When Teams Unite in Innovation and Change: Menno Place Teams Recognized for Reinventing Seniors Care during COVID-19 pandemic.

May 26, 2020 (PRLEAP.COM) Health News
ABBOTSFORD, BC, CANADA - Menno Place, the largest seniors campus of care in British Columbia serves the lives of 700 seniors who call Menno Place their home.

In March 2020, the threat of the coronavirus arrived in British Columbia and led to significant changes over the course of the next two months at Menno Place. As social distancing was implemented by the Public Health Officer, Dr. Bonnie Henry, Menno Place began to "undo" some of the most precious services provided to seniors on the campus of care. For many seniors, a move to Menno Place is a move into a community that cares for their physical, spiritual and social needs. The group beautiful dining experience, exercise class, ceramics class, coffee shops, puzzles, pool and games rooms were systematically dismantled in order to keep the COVID-19 virus from infecting this group who are vulnerable due to age and complex health issues.

The staff at Menno Place knew that innovation and change would be required to ensure that the social life, spiritual life and care would be delivered in a way that keeps these senior residents hopeful, joyful and connected to others.With hearts full of determination, driven by the Menno Place values of SERVICE, Menno Place teams created incredible innovative ways to keep the heart of Menno Place alive during the COVID-19 Pandemic.

Jon Chescoe - click for video, Principal Consultant with Ascension Benefits, Inc. said, "While these people probably don't think they have done anything particularly special, without them, this community isn't nearly as strong as it is now. The stress and uncertainty brought on by COVID-19 is a little greater and the impact of loneliness and anxiety is a little deeper. These are the things people do when they care."

These are some of the heroes of Menno Place and senior care in British Columbia:

1. Personal Protective Equipment Miracle Workers
Renate, Robin (Stores) and Bas Kervel (Manager, Facilities and Materiel Management)<br />
With only 34 pairs of goggles for 675 staff members. Bas, Renate, and Robin developed a procurement system that is as nimble as it is effective. They incorporated community donations with purchases and received the product necessary to protect all staff. The entire management team cheers when hand sanitizer arrives and jump for joy when gloves are delivered. The ingenuity and energy of this team does not seem to waiver nor get discouraged even when faced with significant challenges. They have brought us all hope with their committed and effective work!

2. The Live Streaming Team
Ingrid, Ingrid, John (Chaplains) and Timea (Recreation Therapy)
This team started an entire television station at Menno Place! While the station has been active for about a year, the impetus to create their own programming started when COVID-19 took away opportunities for the chaplains and recreation teams to hold group meetings. This team worked together to create from scratch a weekly schedule of shows on various topics such as Morning Prayer, Devotions, Church services, Bingo, lunch announcements, Hymn Sings and Chair and brain exercises. Each member of the team had to learn very sophisticated technology and become comfortable speaking to hundreds of people while having no live audience. This team has worked tirelessly to entertain and lift the spirits of 350 Independent and Assisted Living Residents. There is constant encouragement and fun happening on Channel 10!

3. Tech Wizard / Genius
David (Maintenance / Tech)
David is the brains behind the Menno Place livestreaming television station. He liaises with Telus Optik, he is the tester, the fixer, the troubleshooter, and the visionary. Dave works on his days off, before his shift, after his shift and is always on-call. Without his expertise, the team that delivers the LiveStream content to Channel 10 would have been overwhelmed by the technological aspects of running the station. Dave says, "it can be done", and with that he experiments, collaborates, learns and creates the required outcome. His efforts and commitment are now touching the lives of hundreds of residents each day through the Menno Channel 10 TV station.

4. Zoom Call Initiative
Danielle (Communications) and Rebecca (Recreation Therapy)
Danielle and Rebecca had a goal of creating a way for residents to connect with loved ones during COVID-19. While the technology was available through Zoom, there were obstacles that this resourceful team needed to overcome. With such a large campus of care, aligning technology and coordinating schedules proved to be very challenging. Also, bookings needed to be seamlessly communicated so the Recreation team could engage the correct resident at the correct time. Danielle and Rebecca worked tirelessly to train the team and launch this amazing system! Now they have a complete online booking system to support Zoom calls in any resident's room. With their efforts, 247 Zoom calls were successfully completed in the first 3 weeks of implementation!

5.Dining Experience Change Up
Angela Ross-Fehr (Manager, Dining Experience)
Angela spearheaded the changes that took place at the Menno Apartments to ensure efficient and safe meal delivery for all residents. Menno has 4 apartment buildings with 350 Independent and Assisted Living residents. The dining experience moved from shared dining room meals, to multiple mealtimes, to having hot food carts serving residents in their individual apartment suites. Angela orchestrated all of the necessary changes even though that meant long hours and no time off. In addition, Angela re-purposed her team to receive and deliver groceries for residents. Staff who used to do dining room and dish clean up were now going door-to-door to bring packages, mail, memos and deliveries to the residents. And the fact she did it all with a smile on her face is the cherry on top!

Jon enjoyed gifting each of these teams with a token of appreciation from Ascension Benefits, Inc. He handed the card to them with a Nifty Nabber Trash Picker Grabber tool (new) that brought a laugh! This was followed by a gloved handshake - a glove attached to the end of a long pole. This is the "new normal" in recognizing outstanding effort and a job well done!

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