Posted: June 24, 2020
It’s not every day that there’s an opportunity to visit your father by floating just outside the upstairs balcony of his retirement community. When COVID-19 makes it difficult to visit the older loved ones in your life, it can be helpful to think outside the box—or, in this case, outside the building.
“You know I’m facing my fear here,” Melissa Dundas called up to her dad, while being carefully secured into a construction boom lift that would raise her to the second story of Someren Glen Life Plan Community. Melissa was the first of several family members to take the ride up where she was able to talk from the lift to her father sitting on one of the community’s many balconies. A plexiglass barrier, hand built by the Someren Glen team, provided an extra virus safety protection measure.
“I was nervous because I have a fear of heights,” she shared afterwards, but once I was up there, it was good!”
Not being able to see her father for several months has been difficult for Melissa, but she is grateful for the safety precautions that the community is taking to care for her 83-year-old father. She is also pleased with the opportunities that Someren Glen has offered for them to still connect, particularly ones where “we knew he would get a kick out of it.”
“Any visit means a lot to me. This was a beautiful experience,” she shared. Situated up between two nearby aspen trees and under an umbrella attached to the lift, “it was personal and felt like I was visiting from a treehouse.”
The lift visits were a brainchild of Christian Living Communities CEO Camille Burke and executed by the company’s partner Pinkard Construction.
“We have such a great partnership with Pinkard that this idea fell together with ease,” said Someren Glen Executive Director Tim Rogers. “We’re doing hour-long visits, or however long they want to stay before bungee jumping off,” he joked.
Over the course of a couple days, more than six residents and close family members have benefitted from the unique program. And thankfully, no one has taken to bungee jumping just yet.
“I think it’s amazing because the residents here have been on lockdown. The folks at Someren Glen have been very innovative,” Melissa concluded. “This was a really fun and different way to visit.”
Someren Glen Life Plan Community has been providing quality services and care for older adults in the south Denver metropolitan area since 1990. If you are interested in learning more, visit www.somerenglen.org or call 303-900-5016.