Communication is Open

Maris Grove’s TV Studio Keeps Everyone Connected, Engaged, and Informed

Maris Grove, Erickson Living’s developed and managed senior living community in Glen Mills, PA, has marshaled its in-house TV studio to ensure that all 1,700 residents stay connected, engaged, and informed during this time of social distancing.  

“At a time like this, accurate, timely information is essential,” says Executive Director Maureen Heckler. “Our residents’ safety and well-being are our priority, and we’re using every communication resource to inform them of what we’re doing. We have created programming to meet all their needs – physical, cognitive, emotional, and spiritual.”

Betty Davis, a resident since 2013, says, “The things they are doing are simply amazing. Exercise, lectures, informational programs, entertainment…Maris Grove-TV is my link to the world. During this pandemic, transparency is vital, and they have been open, clear, and reassuring. The entire staff has gone above and beyond to care for us. It is truly a gift to be living here!”

An Invaluable Communication Tool

When it became clear that a stay-at-home order was inevitable, the TV Studio team brainstormed ways to maximize communication. 

Community TV Coordinator Cailin Clothier says, “The Leadership team challenged us to come up with programs that would inform, entertain, and keep residents active. We were excited to produce even more original content to meet those goals.”

At the start of the stay at home order, department heads held several virtual “Town Halls” to share what they were doing to protect the community. “They explained adjustments to daily operations, like delivering meals and mail to their doors. It gave residents confidence that we could, and would, pull through this together,” says Clothier.

A Real Team Effort

The Executive Team continues hosting live call-in shows twice a week. To support that effort, Clothier and her colleague, Liz Miller, created “Quarantine Quarters,” 15-minute informational segments that air throughout the day.

Residents are staying active, thanks to exercise videos prepared by the Fitness staff, and spiritually connected through live streams of religious services from area congregations.

Entertainment offerings include “Fun Facts” and “This Week in History,” programs that showcase interesting trivia. Manager of Resident Services, Todd Sullivan, recorded a stand-up comedy routine. Debbie Zwerlein, also from Resident Life, is teaching American Sign Language. Movies stream every weekend, and there’s virtual BINGO every Wednesday.

Residents have gotten into the act, submitting videos, slide shows, and poetry readings.

Says Clothier, “This has been a real team effort, and the feedback has been so positive. It’s rewarding to know that residents feel connected during what could have been an isolating time.” 

Jeff Watson, Erickson Living’s Director of Operations, gives high praise to the broadcast professionals and virtual resident volunteers at Maris Grove. “They deserve great credit for the creative, high-quality programming they’ve produced throughout this unprecedented situation. Their innovation and hard work have resulted in a heightened level of communication that has kept those on campus connected, engaged, and healthy.”

 Heckler agrees, “We’re happy when residents tell us they made the best choice by moving to Maris Grove. Thank you to our staff for their commitment to keeping our residents informed, connected, and safe.”

For more information on Maris Grove, visit marisgrovecommunity.com.

About Maris Grove: Maris Grove, one of 20 continuing care retirement communities developed and managed by Erickson Living®, is situated on a scenic 87-acre campus in Glen Mills, Pennsylvania. The not-for-profit community of more than 1,900 residents and 1,000 employees is governed by its own board of directors, affiliated with National Senior Campuses, who provide independent financial and operational oversight of the community. Additional information about Maris Grove can be found at MarisGroveCommunity.com.

Photo: Maris Grove Fitness Coordinator Missy Scheer teaches a virtual fitness class on Maris Grove TV.

Written by Dorrie Anshel