There is a feeling in the air at St. Mark Village, even though life here may not be back to normal for quite some time. As the “new, new normal” emerges, we have started to plan, and think about what life might be like on the other side of coronavirus. Residents are gathering in small groups, at a safe distance from one another, to lift each other’s spirits, which is such an integral part of the St. Mark Village culture. They are venturing outdoors to enjoy a walk in the cool spring air. Still, we continue to wear face coverings when out of our apartments and offices, while walking through the hallways and common areas. The once bustling dining room is empty and quiet, awaiting the day when we can once again enjoy a meal in the company of our friends and neighbors.
In this time of the “new, new normal,” Spring clearing is underway at the Village. We have partnered with an environmental cleaning company and environmental consultants to thoroughly disinfect, sterilize, and test our Skilled Nursing Facility and Rehab. Cleaning is done using a disinfectant approved by the EPA in response to the novel corona virus 2019 (Co-vid 19) outbreak. In order to upgrade our practices and regimens throughout the Village, we have purchased EnSURE touch devices used by hygienists to test surfaces before and after cleaning. In addition, we are adding microfiber cleaning cloths and mops that comply with industry best practice at hospitals. Studies have shown that these microfiber cleaning cloths and mops clean better and reduce bacteria and viruses on surfaces. Also, we are now using a Clorox 360 fogger which sprays a disinfectant that becomes electrostatically charged. This method allows the disinfectant to envelop beds, chairs, and surfaces. We have invested in UV machines which are placed in common rooms and bathrooms. These machines are typically used in healthcare applications and can disinfect an area in 20 minutes. Team Member training is already in process in both our Independent Living Center and our Care Centers. One of these tools alone will not accomplish all of our goals, but all of them working together will give us our best chance to protect the Residents we so proudly serve. Hopefully, this equipment combined with new procedures and protocols, will mean additional peace of mind for Residents, Team Members, families, and friends.
Our appreciation for our Team Members, especially those on the front-line in our care centers, knows no bounds. To begin to thank them, as there will never be enough “thank yous,” we will be giving out special t-shirts that celebrate their dedication and hard work over the past several months. In addition, we have designed new St. Mark Village face coverings, which we plan to distribute to both Residents and Team Members. If we have to wear a mask, there is no reason we can’t look good doing it. We also have banners on display on both the north and south sides of our property to honor our St. Mark Village Heroes. These caregivers might tell you that they are just doing their jobs, but we know better. The level of commitment and compassion shown by our superheroes cannot be adequately described.
There is a “new, new normal” at St. Mark Village, and we are ready for the next challenge. We continue to mourn those we have lost, and yet we take a moment each day to appreciate the small victories. Although, the “new, new normal” may never resemble the life we once knew, we will do what we have done for the past 40 years, and that is to continue our Mission, “to enrich the lives of the Residents we serve by creating an environment that fulfills their every need – body, mind, and spirit.”