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How VIVA!SM Programming Has Evolved During the COVID-19 Pandemic

How VIVA! Programming Has Evolved During the COVID-19 Pandemic

Aspired Living® of Prospect Heights is all about helping our residents Live Well, Age Well, Be Well. But that’s looked a little different during the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Our number one priority throughout this pandemic has been ensuring that our residents are safe, our team members are prepared and we are in compliance with policies and protocols,” says Erica Zartler, Lifestyle Specialist at Aspired Living of Prospect Heights. “We’ve been acting with an abundance of caution and doing everything in our power to protect those we come in contact with. We have canceled events and large group meetings while controlling access of all vendors and healthcare partners.”

Recently, Aspired Living of Prospect Heights reintroduced family visits as well as small programming for residents. “While the protection of our community is paramount, so too is maintaining the VIVA! lifestyle that is intrinsic to our mission,” Erica says. “We know very well that whole-body well-being requires more than just attending to physical needs. It also means nurturing and supporting the emotional and mental needs of our residents.”

To that end, VIVA!SM programming remains a vital part of life at Aspired Living of Prospect Heights. However, says Erica, there have been many efforts put in place to make sure the programming is as safe as possible while remaining true to the spirit of VIVA!


Gathering Together, Safely

While VIVA!SM programming might look a little different, finding purpose and remaining engaged and active is made possible with proper safety measures. As of June, small group programming of 6 to 8 residents was introduced. Residents partaking in small group programming must be wearing a surgical mask provided by the community and remain six feet apart from other residents.

“There is a real benefit to being together and partaking in activities even if we have to stand apart from each other,” says Erica. “This has been a wonderful development for everyone in our community. Our residents and team members have greatly missed the social connection provided by our programs, so it’s really cheering to see life returning to some semblance of normalcy.”


What VIVA!SM Looks Like Today

Here are just some of the beloved VIVA!SM programs that continue to take place at Aspired Living® of Prospect Heights – and what they look like.

The ArtPATH program introduces sophisticated techniques from celebrated artists while encouraging expression and individualism. Artistic endeavors haven’t gone away during COVID-19 – far from it. In fact, expressing ourselves through creativity has been more important than ever. These days, though, you’ll see that our artists are stationed a little further apart than normal and frequent sanitizing takes place. That hasn’t affected their ability to create masterpieces, though.

Victory Gardens

Sowing seeds, nursing herbs and tending the greenhouse are year-round efforts for residents and team members. It’s also provided an excellent distraction from COVID-19 and the opportunity to get out and enjoy the fresh air. While our gardeners wear masks and stay six feet apart, digging in the dirt is still therapeutic and relaxing.

World Tour

Traveling the world is at our fingertips with the World Tour program. You could say that we’re ahead of the curve when it comes to virtual visits. Our residents are already comfortable with the idea of traveling around the world from the comfort of their home. With all the new virtual tours and tools that have popped up during the pandemic, we’re able to experience more sights and sounds than ever before. It definitely provides a nice change of scenery.


Music has endless potential to boost your mood, reinvigorate the brain and stimulate positive emotions. Who cares if you have to wear a mask and stand apart from one another? There are still plenty of opportunities to sing loud, dance like nobody’s watching and move and groove to the beat with your best friends.

Dining has always been a key element to happiness and health, and meals are meant to be shared. Our dining program at Aspired Living® of Prospect Heights offers a restaurant-quality dining experience, featuring fresh ingredients, savory aromas, welcoming settings and great service that appeals to all five senses. Our dining tables look a little different these days – fewer people grouped around one table – but we’re thrilled to be able to continue to serve a variety of  delicious and nutritious meals in the company of friends. SenseSations provides a much-needed social outlet and sense of community and has helped us get through the pandemic one great meal at a time.

“VIVA! never went away during COVID,” says Erica. “It’s just taken on a different shape. As we continue to move through this unprecedented time, we will continue to thoughtfully plan our programming to align with social distancing guidelines and suggestions.

For more information about what VIVA!SM looks like during the COVID-19 pandemic, or to learn how we help our residents Live Well. Age Well. Be Well! every day, contact us at 224-300-4760.

Live Well Beyond Ordinary at Aspired Living® of Prospect Heights

Offering Independent, Assisted Living and A Knew Day® Memory Support, Aspired Living® of Prospect Heights is a distinctive senior living community designed to offer seniors residing in the Chicago Northwest Suburbs area a fresh alternative to “typical” senior living communities.

Aspired Living of Prospect Heights provides residents with the ideal balance of personalized support, dignified privacy and enhanced independence complemented by luxurious amenities and our life-enriching, award-winning VIVA!SM programming by Pathway to Living®.

Managed by Pathway to Living, an innovator in senior living, Aspired Living of Prospect Heights offers the choice of a private studio or a one- or two-bedroom apartment and the beauty of a brand-new community, stunningly appointed and decorated for unsurpassed comfort and style by the award-winning senior living design firm, Thoma-Holec Design, Inc.

For more information, please call Erica Zartler, Lifestyle Specialist or Ellen Wochnik, Move-In Coordinator, at 224-300-4760.

Disclaimer: The articles and tip sheets on this website are offered by Aspired Living® of Prospect Heights for general informational and educational purposes, and do not constitute legal or medical advice. For legal or medical advice, please contact your attorney or physician.