FALLS CHURCH, Va. (WDVM) — It could be as late as June before residents at the Goodwin House are able to see their families again. The senior living community is closed to visitors for the foreseeable future.
“We have already seen some of the effects of not having family members be able to visit and moods are really changing with staff and residents,” said Director of Life Enrichment Tiffany Proctor. “It kind of just reinvigorated us to try even harder to give our residents additional options – new creative options.”
Inspired by makeshift concerts outside windows and balconies in a quarantining Italy, Proctor searched for a local band that could bring such joy to her residents. “I started thinking about different kids of artists that I’d like to see come and perform and Motown came to me because it’s just really feel good uplifting music,” Proctor said.
Larry Simpson, manager of The Tribe Band, an old school band that’s been together for about 15 years, says he jumped at the opportunity. “When [Proctor] said it was a retired community of seniors – I just love performing for seniors and I knew — the type of music that we played — I just knew that they would enjoy it,” Simpson said.
The pandemic has hit The Tribe Band hard. Simpson says most of their gigs – many with seniors in the audience – have been canceled.
“We at Goodwin House wanted to be the sunshine in someone’s day and really share our stories,” Proctor said. “And hopefully we’ll inspire those in the greater community to figure out how you can inspire each other.”
“They seem to really enjoy our music. It’s uplifting – something they can relate to – bring back a lot of good memories. Even some old memories,” Simpson said.
Proctor says Goodwin House has been finding ways to entertain their residents while the facility is closed. “We came up with lots of ideas such as streaming services, religious services; lots of different in house streaming options. Funny videos just to keep residents laughing. And our goal is just to help them stay connected while social distancing.”
Goodwin House’s Bailey’s Crossroads location is home to about 500 residents. It’s one of two locations in Northern Virginia.