Elizabeth Adams is a nurse practitioner who considers her patients to be like family members.
So when she saw how lonely they became because of COVID-19’s no visitor restrictions, she took action.
“I watched residents become depressed and helpless because they were socially isolated in their rooms, disconnected from their families. They felt trapped,” said Elizabeth, who has been with Legacy Care for three years.
Online connections aren’t always a viable solution. “This generation doesn’t always understand virtual connections with loved ones –sometimes that can even be a bit confusing. I knew we had to get folks outside for fresh air and sunshine.”
That’s how Friday Fun with Elizabeth was born at the Virginia-based skilled nursing center where Elizabeth has served as a provider for several years.
“For the first gathering, I brought music and cut-up watermelon for about 15 residents who joined me outside on our patio,” said Elizabeth, who helps ensure social distancing protocols are followed.”I bring a folding table and chair so I also can complete charts while sitting among everyone.”
Other summertime-themed refreshments eventually made the menu, including fancy fruit punch “mocktails,” cantaloupe and honeydew.
When asked what these outdoor gatherings mean to residents, one named Grace said, “These events give me sanity, comfort and freedom.” Diane, another resident, added, “The events give me peace and serenity.”
Elizabeth shares similar sentiments. “The residents are the reason I’m here. I cherish the relationships I have with them,” Elizabeth said. “It brings me joy to see them happy.”