"During these crazy times that we're facing in the world, we're just constantly trying to find new ways to keep our residents positive," Executive Director Justin Roth said. "The hardest piece about this is for the families because they're not able to see their loves ones. So we just wanted them to be able to see their families face-to-face but in a safe way."
While Roth said he was unsure how many people participated in the parade, it included at least 70 cars. In addition to family members and friends, other parade participants included the Spring Fire Department, the Harris County Precinct 4 Constable's Office, a local National Charity League Chapter and Bristol Hospice, he said.
"[The residents are] still talking about it today," Roth said. They were just blown away with emotions, excitement, happiness—they were just really impressed with what we did for them."
Roth added other Avanti Senior Living locations had hosted similar events for their residents, including the Towne Lake location in Cypress.
In addition to limiting visitation, Roth said Avanti Senior Living has also taken several other steps to ensure the safety of both residents and staff.
"Associates can go home ... but when they come back we do a series of tests and questions for them at the start of each shift every single day to ensure that we're keeping everybody safe," Roth said.
The facility is also distributing vitamin C every day to staff to boost their immune systems, and staff members are wearing masks every day. Additionally, Roth said physicians are able to treat residents but only for essential visits.
"We're very proud of everything we've put into place," Roth said. "We're still virus-free, and we'll continue to do so."
In the midst of isolation, Roth added technology has helped residents stay connected with loved ones even before the coronavirus pandemic.
"Residents, when they move into Avanti, receive an iPad so ... we already have a lot of technology in place so it's been a very easy transition," Roth said. "There's daily activity calendars, links to order food, the concierge desk room service, and we've created Skype accounts for all of our residents, so whenever they feel like seeing their loved ones, they can just push a button."
As the facility offers both assisted living and memory care, Roth said they have to put some extra precautions in place for memory care patients. However, overall Roth said the residents have kept positive attitudes throughout the situation.
"They're all 70-80 years old, and this is not the first time they've been through something like this in their lives ... so I think mentally, they were prepared for this already," Roth said. "I've been really impressed with the residents as far as their willingness to accept what it is, they've been very positive throughout all of this as well and it's just been a refreshing sense of community. We've had more residents coming to participate in activities, which is really cool to see."
Roth added if the coronavirus pandemic continues for much longer, the facility will consider hosting parades on a monthly or semimonthly basis.
"Being there was—what we all said—one of the top things that's happened to us in our careers in this industry; it was just very emotional and fun," Avanti Sales Maven Abby Rudd said.
To view the parade, watch the videos below:
(Drone footage provided by Enligh10 Media)