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Woodland Pond Residents Share Community’s Response to COVID-19

Woodland Pond Aerial View

Woodland Pond Residents Share COVID-19 Opinions


As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to evolve and impact the world, Woodland Pond continues to relentlessly focus on preventing the spread of the virus within our community. The health and well being of our residents and employees will always be top priority.  In response to the crisis, we have implemented multiple procedures to ensure the safety of our community.  From restricting visitation, to suspending activities, events and classes and switching to virtual entertainment and classes, to closing the dining rooms and delivering meals, COVID-19  has significantly impacted everyday life for our residents.  Even with all of these changes and social isolation, our residents continue to remain optimistic and our sense of community continues to shine. Many residents and family members have come forward and shared their thoughts and experiences of what they are going through during this time. Here are a few testimonials we’d like to share with you:

Suzanne Orchowski, Woodland Pond Resident since August 2017

“Woodland Pond has been home to me for close to three years. The benefits of living in this friendly, supportive environment have been many as can be attested to by the waiting list of potential residents waiting to move in. I and other residents are thankful to be part of the Woodland Pond community. That’s during “normal” times.

These are not normal times. The COVID-19 virus has shaken our sense of security just as it has the entire nation. As seniors we are all in the high risk population, which raises the question, “Are we still thankful to be here?” The answer is a resounding, “Yes!”

The management team at Woodland Pond took the pandemic threat very seriously very early on and started implementing precautions. Social distancing, suspension of group activities, delivery of meals to our homes so the dining room could be closed, followed by delivery of newspapers and mail are all steps taken so we can remain in our own homes. Grocery shopping has been done for us, making trips to the store unnecessary for us. The planning didn’t stop at isolating us, though. Exercise classes are being live-streamed to our apartments and cottages, as is live entertainment in the form of singing, dancing, poetry reading, short story reading, etc., all provided by our talented residents. These programs not only keep us entertained, but also keep us connected to each other during our separation.

This pandemic is a first for our leadership team. They didn’t have a guide book on how to handle the crises, but they did and continue to do so. The residents have also stepped up not only by providing entertainment and in cooperation with the ever increasing restrictions, but when wearing masks became a mandate, most of us didn’t have one. Those residents with a sewing machine got busy making them and now we have a surplus.

So yes, I’m glad I’m here and hear the same from other residents. Will the steps taken keep the virus out of Woodland Pond? Maybe, maybe not, only time will tell. With the nature of this virus the odds are probably against it. We are receiving daily updates on the infection rate here, and as of this writing not one resident is showing signs of infection. If that should change, I’m confident our management team has a plan already in place that needs only to be implemented. Being here we feel as safe as can be amid the pandemic”.

Frieda Feldman, Retired RN, Woodland Pond Resident since February 2019

“When my daughter started talking to me about moving from Key Largo, FL to Woodland Pond, I resisted her arguments, but she persisted, and it was the smartest argument I ever lost. When I moved into Woodland Pond, I found a whole new world of interesting and engaged friends. I went to concerts and plays that were not available to me in my old sailing community. Virtually next door, the University has classes of interest, unlimited diversity ,and something for everyone. There are hiking trails at Woodland Pond right out the front door. Yesterday, I watched a small yellow bird building a nest. And to my delight as a writer of poetry, a large and well maintained library in house, manned by volunteers. Today, in this most difficult of times, I want to thank all those who are protecting us, from the top(thanks Michelle)to the young people, whose smiling faces keep us sane, comfortable, and fed. To all the guys working as if it was an ordinary day, to make sure that we are Okay. My thanks, and to my daughter, you were right”.

Raymond Smith, Woodland Pond Resident since March 2011

“Anne and I have been residents of Woodland Pond for nine years and have been heavily involved the whole time. From the beginning, we have been impressed by the responsive, caring staff, from the CEO down. This has become even more important as we navigate the COVID-19 pandemic. There was some grumbling when management took strong measures before many, such as no visitors.  But not any more. At my age, I can’t think of a safer or better place to be”.

Sol Mora, M.D. , Woodland Pond Resident since June 2014

“A thank you note to CEO, Michelle and all the staff here at Woodland Pond.   This is an open letter of appreciation for Michelle’s leadership and for the staff taking such excellent care of our community during this stressful time of this pandemic.  You all have taken great pains to make sure that we wear masks and gloves,  keep 6 feet apart in all common areas….  even sign up one at a time in the gym.

One of the most efficient operations is how the dining staff has continued to cook meals,  how each resident orders the day before,  and the staff delivers directly to our door!  High class and tasty “room service” !  Even our mail is delivered so we don’t group up in the mail room.

I’d like to extend thanks to my fellow residents as well.  This is a caring and connected community.  So we regularly check in on one another… to ascertain that friends and neighbors have the right food,  medicine,  and are getting out to walk (especially on the lovely trails behind the WP campus).   I’m so glad we live here at Woodland Pond! “

Sharon Raphael, Woodland Pond Resident since December 2017

“Artie and I have been living at Woodland Pond for two years.  We feel very protected and secure in the knowledge that the administration has been very thorough in taking measures to keep all of us healthy during the coronavirus outbreak.  Our CEO, Michelle Gramoglia, has been sending out daily messages of mandated behavior set up by New York State as well as her own directives.  Each day we see guidelines which are more and more specific to our own unique community.  I can’t think of any situation that hasn’t been addressed. Woodland Pond has proven to be a very safe haven during this most unusual situation. As of April 13, there haven’t been any resident cases of the virus in all of Woodland Pond.”

Deborah MooreWoodland Pond Resident since August 2014

“The staff and residents here are amazing! Management is doing an excellent job of keeping us safe from the COVID-19 virus. They are even bringing our meals and mail right to our doors. I’m continuing to lead the twice a week yoga class. But instead of doing it in the usual way, I’m doing it in front of the closed circuit TV camera. The other residents now watch and practice in the comfort of their own homes. I’m so glad I’m here.”

Michele Caccavano, Woodland Pond Resident since September 2016

“The CEO and staff have gone above and beyond to keep the residents here safe and well provided for during the COVID19 pandemic. I feel privileged to live in this community.”

Paul FargisWoodland Pond Resident since August 2017

“Dawn and I want you  to know how pleased we are with what we have here at Woodland Pond. Before we made the decision to leave our much loved house of 40 years we looked at 6 CCRCs and had 3 of them reviewed by attorneys and our accountant. All reviews gave Woodland Pond A plus ratings. No others passed the tests. But, our happiness goes beyond the basics of shelter and food. There are the numerous new friends we have made, dozens of activities, and the friendly, talented and attentive staff  for which we are more than grateful.”

Dick BarryWoodland Pond Resident since September 2011

“For the nearly nine years that I have been a resident at Woodland Pond, I have always felt safe and secure but never more so than at the present time during the coronavirus pandemic.  Our management team, under the brilliant leadership of our president and CEO, Michelle Gramoglia,  has taken every possible precautionary measure to keep this virus from reaching us, and the entire staff has demonstrated loyalty and dedication in continuing to meet all our needs.  To show the spirit that exists with our residents, many of them, including me, have volunteered to offer various forms of daily   entertainment through our internal television station: playing musical instruments, singing, dancing, reading poetry and interviewing fellow residents with interesting backgrounds.  Every morning we have several different exercise classes televised to all residents.  As an author of three collections of published short stories, I read one of my stories each week.  In coping with the dangers of this virus I feel very fortunate to be at Woodland Pond for I know that I could not be better protected or cared for.  It’s a  reassuring feeling to know that all constituents — the Board of Directors, Michelle, management, staff and residents — are united in our efforts to thwart covid-19.  We carry on in high spirits.”

Maddy Lee, Woodland Pond Resident since May 2013

“My husband and I moved to Woodland Pond nine years ago, both of us fully expecting to spend many, many years here together, peacefully growing old at exactly the same rate. Friends were surprised that we had moved: “you’re much too young,” they said. But they were completely wrong. Moving when we did gave us time to enjoy growing old together.  We traveled from this base, we cherished the sunsets over the Shawangunks, we walked on trails all around the area, and family and friends came for wonderful visits to the Hudson Valley. But just as important, it gave us time to make friends who suddenly became very important last year, when my husband succumbed to dementia. He was cared for in the skilled nursing unit here as lovingly and respectfully as anyone could wish for.  I could be with him every day.  We were surrounded by the friends we have made here, by staff who cared. That’s not something we figured into our calculations – but it has proved to be the most important thing of all.”

Nancy Tischler, Woodland Pond Resident since March 2020

“I moved to Woodland Pond just days prior to the coronavirus outbreak! Michelle, CEO and president, immediately gained my respect. She made difficult decisions on a daily basis to safely keep us intellectually and physically stimulated. She is supported by a friendly, capable staff who cater to the needs of this quite remarkable community. I encourage anyone interested in living in this environment to contact Shannon, Director of Marketing, who by the way, is awesome. She made my transition easy and fun!”

Barbara Hallam, Woodland Pond Resident since December 2016

“Woodland Pond is exceptionally careful protecting all of us. There are strict rules to avoid contact but we have amazing service such as meals, mail and correspondence delivered to our front door.”

Vivian and Bill Swetow, Woodland Pond Resident since October 2014

“Vivian and I have been here for 5  years. Coming to Woodland Pond was a momentous decision for us but  we’ve never  for a moment regretted it.. We have a lovely apartment with a great view. The management and staff here are 5 stars. They are on top of everything and their response to any problems is very prompt. One of Woodland Pond’s major assets is its resident population. We’ve never encountered such a caring, intelligent group. Mind and body needs are easily fulfilled. We have been active in a Memoir Group, a current events group, a play reading group and a bridge group as well as some exercise groups. .We expect to be here for the rest of our lives.”

Armen and Cynthia FisherWoodland Pond Residents since August 2014

“We have been Woodland Pond residents since 2014. The management here is caring, attentive to residents’ concerns, and diligent in resolving issues. The skilled nursing facility has helped us recover from four serious health events. And Woodland Pond’s response to the covid-19 pandemic has been comprehensive and (so far) totally successful. The elegant pool, and the extensive activities (suspended for the cover duration) with many interesting residents, make life pleasant. We’re fortunate to be here.”

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