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Wednesday, September 9, 2020

CSAs On the Way!

Three CSAs, in “normal days,” are friendly competitors seeking to find appropriate senior communities for their clients. Eileen Lambert of Oasis, Nancy McClure of Care Patrol, and Erin Dwyer of Senior Care Authority started building their professional relationship several years ago through the monthly meetings of the St. Louis CSA Leaders Network. Each one has been a valuable member and contributor to this group, having worked together with all the local CSAs by participating in learning activities, building strategic alliances and forming ideas to help older adults . These amazing women were about to engage in a project that would demonstrate their caring throughout the local area to strained communities facing arduous times.

What started out as a national effort by Oasis Senior Advisors, delivering cards and face shields to senior communities, became a local effort formed by these CSAs. According to Erin, “It all started with a Zoom call on April 3rd, initiated by Eileen Lambert. Eileen was talking to me and Nancy about a senior card project idea during COVID-19 to bring some cheer to the community residents and staff who were left filling roles they had never intended to fill, nor had been prepared to deal with under the circumstances.” At that point, the three brainstormed ideas and reached out to the local skilled nursing, assisted living, and memory care communities in the area. Erin went on to say, “Eileen, Nancy, and I took to our respective Facebook pages to spread the word, and the cards and drawings started coming out of the woodwork from kids and adults alike.”

Eileen Lambert was able to secure face shields donated by Digital Color Concepts and PPEs. They were also able to recruit the assistance of an Eagle Scout to create face masks. Nancy said, “I gave antibacterial soap from Sammy Soap (a local business that benefits those with developmental disabilities) for the caregivers at one community. We dropped off cards and puzzle books for the residents, and candy and Chapstick for the caregivers.”

The group, wearing masks and gloves, delivered and donated these items and more to the communities. They even made yard signs to thank the staff for all their dedication and to show the residences the love and concern for them. “The feedback has been nothing but positive and the communities have welcomed us with open arms, but we always follow the protocol of each individual community on how close to get to the building. We wear masks and hand off items with as little contact as possible to keep everybody safe,” said Erin. According to Eileen, over 1,200 cards and 100 shields were delivered locally.

Because of their generosity, Eileen, Nancy, and Erin brought a lot of joy to the staff and residents of numerous communities in the local area, making a tremendous impact on many during a time when they needed it most. They also became a source of appreciation and admiration to all CSAs.

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About the Author

Jay Kweskin is the owner and operator of KwesCare LLC., a care management company serving the St. Louis, Missouri area. Jay is the chairman of the St. Louis Leadership group and is the Leaders Network Manager for SCSA. Jay has also participated in the SCSA testing advisor committee and national conference programing committee.