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State of the Community

By Susan Siepelmeier

When you become a member of the Emporia Presbyterian Manor team, you become a member of our mission statement: To provide quality senior services guided by Christian values. Believing in this mission drives the team’s actions. And I couldn’t be prouder of how our team has responded during these unprecedented times.

In spite of the difficulties, our team has maintained a positive environment. And in spite of their own personal struggles, our team continues to show up.

Every day over the past five months, the Presbyterian Manor team walked into the building unsure of what challenges would lie ahead. But they kept their focus on caring for and protecting the residents.

We had to rely on each other as families were depending on us to keep their loved one safe and comfortable. This just made our Presbyterian Manor family grow even closer.

We celebrated birthdays with cards and signs. We grieved together over the losses by being able to talk with one another. We created face to face encounters with window visits, so well-coordinated by our social worker, Maria Lane.

Now, as we discuss plans for reopening our community, we face the reality that nothing will be as it was before the pandemic. We are working to ensure the continued safety of our Presbyterian Manor family while dealing with the basic standards of our new “normal” lives.

Some of the ways we can incorporate a sense of normalcy is with communal meal times and getting a beautician on board. We also want to ensure that proper social distancing is plainly noted as we open areas for small group events.

We all look forward to the time we can interact with our friends around the campus and even get out of the building to see what’s happening in the Emporia community.

Until then, I encourage us to focus on the simple things that make life enjoyable, such as a walk in the fresh air, hearing the voice of a loved one and being grateful for the small things. Because when it comes down to it, those are the big things in life.

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