again with our president and CEO Laura Lamb. So Laura's got some really exciting news to share this week. Let's listen to Laura. 

 

Bryan Reynolds [00:20:25] Well, we're back with our weekly session with president and CEO Laura Lamb how are you, Laura? 

 

Laura Lamb [00:20:31] Great. How about you? 

 

Bryan Reynolds [00:20:32] Bryan doing really well, really well. Glad for summertime and spending time outdoors. Back on the patio and doing a lot of yard work. 

 

Laura Lamb [00:20:42] Great. Great. 

 

Bryan Reynolds [00:20:43] So we've had a really exciting week with some news here. ERS won the top workplace from the Enquirer for the 11th straight year, Laura. 

 

Laura Lamb [00:20:55] Yes, Bryan. I was hoping you'd asked me about that. We are so excited. You know, the Enquirer media has had this program eleven years running. We have received this what we believe is a very prestigious award. We really value this because this is a bottom up approach. This is not something that we're involved in. It's an outside organization, polls our staff and it gets their feedback and they make the determination. And so what it says to us is that our staff are appreciated, engaged and really enjoy the work environment that they have helped us create over the years. 

 

Bryan Reynolds [00:21:38] Yeah, it's certainly an honor for 11 straight years to get that feedback. And even this year, I don't think many people realize that the surveys went out right as the pandemic was kicking in at the beginning of March. 

 

Laura Lamb [00:21:54] I remember that Bryan. I remember you and I kind of our hearts like sinking like, oh, you know, what's going to happen. And again, I just give all the credit to our team, our staff members from across our organization, you know, believe so much in the work that they do and the work environment that they call their own, that they wanted to make sure that their voices were heard despite the fact that they were knee deep in, you know, changing protocols and gathering upon a difficult time. So I don't know about you, Bryan, but isn't this one super sweet spot that it really is? 

 

Bryan Reynolds [00:22:34] They had a lot on their shoulders. And for them take the time to do that was was it feels really special. 

 

Laura Lamb [00:22:41] Yeah, it does to me as well. 

 

Bryan Reynolds [00:22:44] Well, the other topic I wanted to bring up, I know the world is opening up. It's it's opening up a little differently in the states of Ohio and Kentucky for our CCRC. And you and I have been working on a new project, I think realizing that as that happens, we needed to share information maybe a little bit differently. So can you tell our listeners about that? 

 

Laura Lamb [00:23:13] Sure. Well, first off, I want to start with a thank you to you and your team, because, you know, we we, frankly found ourselves in a situation where we have really tried to uphold transparency. So we've been posting our letters that I'm sending, you know, once or twice a week to our residents and our families out on our Web site. And we have as as you well know. Yeah. Huge numbers of families that that review that there take the information in that way and refer to it. Well, we frankly got ourselves into a little pickle because that information sometimes is specific to a level of care, or in the example that you gave, a state. And so what we've decided with your help and support is that because the reopening plan is so different on a state level, for example, in the state of Ohio, effective June 8th, we are allowed to have outdoor visits for residential care. So it's our independent living, our assisted living, but only in the state of Ohio. So that's an example of level care and state confusion potential, right? 

 

Bryan Reynolds [00:24:30] Right. 

 

Laura Lamb [00:24:31] So, no one intended it to be this way. But, you know, family members saw that on the Web site and said, well, well, it's on the Web site. It applies to me. So we had an "Aha." And you and your amazing team have figured out a way to separate the information. So moving forward, probably by the end of the week, we'll go live with the ERS Web page. We'll have more of the inclusive, you know, what's going on in a number of our areas. And then as an example, the ECH Web page, which is our retirement community in Louisville, Kentucky, that has different opening schedules, that'll be specific to that geographic area. And I think it'll be a real positive for our families to be able to reference something and know that this is specific to know their loved ones in the state of Kentucky. 

 

Bryan Reynolds [00:25:30] Yeah, yeah, I think we've found a good solution to be able to access that content for those in in Louisville, but also be able to refer back to, you know, what's going on from the entire organization on the ERS site. So and having to go back and go back, vice versa. 

 

Laura Lamb [00:25:47] So, yeah, no, I think it's gonna be a win win. I really do appreciate that. Bryan you and your team did did some heavy lifting in a short amount of time. So thank you. 

 

Bryan Reynolds [00:25:56] Thanks. No, no, we're happy to happy to do that for our residents and family members. I think the other thing I just wanted to touch base on this week with you and I talked about the topics of race relations and the tensions and the protesting last week. And I thought, you know, this week there were some really great follow up with some staff meetings in addressing this topic. And I wondered if you could kind of share what we've been sharing with as a leadership team with our staff this week and our plans going forward. 

 

Laura Lamb [00:26:31] Oh, Bryan. Thank you. Yeah, I think it's nice to have follow up on things that we talked about last week. So when I last your last week, we talked about a letter that I wrote to the staff and shared it broadly. And I guess I should first tell you that overwhelmingly their response was so positive and affirming. And so the nugget that I took away from those responses that I received was that more than anything, you know, people don't expect me or the organization to have all the answers. But more than anything they appreciated the organization speaking out, making a stance and really making sure that we're acknowledging that we're hurting. Right. 

 

Laura Lamb [00:27:20] Our residents are hurting our staff or hurting our communities or hurting our country's hurting. So, you know, with that feedback from our our staff, the servant leadership team decided that, you know, we you can't stop with a letter. You know, I so much work to be done. And that's that was the gist of the letter, wasn't it? It was about what we can do. And it's what we talked about last week on the podcast. So I'm I'm so proud of the servant leadership team. All six of us decided that we had to continue this work, this dialog, this emotional, difficult conversation within our organization. So we started that this week in our regularly scheduled Zoom meetings, and we had one yesterday. We're going to have one. Another one this afternoon. And we'll probably get in both of those, probably one hundred and fifty staff members, if it's the normal numbers apply and of course, if it's recorded. So we have a lot of people that consume it after the fact. But really what we said is an SLT (servant leadership team) is we can do better. And that was the sentiment is that all of us, you know, I can do better. Bryan you can do better. As an organization, we can do better. As a community Cincinnati, Louisville, Lexington, Cambridge, Ohio. We can all do better. And so that's really the theme that has emerged. And what we shared with the staff. And so at the staff meetings, it's a it's a mixture of prayer honoring those lives that have been taken and senseless violence that we're seeing play out. You know, the most recent ones. And then collectively, it's a reflection, it's prayer, it's song. And it's in it's action oriented. Right. And so part of the message is that this isn't it either. So it's not an email and a one time meeting, but what can we do to encourage and educate, inspire people individually and collectively to use this very dark time as a way to make sure that our country does move forward? So Bryan, you were there. It was a lot of tears. Yeah, a lot of thank you's for, again, continuing what everyone acknowledges as a difficult dialog. But, you know, that's where we have to start. 

 

Bryan Reynolds [00:29:56] Yeah, I can appreciate that. You know, as a marketing person, we can put out statements and sentiments. But I think this follow up is what creates meaning and drives change. And to have that discussion, I think, seems to be so valued by our staff from what I could see. They were, to your point, very touched by by the discussion. So, that was special. 

 

Laura Lamb [00:30:20] Well, I'm just so grateful for the transparency of all our staff, their willingness to be authentic and honest about how they're feeling. I have such appreciation and gratitude for our servant leadership team that, you know, it's uncomfortable for all of us. But, you know, we've got to lean into that discomfort. We have to make sure that as leaders were modeling the conversation in the facilitation skills to make sure that all the voices are heard and that we're really living to our value of inclusion and that that is really important to the servant leadership team. 

 

Bryan Reynolds [00:30:56] Well, thank you so much for that leadership, Laura. Thank you. Thank you so much again for joining us this week. Always, always an honor and fun to talk to you. 

 

Laura Lamb [00:31:06] Thank you, Bryan. Appreciate your time. All right. Talk to you next week. OK. 

 

Kristin Davenport [00:31:18] That update from Laura was particularly good to hear today. Always lots going on. But getting the news that we were named a Top Workplace in Cincinnati again for the 11th year, the 11th year straight was certainly sweet to hear. 

 

Bryan Reynolds [00:31:34] Really an impressive feat. And just, you know, it's an honor. You know, we're recognized by our staff year in, year out. So always great to catch up with Laura. So with that, we're going to go into our next segment, which is an interview with Leni Speece. Leni is a daughter of one of our residents at Marjorie P. Lee. And what makes this interview so special to me is that Lenny and I were actually friends way back in high school. We ran around in the same group of folks. So we've known each other a long time. And so it's a real honor to be able to talk to her about her mother. And so I think we have a really good interview coming up. Let's hear from Lenny. 

 

Bryan Reynolds [00:32:17] So I'm here this week with actually an old friend of mine from high school at Walnut Hills. Her name is Leni Speece and Leni's mother lives at Marjorie P. Lee. Welcome, Lenny. I'm so glad to have you on our podcast. 

 

Leni Speece [00:32:33] Hi, Bryan. Thanks so much for having me. I'm happy to be here. 

 

Bryan Reynolds [00:32:36] We were talking before the interview, and you had mentioned to us that your mom just moved in right before the pandemic kind of ramped up. You know, I wanted to check in, see how you're doing, but how is your mother doing? You know, in light of kind of moving in and having to get kind of adjusted quickly at Marjorie. 

 

Leni Speece [00:32:55] I'm doing well. Mom is doing well. It's it's kind of a funny timing and experience for us. You know, on one hand, I feel very lucky that we were able to move her in when we did. Because I can't I really can't imagine what it would be like to have her still alone in her condo with no real assistance and the pandemic happening. I, I now feel that she's safe and and healthy and taking care of. And I know that she's safe. Where, if she were still home, I would be worried about going to see her, about potentially exposing her to something, but she would have no other way to get things that she needs. 

 

Bryan Reynolds [00:33:38] Right. 

 

Leni Speece [00:33:38] So I feel very lucky that we got in when we did. The downside of it is that I feel that she's unfortunately not had the positive experience of normal daily life at Marjorie P yet because of what's going on in society right now with the pandemic, I feel. Obviously there are restrictions. And so she she hasn't gotten to see what it would be like outside of this. But I'm hoping that that's coming in the near future. And then she'll get to understand really how many resources and opportunities she has at her fingertips. 

 

Bryan Reynolds [00:34:15] Yeah, that's great to hear. And I know you've been in touch with the staff pretty often. And what's your mom been doing to stay active and engaged? 

 

Leni Speece [00:34:24] Of course, there are restrictions, but slowly things are changing and there are more and more activities than there were for, you know, several weeks ago. And the thing is that when she was home alone, she wasn't able to drive. And so she was very dependent upon us, who have full time jobs and all these other things going on, to be active. She also wasn't really the kind of person to initiate a lot of things on her own anyway. So now she has people around her all the time who are coaxing her to participate in various activities and and to get out and do them. And she's doing them. So even though it's not the full-on experience that I know she'll eventually have at Marjorie P., she's doing more now than she was when she was home. She goes out for walks, you know, with people from her floor and the floor manager. And she's actually got the opportunity to see her today for the first time in a while. 

 

Bryan Reynolds [00:35:19] Awesome. 

 

Leni Speece [00:35:21] It's really wonderful. And she was bragging about how often she walks all over the gardens. So that's great. And I shocker to me. But I heard that she was drumming recently. 

 

Bryan Reynolds [00:35:31] Yeah. 

 

Bryan Reynolds [00:35:33] Probably part of our music therapy program. 

 

Leni Speece [00:35:36] Yes. And then somebody brought a cat in a black cat and I sent some pictures of mom holding and cuddling with this cat. And she had her own cat previously. That's now at my house. But for nice opportunity for her to and she really enjoyed it. So I know there's more than that. But there, you know, she's definitely participating and keeping at least somewhat busy. She's made friends and I know some of their names. So it's neat to hear about that. And then the other really fun thing is that before when my mom was working years ago, she was a career bartender. And when she moved in, I alerted the staff. I said, I don't know if you would ever have like a mock happy hour or anything or if you ever find the opportunity to let her help. You know, she really enjoys coming from the service industry. She she feels, you know, this sense of fulfillment and supporting other people when she can help out. So I've heard here in there that they're engaging her in, kind of helping in wherever they can. 

 

Bryan Reynolds [00:36:42] So that really aligns with our person-centered care philosophy in which we really try and tap into each individual's sense of purpose or, you know, what maybe what their vovation is or what draws them. So it sounds like they're they're really tapping into that and giving your mom some opportunities to really help. Sounds like she loves to do very much. You've always been such a positive person. And obviously this is a challenging situation for many of us who are, you know, kind of isolated and maybe not doing all the things that we love to do and want to do. But what are you drawing on to staying positive? Are there any lessons maybe you've pulled your mom or any of your other family members to kind of get you through this situation? 

 

Leni Speece [00:37:29] Yes, it's difficult. Life is different right now for all of us. I think part of it is just that it's not just me. It's happening for all of us. We're all in the same boat. And so we all understand and we can talk to each other and listen to each other and hear what other people's methods for coping are. For myself, I tend to try to, you know. We all tend to look right in front of our noses, if you will, or what's right in front of you and bothering you. OK, well, I feel stuck in my house or I can't make plans with my friends or whatever it might be. 

 

Bryan Reynolds [00:38:06] Right. 

 

Leni Speece [00:38:06] But I feel like in order to understand things better, I like to try to step back to what I call like one hundred thousand foot view and see if I can gain some better perspective on it on the big picture of things. And I do feel like in the big picture, I'm a pretty lucky person. You know, I have a wonderful husband then and 13-year-old daughter and I love my house and have a good job and so does he. My mother is healthy and engaged and thriving. So, you know, OK. Yes. I can whine a little bit about not being able to make some plans or go out to dinner or whatever it might be, maybe planning a vacation. But in the big scheme of things, I think I'm a pretty lucky person and things are going well for me. And the other thing to remember is that this should be temporary. Yeah, we don't know how long it will go on, but it's certainly not been this way all of our lives. So the hope is that it goes back to some sense of normalcy soon and then we can have things to look forward to again. 

 

Bryan Reynolds [00:39:12] Yeah. Yeah. Well, you mentioned earlier, which kind of leads to my next question about going out to dinner and vacations and things like that. What what are you looking forward to as the world begins to open up an and/or maybe something you hope to do with your mom? 

 

Leni Speece [00:39:28] Things that I look forward to for her are getting a sense of what Marjorie P. Life is really like outside of Covid 19 on the daily and all the resources that she has available to her there, but also helping her understand that she can go out. It's not prison. We can go out to dinner and we can do things. So I look forward to all of that for her so that she can have things to look forward to as well, even if she doesn't remember them. And I surprise her with them again. 

 

Bryan Reynolds [00:40:01] Right. 

 

Leni Speece [00:40:01] But definitely, you know, just a little more freedom and opportunity to get out and see people that she cares for and loves. And then for myself, it's I am a planner. I am a project manager by trade. And I love to have things to look forward to. And so I love to travel internationally, especially we try to get out of the country at least once a year. Can't plan anything like that right now. 

 

Bryan Reynolds [00:40:27] No. 

 

Leni Speece [00:40:27] But I look forward to being able to someday again. And I'm a music lover and I like in the summertime to go to as many concerts as I can. Oh, yeah, there's none of that right now. No, we'll get there. 

 

Bryan Reynolds [00:40:40] Yeah, I think we're all looking forward to a lot of things. I know. I miss seeing a lot of old friends that I typically stay in touch with myself. 

 

Leni Speece [00:40:52] Exactly. 

 

Bryan Reynolds [00:40:53] But as you mentioned earlier, it's temporary. We don't know how long, but we'll we'll get there eventually, right? 

 

Leni Speece [00:40:59] Exactly. And there are ways around. You know, I still have had video calls with Mom. Yeah. And with friends and, you know, or some distance visits like today with mom or with friends. So as long as we're all careful and respectful of each other's health and boundaries, then we can still interact. It's not exactly the same, but you can still interact and be there for each other. 

 

Bryan Reynolds [00:41:25] So, yeah, well, you've got such a positive outlook. And Lenny, thank you so much for joining us on our podcast. And hopefully at some point soon we'll bump into each other at Marjorie P. Lee 

 

Leni Speece [00:41:36] Absolutely. I'm looking forward to it. Thanks so much for the opportunity to be here, Bryan. I appreciate it. 

 

Kristin Davenport [00:41:49] I think we can always relate to others who are going through trying to make sure that their parents are living the best possible life that they can. And it was it was really heartwarming to hear from Leni today.

 

Bryan Reynolds [00:42:02] She's such a positive person. And to know that we can care for her mother and be a help for families is always very satisfying. So it was great to catch up with her. Well, it was great episode, Kristin. Thank you so much, everybody, for joining us on the Linkage podcast by Episcopal Retirement Services. For more information and you can visit our Web site at Episcopal Retirement dot com. We have a lot of great content, including our linkage online blog resources, where people can learn more about aging and the services we offer and so much more. You can follow us on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, YouTube to see what's going on within ERS and all of our communities and at our services. If you have any questions or feedback, we love hearing from our listeners, 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. Our technical director is Michelle Hoehn. I'd like to thank our guests today, including Corky Ladd and Leni Speece and of course, always joined by our 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 again next week. 

 

Bryan Reynolds [00:43:19] Thanks so much, Kristine. 

 

Kristin Davenport [00:43:20] You're welcome. Bryan. Another great show. We'll talk again soon. 

 

Kristin Davenport
By
June 16, 2020
Kristin Davenport is the Director of Communications for Episcopal Retirement Services (ERS). Kristin leads ERS’s efforts to share stories that delight and inspire through social media, online content, annual reports, magazines, newsletters, public relations, and events. Kristin earned her BFA in graphic design from Wittenberg University. She joined ERS after a 25-year career as a visual journalist and creative director in Cincinnati. Kristin is passionate about making Cincinnati a dementia-inclusive city. She is a Lead SAIDO Learning Supporter and a member of the ‘Refresh Your Soul’ conference planning team at ERS. Kristin and her husband Alex, live in Lebanon, Ohio with their 2 daughters. She also serves as a Trustee and the President of the Lebanon Food Pantry and is a board member for the Warren County Arts Council.

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