Message from the President/CEO.

by | August 19, 2020

Everyone is living through change in 2020, with many of these changes more worrying than exciting. We are experiencing this unpredictability and uncertainty in all aspects of our lives, and senior living is no different.

At Resthaven, we have found a temporary new normal six months into this pandemic. It is not the normal we long for, but there are positive moments and evidence of God’s provision and grace during which we celebrate and give thanks.

Several weeks ago, I sent a communication to the Resthaven staff. I shared with them that I unexpectedly found myself having a seed of hope that these times will lead to good. Perhaps they will force us all to reevaluate how we do senior living so that we can come out of this stronger than ever and provide even better care and services in the future.

The Resthaven team has rallied to implement executive orders that we know from our training and experience are not helpful for the overall wellbeing of our seniors. Yet, we also recognize that the orders have helped and will continue to help keep them safe from this virus. We have seen the evidence of that – to this day Resthaven has had zero cases of COVID-19 among our residents.

We recognize that, despite our pride in the challenges we have overcome and the hard work that we have put forth, some of our elders feel isolated and lonely. We know we are no substitute to the family members, friends, neighbors, volunteers, and church members they long to interact with. We all know we want to do more for them, yet we are restricted by regulations, by reimbursement, by our physical buildings, by discrimination against seniors, and more. These were challenges we knew well and have escalated exponentially during a global pandemic.

The pandemic has put a spotlight on senior care. Despite all the negative stories in the press and the challenges we face, there are positive things happening. Resthaven has been in the news several times in the past few months, more than once highlighting our stellar performance in avoiding this virus for our residents. Our advocacy groups have seen more opportunity to educate the state on what works and what does not work in the senior healthcare field. Resthaven team members have been asked to participate in state and national work groups to identify how best to fulfill our missions as we care for seniors even now. Many senior care leaders around
the nation are working to emphasize what will help keep seniors safe from COVID-19 while still meeting all of their
social, emotional, and spiritual needs.

There has been an increased awareness of senior living in general during this pandemic. The industry has been educating families, their communities, their cities, and their governments on what seniors in long term care need and desire most.

At Resthaven we believe this unfortunate situation can bring about long-term change as we continue to evolve and become more innovative. My prayer is that this advocacy and education brings reform: new ideas, more respect for this industry, more opportunities for joy and positive experiences for the elders we serve. I urge you to pray alongside me for our residents, for their families, for our staff, for Resthaven. Pray that this seed of hope turns into a revolution of excellence for elders in our community for years to come.

Deedre Vriesman