In Press Release



10 Weeks of Resident Hallway Activities, Video Gallery with Virtual Museum Tours & Local Kids’ Magic Tricks; Posting Recipes & Reactions to COVID-19; Plus Pen Pal Letters to Residents from Local Schools

GRAND RAPIDS, MI – April 8, 2020 . . .

To help prevent feelings of isolation that might occur among its independent living residents in the midst of required social distancing, Beacon Hill at Eastgate (Beacon Hill) last week began a “Lifting Our Spirits” campaign. “One of the primary reasons our residents choose to live at Beacon Hill is our programming and social connections,” said Beacon Hill President and CEO Jeff Huegli. “We want to continue that even with the restrictions we all must observe to contain and mitigate the spread of the coronavirus.”

Starting last week and continuing through June 1, all independent living residents can participate in a series of hallway activities that promote social interaction, while strictly observing limited human contact and maintaining six-feet separation among individuals. 

The inaugural event was a tailgate favorite – cornhole — hallway style. It included all independent living residents throughout the week. A Beacon Hill staff member set up the cornhole board in the hallway in between each apartment and resident(s) tossed the three bags into the hole using a pair of tongs. When done, the resident(s) in that apartment went back inside and the next-door resident(s) took their turn. The resident with the best score won a prize. (The tongs and bags were sanitized after each resident’s turn.) 

Hallway activities in future weeks include hallway bingo, paper airplane battles, water pong, ball toss, Michigan trivia, hallway tennis, battleship, guess the number of jellybeans in the jar, and capping it off with a dance party.

Beacon Hill’s Wellness Coordinator Domi Aouad is enthusiastic about the “Lifting Our Spirits” campaign. “Covid-19 has affected us all and can be frightening so we wanted to make sure that our residents had both safe activities along with some variety and levity as we make our way through all the required safety precautions and curtailed physical contact.”

Complementing the hallway activities in the campaign are various website posts and shares beginning with a “Caring for Our Spirits” – a weekly blog written by Beacon Hill Chaplain Travis Jamieson who provides thoughtful ruminations about this highly unusual time we are all experiencing while placing it within a spiritual context complete with related meditations from Scripture.

Part of the “Lifting Our Spirits” campaign are additional ways Beacon Hill helps residents with daily tasks so they can stay home but still feel connected to the rest of the community. Those include:

  • Added grocery shopping service
  • In-room exercise programs via the Video Gallery on the Beacon Hill website
  • Additional availability with either Chaplain Jamieson or an additional chaplain who will assist with resident visits
  • Social enrichment activities like:
    • Sharing family and pet photos
    • Posting stories of kindness and gratitude
    • Facebook live events that allow residents to feel part of a large event, without having to be there in person

In order to strictly comply with the strictures of social distancing and doing everything possible to keep its residents safe and free from the coronavirus, Beacon Hill has suspended dining service in its restaurants and dining rooms and will continue that until it is deemed safe to resume by Beacon Hill’s leadership, medical staff, and by state and local public health professionals. Takeout and delivery service from the Beacon Hill kitchens are options that remain for its residents.

Reading lists and recipes will be posted on the Beacon Hill website and seedling plants will be delivered to all Beacon Hill residents, which can then be planted in the Beacon Hill community garden when all of the “stay home, stay safe” restrictions and social distancing are relaxed.  Residents who are artists are encouraged to share their artwork on the outside of their apartment door for others to enjoy and appreciate.

And as the weather improves, Eastgate neighbors are also providing fun and interesting “Window Walks,” where the Eastgate Neighborhood Association has encouraged those who live in the neighborhood to decorate their windows and porches for the joy and delight of those walking by. These are some of their suggested themes: Encouraging Words, Flowers, Jokes, and Easter Eggs.

“Part of what makes Beacon Hill such a special place, is how connected and social our residents are. Times like these of increased social isolation can lead to greater anxiety and depression. We want to combat that with the “Lifting Our Spirits” campaign,” Huegli said.

Please visit the Beacon Hill website to learn more about the “Lifting Our Spirits” campaign; read Chaplain Jamieson’s blogs; peruse the videos, shared recipes and photos along with live Facebook events: visit here.

 For updated information on how Beacon Hill is working to protect its residents and employees from COVID-19, visit here. 

Beacon Hill at Eastgate is home, family, and security, dedicated to engaging seniors in an active and fulfilling retirement. Its state-of-the-art campus is a continuing care retirement community offering expanded services with an emphasis on rehabilitation and serving residents suffering from dementia. Beacon Hill integrates a more highly defined service model characterized by best practices in the areas of social and clinical services with excellence in hospitality.

For more information about Beacon Hill at Eastgate or to arrange an interview with Jeff Huegli or other Beacon Hill staff members, please contact Mary McLoughlin at (616) 698-0748 or


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