LONGMEADOW — Glenmeadow was one of only five life-plan communities to be recognized by LeadingAge Massachusetts during its annual meeting last week for “exceptional contributions in the face of the unprecedented challenge of the COVID-19 pandemic.”
The Member Honor recognition award was received by Glenmeadow’s Life Enrichment team during the Oct. 27 annual session, which was held virtually. “LeadingAge Massachusetts wanted to use this year’s annual meeting to highlight the outstanding, brave, tireless efforts taking place in our membership,” the organization said.
Emily Perkins, vice president of Health and Wellness at Glenmeadow, applied for the honor in September and said her application was one of 21 received by LeadingAge Massachusetts, a nonprofit member organization for partners that serve older adults. Her nomination focused on the Life Enrichment team, which she oversees and Laura Lavoie directs, because of the varied new creative programming those staff members developed immediately following the onslaught of the pandemic.
“It was very validating to be chosen, and it highlights why I am so proud to work at Glenmeadow,” Perkins said. “We thought first about protecting residents, and then we got imaginative because we know social isolation is as much a risk to older adults as smoking cigarettes is to anyone. We quickly reinvented what it means to engage, to play, to learn, and have fun.”
Life Enrichment staff members piped the sound of an old-fashioned ice-cream cart into speakers in Glenmeadow’s hallways and delivered ice cream as residents waited in their doorways. Staff made a chain throughout the halls and sang to residents.
They also created opportunities for educational enrichment, using Glenmeadow’s in-house television station, Channel 918, to provide programming in which staff members performed, and residents and staff members played trivia games, word games, bingo, Jeopardy!, and Scrabble. Exercise classes were also offered on Channel 918.
Perkins said staff were ecstatic about the LeadingAge recognition. “They felt really honored to be chosen. It was great to get acknowledged.”