By Lynne Katzmann

In my Jewish tradition, there is a song that is traditionally sung during the Passover season called “Dayenu,” which roughly translates into the term “It would have been enough.” It is traditionally sung after going through the story of the 10 plagues, with the idea that each plague “would have been enough,” and yet God inflicted another. After each plague, they say “Dayenu,” it would have been enough.

That is what it feels like for us at Juniper. First, it was the initial emergence of COVID, and it would have been enough. Then came Omicron; that would have been enough. After that the fire that almost destroyed our Colorado Memory Care Community. That is enough … I hope!

Lessons Learned

We have, through all this, learned at least five important lessons that will serve us and our residents going into the future.

  1. Our ability to manage change is so much stronger today. Or maybe it demonstrated a truth that we didn’t really believe.
  2. Our ability to create and implement creative solutions to problems is stronger. For instance, we will be working on teaching our team members to strengthen resilience.
  3. COVID has accelerated the process of moving toward a fully digital operating system. The foundation of our work has been shifting for some time, but COVID accelerated our move.
  4. There has been a lot of negative consumer perception about our industry. We are now seeing a shift where families have a much better appreciation of how we are doing a better job than they could at home. In just the past couple of weeks, we have collected two powerful stories of families really “getting it.”  The new thing they are getting is a higher awareness of the socialization aspect of senior living. People are much better at getting the three S’s: Security, Safety, and Socialization.
  5. We are getting much better at the socialization part of the equation ourselves. We are already doing this in much more of a hybrid environment that mixes technology solutions with human-to-human interaction depending on specific needs and circumstances.

It continues to be a tough operating environment, but it is making us stronger and will continue to help us better serve our residents and their families.