What a blessing to have summer fully upon us these June days after the long weeks of quarantine that we all have been under due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The warm sunshine, gardens coming to life and wind blowing let us know that there is hope and there is life in abundance all around us.
As I write the ‘story’ of these past days and weeks here at Gianna Homes it’s hard to find words that adequately grasp what our experience has been. Being one thousand percent engaged on every level as a human being takes its own unique toll over a period of time. We have been resiliently marching through a war zone of such tragedy that our whole beings have not grasped the full weight of its bearing yet and perhaps we never will. I speak of the weight of loss for our families and staff who have felt the painful passing of one-half of our residents – all but two of them from the Covid-19 virus. The ferociousness of this virus, once it takes hold in the body of one of our patients, leaves you feeling helpless and with few resources to combat its hasty inflammatory to respiratory distress trajectory. We all can say that it is beyond anything we have ever experienced and as medical professionals have ever seen in our careers.
The foundational principles of our mission here at Gianna Homes is relational, person-centered care which took a whole new meaning in early March when we restricted all visitors, families, volunteers, and non-essential workers from our homes. What a loss for our residents who need the companionship, relationships, and love of family and others to thrive each day. We initiated weekly family calls to keep strong communication with our families during this crisis and informed of our COVID-19 emergency preparedness, supply of Personal Protective Equipment, positive cases of COVID in residents and our staff and gave them the opportunity to ask questions and talk about their fears, our policies, or whatever else was on their mind and heart. Our Physician and Nurse Practitioner team were also on these weekly calls so families could get a better understanding of the virus, possible treatments, plan of care, and look at advance directive care planning as necessary for their loved one.
It’s important to share the stories of this time in our lives because it hasn’t been easy and I believe being authentic and honest builds relationships and understanding because let’s be honest we are all coming out of quarantine with different realities. We would love to hear your story….
So, the silver lining running through our story is perhaps harder to find than most but what I am grateful for is our extraordinary Executive Director, Cari who showed passionate leadership in crisis and navigated some truly challenging times. Our Human Resources director, Renee who went above and beyond to get creative in taking care of our staff, scheduling, and hiring to be sure we always ran with a fully staffed shift. To our RN case manager team of, Leah, Linnea, Connie, Melanie, and Nimo – they worked endless hours including nights and weekends to care for our residents who were very ill with the virus – they are our frontline workers and we are so grateful for their dedicated service. Saving the best for last our Nurses’ Aides who were our resilient warriors on the REAL FRONTLINES of this virus – they are our Angels.
We also want to thank the families of Gianna Homes and our Home Care Clients for their support and generosity. Here are a few of the ways they blessed us:
– Made and hung signs saying Heroes and Angels work here at the homes
– Honored the staff with gifts and cards
– Bought lunch and/or dinner on several occasions
– Several made sizeable donations to help us through this time when our census is so low
– Prayer partners who tirelessly keep us in their daily prayers
This is a time in our history that I have never been more grateful for the partnerships we have with so many businesses, individuals and donors that have been nurtured over these 20 some odd years of serving our community. Many have risen to the occasion to support us and rally to our aide as we’ve needed it.
As I write this we are clear of the virus and we have done a deep clean of our buildings and are welcoming new residents. We would be most appreciative of any referrals you might be able to send our way.
My parting thought to you is from scripture: “May the Lord bless you and keep you and may he shine his light down upon you. Amen.”
Anne Marie Hansen
President & Founder