Acts of kindness happen every day, although they may not be witnessed or spoken of. During the COVID-19 pandemic it seems that these acts of kindness happen more often.
In this case at the Coronado Retirement Village, whose mission is caring for others, a number of things happened in the past month which show the amount of caring that goes on at the facility.
The Village Executive Director and Licensee Rajni Kharbanda explained that by March 13 the facility had already taken precautions with social distancing and had notified families, cancelled entertainers and outside vendors, stopped all outside appointments and started ordering supplies. One of the employees even built an outdoor custom water sanitation station, where hospice nurses and medical professionals could wash up.
Around this time, one woman’s health declined and she was placed in hospice care at the Village, after recently moving into the Coronado community. Her daughter was visiting her from the East Coast when the state of California announced the stay at home order due to the pandemic.
The daughter then decided to stay with her mom at the Village, where management was very accommodating, even arranging for a second bed in the room. The daughter was offered meals and beverages, although she ordered her own groceries and food, explained Kharbanda.
During the time the resident was at the village, she bonded with a staff member by the name of Lashon Morris who always wore a butterfly pendant.
“Lashon developed a special bonding with the resident and many times the resident would touch Lashon’s butterfly pendant and said ‘you are my butterfly,’ and ‘I would like to be a butterfly’” said Kharbanda.
The woman also thanked Morris over and over for taking such good care of her.
After 34 days the woman passed away.
“On the day the resident passed away, her daughter stood in the courtyard to FaceTime with her family back East and expressed her feelings of gratitude of how ‘Mom was well taken care at the community.’ While the resident was being taken to the mortuary, the daughter showed [her family] Lashon and her butterfly necklace and said ‘This is the lady who took very good care of mom and whenever I will see a butterfly, I will think of Lashon,’ and ‘If I could, I would have loved to build a butterfly garden for her,’” recalled Kharbanda.
Kharbanda said Morris loves butterflies because they represent hope and she now feels the resident who passed away is her guardian angel.
Kharbanda has operated the Coronado Retirement Village and Assisted Living and Memory Care for the past 10 years and is really proud of the fact that the facility goes above and beyond for the residents. Kharbanda is proud of her staff, despite the circumstances and the overwhelming times. She recently held a special luncheon for them.
“I’m not in this business for the sake of the business. It’s a calling…We’re a family” she said.