A message from Chaplain Sherree Lane

Spring 2020 proved to be a most unusual time in America and around the world! The COVID-19 disease affected the whole world but was particularly serious for senior adults and those in care centers. As of this writing, we still operate under a “Stay at Home” order in Minnesota.

Park River Estates Care Center has taken this pandemic very seriously. Our primary goal has been, and still is, keeping our residents safe and well. This necessitated that residents be isolated to their rooms most of the time, all community activities cancelled, meals delivered to their rooms, their temperature and health monitored multiple times throughout the day, and visitors including family members prohibited from the premises.

Even the chaplain works from home, thus completely limiting contact with the residents. Staff has to be screened every day for their temperature and their possible contacts with other ill persons. All these actions serve to contain the spread of this contagious virus.

Even though these actions are necessary, they have resulted in some emotional challenges for residents.

What have we done to help the residents cope with these changes and the loneliness?

Our staff rose to the challenge. An iPad was acquired. Staff keep busy arranging Skype conversations with residents and their family members to keep them connected to loved ones. Staff increased one-to-one visits to promote the residents’ emotional, social and relational well-being. Staff continue to work calmly while giving loving care to our residents.

Your chaplain sends memos with words of spiritual support.

One such memo encouraged us all to BE CALM and CARRY ON!

Do you know the story behind this wise catchphrase?

At the start of World War II when England declared war on Germany, the government was concerned whether its people would keep up their morale in the face of war. So, the Ministry of Information prepared a series of cardboard posters to be posted around the country to encourage the citizens to keep up their courage.

“KEEP CALM and CARRY ON” was the third of these mottos, and it was only to be used if England was invaded. When that did not occur, these red and white posters were destroyed.

But low and behold, in recent years a box of old materials showed up at an auction. Stuart & Mary Manley discovered the striking cardboard posters in red with white letters, topped by the British crown. What a find! Eventually, the story behind these posters came to light.

The message which was unused at that time is now taking on a significant meaning for our present crisis. As we face the COVID-19 disease, we follow the safety protocols and then BE CALM.

Likewise, in Scripture, when people faced fearful realities, God’s word to them, and now to us, is similar:

“Be careful, keep calm and don’t be afraid. Do not lose heart” (Isaiah 7:4).

We are in this together and we will get through it. We thank you for entrusting your loved one to our care at Park River Estates Care Center.

--Be assured of my care and concern for you, Chaplain Sherree Lane

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