Cedar Crest residents applaud the ‘marvelous job’ done at their community

Residents praise Cedar Crest for extreme action during COVID-19 crisis

Created date

May 5th, 2020
An exterior shot of the community, the front entrance of the building flanked by lush green trees.

Cedar Crest immediately took action when the coronavirus hit to ensure the safety and security of community members and employees, earning high praise from family members as well.

Residents find safety in their Cedar Crest community

“This is the safest place to be,” Joan Sheehan remarks on the twelfth day of self-isolation in her Cedar Crest apartment home. “I can’t be more thankful. Everybody here is doing a marvelous job.”

The Pequannock Township, N.J., retirement community took aggressive measures to keep its 1,800 residents safe during the COVID-19 crisis, including a stay-at-home directive in late March. Residents were urged to not leave their apartment homes, and the community restricted visitors, vigilantly screened staff, and quickly developed a plan of action and care.

Residents remained in good spirits and expressed satisfaction with the community’s response. 

“It’s not ideal for anyone,” says Donna O’Connor, who moved to the Erickson Living-managed community almost six years ago. “But I lived in a townhouse all by myself, and I would have been stranded trying to get food or trying to exercise, so I am wonderfully pleased with everything the staff here is doing.”

Cedar Crest arranged for all meals, mail, and packages to be delivered to every apartment home. A concierge service was set up to deliver items such as toiletries and other odds and ends from the on-site market, like soup, milk, and eggs. And the community’s in-house TV station produced exercise programs, religious services, and informational talks from the administration to keep everyone informed.

No grocery store? No problem

“The concierge desk is fantastic. I can still get things from the market delivered to us,” says Kathleen Bowen.  

Her daughter delivers additional groceries to the front gate. From there, a screened Cedar Crest employee delivers them to Kathleen and her husband Alan. Other residents order groceries from Peapod, Giant Food Store’s grocery delivery service, which is delivered in the same fashion. 

But grocery orders aren’t necessary. Cedar Crest prepares meals and snacks in its restaurant kitchens for delivery to each apartment home. “The food is very good,” Joan says. 

The community even arranged for delivery from a few local restaurants. 

“They’ve done an absolutely marvelous job in a heartbeat,” Kathleen says.

Staying social while social distancing

Just because they don’t interact in person, community members have still been quite social, checking in on each other and family with phone calls, the internet, and video calls.

“I call a lot of my neighbors just to see how they’re doing. It makes me happy just to hear their voices,” says Kathleen. 

Cedar Crest’s TV channel has provided a source of connection and engagement for many residents, from live happy hours to origami lessons and fitness classes. 

Resident Marilyn Kaplan led a sing-along for neighbors and staff from her balcony, which was aired live on community TV. “It was very entertaining,” Kathleen says.

During Holy Week, residents could participate in different religious services by watching them on the community TV channel. “They’re really taking care of our entire population here,” says Joan.

Donna, who typically enjoys visiting the on-site fitness center and walking on campus, appreciates the fitness classes she can do in her apartment. “There are many different kinds of exercises. In fact, some of the exercises are hard!” she says. 

Transparency delivered

In addition to taking precautions and providing ways for community members to stay active and engaged within their apartment homes, Executive Director Todd DeLaney and his administrative team have made transparency a top priority. 

He and Medical Director Peter Orlic host a live call-in show on community TV during which residents have an opportunity to ask questions and receive real-time answers. 

“They are very transparent. Todd and Kristin are doing a wonderful job, and all the people employed here. I feel I’m very well informed,” says Joan.

When the stay-at-home directive lifts, Joan looks forward to getting outside and starting bocce with her neighbors. “It’s such a beautiful campus,” she says. “It’s wonderful to be outside here.” 


If you're interested in learning more about Cedar Crest, request a free brochure here or learn more about other Erickson Living-managed communities.