Many people are wondering, are senior living communities safe during COVID-19? In this environment, the highest quality senior living communities have adapted quickly and responsibly. Senior communities follow strict protocols around hygiene, social distancing, wearing face masks and limiting communal gatherings in the community, etc. Some are the safest and most fulfilling places for an older adult to live. While moving into assisted living during a global pandemic could be perceived as a challenging decision, we believe now may be the smartest time to make that move.
The seemingly obvious choice is to keep your parent at home or living with family. However, it is a serious and stressful job as a caregiver to protect a loved one from possible exposure to the virus. The daily mental and emotional exhaustion on the caregiver is equally overwhelming. The requirements of aiding your loved one with activities like bathing, dressing, meal prep, and intellectual stimulation can be draining. With many caregivers working from home this past year, it may have been a little easier, but the return to the workforce is causing added stress on those family members figuring out how they will manage. It may be time to recognize that keeping your loved one at home is no longer the best option for you, your loved one, or the rest of the family.
If you’re not certain that now is the right time, picture what this winter has looked like for you. Many older adults have become more isolated as a result of precautions to prevent the spread of COVID-19. Add to that the familiar and predictable challenges of dealing with icy roads and sidewalks, and driveways that need to be shoveled. Senior living communities have spent the last year creatively planning what safe socialization looks like, with opportunities for indoor exercise and dining, lifelong learning, live entertainment, and more. For older adults, moving to a senior living community can be helpful in maintaining and developing new social relationships and interests, pursuing hobbies, and remaining active. While these may all look a little different these days, they’re still important parts of community life. Senior living communities are a place to grow, not just a place to live.
Here are six benefits of a senior living community:
Necessities are handled for you.
The staff is there for your specific needs, reducing your need to rely on adult children or other family members. Housekeeping, laundry, meals, medication management, and assistance with your daily living needs are all there for you, when you need it.
Wellness and health care services on-site.
The Arbors Assisted Living offers access to a doctor on-site for primary care, medication management, and prescription refills. 24/7 wellness staff are there for your needs, however extensive those needs may be, all included. Having health care and wellness services fully integrated into the community, with staff who take a whole-person approach to care, provides an extra layer of protection and reassurance during a pandemic.
Strict infection control policies.
The common areas like lobbies, elevators, hallways, and bistros are being heavily sanitized. All staff members are trained to follow best practices to prevent community spread of COVID-19, are being screened before each shift for symptoms of the virus, and are being tested weekly for Covid-19. They’re working closely with the New York Department of Public Health and local boards of health, following guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Also, The Arbors communities have adopted testing, screening, and contact tracing for residents, staff members, and visitors.
Easy access to COVID-19 testing and vaccines.
At all Arbors communities, residents can participate in on-site COVID-19 testing that provides peace of mind and helps us quickly identify infections in the community before they have a chance to spread. Residents of The Arbors had access to COVID-19 vaccines earlier than seniors living in the local community, with multiple on-site vaccine clinics – no navigating through confusing websites only to find no open appointments! Nearly all our residents have now received both doses of the vaccine, giving them even more confidence in their ability to get back to the people and activities they love. Many staff have also been vaccinated.
The strongest senior living communities offer safer socialization than anywhere else. New communal practices, like scheduled dining, small group gatherings, frequent sanitation, testing, and vaccines allow seniors to move about with confidence. The Arbors also quickly introduced virtual, interactive programming on The Arbors Activity Channel, including travel, spiritual studies, fitness classes, activities, games, crafts, and more.
There’s no need to worry about taking care of a home or what the value of it will be when you want to sell. The Arbors All-inclusive pricing also helps to plan for the future, with transparent costs up front and no changing care costs “added on” like some other communities.
Assisted living communities remain the best choice for many older adults, particularly those living with a chronic illness who require assistance with daily activities. Seniors with Alzheimer’s disease and dementia symptoms and behaviors are especially vulnerable due to the cognitive impairment that make self-care and personal hygiene more challenging. The Arbors Assisted Living at Islandia East has a specialized memory care neighborhood called SafeCare, with highly trained staff specializing in the needs of memory impaired seniors. The Arbors Assisted Living at Islandia West has a specialized Transitions Neighborhood for those who prefer a smaller community or have some memory impairment.
It is natural to worry about your loved ones’ safety during the coronavirus pandemic. Moving a loved one to an assisted living may be the best way to keep your loved one safe during coronavirus.
Keeping residents safe and happy is the number one priority of The Arbors Assisted Living. To learn more about The Arbor’s Covid-19 precautionary measures, contact us today at 866 The Arbors.