Elmhurst Residents Adapting To Lifestyle Changes Due to Virus

Photo Provided Ruth Weller, a resident of Elmhurst, has been keeping busy doing crafts during the coronavirus that has kept residents isolated from the public. Here Weller displays the shamrock painting she made for St. Patrick’s Day.

WHEELING — The more than 40 residents at Elmhurst, The House of Friendship, a licensed assisted living residence in the Pleasant Valley section of Wheeling, are also experiencing a new lifestyle due to the virus.

Clever new ways to entertain the residents are being created by the program staff. Packets of puzzles, color pages, crosswords, word search, and more have been assembled for delivery to each resident’s room.

“Elmhurst is a communal residence. We engage in numerous group activities, monthly. The new norm imposed upon those in our care realm have our staff thinking outside of the box to make these times less stressful for our population, the average age of which is 90,” Jamie Crow, executive director, explained.

Elmhurst has been delivering flowers to residents with notes handwritten with sentiments from family members who have emailed salutations to accompany the flowers. In addition, family members may talk to their loved ones on the Elmhurst residents’ computer through SKYPE. They also, in good weather, talk to loved ones outside of the physical therapy room through the windows.

Families have been on board with all the changes to ensure the health and well-being of loved ones, Crow said. She added that members of the board of directors and their families also are supporting the residents. Missy Glessner, board member, and her children are making greeting cards for each resident to cheery them at this time.

“We have hundreds of DVD movies that residents can take to their rooms to watch, as well. These are difficult times, but we’re working 24/7 to make them doable. I also point out that the majority of our residents experienced the World War II era and understand that new rules must be in place to win a war, and this is a war,” she said.


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