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August 15, 2022
In my role as Vice President of Sales and Market for the ECS family of communities for active seniors, I have the privilege of witnessing every day the inspiring lives led by a group of extraordinary individuals, our residents.
As an organization, ECS is soon to be celebrating 100 years of providing exceptional communities and services for seniors in Southern California. Over that time, we have come to understand some simple yet profound truths about how important an individual’s peace of mind is to their overall health and wellness.
For most of our residents, the confidence that ECS communities provide is an important part of their decision to move here. Knowing their needs will be met, now and in the future, offers great comfort for both them and their families.
Over the last two years, Covid has presented challenges for all Americans, but especially for seniors. At ECS, our role as care providers meant we faced many obstacles, and our dedicated Team Members worked tirelessly to minimize the impact on the daily lives of our residents.
One benefit of living at an ECS community is that, like other senior communities, residents had priority access to vaccines, testing-kits, and PPE, such as hospital-grade masks. This early boost in immune protection and accompanying health supplies allowed our residents to reduce their immediate risk of infection.
Daily life also changed drastically, including periods when residents spent more time at home. As a community, we rallied together and with the input of our resident advisor committees, we were able to develop fun and innovative programs to keep us all safe, healthy, and connected.
One of the first orders of business was to upgrade the computer skills for many of our residents, particularly around the use of Zoom. Not only did this allow us to continue our educational programs – group Spanish lessons, for example – but the families of residents now had a way to stay in touch with their loved ones. This newfound skill amongst our residents had a profound impact on their emotional health and wellbeing during this challenging time.
Another example of how our communities helped residents stay connected was the creation of our balcony events. It allowed a way for our residents to stay physically active and equally as important, provided much needed social opportunities.
Our team of fitness and therapy specialists put together a fitness class where residents, from their balconies, could collectively follow along as a fitness instructor led them through their paces. To add to the fun, instructors and residents would sometimes dress up in costumes. It was a way to bring laughter and joy to the community and allowed residents to be creative through their choice of costume.
At our MonteCedro community, one fun and popular activity was ‘Happy Hour.’ Dressed in their best disco outfits, instructors used a portable music system to lead a sing-along dance class to the music of the 1970’s. From their balconies, residents juked, jived, and hustled along to the music. Cocktails were optional.
To see how much fun was being had, check out this short video.
As life has returned to semblance of normalcy, the initiatives we took, and the lessons learned, have made us a more resilient organization and undoubtedly have better prepared us for any such situations in the future.
Through it all though, the indomitable spirit of our residents and their ability to adapt was both inspirational and an example of what we can accomplish when we come together as a community.
Founded on four commitments – choice, creativity, confidence, and connection – ECS provides relaxed, maintenance-free, resort-style living in beautiful, continuing care, retirement community settings in Southern California.
Celebrating 100 years of exceptional services for seniors. Proudly nonprofit. Contact us today to learn more.