By Emily Gross, Senior Manager of Program Development and Outreach
Today’s Front Line Hero is Lutheran Senior Services, Inc. (dba Concordia Life Plan Community) in Oklahoma City for encouraging residents to pursue their passions during the pandemic.
Concordia Life Plan Community offers a variety of senior living options on its 15-acre campus. The staff encourages an active lifestyle for all residents and recently has given extra support to seniors as they explore various creative outlets while social distancing.
90-year-old resident Beverly Langley has been using her time in quarantine to pursue watercolor painting and has produced more 80 pieces of art this year while sheltering in place. Leadership at Concordia have even provided Beverly with additional watercolors, paintbrushes, and canvas to support her work. Beverly says, “Concordia gave me what I needed to further pursue my interest in art.”
Joan Quatro, 85, has been using a loom-like machine called a “Knifty Knitter,” to knit hats. After teaching other residents how to use the device, she led a collaborative effort to donate the hats for use in care packages for soldiers and to local hospitals for newborn babies. She has also coordinated with nonprofit organizations such as HUGS and the American Heart Association.
Resident Verna Shones devoted herself to gardening and sewing during the pandemic. Her apartment is filled with beautiful houseplants and sewing projects and she says she hopes to share her talents with others when there is no longer a risk of spreading the virus.
Although this year’s events have caused many many seniors to not visit loved ones or participate in group activities like they used to, the residents and staff at Concordia Life Plan Community have inspired us with their emphasis on self-care through art and other hobbies.