The coronavirus has changed life in America and around the world. People are learning to deal with the ramifications of what is now being referred to as social distancing. Businesses are being closed down, people ordered to stay home, and all this in an effort to contain a global virus.
The most vulnerable populations are seniors and those with other health issues, especially respiratory-related and chronic health challenges. There have been numerous questions loved ones have had regarding their aging parents or grandparents, especially those who are at assisted living or other types of senior care facilities.
So, what are these assisted living communities doing to protect seniors during the coronavirus outbreak?
–Each facility is different.
It’s important not to conflate what one facility does with what all of them are doing. Every state is being operated a little bit differently, with some shutting down all non-essential businesses and others simply providing a word of caution and recommendations.
One assisted living facility may have terminated all visitation for the next couple of weeks while another may monitor those coming in to visit loved ones by thermal scans, looking for visible signs or symptoms of illness, and so forth.
How can you find out what’s being done to protect your loved ones?
You may fully understand just how overwhelming the volume of calls can be for an assisted living facility, but if you have any specific concerns, the first place to go is to their website.
Some assisted living communities will provide information directly on the homepage of their website informing senior residents and their families and friends of what cautionary measures are being taken to combat the coronavirus.
You may also do well to check your email if you’re part of the email list at that particular facility. Many of these facilities are sending out email notifications to inform people of the efforts they’re taking to protect residents during these difficult times.
What can you do?
If you have an aging parent or other loved one at assisted living, the most important thing you can do right now is to not panic. Avoid the temptation to pull them out or encourage them to leave and come stay with you for a while.
A quality assisted living facility will be sanitizing all surfaces, protecting residents as best they can and being diligent to look for any early symptoms that may indicate the virus has arrived at their facility.
Support the senior through telecommunication services, if possible, phone calls as often as you’d like, and encourage them the best you can. These are difficult times for all of us, and we all play an important role in getting through it together.