Here’s how team members at The Village of St. Edward in Fairlawn & Green have rallied behind the scenes to help residents navigate the new normal

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Megan Gordon helps keep residents busy and cognitively engaged with activities.

By Patricia Nugent

Like a perilous storm, the pandemic has brought its share of unknowns to decipher and heartbreak to shoulder. At senior care facilities—where residents are especially susceptible to social isolation—the fallout is intensified.

Behind the scenes, past the locked doors, workers on the frontlines have shown bravery in doing whatever it took, and still takes, to carry on.

“Our employees have gone above and beyond the call of duty. They have formed a chain of compassion, ensuring our residents continue to thrive,” says Annette Walters, corporate director of marketing for The Village of St. Edward, with three locations in Northeast Ohio.

The faith-based, not-for-profit facilities cater to the physical, spiritual and social needs of the residents.

Founded in 1964, the Fairlawn Village includes independent living, supported and assisted living, a rehabilitation and nursing center for around-the-clock care and memory care units. Opened in 2019, the Green and Wadsworth locations offer rustic, home-like accommodations for independent and assisted living, as well as memory care.

Annette says during the past year they have welcomed many new residents to the Village.

“We are thankful that people have put their trust in us to provide a safe and secure environment for their loved ones,” she says.

Stories From the Frontlines

As Director of Dining Services at The Village of St. Edward, Bonnie Eisenbarth oversees the restaurant-quality dishes that are healthy and delicious.

For the past seven years, Bonnie Eisenbarth has been the director of dining services at the Fairlawn location.

“I would say mealtime is a highlight of the day for most of our residents,” she smiles. “And we take that seriously. We’re proud of serving restaurant-quality dishes that are healthy and delicious. We always seek out residents’ input.”

The pandemic has created challenges, such as sanitizing the dining areas between meals and setting up the seating to facilitate social distancing.

“We type up menus and hand-deliver them to residents three times a week so they can pick and choose their meals,” says Bonnie. “Our folks are so active, it’s been rough not having our usual holiday parties. My staff and I go out of our way to be upbeat around them.”

Tamera Brown brings smiles to the residents faces. She works as a server at the dining room.

Tamera Brown is a dietary server at the Green location. Her bustling job includes serving residents meals, taking orders, bussing tables, cleaning the dining room between seatings and restocking items in the kitchen.

“We had to set up the space to keep people separated, keep the line of flow separated,” she says. “They can sit in the same room, but not at the same table unless they are married, which is hard. But it’s our main goal to keep them safe and healthy. It’s been wonderful getting to know the residents and spending time with them. I know everyone by name, and they know me, too.”

As an activities assistant in Memory Care at the Green location, Megan Gordon keeps residents busy and cognitively engaged during the day, from running bingo games, to coloring, exercising and reading the newspaper.

“My coworkers are like a big family,” she says. “It’s amazing how people from other departments will pitch in to help. Everyone knows each other and the residents.”

Being in Memory Care, she says, it’s challenging to explain what’s going on with the pandemic to those who might not understand it.

“We do our best to make their days feel more normal, doing the same activities but in a socially distanced way,” she says. “The residents have been great about it. I love their spirit. There’s one sweet gentleman who enjoys me reading the newspaper with him and has it ready each morning when I come in.”

The Village of St. Edward has three locations: Fairlawn, at 3125 Smith Road, phone number is 330-668-2828; Green, 3813 Fortuna Drive, 234-294-0010; and Wadsworth, 880 Main Street, 234-217-8735. Pets under 20 pounds are allowed. For more information, go to