Things have changed a lot at Marquis Hope Village in recent weeks, as the Covid-19 vaccine rollout has continued for long-term care residents, staff and restrictions have eased up significantly.
It’s a change that, in many ways, you can see immediately upon visiting the facility. But it’s also something you can feel.
“It’s been a huge shift in the atmosphere of the building since we’ve been able to bring back the dining room and family visits,” says Marci Bird, administrator of the Marquis Hope Village Assisted Living Facility. “It’s so fun to see smiles and laughs.”
Much of that was on display outside the Canby long-term care facility last month, as staff sought to help residents beat the heat with a “beach day” event featuring sno-cones, water gun fights and even a (heavily modified) slip ‘n’ slide.
This activity was accomplished by therapy staff carefully helping residents onto and off of a large pool inflatable, while other employees pulled them up and down the length of the slip ‘n’ slide.
“They’re having fun, getting a little wind in their hair,” Bird said with a laugh. “I think the bigger the smiles, the faster they go.”
Another highlight will be this week, when the annual Marquis Hope Village Cruise-In returns after a one-year hiatus.
The event will feature live music by the eminently talented Brady Goss (courtesy of sponsor DirectLink), local food trucks and vendors, a bouncy house and other activities for kids and families and, of course, lots and lots of classic cars.
“We’re very excited to bring back our car show,” Bird says. “We to try to make it bigger and better every year. It’s kind of our way of bringing car shows to our residents, because a lot of them can’t get out as easily as they used to.”
For many long-term care residents, a visit to a classic car showcase is like a walk down memory lane.
“It brings them back,” she says. “We have one gentleman here who had a 1915 Ford, so he always likes to come out and see how things have changed. It’s always fun to hear those stories.”
Even more important, though, is the chance to see folks in their community, Bird explains.
“We really encourage anyone who can make it to come out,” she says. “Bring your kids; bring your families, because it brings so much joy to our residents to see them.
“Just showing up, being present, interacting with our seniors — it’s huge for them. It’s something they talk about for weeks.”
That was one of the most difficult challenges the Covid-19 pandemic presented for care facilities: not only the fear of the virus, but the social isolation — which can also be detrimental to residents’ health and well-being.
“That’s why these events are so important, having things that they can share with their families and the community,” Bird says. “You have to have something to look forward to.”
The Marquis Hope Village Cruise-In is free and open to the public. It will be held from 4 to 7 p.m. Thursday, July 15.
For more information about Marquis Hope Village, visit marquiscompanies.com or call 503-266-2444.
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