Ashburn, Virginia--"Based on the exceptional work of Ashby Ponds' dedicated team of professionals, along with the support of residents, we have managed the challenges of COVID-19 very well," says Will Nance, Executive Director, of the Erickson Living managed community. "For those looking for an engaging social environment to live and a community where essential services like security and medical care are right at your fingertips, there is no better time to call Ashby Ponds home."
Community member Alicia Sommers agrees.
"I am so grateful to all the wonderfully caring Ashby Ponds staff for their extraordinary individual contributions to the campus-wide effort during the pandemic," she says. "Many of the residents express their happiness with living here and are grateful for all the wonderful ways the staff keep us safe."
As a result of the community's COVID-19 response, people who live at Ashby Ponds happily share their experiences with family and friends. In turn, the sales team has seen a significant increase in requests for information, reservations and new moves.
"As our community members connect with friends, they share just how safe life is at Ashby Ponds and the many efforts taken on their behalf to keep the community engaged and happy," says Director of Sales Holly Henderson.
"I want to congratulate the whole Ashby Ponds staff from top to bottom for the outstanding job keeping us informed, going beyond what would be expected as we cope with something none of us has ever faced in our lifetime," says community member Jan Welsh-Roe.
Above and beyond
Every effort has been made to keep COVID-19 out of Ashby Ponds. Trained team members carefully screen all visitors at the community's secure gated entrance and thoroughly disinfect clubhouses, amenities and other high-touch areas. Residents, employees and visitors continue to wear masks and physically distance. All of these important considerations are clearly communicated to residents with flyers, phone calls and updates on the Ashby Ponds in-house TV channel.
For staff, the goal is to help community members thrive. As a result, every effort is made to celebrate community spirit and provide entertainment options that would not otherwise be available to the residents if they still lived in their former houses. Special holidays such as Mother's Day and the Fourth of July were recognized with new physically-distancing celebrations, including parades, signs around campus and hand-delivered gifts.
"The tangible support we receive at Ashby Ponds is easy to see," says resident Nan Krueger. "It's the intangibles including upbeat attitudes, genuine smiles and the willingness to do anything possible to soften this environment are the underpinnings of life at Ashby Ponds. Thank you all, every department, every person."
Each Ashby Ponds department works carefully to provide information, and, in many cases, entertainment options to community members. Fitness Coordinator Debbie Enright helps keep residents physically active by hosting live 30-minute exercise routines on Ashby Ponds television. The resident life team broadcasts trivia games and lectures as well as a popular Tuesday campus-wide happy hour.
"Our staff are our heroes," says community member Lyn Lubic. "It has been amazing the way they have stepped up to do so many things that they have never done before."
While employees help Ashby Ponds community members remain engaged and connected, the on-site medical center, staffed by full-time physicians and other medical experts, provides a level of geriatric expertise that is invaluable.
"Ashby Ponds' on-site physicians review all federal, state and local guidelines to make sure the community doesn't just meet their requirements but often exceeds them," says Nance. "So even now, when life has to operate a little differently, we're finding new ways to keep residents and staff well cared for and connected."
'Housing market remains strong'
As a result of these positive experiences, the sales team is witnessing a sharp increase in demand.
"Fortunately, the Washington, D.C., area housing market remains strong," says Henderson. "As a result, we continue to safely move new residents into their new homes at Ashby Ponds."
Since June, the Ashby Ponds sales team has been scheduling on-campus visits as the result of a secure screening program and conducting home visits depending on the comfort level of each individual. For those who prefer, the team utilizes the video conferencing app Zoom to "tour" a prospective resident's current house to make suggestions and help prepare them to sell their house.
As the end of 2020 draws near, Henderson believes that the life enjoyed by Ashby Ponds residents will continue to draw a record number of new residents to the community.
About Ashby Ponds: Ashby Ponds, one of 20 continuing care retirement communities developed and managed by Erickson Living®, is situated on a scenic 132-acre campus in Ashburn, Virginia. The not-for-profit community of more than 1,650 residents and 550 employees is governed by its own board of directors, affiliated with National Senior Campuses, who provide independent financial and operational oversight of Ashby Ponds. Additional information can be found at AshbyPonds.com.
Written by Kelly Shue