Residents of The Springs are still finding the sunshine and reasons to smile thanks to some creative ideas from the staff. PHOTO COURTESY THE SPRING

CREATIVE CONNECTION FOR THE ELDERLY POPULATION

THE SPRINGS IN BOZEMAN OFFERS A “LOOKING GLASS” AND CAR PARADES

Social isolation from COVID-19 is still making some people feel that they went down the rabbit hole. One creative solution: residents of The Springs at Bozeman are stepping into the “looking glass”. It is actually a plexiglass room designed by the staff.

Executive Director Terek Beckman explained the concept – family members come in one of the exterior doors and the resident approaches from the main community. They are separated by a plexiglass wall – an entire protective room created due to COVID-19 restrictions. Governors across the nation are attempting to safeguard the most vulnerable population, the elderly, with measures that restrict normal visitor access. For Montana, face-to-face interaction with folks living in assisted living facilities will not come until Phase 3.

“People reserve it out and talk for hours in there and it’s a great way for people to see their families,” Beckman said. “The team’s good at thinking outside of the box and trying new things – anything that we can do to try to get people closer to their families again.”

Some of the other creative ideas for connection consist of car parades in which families, friends and people wanting to boost morale drive around the facility, honk their horns and wave. This week, a parade consisting of classic cars courtesy two different car clubs will wind its way past delighted residents.

School children have written letters of support to the The Springs community and some of the residents are writing back.

The magic of a hug unreceived for months had unanticipated ramifications for many. Humans crave connection. The psychological implications of isolation from COVID-19 are being studied and slowly understood. Perhaps many people discovered they did not realize how much they actually liked other people until they were isolated from them. As the world opens-up and moves around a bit more, there are still entire populations of people in need of creative acts of kindness.

For more information on writing letters or participating in parades, visit www.thespringsliving. com or call (406) 556-8000.

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