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When the pandemic first reached Arizona in March of 2020, leaders in the Splendido community knew they had to take all the necessary precautions to keep residents safe. Restaurants and public amenities were closed for 60 days. Residents in Splendido are 55 and up, a high-risk age group for COVID infections.

Senior Vice President of Sales Gale Morgan said Mather, one of Splendido’s parent organizations, pulled together an interdisciplinary team of professionals to coordinate the best pandemic practices.

“We quickly learned that we had to expand our conversations way beyond keeping people physically safe to keeping them emotionally fit, mentally fit, happy, engaged,” Morgan said.

The staff at Splendido started rolling out new activities to keep residents engaged. They delivered meals and groceries. A traveling bar cart brought signature cocktails to residents at their doorsteps.

“We even did virtual art classes where we delivered an art kit to their door and then turned to the virtual to paint or they learn to write poetry,” Morgan said.

If residents felt uneasy about their technological skills, Splendido team members made it their mission to teach residents how to use Zoom for virtual activities. Art classes were also offered outdoors, although it was challenging in the summer heat.

As the pandemic continued, Morgan said Splendido quickly realized mental health needed to be considered when providing services during the pandemic because residents could feel physically and mentally isolated. Splendido tried to combat isolation by connecting with residents through technology on a regular basis. Staff would check on residents through weekly calls and keep the community informed of COVID developments.

“The other thing we learned was to be hyper transparent,” Morgan said. “If we got a COVID case, we posted it on the website, we sent a letter to every resident, and to every staff.”

When COVID vaccines were approved and distributed in Arizona for at-risk individuals, Splendido was quick to implement vaccine mandates for staff and open an on-site vaccination clinic for residents once vaccines were available.

“They were like ‘Just let us be with each other’ more than anything, so we opened the restaurants for happy hour and the events,” Morgan said. “They felt like they could reconnect with each other by being kind of in a bubble.”

With a vaccinated community, Splendido was one of the first to reopen its facilities and begin offering in-person services again with masking and proper social distancing.

Despite the pandemic, Splendido is now opening all-new villas installed with smart-home capabilities and new on-site services.

Simply ask Google to turn on the kitchen lights or program the shower to match personal settings with remote control. Homes at Splendido are built with the residents’ physical capabilities in mind as well, such as showers without thresholds to reduce the risk of falling and low-placed microwaves to protect residents from dropping hot food.

Splendido is planning on doubling the on-site spa by the end of the year. The spa will offer traditional services along with full-body treatments like Tibetan singing bowl sound therapy, wave massage, crystal therapy and aromatherapy at an extra cost.

Splendido has also expanded the wellness center to include a space for a nutritionist, meditation and mindfulness. Morgan said in a community that is transitioning post-COVID, the new wellness programs will help people shed unhealthy habits they may have developed during the shutdown.

To prevent future coronavirus cases, Splendido will offer booster shoots of the COVID vaccine and asks outside visitors to wear a mask in community spaces, regardless of vaccination status.

Find more information about the new Villa floor plans at the Splendido website: splendidotucson.com/terrace-villa-floor-plans

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