22 November 2020
Dear Shady Oaks Community,
In previous years, I wrote annual letters to share updates about our staffing and renovations. This year, it feels more appropriate to devote this letter to our home’s COVID-19 precautions. It’s been a devastating year for COVID in Connecticut senior homes. 93% of CT nursing homes and 74% of assisted livings had COVID positive residents. Deaths by senior home residents comprised over 70% of Connecticut’s total COVID deaths. Across Bristol’s five nursing homes, 312 residents have had COVID and 70 of them died. Meanwhile, with great effort, expense, and discipline, Shady Oaks has stayed safe. We have not yet had a COVID positive resident.
I believe these policies, practices, and purchases have meant the most for our safety:
Beyond any policy, practice, or purchase, we owe our deepest gratitude to our staff members. Day and night, they served our residents and each other by remaining safe in their personal lives and accepting challenges (bubbling up, wearing masks for hours, and weekly testing) with grace.
Altogether, so far, it’s been a difficult yet strong year for Shady Oaks. For the first time ever, Bristol Press readers voted us as the Best Skilled Nursing Facility and Best Retirement Home. We will remain vigilant. Right now, I feel fear, courage, and hope. Vaccines will be here soon. Through the upcoming holidays, I wish safety and love for all our families, residents, and staff.
Tyson Francis Belanger
At the conclusion of each annual letter, we together pause and remember our former residents who have passed or moved away since our last letter back on 15 September 2019. We offer heartfelt condolences for the passings of Marjorie Andrade, Marjorie Budge, Etalo Calcinari, Forence Dlugoz, William Fickett, Kathleen Gavin, Suzanne Girard, Theresa Glynn, Carol Hess, Betty Hinman, Edna Kozikowski, Robert Lee, Romeo Lussier, Cecil Maloney, Josephine Mills, Francis Nagy, Leonard Nowak, Nancy Ribeiro, Chester Ryan, Sophie Smolenski, Elsie Soucy, Jennie Sylvester, and George Yacone. We also remember our residents who have moved: Elba and Vincent Caruso, Dorothea Hill, and Filomena Hovhanessian. We tried to be helpful. We miss the residents, you, and your families.