April has been one heck of a month!
We are happy to report that the tough decisions we made in early March to “lock down” the campus have resulted in all staff and residents today being 100% healthy without the Covid-19 virus. There isn’t enough space to share the hundreds of compliments we have received in April from residents and family members but we have included several here:
“There are rare moments of opportunity in life for us to reach deep within ourselves and grab hold of our “Kinder” selves and post it to the world. That is what Covid-19 has done to us as a world and as a nation. All those medical professionals, emergency personnel and faceless people who stock our shelves and work at the food banks; they are our lifelines to the future, But closer to home, there is the Royal Oaks’ staff from management down who have reached deep into their “Kinder” selves to keep us happy, secure and safe. Although there is a fence around the campus, there are no fences around their hearts. We are lucky captives of their love.” (Diana Grattinger)
Our Food Service staff earns Rock Stars of the Year. Think about delivering multiple meals to 600+ residents each day, rather than having residents be served in our restaurants. And they are doing it will smiles and nice touches, like personal notes and surprise desserts. This Gourmet2U! meal service has gotten raves reviews from residents and family members:
“I just want to tell you what a fantastic job you and your people are doing to keep all of us fed and safe. The fact that you call me if I don’t order a meal just to make sure I wasn’t missed is incredible. All of you have done an amazing job “on the fly” getting the in-house grocery store up and running, too.” (Sandy Moersdorf) Check out Sandy’s video testimonial on our website!
Our Mobile Market grocery store stocks 80 items, including some liquor, that residents order by the phone or on-line on the resident portal. Their grocery order is then delivered to them. This keeps residents safe at home.
“Just got my first grocery delivery. I am deeply touched by everything you are dong to keep us safe. I send a heartfelt thank you to everyone.” (Ellen Sommers)
Remember how much joy the Ice Cream Truck brought you and your family? The Fantastic Frozen Frenzy debuted in April. Frozen treats, complete with music on an ice cream-laden golf cart, are delivered to grateful residents in our garden homes. The wheeled ice cream freezer also visits the apartment residents, providing sweet treats all around.
Being provided by the Marketing Department, Your Personal Shopper is just like it sounds. Need your beauty cream? Produce? A case of wine? Special maple syrup? A call into the Personal Shopper hotline and off we shop for residents! When residents are unable to do their own shopping on-line or the delivery date is too far off, they can rely on this personalized service to keep them happy. And the service certainly resonates with residents:
“My wife, Lori, and I thank you for you personally shopping for us last Thursday. With the greater risk to seniors like us, we appreciate that we did not have to go shopping for some groceries not available at the Mobile Market. More specifically, I commend you for your willingness to accommodate us wanting “non-generic” items for example Krusteaz pancake mix and 100% maple syrup. Your receptiveness to take on the added search efforts is especially noteworthy. I look forward to thanking you in person soon. Again, thank you very much for your demonstration of the esprit de corps that prevails throughout Royal Oaks, from both residents and staff like you. God bless you.” (Roger McClain).
Our multitude of fitness classes hasn’t stopped! Wendy, our fitness professional, just moved everything from the Evergreen Fitness Center to the auditorium, where our closed-circuit television system pumps her workouts right onto the TV screens of all residents’ homes.
“I just had to write to give kudos to Wendy. I have had some great trainers in my life… and I have to say that she is right up there in the top 3. In my mind, I didn’t think chair type exercises would be that active. Boy, was I wrong. I am getting a great workout at least 3-4 mornings/week. I walk first, and then get in the first 2 sessions of the morning. I am so impressed with Wendy. She knows what she’s doing, she guides everyone along, gives us options, and makes it fun at the same time, which encourages us to keep going. I have a feeling based on all of these sessions that she will have many more participants in the Fitness classes once we get back to normal. Royal Oaks is so blessed to have Wendy… and she is greatly appreciated.” (Claudia Rumwell) Claudia and husband Mel are also featured in a video testimonial on our website.
The big-screen movies previously shown weekly in the auditorium have now shifted to twice weekly and moved to the residents’ TV through the wonder of our technology. Nada Kennon, our Activities Professional, has pulled out all the stops in setting up virtual entertainment for residents. From organizing televised concerts and lectures to arranging spiritual singing, Nada’s only thought each day is “How can I help keep residents happy?” She and resident DJ Ken Pierick have been staging social-distancing DJ parties every Friday for Happy Hour. It’s BYOC (bring your own chair) in addition to BYOB and you can see the enjoyment of residents at these weekly events on our photo page.
“Thank you so much Nada for the wonderful work you and others are doing to keep us entertained. It must be difficult when you had so little time to prepare. I know I speak for so many and want you to know how much we all appreciate the efforts being done to keep us happy, healthy and comfortable. I pray for the day we can all be together again and share the wonderful days we enjoy being residents of Royal Oaks . You are all so special to us and we love you.” (Sheila Farrell)
Keeping community together is important as we are #StrongerTogether and no one knows more about that subject than the Marketing team. Writing personal messages in chalk on all 102 driveways brought laughter all around from residents who live in those homes and also the apartment residents who got a kick out of walking the campus to see the chalk art. The following week, the team painted/decorated and hid 127 rocks so the residents could go on a hunt. The rocks were so fun. You can see them on our photo page.
“Just a note of thanks for creating the “Chalk Walk.” We had fun walking past all the garden homes with chalk writings. Made our walk just more fun. We enjoyed it especially during these trying times.” (Roger and Kitty Yadro)
“I loved the rocks on my walks. Such talented people we have in our community. I’m amazed at the time and thought that goes into our community to make this stay-at-home enjoyable.” Ginger Price
Diana Gibson, our Spiritual Advisor, summed it up best: “I have been in touch with several of the Royal Oaks residents in the past 2 weeks and they are so happy with how the leadership and staff are protecting their health, providing such a caring, positive and uplifting environment for them and going the extra mile to see that they can still stay involved with their community and have all their needs met. Joy is still abounding through the care and gratitude of all.”
The special photo page is updated regularly with random photos taken by staff and residents during this stay-safe-at-home. From balcony serenading to ukulele playing, DJ parties in the courtyards, and lots of waving and fun from a social distance, residents are making the best of the situation.
We will look forward to hosting visitors once again when we are able, but in the meantime, we bring the campus to you through “It’s a Wonderful Sun City Life.” We hope you enjoy our movie!
Inspirata Pointe, our new neighborhood-in-development, is holding virtual seminars every Tuesday and Thursday. Visit the website for Inspirata Pointe to register. If you attend a virtual seminar, we will send you a $10 Total Wine gift card and if you follow through with a personal virtual appointment, a $25 GrubHub gift card is yours! You can also call the Inspirata Pointe off-site Information Center at 623-815-4274 for more information.
Stay healthy. Stay happy. Stay safe at home and we hope to see you soon.