Chapin, SC (Paul Kirby) – Generations Assisted Living of Chapin and Batesburg are helping 90 senior citizens as they flee hurricane Dorian. Generations' Administrator Tim Slice says they act as a shelter to several facilities that are in coastal regions. This is necessary every time a hurricane threatens our coast and an evacuation is ordered.
The groups arrived Tuesday evening and when they got to Lexington County, they were given the red-carpet treatment from the Generations staff and residence. They were travelling in vans and when they arrived, everyone at Generations did whatever they could to make their visitors comfortable.
Slice said Tuesday afternoon that facilities in coastal regions are required to preplan the evacuation of their residents should a hurricane threaten. Generations has a contract with several facilities to act as their impromptu shelters. “We’ve done this so many times, it seems as if it’s a visit from family,” Slice said. “We have a cache of air mattresses, pillows, and linen put away for just such an emergency. When we get the call, our staff goes into action getting everything ready.” Slice says in Chapin the staff uses the clubhouse at Southwoode Independent Living to house the guests. In Batesburg, there’s a few empty cottages, but some residents can stay in the main building. “We’ll have a place for them all; we were ready,” Slice said.
According to Slice, they are housing 30 people in Chapin and 60 in Batesburg. He said the community always turns out to welcome the visitors when they arrive. The student government of Chapin High School often meets the vans full of road weary visitors to help them unload. Volunteers also were on hand to help from the Justin Pepper Foundation in Chapin. Local dignitaries from the town usually stop by and welcome the guests to town. They also check and see if there’s anything the town can do to help make them more comfortable. “Everyone pitches in to make folks as comfortable as possible. Although our guests want to go home, we try very hard to make them feel comfortable while they are here,” Slice said. “They follow the news and weather waiting anxiously to see what happens to their homes on the coast. If they’re uncomfortable here, it just makes tensions worse. That’s why we go all out to treat them to the best experience they can have while visiting us.”
“We got a call on Saturday from the coast saying they would probably be headed our way soon,” Slice said. “We went into full prep mode setting up rooms, getting things ready, and making a Sam’s run for drinks and snacks. When they got here Tuesday evening, we ordered food for everyone.” Slice said after their welcome meal, the staff travelling with the residents usually cooks for their residents in the clubhouse's fully outfitted kitchen. “If they aren’t cooking, we certainly can provide the same nutritious meals our residents eat for the guest. We want them to have that Generations senior experience!” He went on to say that Generations is a full-service shelter for their guests. Although it’s not required, the Generations staff will do their visitors’ laundry, washing their clothes and bedding while they are here.
Although the team at Generations is completely ready for their visitors, there’s always more that can be done. Perhaps your group can drop off some treats, lead activities, or even provide entertainment while the guests are in Lexington County. If you have a church group, Scout Troop, or other organization that would like to help, call Tim Slice and offer your services. He can be reached at Generations Assisted Living’s Chapin facility at (803) 345-1911.