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Kathy and Chuck Joseph are grateful to be living at Splendido.

It’s still possible to exercise, stay engaged, and connect with friends while staying safe during the Coronavirus pandemic —and that is especially true for those in Life Plan Communities like Splendido, an all-inclusive community in Oro Valley for those 55 and better.

In fact, a recent report from senior living investment company Zeigler found that Life Plan Communities have the best record of any type of senior living residence when it comes to limiting impact of the Coronavirus pandemic. And indeed, to date none of the residents living independently at Splendido have tested positive with the virus.

When the pandemic hit, Splendido pivoted to provide personal delivery of meals, mail and packages, and even library books. Employees created moments of fun, from surprising residents with silly costumes from T Rex to the Easter Bunny, scheduling balcony happy hours, showing off how to bake banana bread on the in-house TV channel, and offering door-to-door ice cream delivery. 

“Splendido has made it easier to stay in and stay safe,” says Therese Jezioro, who says she and husband Tom Hestwood would not venture out regardless of where they live. “Here, you don’t have to shop; they’ll deliver to your door. Staff will pick up residents’ prescriptions and incidentals for them, and they make a weekly run to the public library to pick up books and things put on reserve.” 

Resident Jane Wilson has been enjoying perusing Splendido’s ever-changing menus and having chef-prepared meals delivered to her door. “I do cook some meals, but this has just worked out beautifully,” she says. “The chefs have expanded the standard menu with some lovely new items and there are a variety of things to choose from. They’ve done something really special on holidays, like a special dessert. We have a wonderful pastry chef.”

While the fitness center and swimming pools are open (with safety measures in place), residents can also join fitness classes from home on Splendido’s in-house TV channel. The channel also offers a daily update from Splendido’s executive director, lectures and programs presented by staff or residents, and—in off-hours—popular movies and televised theater like the new Hamilton production. 

“Technology has made a huge difference in keeping us connected, and staff have done a good job at creating ways that everyone can access,” says resident Kathie Joseph.

For example, the fall semester of the popular resident-led lecture series, known as Splendido Intellectual Pursuits Program (SIPP), will be available via the in-house TV channel. Tom Hestwood is busy working on his course, and says planning for a virtual presentation is different. “My course will probably be three sessions, on the history of the Progressive Era, covering the early twentieth century,” he says. “I realize that because there is a fixed camera, I need to put more emphasis on my visual aids.”

Kathie and Chuck Joseph, pictured above, realized quickly that they needed new skills like depositing checks remotely and ordering groceries and restaurant delivery online. “There are a lot of online classes out there to help you with technology, especially now,” says Kathie. “I’ve been helping other residents out a bit [with technology]. I’m the chair of the Culinary Committee, so I try and stay ahead of the curve, especially on things related to food.”

She learned how to participate in Zoom calls to stay in touch with friends, and even participated in a “Virtual Crank-In” of 500+ people worldwide who use antique circular sock knitting machines. “It used Zoom, Facebook, and YouTube to connect everyone,” she says. “It was fun to interact with other hobbyists while staying safely at home, and got me excited to do new things with my machines.” 

Today more than ever, Splendido is taking care of the “little things” so that residents can focus on the good life. “We’ve got it better than others,” says Therese. “We don’t have to worry about shopping or home maintenance. We have a much more stress-free life here, during the pandemic and otherwise.”

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