“This is harder than I expected, and I need help.”
I’ve heard these sentiments a lot these past few months, from plenty of concerned daughters and sons in our area who have been doing all they can to care for senior parents amidst the threat of COVID-19.
Like so many, their hearts are in the right place. But the challenges they face are very real for all of us. Groceries and medications have been harder to come by. There are meals to prepare, housekeeping, and chores to do. A lot of back-and-forth travel and venturing out in public. And in many cases, their own jobs, households, and children to care for as well.
They’re right…it is hard. And while I know that most initial instincts are to “Wait and see,” I believe that our current way of life amidst the spread of COVID-19 does much to re-affirm the value of the senior living community setting right now. And I mean urgently, today, this week.
So let me share with you my honest and firsthand perspective when it comes to seniors and ensuring their continued safety and well-being amidst this (or any) crisis.
If Ever You Have to Stay Home…
Make it somewhere clean and comfortable, where basic needs are routinely met, helping hands are all around, and where there’s still plenty to do and experience every day. Resort-style senior living communities like ours provide the kind of luxury and service most anyone could really get used to. And right now, when it’s best to shelter at home and practice social distancing, life in the senior living community setting remains safe and quite satisfying given the current situation.
Here’s just some of what’s happening in our community, today and every day:
- Three, chef-prepared meals made from scratch daily and right now delivered directly to residents in their apartment homes
- Activities and events that allow for social distancing, things like “Hallway Happy Hours” and safe, small gatherings between friends, neighbors, and team members. Even birthday celebrations that follow the current rules and regulations involving visitation
- 24-hour concierge service, including arranging for grocery, product and prescription delivery on behalf of our resident
- Professional care is being administered in the home setting, with an expansive healthcare supply inventory on hand and ready access to high-demand products and supplies
- Full-service housekeeping and maintenance, plus stringent, community-wide cleaning and sanitization of all surfaces and high-traffic areas, daily team member entry screening, and no outside vendor access to stem the risk of virus transmission from public sources
As I’m writing this, we hope that the nation is turning a corner with respect to COVID-19. And while the virus remains a concern, we believe in the enhanced safety protocols and operational procedures that have long been implemented throughout our community. As a result, we feel that seniors and families can be as confident as we are in the strategies put in place to combat the potential spread of the virus.
Placing the Care and Safety of Loved Ones in the Best Possible Hands
Extensive prior experience, established emergency protocols, financial resources, technology, and corporate buying power are all advantages to living in a community setting like ours. But there’s simply no substitute for genuine care and compassion. The senior living and care industry is made up of truly exceptional people, and in trying times, we’re witnessing the day-to-day impact of the human spirit now more than ever.
In our community and countless others, leaders have been working around the clock. Many have even been sleeping at the communities to better ensure resident and team members’ safety, not to mention oversee communications and see to it that all enhanced protective measures are implemented as new recommendations and mandates are given.
Care providers, housekeepers, servers, home health aides, and countless others, many of whom may be fearful themselves, still come to work every day simply because they are that committed to caring for our residents and the local community.
The stories of selflessness and dedication are endless, and they won’t end here. So while COVID-19 forces us all to keep our distance, when it comes to seniors and how best to ensure their continued well-being, I firmly believe this is a time to come together, seek help where needed, and not hesitate to entrust the care of a loved one(s) to those who are best suited to do it.
Be it in times of crisis or the (relative) calm that we all hope will soon be restored, don’t go it alone when we can (still) do this together!