How residents at WindSong Memory Care have stayed healthy and entertained during pandemic

KENNEWICK, Wash. – As the one-year anniversary of pandemic shutdowns nears, residents and staff at Windsong Memory Care said it feels like there’s a light at the end of the tunnel. The thirteen residents at the Kennewick campus have been vaccinated against COVID-19, as have staff.

WindSong at Southridge is a memory care facility for individuals living with Alzheimer’s and other age-related memory disorders.

But, how do you keep over a dozen seniors entertained and safe while in lockdown?

You think outside the box and host events like Oktoberfest, let residents restore furniture and provide arts and crafts.

“We go to great lengths; we might not be able to do some stuff because of the pandemic, but darn it, we can make it happen,” Tiffani Halka said.

Halka is one of women who makes it happen for her residents.

“I have the absolute coolest job in the world,” she said.

“Tiffini is the greatest. She really is very caring,” Ruth Fones, a resident said.

From Christmas carolers, to even fishing in the front entrance, Halka said their goal is to make every activity meaningful.

“I come to work everyday to make sure they are living their best life,” she explained.

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On Monday, residents made stained glass butterflies out of contact paper, for other residents of a nearby rehabilitation facility.

“Ruth has come from one of the local rehabs from a little stay there and so we decided to make butterflies to hang in the apartment windows of everyone who lives there,” Kris Todd, the Community Relations Director said.

“Just use our wildest imagination that we can think of,” Ruth added.

Halka and Todd said overall, it’s been business as usual at WindSong. Just with increased cleaning and mitigation measures to ensure everyone stays healthy.

“It is a happy joyful place and that is most important,” Halka said.

As things begin to open up and the CDC provides new guidance, staff is hopeful family visitations can start soon.

“We are so excited! Honestly the hardest part is being cut off, we do everything to bring joy into the building but when we as a community can start bringing joy out of the building, that’s the goal,” Halka explained.

Todd said they are keeping up with state and federal guidance on visitation guidelines. They all hope that soon, it will be safe enough for family members to visit and have physical contact with their loved ones at WindSong.