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EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR QUICK TAKES


HELPING RESIDENTS THROUGH THE VACCINATION PROCESS


Some were brave, some grateful, some hesitant: When the first COVID-19 vaccines came to prioritized senior living residents, executive directors had to be ready for anything.


Leading by example is Jami Kampschneider, RN, left, executive director at The Heritage at Meridian Gardens in Columbus, Neb., Heritage Communities. As a nurse herself, she also helped give innoculations.


Sunrise Senior Living made it their mission to make the process calm and comfortable. They offered a list of tips to keep the experience as positive as possible:


• Dropping off “Life Stories” to residents’ suites in the days leading up to vaccine clinics, encouraging them to journal or share with others their experiences with newly introduced vaccines (influenza, polio, shingles) throughout their lives, how they showed bravery in facing uncertainty around those developments, and advice they would share with younger generations.


• Visiting residents in their suites, prior to clinics, for one-to-one, socially distanced “laughter yoga” to help calm the nerves and boost endorphins.


• Diffusing lavender or other calming essential oils in areas designated for clinics before residents arrive for their scheduled appointment.


• Ensuring “waiting rooms” had comfortable chairs, socially distanced in a semi-circle so residents could safely interact with others.


• Playing soft, relaxing music during clinics.


• Making available a cart with individually packaged snacks and comforting beverages such as cocoa and decaffeinated teas.


• Providing a goodie bag with a small gift or snack, along with tips on what to expect following the vaccine, including the date when the resident’s second dose of vaccine will be given.


• Supporting a reassuring period of observation when residents are monitored for any concerning reactions.


COMMUNICATION KEY TO MAKING CHANGE WORK


Starting a new job in the middle of a global pandemic takes a high degree of confidence and comfort with change, but a great workplace culture can make it worth it.


While home schooling her children, Kayatana Burrage—with master’s degrees in gerontology and health management, as well as a Licensed Nursing Home Administrator certification—was looking for a new position. The core values of Arrow’s Parkway community, transparency and loyalty, stood out to her. After a virtual interview and a virtual first day, she got started.


Building trust quickly with the residents and other leaders was critical—and the key was consistency in communication. “I was able to hear them out, and when I told them I would do something, I followed through.”


Kayatana Burrage, LNHA, MHA, MA Executive Director The Parkway Senior Living Arrow Senior Living


“The families wanted to be heard” as well. Although restrictions in visitations weren’t easy to take, Burrage says, “we let them know exactly what we’re able to do and what we’re not able to do…keeping that communication open has put a lot of our families at ease.”


JANUARY/FEBRUARY 2021 ARGENTUM.ORG 35


MEET THE 2020 CDALs Certified Directors of Assisted Living:


• Sidney Alexander, The Glen at Lake Oconee Village


• Alyssa Brandon, Brookdale Prescott, Brookdale


• Paula Cerio, The Hearth at Greenpoint, The Hearth


• Kim Champagne, SaraBella Senior Living


• Raymond Dennison, Brandywine Living at Alexandria, Brandywine Living


• Katheryne Drown, home office, Georgia Living Senior Care


• Annette Fields


• Patricia Finkelberg, Brandywine Living at Huntington Terrace, Brandywine Living


• Leigh Hamby, HarborChase of Huntsville, Harbor Retirement Associates


• Daniel Hernandez, Carriage Inn Katy, Retirement Center Management


• Cheryl Kelly, Elmcroft of River Centre, Elmcroft Senior Living


• Lorie Kesler, Helena Place, Enlivant


• Stephen Miller, Dunwoody Place, Pegasus Senior Living


• Beatrice Oywer, Brighton Gardens of Buckhead, Sunrise Senior Living


• Denise Stoutenburg, Chancellor Health Care


• Alex Torres, Brookdale Echelon Lake, Brookdale


• Cliff Whalin, Wesley Manor Retirement Community


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