Is it Safe to Move into Assisted Living During COVID-19?
Making the decision to move a loved one to an assisted living is often an emotional one for a family during normal times. The COVID-19 pandemic has added even more difficulty when trying to determine the best option for care. Concerns range from worrying if your loved one will contract the virus to wondering when and if families will be allowed to visit. There is not any easy solution to this.
Is it the Right Time for a Move?
One of the most important things to consider is what has happened with your loved one that has you considering a move?
- Have there been changes in the home that have led to your family member living alone (death of a spouse)?
- Has their physical or mental state declined to the where it is not safe for them to live alone?
- Do you fear they can suffer from social isolation?
- Do they need help with everyday activities such as eating and bathing?
- If living with family, are family members adequately equipped and capable of providing the care required?
Also keep in mind that it can be dangerous for loved ones to remain at home, even if they are not alone. Sometimes they simply need more care than can be provided in their current living situation. Today, most assisted living communities have sprung into action modifying the way they operate in order to keep the health and safety of their residents a top priority.
Guidelines For Senior Living Communities
The CDC has issued guidelines for communities with high risk elderly populations. Consider if similar guidelines are in place where your loved one is living now.
- Each community will have at least one (often more) individual with infection prevention and control training
- Local government agencies keep them up to date on rates of infection
- They routinely evaluate all residents for signs of illness
- They sanitize and disinfect common areas and other high traffic areas
- All care givers, health care workers, staff, and anyone else needing to enter the facility is screened for signs of illness and guidelines have been set determining when it is safe for an ill employee to return to work
Guidelines like these may be more difficult to be followed at home. Most senior living properties are offering virtual tours making it safer and more convenient to get familiar with a community. This helps families safely see what each community has to offer and determine if it will be the right fit for their loved one. Virtual tours are available on the community website or can be sent via e-mail. Some facilities offer custom virtual tours upon request, using FaceTime, Zoom, etc., allowing for a realtime walking tour through the community. It’s best to ask facility representatives about what specifically they are doing to help keep residents safe and healthy in the COVID-19 pandemic.
One thing is for certain, COVID-19 has made a lasting effect on the way we live in senior living communities and will continue to have an impact for the foreseeable future. The best defense is to arm ourselves with knowledge to help keep our loved ones safe and healthy. Asking questions and gaining familiarity with the community you are considering is now more important than ever.
For more information or to schedule a no cost, virtual family consultation, please contact one of our advisors at Home2Home4Seniors today! 1-844-300-7026 or 903-539-4539. As always, Home 2 Home 4 Seniors services are free of charge.