At Fox Run, resident safety is a personal mission for staff

Fox Run residents, staff work together to stay safe, secure during pandemic

Created date

May 5th, 2020
An exterior shot of the community, featuring a lovely gazebo and a still pond, all in bloom for spring

Fox Run immediately took action when the coronavirus hit to keep residents and employees safe and secure. The Erickson Living-managed community has earned high praise from the people who live and work there as well as from family members.

Decisive action at Fox Run makes COVID-19 transition easier for residents

When stay-at-home orders were enacted around the country in response to the coronavirus pandemic, simple things like buying toilet paper, getting exercise, and staying in touch with loved ones became difficult. But thanks to quick action taken by Erickson Living’s management team and the staff at Fox Run, sheltering in place was much easier and more comfortable for the more than 1,300 retirees who live in the community. 

Even before the first case of COVID-19 was reported in the U.S., Erickson Living enacted its emergency preparedness plan and assembled a task force, which met multiple times a day to review reports from the CDC as well as local health departments and governments. Safety measures, such as restricting nonessential visitors and screening staff and essential visitors for COVID-19 symptoms, were quickly put in place at all Erickson Living-managed communities.

“All across our family of communities, residents and staff are taking extraordinary steps to protect the health and safety of our loved ones, friends, neighbors, and caregivers,” Erickson Living CEO Alan Butler wrote in a letter to all employees and residents. “Your support and willingness to help are an inspiration to us all—and a reminder that if we band together, we can overcome any challenge.”

Plans in place to maximize comfort and safety

At Fox Run, the staff worked hard to enable residents to remain comfortable in their apartment homes. Mail and newspapers were delivered directly to residents’ doors, and the staff even walked their dogs. Instead of risking exposure to the virus by going to the grocery store, Fox Run residents were fortunate to have meals delivered daily to their doors by the dining services staff. 

“The Fox Run staff has been extraordinary during this period,” says Chuck Dause. “We have been asked to stay in our apartments and staff are delivering meals, mail, newspapers, and even individual orders from the campus market and pharmacy.”

Fox Run set up this concierge service to get residents the things they need while sheltering in place. All levels of staff were pitching in to operate the concierge service.

“The employees here have made it their personal mission to ‘save lives,’” says Allison Murphy, Fox Run’s director of sales. “Anything we can do to help people stay home, we are doing. It’s a very challenging time for everyone. Employees are working long hours to support the residents, but we feel so good about the work we are doing.”

Maintaining connections in isolation

Staying connected with friends and family was a challenge for everyone while social distancing measures were in place. Residents at Fox Run discontinued club meetings and other gatherings during the pandemic, of course, but measures were put in place to help them stay connected and maintain some of their routines.

Staff printed and distributed a weekly entertainment guide called Fox Run Connection, which included puzzles, trivia, journal prompts, and important information. Fox Run’s in-house TV station became a hub for communication and entertainment during the crisis. 

“We have live shows daily to keep residents updated, new fitness classes, a daily show from pastoral ministries, weekly bible study and religious services, daily movies, opera, and Broadway shows, and we just started bingo live,” says Katherine Rivera, community resources manager. “We’ve added Fox Run Talks Back, where we call residents, group leaders, and Resident Advisory Council members to chat with them live.” 

Chuck used his time at home to focus on fitness. He says he added two of the televised exercise classes to his morning routine. 

“I’m actually in better physical shape than I’ve been in for ten years,” he says.

People at Fox Run often describe the community as a big family, and they had a chance to prove how true that was during the pandemic. Geri Angel, who is the chair of the Resident Advisory Council, which acts as a liaison between residents and staff, recruited 75 volunteers to make calls to check in with their neighbors. 

The purpose of the calls was to identify any support community members might need while staying at home and to simply provide a friendly voice on the other end of the line. Interestingly, the calls gave some residents who had never met before the chance to get to know one another, and many have made plans to meet for dinner when the on-site restaurants reopen.

“It’s been a really unique bonding experience,” Geri says. “Even though we are separated, we are keeping our community together, and I think it will be stronger because of these comfort calls.”

Fox Run residents share their gratitude with messages of appreciation

Community members deeply appreciated the efforts Fox Run’s staff made to keep them safe and comfortable during the coronavirus pandemic. To show their appreciation, Geri spearheaded a campaign to encourage residents to hang thank-you signs on their apartment home doors. Management and staff were touched by the tributes, and Geri says Executive Director Mike McCormick mentioned each time he appeared on the in-house TV station how gratifying it was to see the signs.

“Oh, you should see the community,” says Murphy. “There are hundreds of thank-you notes on people’s doors—calls, cards, letters just thanking us for our tireless work to keep them safe.”

Rivera says residents who were looking for opportunities to give back while they were staying safe at home volunteered to make masks for staff to wear at work. 

 

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

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