Golden Oaks halts visitation

Jenna Spencer, a Visit Enid employee, had her children make drawings and letters for Golden Oaks residents. (Photo provided)

Golden Oaks has decided for safety reasons to stop all visitation from outside the retirement community.

"We know that there is a risk that people who appear healthy, will enter our facility and could potentially infect our residents.” said Gary Lillie, Golden Oaks general manager. “The safety of our residents is our primary concern.”

Staff members will work to keep residents engaged and are working with families at home to write letters to residents.

"They may have family, friends or church members residing in long/short term rehabilitation centers, assisted living facilities or living independently in retirement communities," said Elaine John, director of marketing in a news release emailed Monday. "Each of our local health care facilities may have different policies in place for this project but we are asking families to send flowers to their loved ones, send videos to our Facebook site, or we can assist them with Facetime messages to loved ones. We will also post messages from within our facility to their families residing all over the country."

In addition, procedures have been put into place for staff members, contractors and health professionals entering Golden Oaks.

"We are taking all precautions to ensure the safety of more than 250 of our residents and 150 of our staff members," Johns said in the news release. "Screening programs are in place for all staff members, contractors and health care professionals prior to entering our facility. Our only entry is through the glass breezeway in the main tower entrance. They must check in, fill out a health survey, and be temperature tested each time they enter our building."

Golden Oaks is starting a movement titled “Share the Cheer” or #sharethecheer, to bring laughter, love and uplifting messages of comfort to residents who remain under quarantine. Children are encouraged to write poems, draw pictures and share well wishes for residents. All items will be sequestered for 24 hours and sanitized before being given to staff to distribute and personally read to our residents.

Anyone interested in sending a letter or drawing to local residents can mail it to Golden Oaks Village, Attn: Share the Cheer, 5801 N. Oakwood Rd, Enid, OK 73703. A hashtag has been created to spread awareness of the campaign, and anyone interested in joining can upload a photo to Facebook or Instagram and add the hashtag #spreadthecheer.

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