Harmony at Savannah Continues Bringing Residents Home During COVID Crisis

Staff Report From Savannah CEO

Monday, May 4th, 2020

When Harmony at Savannah broke ground in December 2018, they knew there would be some bumps in the road.  They were not surprised when a hurricane evacuation paused work for a week in September of 2019. They remained steadfast through a week pushed back here, or a few days delay there. However, when the first residents moved in on March 2, the retirement community had little warning of the crisis that was soon to befall their opening, and slow their move-ins by more than half.
“We had over half our building deposited, and residents ready to move in.  We couldn’t open fast enough for them.” said Executive Director Allison Adams. “After the first few move ins, we started hearing more and more about COVID-19, the rush slowed to a crawl, and depositors were putting the move on hold in fear of the virus.”
Harmony at Savannah remained open, and continued moving residents in, at a slower and safety-minded pace.   “We are pushing forward with abbreviated tours, lease signings, and move ins, within the first week or so” said Allison Adams, Executive Director for Harmony at Savannah. “We have done so throughout the developing and current COVID situation, by adhering to protocols, restrictions, and safety precautions.”
Visitors were restricted to essential medical staff; movers were screened and required to wear PPE; residents were screened and given additional amenities like complimentary in-room dining and limited group activities to adhere to social distancing; staff began wearing masks and following stricter protocols; the community began offering Virtual Tours.  And the move ins continued.

“At no time were we on a lockdown, or a quarantine, nor did we restrict residents within the building. The entire community is their home, and they are free to move about the building and property.” Said Adams. “We strongly encourage them to follow safety standards and we will help them do so, but we cannot and will not contain residents to their apartments”
The community continues to host activities for the current residents, with staff members getting in on the fun – all while maintaining proper COVID etiquette. Residents have enjoyed balcony serenades, flight attendant style service for happy hour, and fun themed days like Hawaiian Luau, Wacky Tacky Day, and Silly Hair Day. Depositors who are still at home get doorstep deliveries of supplies and goodies.  Family members who come to visit, do so outside, sometimes with resident in their room, and family member outside their patio door; another family walks together daily but with at least 10 feet between them.  Harmony at Savannah posts all their shenanigans on their Facebook page for fans, near and far, to see and enjoy.
Upon hearing that residents of other communities were being told they could not move out or bring movers in to assist with a move, Harmony at Savannah fought to let residents and families know their rights by offering up temporary furnishings should they move without their furniture, partnering with movers, and supporting families and residents with the certainty of a home during uncertain times.

Nearly 2 months after their first resident moved in, Harmony at Savannah remains open, and welcoming seniors into their independent, assisted and memory care communities. Visiting Harmony at Savannah may be currently limited, but moving into a community with the support of supplies, staff and extensive safety policies and procedures, is unlimited and can begin immediately.