By Marty Lee, Contributor
As the guide for Silver Scribers, the autobiography and book publishing class sponsored by John Knox Village, I have had the opportunity to meet some of our authors who live outside the Village, in their intracoastal and oceanfront condos. There’s no denying the enjoyment of living on the waterfront, high above the city streets during normal times. However, as we have discovered during the COVID-19 crisis, the lifestyle once savored in condominium living, might also become a hindrance to exercising the independence once enjoyed.
I imagine being a senior in my late 70s or 80s living in an upper floor of a high-rise apartment. Perhaps many of my neighbors are spending the summer back in the Northeast. Perhaps I do not know many of my remaining neighbors that well. My children live in different parts of the country, and while we talk on the phone, FaceTime and Zoom, they are not close by to help with shopping, prescriptions and appointments.
Tom McKay, a John Knox Village resident since 2013 (pictured above), is concerned for acquaintances outside the community. “I worry for some of my friends living outside the Village who are single, on their own and stuck in homes and buildings without much interaction with others,” Tom said. “The isolation and struggle to handle food, transportation, medical and shopping needs is daunting. I wish they were here.”
Care And Concern 24/7
“I feel so very fortunate to be living at John Knox Village during the pandemic. It has changed all of our lives in significant ways. We have no choice but to accept the circumstances and adapt as best we can.”
During the pandemic, the staff at JKV has instituted state-wide conference calls with LeadingAge Florida, the not-for-profit senior living industry advocacy group. Their steady hand provides the JKV team with up-to-the-moment news and developments from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Centers for Medicare and Medicaid (CMS), Agency for Health Care Administration (AHCA), World Health Organization (WHO) and other government agencies.
“We are blessed and fortunate to have a highly qualified staff leadership who are guiding us through this pandemic,” Tom said. “They have put in place protocols that keep us secure, healthy and safe.
“We are provided with daily updates, on-campus testing and regular accurate information about what is going on and how to deal with it individually and as a community. We are not left to try to decipher the facts for ourselves.
“One of the most valuable daily services is the delivery of our meals to our front doors. Our dining room staff is amazing. They cook and provide breakfast, lunch and dinner delivered to our doors. We have an extensive weekly menu from which to pick what we want to eat, when we want to eat, and have it delivered,” Tom added.
Keeping Everyone Engaged
One of the key elements of the JKV lifestyle has been the incredible schedule of activities and events developed by the Life Enrichment department. The many concerts, educational programs, happy hours and multi-generational events had to be curtailed due to physical distancing. However, within days the Life Enrichment team had re-geared its approach.
David and Twylah Haun are long-time Heritage Tower residents. They (and many other residents) have praised how the staff adapted to the new normal of COVID-19 guidelines.
“Our Village leadership has arranged many special activities—both by video and in person,” David said. “For example, I signed up to attend four sessions of video-teaching by two professional magicians sharing the secrets of how they do their magic.
“The staff arranged for separated seating in the Auditorium. Each resident received a bag with printed descriptions and instructions on how we could perform the magic, and items, such as a deck of cards to use in practicing some of the tricks.”
David also praised the Independence Day celebration with three performances and physically distanced seating, so everyone could safely enjoy the show following proper guidelines. He also mentioned the various “Good Humor” ice cream deliveries, recorded music with outside dance-alongs through Village neighborhoods and the recent “Therapy Dog Parade.”
David said the pandemic has changed their lifestyle. “However, each change occurred in a positive and almost always enjoyable way assuring us the best protection while we wait for life to return to normal.
“I am happy we live here. Once again, John Knox assures meaningful lifestyles,” David said.
Learn how JKV is providing care to its residents during this pandemic. Call the Marketing Department at (954) 783-4040 for more information, or click here to request a private and COVID-careful personal tour.