Residents of the Borden Center have a lot to smile about even in the midst of modified programs and gatherings due to COVID-19 precautionary measures in place. Katie Harlow, Resident Life Program Director, and the other members of the team have been busy with activities and programs to keep residents active and engaged.

While activities were limited to one on one interaction a few months ago, there are now some larger group programs gaining momentum thanks to newly renovated spaces with tables and countertops that allow for appropriate social distancing during classes.

Offering two to three programs per day, seven days a week means there are ample opportunities for residents to see their neighbors, have some creative time, and reclaim some sense of normalcy in their daily lives with activities such as socially distanced Bingo, arts & crafts, and live music. Katie says residents are happy to be doing things again.

Katie and the team encourage them to get out and do a class or activity as they feel comfortable. A popular excursion is the afternoon “Country Road” ride around the Lexington area, with limits on the number of riders to ensure safety protocols are followed.

Not all programs and previous activities have returned. In the past residents passed out candy to visiting children on Halloween, which was not the case this year although there were some activities for the residents.

Holiday Plans for Borden Residents

Summer weather and a warm fall allowed for outdoor visits and additional activities. With winter settling in, Borden residents will still be able to have in-person visits with their loved one. A visiting area with plexiglass dividers and tables in the recommended six-foot placement has been set up for indoor visits.

Some of the residents have been busy in the kitchen preparing pie in anticipation of Thanksgiving. During the Thanksgiving week visits, residents will be able to share a piece of pie with their visitors. “It’s a way to give them some enjoyment during the holiday, even if they can’t share the meal,” Katie said. With the visiting areas in place, each resident would be able to have a 45-minute visit with loved ones during the holiday week.

For those with family members and loved ones out of the area, there are three tablets available for video chats. The staff assists in getting the connection set up and keeping the devices cleaned and charged for the next user.

Plans for the Christmas season are well underway. The annual Christmas parade will look a little different this year with families and staff decorating their cars to parade before residents of the center. Other plans for the 12 Days of Christmas are being finalized including some caroling and of course, candy. Residents can enjoy music around the fireplace, hot cocoa, and to keep the holiday pounds at bay, the chair exercise and seated yoga are available too.

Kendal at Lexington follows CMS and CDC guidance as they coordinate activities and if the situation changes, so too will the program offerings. For now, Katie says they are doing all they can to create activities that bring joy all with an emphasis on resident safety.

“They are very understanding about what’s going on and how we’re adapting things as they go.”