Live Update to Residents-September 17, 2020

Live updates to residents on our in-house TV970 keep us informed and connected on Tuesdays and Thursdays at 3 p.m. Today’s update featured John Burns, President and CEO; Barton Campbell, resident; Sara Merchant, Recreation Coordinator; and Lynn McClintock, Director Pastoral Care.

The following updates were shared during the briefing.

John Burns

COVID-19 Update

Testing is a big part of what is happening behind the scenes in Parsons Health Center and Assisted Living right now.

The Gables and Monticello continue to be in quarantine. All residents have been tested. We shared that two residents tested positive for COVID-19 and moved to our COVID-19 positive unit. Both residents are asymptomatic and doing well. All other test results have returned negative.

In Parsons Health Center, we are in Phase One of reopening, which requires us to test employees weekly due to the positivity rates in our region. We have tested around 90 employees so far this week, with the results coming back negative so far. We will continue testing tomorrow.

Two staff members who tested positive continue to recover in quarantine.

We continue to meet to plan our next steps. There are no details ready to share yet, but there is a lot of work going on behind the scenes to ensure that our current processes are strong and to plan for what’s next. Ensuring that we have the staffing available to support any new changes is challenging, especially with staff needing to be out when they have symptoms.

Declining Balance Plans

If you are on the $150 or $300 per month declining balance plan, please note that a new quarter will start in October. If you need to change the amount of your plan or come off of the plan for the next quarter, now is the time to make the change. If you have a balance at the end of September, you will lose it if not used. The business office will not issue credits at this time. Please remember we do not anticipate making exceptions going forward. Please review your declining balance plan and adjust accordingly for the quarter beginning October 1, 2020. Please call Kim Briggs at ext. 6093 or Shakeela Webster at ext. 6087 if you have any questions.

Horticulture Update

A turf treatment was planned for today and tomorrow, but due to Hurricane Sally moving in more quickly than anticipated, we moved the treatment to Monday, September 21.

Courtyard Mail Delivery

There are 35 residents in the Courtyard who have not been able to receive mail due to an issue with the United States Postal Service boxes. One section of boxes cannot be opened, so the mail cannot be put in the boxes. Our Courtesy Services team learned that a work order has been placed for it to be repaired by the Postal Service, but we do not know when that will happen. The 35 affected residents will receive mail in their in-house boxes, starting yesterday. Those who are impacted will receive a letter today with more information.


According to BB&T, there are no plans to reopen the on-campus branch in the near future. For lockbox issues, please contact Peggy at the Lakeside branch. She has been helpful working with residents who need to access their boxes. We will share updates as we have them.

Barton Campbell

On behalf of the Employee Christmas Fund, what do you give a person to whom you want to say “thanks,” and you don’t know what they really need or want?

Everyone will agree that we have an amazing staff at Westminster Canterbury. Every segment excels. There are some we see a lot, and others are less visible. Whatever the task, all employees do a wonderful job for the residents.

Let us focus on one of the fantastic groups who touch our lives every day – our Dining Team. Many we see, such as the wait staff who serve meals. Many even know residents by name. There are many others behind the scenes whom residents do not see. They ensure we have the stocks of food that go into meals, prepare the food, keep the kitchen equipment up and running and much more.

This goes on seven days a week, 365 days a year. When residents were in quarantine, they delivered breakfast, lunch and supper, with no sacrifice in quality and most importantly, with a smile! Residents never had to worry about having something to eat.

How can we say “thanks?” What can you do to recognize this amazing performance? Please consider a gift to the Employee Christmas Fund. Now is the time. There are only 90 shopping days until Christmas! Gifts to the ECF must be received by early December.

Sara Merchant

Sara Merchant provided an update on Recreation in The Gables and Monticello.

I am one of two Recreation Coordinators serving our memory support residents in The Gables and Monticello. I have been an employee of Westminster Canterbury Richmond since 2005. My colleague, Lynne Cook, has served our residents since 2012. I have been invited to share the ways we have used our creativity and innovation during the pandemic.

At different times during COVID-19, our area of living has been in quarantine. The past six months have been the most rewarding time to work here, with the chance to get to know residents and their families even better. We developed new ways of keeping residents active and engaged. We embraced it as an opportunity to come up with new, fun activities. Thanks to gifts to Westminster Canterbury Foundation, we continued art, exercise, music and horticulture therapies with a twist. The support from the Foundation helped us purchase large screen TV monitors that are used to conduct virtual memory support therapy sessions. A fun example is horticulture therapy that Lynn Woodson conducts from her home in Charlottesville. There is coordination before, like gathering the flowers, pots, dirt and worksheets used during the therapy. We set up the room with proper social distancing, individual sets of materials and more. Then we meet with Lynn via Zoom. To the residents, it is like Lynn is right there with them. And, they have FUN!

In memory support, technology is the new lifeline. Gifts to the Foundation also allowed staff to purchase iPads that help us use FaceTime and Zoom to connect to family and loved ones. This uplifts our residents and families’ spirits. We celebrate each resident’s birthday by having their family sing happy birthday to them and enjoy a cupcake together via FaceTime or Zoom. Some residents even share virtual time with furry friends during a FaceTime call with family or recreation therapists. Thanks to donors, we acquired a new software app, Linked Senior, which helps residents continue playing their favorite game, Bingo. Donors help keep our residents active despite COVID-19, and we are so thankful for that!

Our interaction with residents is a two-way street, and our residents inspire us. Back in July, a Monticello resident was feeling very down. She had always been an active volunteer. Now she could not go anywhere or do any of the activities that helped her feel happy and useful. I asked what sort of things she did. She lit up talking about volunteering for Meals on Wheels, helping out at her church office and knitting hats for The Salvation Army Project each year. I knew we could not do Meals on Wheels or go to her church, but I could ask the resident to teach me to knit. She could hardly wait to start! She taught me how to cast on stitches and to knit and purl. As I began to knit, my resident friend gently coached me through! I finished knitting my first hat and sewed up the sides. To my surprise, it turned out well! I was so happy when my resident teacher told me I did well for my first attempt. I know I have much to learn about knitting, but I have a good teacher, and together we are creating new and beautiful things, even during this challenging time.

Our recreation coordinators, no doubt, can do “virtually” anything!

Lynn McClintock

Pastoral Care Announcements

A Sermon for Every Sunday will air on Sunday, September 20, at 4 p.m. on TV970. The program will feature Phillip Martin, pastor of Epiphany Lutheran Church, in Richmond, Virginia. The Scripture text is Matthew 20:1-16. The topic is the parable about the workers in the vineyard.

The Spiritual Center will be open to residents and staff on the afternoon of Monday, September 28. Please wear a mask and maintain social distancing as the Spiritual Center is considered public space.

Isaiah 42:16

“I will lead the blind by a way they do not know,

In paths they do not know I will guide them.

I will make darkness into light before them

And rugged places into plains.

These are the things I will do,

And I will not leave them undone.”

“As Swimmers Dare”

As swimmers dare

to lie face to the sky

and water bears them,

as hawks rest upon air

and air sustains them,

so would I learn to attain

freefall, and float

into Creator Spirit’s deep embrace,

knowing no effort earns

that all-surrounding grace.

— Denise Levertov


Gracious and loving God, we know that “Even the darkness is not dark to you, and the night is as bright as the day,” and that “darkness and light are alike to you.” In these days of unknowing and of experiences we have never had before, draw us closer to you so that we can see your face perhaps in a way we never have before. Maybe there are new things to see, new revelations to behold, new strengths to discover. We ask, dear Lord, that you show us what we would learn during this experience. Remind us that you continue to hold the world in your loving presence, and that you love us, and that you will not let us fall. Shine a light on us individually, as a community and as a nation, so that we may see a path before us that is faithful—and then empower us to follow it. For it is in your name that we pray. Amen.

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