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Spring and Hope during Coronavirus

Experiencing a pandemic has brought a lot of uncertainty which commonly creates anxiety. At The Springs Living, we know we have a responsibility not only to protect residents’ physiological safety, but also their emotional well-being. One way that we have inspired hope during this difficult time was through our Looking Glass partitions — a large sheet of Plexiglas that provides a safe way for residents to visit with their families. Springtime is a natural season of hope, and Mothers' Day was the perfect time to introduce the Looking Glass partitions

The Looking Glass is just one example of adapting to difficult situations. We’re also participating in a cooperative study with Enviral Tech and the Oregon Health & Sciences University to help us understand COVID-19 better by testing high-touch surfaces in our communities.

While the visitor restrictions for senior living communities are still in place, we are finding ways to keep families connected even during difficult times. We can come together with something that we feel springs eternal — hope.

It turns out that a feeling of hopefulness changes your brain. Your brain pumps chemicals when experiencing the sensation of hope. These chemicals can block pain and accelerate healing. Hope, which involves belief and expectation, causes the brain to release neurochemicals called endorphins and enkephalins, which actually mimic the effects of morphine. The result is that the brain can overcome hurdles and move to a place of recovery. This was in part what inspired the Looking Glass. Face-to-face visits without the requirement of a mask can kick-start the brain’s chemical reactions -- giving people hope that things will be normal again.

Many might say hope is as vital to the brain as the oxygen we breathe. Times are difficult these days, and having that feeling of hopefulness can make a real difference. Neuro-scientists believe that our brains are wired for stories and interaction with others because they captivate your brain, releasing emotions that are inextricably tied to not only brain health, but physical and emotional health as well. In some ways, having meaningful interaction has become a casualty of our busy, hectic pace of life. Here, at The Springs Living, we’ve been using this time of containment to slow down and reconnect — such as time with a good friend, fresh air, and good conversation.

To learn more about The Springs Living protocols and updates on COVID-19, see our COVID-19 Updates and Resources page.

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