The former president of the residents’ association and eight-year (and counting) resident of Glenaire is happy to report that life is good in the community despite the pandemic.

That’s saying a lot, considering everything going on in the world these days. The pandemic has delayed or derailed so many activities and opportunities that this very active, collaborative community typically enjoys. But according to Blanche, that hasn’t dampened the community’s spirit.

“A ‘woe-is-me’ attitude just doesn’t happen here,” she explains. “The residents know these are tough times for everyone… but I am grateful for the feeling of safety, security, and of being so well taken care of.”

Part of the reason for the community’s optimism is the successful completion recently of the first round of COVID-19 vaccinations for the residents and staff. “It was very smoothly done,” says Blanche. “And I didn’t even feel any side effects at all.”

With residents’ second vaccine doses scheduled for mid-February, Blanche is feeling confident that the next round of shots will be administered without a hitch. The community partnered with CVS to administer the vaccines to staff and residents at Glenaire.

Although the pandemic curtailed many activities and amenities, many resident groups and committees adjusted quickly to virtual or smaller, socially distanced meetings. And that’s important since the community is also undergoing major expansion and renovation projects. Glenaire residents play an active role in providing feedback and guidance on various aspects of the community’s ongoing development.

“It’s going to be beautiful when it’s all done,” says Blanche, who is looking forward to the upgraded creative arts spaces and theater that are among the various new and updated amenities in the works.

In the meantime, the residents have stayed active and engaged while adhering to pandemic restrictions. Blanche credits the positive attitude and amazing efforts of the staff.

“The staff has been so wonderfully creative in finding things that we can do,” she explains.

“Right now there’s a display of baby pictures up… where residents submit baby pictures of themselves and other residents get to guess (who the baby is).”

Among other virtual or socially distanced activities, the staff has provided programs on the in-house television channel, including a documentary series and other programming. Blanche has also enjoyed unlimited access to the craft room to work on art projects. However, her favorite pastime is reading.

“That has been my biggest pleasure,” says Blanche. “Personally, I love to read,” she says. “And we have a nice library… Our resident association has a generous budget for books. I read everything. I would read a pill bottle if there was nothing else available,” she says, with a laugh.” 

For Blanche, though, the people at Glenaire have made all the difference. Communication has been consistent throughout the pandemic with staff and administration providing regular updates on testing, protocols, vaccinations and the impact on renovations. “The staff has such a good rapport with each other and with us,” Blanche says.

Like most residents, Blanche says that the hardest part about the pandemic restrictions is not being able to really visit with family. In warmer weather, the staff made outdoor visits possible on campus where residents could safely catch up with family members while maintaining social distancing, masking and screening requirements. But the colder weather has put a hold on outdoor visits for a while.

What does Blanche look forward to doing most after the pandemic is over? “I just can’t wait to be able to hug people again,” she says. 

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