Full Circle
Circle Center's E-Newsletter
A day without a friend is like a pot without a single drop of honey left in it."
-Winnie the Pooh
From the moment that "social distancing" was announced as one of the most necessary precautionary measures against the spread of the coronavirus, we were concerned. We understand and appreciate the need for this distance to protect our community, but we bristled at the social connotation. We adopted the phrasing "physical distancing" to indicate the importance of staying at a safe distance from each other physically, while not emphasizing the connection to socialization.

A pandemic comes with many inherent threats to our health and safety, and a few more silent ones. Those of us in the aging services field have long been aware of the threat of social isolation to the health and well-being of everyone, but especially to our aging population. The pandemic is disproportionately affecting the population that we serve simultaneously, as the community that we serve is highly vulnerable to the disease itself, while facing greater risk of social isolation and its subsequent poor health outcomes.

So how do we continue to serve during a pandemic whose measures of necessary safety and protocol are antithetical to our mission of providing care and socialization in a community setting? Adult Day programs excel at providing the combination of socialization and care that bring Moments of Joy for the lives of our participants and caregivers. Our programs and services are designed to specifically offer a congregate setting and to create a community of friendship and support.

Throughout the pandemic we have heard time and again that the lack of socialization has been a determining factor in the decline of health and daily functionality for our participants, as well as increasing the stress and social isolation for care partners. As we have slowly resumed our programs and services, we have focused on moments of joy and sought out ways to provide them, even virtually, for our participants, care partners, and families.
The friendships, the community and the peace of mind that together help to combat the dangers of social isolation. These moments are more important than ever, and they are found each day in our conversations with families, in our program rooms, and on Zoom calls.

In this Full Circle, we bring you a video, created in partnership with our friends at Genworth, that directly highlights the concerns about social isolation during this time of physical distancing and offers solutions we can all implement to fight it. We bring you a heartwarming story of friendship, that offers us an everlasting moment of joy and we hope that this newsletter can be a way for us to reach each other. Please continue to share your moments of joy with us!
Physical Distancing and Social Isolation
As efforts to combat social isolation have been a bedrock of our program since our inception, we partnered with our friends and supporters at Genworth to produce a series of videos to help pass along important messages during the Pandemic.

We are pleased to share with you this video, featuring Circle Center Social Worker, Jay Burkhardt as he addresses the need for physical distancing and our concerns about social isolation. We highlight the damaging effects of social isolation and offer some solutions to help offset the impact it can have on socialization. Jay discusses the "perfect storm of isolation" brought on by this Pandemic and how we have to actively pursue creative ways to stay connected. Thank you to our friends at Genworth for working with us to create this video and helping us to stay connected.

Click HERE to watch.
A Circle Center Friendship
Friendship is an important factor in what transforms a place into a community. Over our nearly 45 years of service we have been witness to the daily blooming of friendships between our participants. We love to see participants excited to return each day to sit with a friend and share stories over morning coffee or excitedly join a card game with their buddies. One such friendship that is a continuous moment of joy is that of current of current participants, Joe and Sandra.

Sandra began attending Circle Center in 2012 after a severe stroke landed her in a wheelchair. Her sheer determination from the outset, and her commitment to removing the wheelchair from the story of her recovery, now sees her walking into Circle Center every day, being greeted by proud smiles that even the biggest of masks can't conceal. Joe shares a similar story. A truck driver originally from South Carolina, he suffered a series of stroke in 2012, and the severity of his complications weren't fully assessed until he moved in with his daughter in Richmond. She promptly got him into rehab and he began regularly attending Circle Center in 2016, where he and Sandra met.

Joe and Sandra share similar interests and passions, and although they have similar diagnoses, it is their willpower, strength and contagious positive attitudes that forged their friendship, not their challenges. They motivate each other, and everyone around them, every day.

Sandra and her sister, her primary care partner, were raised in a tight knit community and she fondly shares her memories, as a native of Richmond, of walking to work through her neighborhood in Church Hill. They were immediately drawn to the social aspect of Circle Center, understanding the integral role that community would play in Sandra's recovery. A community she was thrilled to welcome Joe into when he too left his wheelchair behind and proudly walked into Circle Center.

Finding a shared love of art, they both enjoy the many artistic programs and activities at Circle Center and the music that weaves throughout the halls of the Center each day. So much so that Sandra will occasionally tease Joe to put down the paintbrush and get himself to the wellness room, as only a good friend can. Seeing each other continue to overcome their obstacles - they inspire each other every day.

The true magic of Circle Center is in these moments of joy. The moments we are witness to each day, whether it is watching someone who was reluctant to attend enthusiastically participate in a trivia game or hearing from a family member that their loved one came home bursting with stories of their day. During the trying days of the pandemic, it has been these stories that have been our daily motivation and a reminder of just how essential our programs and services are to the people we serve.
What will Larry Wear Next!
Do you have a favorite souvenir to commemorate a vacation or a special event? Well Larry sure does, and better yet, he puts them on display for everyone to enjoy! Larry has been collecting t-shirts and caps for years and has amassed quite an impressive collection representing trips, sporting events, festivals, and special functions. Sometimes he likes to mix and match and will surprise us each day with a bright and bold souvenir t-shirt perhaps of a trip to the beach paired with a printed hat from a baseball game. What started as a fun way for him to express himself and enjoy these special souvenirs, now has everyone at Circle Center anticipating his arrival and wondering, "What Will Larry Wear" today! Thank you Larry, for sharing these moments of joy with all of us!
Larry in a few of his colorful combinations showing off some of his favorite
Virginia festivals, vacation spots and teams!
Welcome to the Board, Phyllis!
We are happy to welcome another new face to our Board of Directors! Phyllis James serves as a member of faculty at J. Sargeant Reynolds Community College and has a long history of philanthropic and community involvement in Richmond. We are lucky to gain her talents and expertise! Join us in welcoming Phyllis to the Circle Center family.
We Need You
As we continue to face the challenges of operating during a Pandemic, we seem to find new needs everyday. We are so grateful for your support and for helping us collect items from our wish-list. What started as a way to create personal activity kits has grown into a way to help us meet the adjustments we've made to our programs and the demands of our increased health and safety protocols. Masks, gloves, thermometers, increased technology and communication needs, individual program supplies, sanitization supplies...the list goes on and on. We continue to update our Wish-List and can not tell you how much we appreciate it when we see that Amazon truck pull up outside for a delivery! Thank you for your continued support!
Want to support Circle Center and ensure we are able to continue to provide Moments of Joy for participants and caregivers? Support our mission with a gift today. Every bit helps and we are so grateful for your support!
Center Updates -
"Scene" and Heard around Circle Center
As we head into cooler Fall weather, we have been enjoying
our patio and courtyard spaces!
"Thank you to EVERYONE at the Circle Center for everything you do. I feel very blessed. I enjoy seeing how everyone takes care of each other and the special relationships among the participants."
- Participant Caregiver
Virtual Support Groups
We have made modifications to our support groups in order to continue to serve our care partners and our community. We are currently offering the following virtual support group virtually via ZOOM and invite anyone who may benefit from them to join us:

Combined Caregiver Support Group:
Last Thursday of Every Month 4:30 - 6:00 PM
Parkinson's Support Group:
First Tuesday of Every Month 6:00 - 7:00 PM

These support groups are open to the public and do not require an RSVP. Please contact Jay Burkhardt for more information and to receive the ZOOM link. JBurkhardt@CircleCenterVA.org; 804.355.5717 x210
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