New Beginnings and Celebrations

Shady Oaks’ residents and team had a blast celebrating Saint Patrick’s Day this past week. Not only did we enjoy festivities surrounding Saint Patrick’s Day, but we also celebrated a return to communal dining!

Monday was bustling with new processes and procedures to offers residents a communal dining experience that is COVID-19 safe and provides socialization. A lot of planning and on-going adjustments were needed to accomplish this feat. Shady Oaks residents and team members took the direction of a “Yes I Can” attitude to assure all could feel the joy of social connection and “Dignity in Life”. Tables were carefully measured out to provide for six-foot social distancing. Each table is six-foot long and allows for two residents to be seated at each end of the table. Under guidance, we are able to accommodate up to 22 persons in the dining room at the same time. Shady Oaks is still very cautious in infection control therefore, best practice and Iowa Public Health guidelines suggest cohorting of communal groups. The plan in action gives resident the opportunity to dine in shifts to accommodate guidelines. Residents of Washington and Adams neighborhoods enjoy breakfast in the dining room each morning. Those residing on Monroe and Madison neighborhoods delight in conversation over lunch. Jefferson neighborhood residents share laughter during the evening meal. Masks are worn to and from the dining room and residents are provided with a clean barrier to place their mask on at each meal. Each table and chair are sanitized between mealtimes. The team plans to review the process over the next few weeks, interview residents and consider rotating each neighborhood’s mealtimes based on resident feedback.

Team member Jordan B. stated, “It’s great to see residents talking to each other and enjoying each other’s company”. Resident Hat G. was elated to say, “It’s so nice to eat with everyone, this is just so nice!”. This is just another step toward our new normal as we embrace progress in the battle against COVID-19.

During Saint Patrick’s Day the joy continued to spread throughout the facility. Everywhere you looked, green could be seen. Many residents embrace the holiday and celebrate their Irish ancestors. Pictured here, resident Gerald D., sported his lucky green t-shirt complete with rainbow suspenders while toasting with refreshment. For social hour, Deb, Z., Life Enrichment Assistant, Brian P., Scheduling Coordinator, and Sara C., Administrator, carted Saint Patrick’s Day snacks and drinks through the neighborhoods while dancing to traditional Celtic music. The snack included chips and green dip, crackers with Rueben spread, green Andes mints, and a choice of green cocktail. All enjoyed the festive social hours, and all said Brian made an excellent bartender!

Finally, Shady Oaks would like to remind the community that we do welcome visitors between the hours of 8:30am-11:00am, and 12:30pm-4:00pm daily without appointment. Visitors continue to be screened at entry and are required to follow PPE guidelines throughout their visit. We do request to keep visits to 30 minutes to adhere to our infection control practices.