Lakewood residents thankful for fellowship during pandemic

Residents at Lakewood Senior Living of Jasper have kept busy this year, despite the COVID-19 pandemic.

All senior living facilities in Alabama — and across the nation — have had to adhere to social distancing policies and other measures to protect residents from coronavirus. Many have also had visitor restrictions.

Malissa Niver, the activity coordinator at Lakewood, tells the Daily Mountain Eagle that things have certainly been different this year, but she and others have been working to keep residents occupied.

One of their favorite pastimes is playing games.

“They really love and enjoy bingo, so we do that twice a week,” Niver said.

Residents can often be found playing cornhole, basketball, darts, and other games as well.

“We’ve also had people to come up from different home health agencies to do penny auctions,” Niver said.

During penny auctions, volunteers from home health/hospice agencies set up on the front porch of Lakewood, and speakers are used so the residents inside can hear what items they can bid toward. Niver said each resident receives 10 pennies to bid on things such as socks or candy.

It’s an event they look forward to often.

“They really enjoy that,” Niver said.

The Singing Pilgrims are also a big hit with residents. Since COVID-19 restrictions prevent the singing group from coming inside, they perform from the porch and residents gather in the main room to listen.

Niver said it has been difficult for Lakewood’s nearly 30 residents to not be able to have close visits with their family members, and employees have been diligent to provide the emotional support they always need, especially now.

“The majority of them just want to see their family, and they want to hug them and touch them, so they’ve had a hard time with that,” Niver said. “I try to talk to them, sometimes as a group and individually, to let them express their feelings because they do get upset. We do allow their family to visit but they have to visit with them through the window of the front porch. We try to encourage that because it helps them.”

Lakewood Administrator Sandy Prescott said she is appreciative of Pastor Scott and Bro. Mike for providing spiritual support during the pandemic.

She’s also thankful that no residents at Lakewood have been diagnosed with COVID-19.

“We are blessed to have wonderful families and friends that support protecting our residents,” Prescott said.

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For continuing coverage of the COVID-19 pandemic, visit www.mountaineagle.com/coronavirus.

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