We have all been hugely impacted by COVID-19 and its relentless persistence. My team receives calls every day from seniors, or family members, asking if it’s still advisable and even possible to move to a senior living community. The short answer is YES!
While there has not been a mandated government shutdown of assisted living, all communities have instituted protocols to ensure their residents and staff stay as safe and healthy as possible. These protocols also apply to prospective new residents and are a mandatory part of the move-in process. It’s important to note that each community is unique with differing rules. However, most often this includes two necessary steps:
- A negative COVID-19 test result
- 10 day period where the new resident is separated from those who currently reside in the community.
It’s crucial that these practical steps are taken to safeguard the seniors we serve and the team members who care for them.
Where Are Outbreaks Occurring?
Another question we receive is about the outbreaks of coronavirus occurring specifically within the places where the elderly reside. I think it is important to note that many of these devastating outbreaks have happened at what’s referred to as, skilled nursing facilities. These facilities are not the same as the assisted living communities we work to locate for our seniors and their family. While assisted living has not been immune, we help to identify those who’ve had cases and what measures have been put in place to safeguard the resident’s health.
Independent/Assisted Living (Our area of focus): these include large communities all the way to small residential board and care homes. It also encompasses specialized memory care communities.
Skilled Nursing (we do not work with these facilities): these are in-patient rehabilitation and medical treatment centers staffed with medical professionals. As widely reported in the media, the pandemic has had a devastating effect on these facilities. Thankfully, better safeguards have been implemented.
What Happens Once You Move In?
Senior Living Communities follow protocols and precautions outlined by the CDC and state and local Health Departments. In almost all cases these include:
Visitor restrictions: Only essential visitors will be permitted to enter inside senior living communities until further notice. However, many communities have outdoor visiting areas designated specifically for families to see their loved ones. These include patios and other outdoor venues that adhere to strict social distancing policies while allowing a safe place to visit. Some communities have indoor rooms designated for visiting where the resident is seated near an open window and can safely meet with a loved one who is outside and at a safe distance.
Social Activities: Many communities are able to provide social and spiritual activities based on their unique situation. These include small group activities like art and music that adhere to social distancing protocols. Hallway Bingo is another popular activity.
Dining: Most communities are allowing two residents per table in their dining areas and have even installed plastic partitions to further safeguard seniors. Others choose to provide meals directly to residents in their own apartment or room. It depends on the unique situation and number of residents in each community.
Let Us Help
We have been helping seniors and their families find the right senior living option in the Coachella Valley and Southern California since 2004. We know each facility personally and can let you know what they are doing to keep their residents safe. We can also arrange a tour based on their existing protocols to ensure you and your loved one stay safe and healthy.
COVID-19 may be with us for a while longer unfortunately. But, rest assured that we are staying on top of state and local health guidelines and are monitoring each facility we work with to understand their specific protocols. Give us a call and let us help you find the best senior living option while staying safe and healthy.