Fairwinds Retirement Community residents, staff getting creative during COVID-19

SPOKANE, Wash. — Residents and staff from Fairwinds Retirement are making the most of what they can inside their center. Even though residents can’t have visitors anymore, they’re all still trying to keep busy by having some fun online.

It’s been quiet outside of the retirement community with less foot traffic, but inside is where all the fun happens.

In the last few weeks, staff and residents have been working together and posting on Facebook. On Thursday, a video posted showed staff with Fairwinds lip syncing to “My Heart Will Go On,” telling the residents they miss seeing them out and about in the community.

The residents responded back, lip syncing the same song.

“During this time we’re just trying to be even more creative in what we can do with our residents. It’s been just a lot of fun seeing what the possibilities are with these different restrictions now,” said Jamie Bravato, the general manager for the center.

So many different restrictions now, Howie and Mickey Vietzke have had to talk to their grandchildren through the window.

“They stood out on the sidewalk. We visited back and forth and it was great to be able to see them, because we haven’t seen anybody in so long,” Mickey said. “Now we just started doing some FaceTime, and that is really a wonderful thing.”

Madaline Luher, a resident and council president of the center, has been keeping busy, too. Not just with the videos, but also with keeping in touch with other residents by phone.

“We’re doing it, we’re handling it and I think most of us are when we can keep in touch with each other via electronics,” she said.

Those electronics are what is helping them all stay connected and have some fun.

Other than the lip syncing video, staff took photos of some residents holding a sign saying what they’d trade for instead of toilet paper. They also created a PSA video to other residents reminding them to wash their hands. They’ve even had a spring getaway to their lobby, complete with inflatable palm trees and a nice drink.

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