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Guests at Lakeside Senior Living get creative when visiting friends and family

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Featured Two of the Colson boys decorate a window at Lakeside Senior Living. Submitted photo Two of the Colson boys decorate a window at Lakeside Senior Living.

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The COVID-19 pandemic and shelter-in-place order have changed our everyday lives in ways that we never could have imagined. Those of us who are not included in the most vulnerable population to catch the dreaded virus may find ourselves going stir-crazy and experiencing cabin fever, but at least we are at home with our spouses and children. Unfortunately, many of our elderly population who are most susceptible to being infected by the coronavirus are isolated in nursing homes or senior living facilities, without being able to receive visitors like their friends, family, and community volunteers.


However, despite massive obstacles in the midst of this ordered isolation and separation, families and volunteers alike are finding ways to lift the spirits of our senior citizens. Recently, the family of Lakeside Senior Living resident, Mrs. Sandra Batten, visited their loved one “through her window.” Batten’s daughter, Kim Smith and husband Philip, granddaughters Aubrie Anna and Lauren, grandson, Daniel and great-granddaughter, Harper, all traveled to Lakeside Senior Living on Chester Avenue after lunch on Easter Sunday to “visit” with her. In these pictures, you can see sweet Harper peering through the window at Mrs. Batten.


Smith’s husband, Philip, is the pastor of Union Primitive Baptist Church in Coffee County. In recognition of Passover Week, the congregation tied a red ribbon upon the outdoor post at Lakeside Senior Living. The attached note read in part, “The red ribbon symbolizes the power of the blood of Jesus.” The residents could view the beautiful red ribbon and be reminded that there were people in the community that are thinking of them, and praying for them.


Also on Easter, the Douglas Lions Club donated plush bunnies with candy, and a note attached that read, “Thinking of you. Happy Easter. Douglas Lions Club.” Of course, Mrs. Sandra Batten would have it no other way but to donate her bunny and candy right back to her beautiful great-granddaughter, Harper!


Another creative way that volunteers have been able to interact with the residents at Lakeside Senior Living is through window games and drawings with dry erase markers. What a genius idea! Gentry Colson, pastor’s wife at Eastside Baptist Church, is seen with her children, Evan, Austin, CT, and Elliot, using painter’s tape to make a tic-tac-toe board and dry erase markers to play games with the residents inside. Gentry and the children stood outside, while interacting with residents as they stayed safe inside on the other side of the glass.


The Colson boys also took advantage of the opportunity to create fun artwork on the windows that could be easily wiped away once playtime was over. They wrote messages to the residents like “God loves you!” Mrs. Sandra Batten wrote to one of the boys, “I love you.” He replied by writing, “I love you more!” And to her comment, “You sure are cute,” he replied, “I know.”


Thank goodness that we can still find ingenuity, kindness, creativity, humor, thoughtfulness, and most of all, love for our fellow man in spite of the chaos of this unprecedented pandemic that is COVID-19.

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