May 2020

Like all of us, the residents of Jennings at Brecksville are weathering a new normal. Jennings at Brecksville staff harnessed the power of creativity and technology to keep residents connected to each other and their families.

Up until March 2020, Jennings has used an app to share information on the resident televisions and with families, such as daily activities and special events and announcements. Staff were also able to share photos and video that played as a slideshow in between messages. When new distancing precautions took place, Jennings at Brecksville staff began using this channel to communicate directly with the residents on their suite televisions.

Staff has recorded informative and entertaining videos to keep residents in the loop. Instead of daily exercise together, the staff streams stretching and exercise for residents to watch and join in the privacy of their suites. This same technology has enabled residents to participate in daily mass, Stations of the Cross and weekly scripture readings recorded weekly by a staff member. This connection to faith has been the most important and deepest connections. Families schedule video chats with their families, so staff can bring the technology and assist residents with these virtual visits.

The staff has also been creative with activities for residents. Instead of happy hour, life enrichment staff visits residents with a “Bar Cart,” and other themed carts such as Cinco de Mayo and make your own trail mix. They initiated a daily drawing for a random raffle winner who was then videotaped the winner choosing a prize from the prize gift basket. The residents enjoy seeing themselves on the television and often ask when it will be their turn.

Mary, one of Jennings at Brecksville’s original residents, was heard calling another resident congratulating her on her win. Her birthday, which was on St. Patrick ’s Day, was celebrated by staff serenading her and offering her choice of gift from the gift basket. This was a small way to share throughout the community the joy we are sharing with each other.

As everyone eases into new routines, the technology and creative connections show that community and connection still exists at Jennings at Brecksville.

Popular children’s show host Mr. Rogers once said in difficult times, his mother “would say to me, ‘Look for the helpers. You will always find people who are helping.’ To this day, especially in times of ‘disaster,’ I remember my mother’s words and I am always comforted by realizing that there are still so many helpers—so many caring people in this world.”

The Jennings staff is grateful for everyone who is working with us to keep us all healthy. You are the helpers. You have protected us with donations of personal protective equipment (PPE) such as hand sanitizer and sewn face masks, motivated us with creative signs, nourished us with snacks and meals, hugged us with artistic cards, and fulfilled us with comments via social media, email, cards and more. Through every part of this unprecedented time, we are grateful for all the support with which our community has embraced Jennings’ staff and residents.

Here are photos of just a few of these examples.