No Prisoners Here: Freedom is Key to Seniors’ Health During COVID
By Meghan Adam, Marketing Coordinator, Melrose Meadows Retirement Community
I think we’re all feeling a little trapped right now. Wherever we are, whatever our situation, we’re feeling stuck.
But I want to make one thing very clear. Nobody is a prisoner at Melrose.
I find myself saying those exact words more and more often these days. When I talk to people on the phone, when our own residents ask if they can go outside for a walk, when their family members ask if they can spend the afternoon at their house.
We’re being careful. We were closed to visitors for over two months solid. Now we’re open to visitors again, but are still wearing masks, keeping the dining room closed, distancing, and sanitizing. But never have we locked anyone inside, or forbidden them to walk around the building, get some fresh air, go for a ride or a visit. Those of us who work with seniors understand that mental health is 100% just as important as physical health, and we’re doing our darndest to stay sane while we stay safe.
A gentleman called the other day to get some information about moving to our community. He asked about our apartment sizes, availability, pricing. Then he told me he was a war veteran, and asked which of his freedoms he’d be giving up by moving to Melrose Meadows during the COVID crisis.
The question hit me hard because I get it. Moving from your home to a community is a huge transition as it is – much less doing it when everything is restricted, rules are wild and varied, and opinions are fiery and divisive. Many people who move to a retirement community are selling the home where they raised their family, where their spouse passed away, where their beloved and beautiful garden still blooms every year. It’s hard to give that up. It can feel like you’re already giving up your freedom by moving to an apartment you don’t own and whose rules you don’t make. Add to that the fact that you’re in a high-risk group and it’s the middle of a pandemic the likes of which we’ve never seen – and you’re bound to wonder if you’re signing up for a convenient, worry-free new lifestyle…or a prison.
What freedoms will you be giving up by moving to Melrose during the COVID crisis?
We’re asking everybody to wear masks when outside of their apartment. We’re delivering meals right now instead of dining together. We’re limiting the number of people in our group activities. But you’re free to come and go as you please. You can have visitors. You can go to the grocery store or for a walk around campus or to your daughter’s house for lunch. You can work out in our wellness center, which is sanitized after each use.
Do we look out for each other? Yes. Do we wear masks to protect one another, and keep our distance until we feel safe to come together again? Yes. Do we encourage all our residents to avoid large public spaces and gatherings? Yes.
Do we lock you in a box? No.
Melrose has always stood for freedom from loneliness, home upkeep, and boredom. None of that has changed. Our services are still top-notch, our staff is still decades-tenured and award-winning, and our smiles are still shining behind our masks.
Our goal has never been to take anything away from anybody. We’re here to help provide safety, friendship, peace of mind, and fun. We’re grateful that so far during this COVID crisis, what we’re doing is working. We hope to continue to strike the balance between freedom and safety, health and well-being for all. We’re still healthy, we’re still safe, and we’re still smiling.
Give us a call at 319.341.7893 to ask about current procedures, availability, or to schedule your in-person or virtual tour.
*As of the date of this publication, Melrose Meadows is completely COVID free. We continue to monitor local numbers and adjust our procedures accordingly.*
Marketing Coordinator Meghan Adam has been with Melrose Meadows for over five years, and is passionate about shattering senior living stereotypes. She loves putting people at ease as she helps them navigate the often-uncharted waters of Independent Living, Assisted Living, and other senior living options.