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Ormond Beach Observer Friday, Jul. 3, 2020 1 month ago

Riviera Senior Living starts cautious return to normal life for its residents

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Riviera Senior Living hasn't had any positive cases of COVID-19.
by: Jarleene Almenas Associate Editor

With zero positive cases of COVID-19 reported since March, Riviera Senior Living has started its reopening process. 

On Monday, June 29, Riviera's independent living residents returned to the dining room for dinner for the first time since COVID-19 began impacting the community in March. Lynn DeBrango, sales director at Riviera, said residents were sat down individually or in their respective couples at a table to allow for social distancing.

“While it may seem awkward, the residents have just been really thankful to return to a little bit of normal life," DeBrango said.

The last few months have been very different for the 106 residents and staff at Riviera, which has both independent living units and is an assisted living facility. DeBrango said staff has found ways to cope and accommodate people despite the threat COVID-19 has on the older population.

Residents were asked to quarantine in their apartments, and before Riviera's reopening began, meals were delivered straight to their units. Instead of riding a bus together to go grocery shopping, the activities department staff took on the roles of personal shoppers. 

Entertainment for the residents was also modified, DeBrango said. Performers now set up around the outside of the building, rotating locations every 30 minutes so every resident can see the show.

“That way nobody is left out," she said. "They can enjoy the live entertainment from the comfort of their patio and still remain safe.”

Reopening also means that Riviera is now allowing visitors for their independent living residents.

“It’s such a stressful time for our residents to separate from their families," DeBrango said. "They can’t have the visitors that they would normally have but with the opening this week, we have started what we call sunshine visits.”

These visits span 30 minutes and take place at Riviera's porch. Visitors are asked to wear masks and stay 6 feet apart. If this is successful, DeBrango said they will begin sunshine visits for their assisted living residents too. 

Staff has remained diligent in taking the necessary precautions to prevent any COVID-19 cases inside Riviera, she added, describing everyone as a large family. 

"I cannot say enough wonderful things about the team here that our residents are their number one priority," DeBrango said.

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