In mid-March, as the global coronavirus pandemic continued to put United States citizens at risk, Georgia resident and founder of Thrive Senior Living Jeramy Ragsdale made the difficult decision to forbid visitors from entering his 12 older adult communities, two of which are located in Northern Virginia.
Following the change, Ragsdale noticed a trend of isolation and loneliness within all communities across the Southeast, as well as a shortage of masks for both residents and employees. So, Ragsdale decided to do something about it.
According to Ragsdale, the Thrive team reached out to its connections overseas and found manufacturers who would assist in providing masks to senior living facilities across the U.S. Through a coordinated order with 42 other operators in the senior living industry, Ragsdale was able to secure over 4 million face masks for at-risk seniors.
Once the masks arrived in the U.S., Ragsdale, along with the president of Thrive Les Stretch, hopped in a truck to deliver the masks to each of Thrive’s communities. In addition to the masks, the two men unveiled custom-made Clear Connection panels, which Ragsdale handcrafted with help from his father, that enable residents to see and speak with their loved ones without risk of infection. The 8-by-10-foot panels are designed to meet CDC regulations and keep residents, as well as visitors and staff, safe.
Later this April, the Thrive team will deliver Clear Connection panels, as well as masks, to Ashburn-based Tribute at One Loudoun and Woodbridge’s Tribute at the Glen. For the first time in nearly a month, husbands, wives, children and siblings will be able to see and speak with one another in a safe environment. As the panels can be easily placed and removed into the doorways of each community, they will remain on-site for the duration of the quarantine and beyond, continuing to strengthen relationships during this uncertain time.
While the official unveiling of the Clear Connection panels was scheduled for April 15 and April 16, in both Virginia and Maryland, the Thrive team has had to delay the drop-off as “the climate is changing by the minute,” according to account coordinator Michelle Grande. Thousands of masks, however, are still scheduled to arrive this week in Ashburn and Woodbridge.
To read more about how local community members are rallying together during the global pandemic, subscribe to our newsletters.