When you or someone in your own home is diagnosed with COVID-19, it is scary and complicated. However, the smallest comfort there is knowing that it’s a battle you can fight in the privacy of your household without dealing with a large number of people. When it comes to residents of a senior living community, the stakes get higher.
The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) classifies a retirement community or independent living facility as an age-restricted (i.e., ages 55 and older) residential or housing community with partially or fully retired residents. Residents can generally care for themselves without regular nursing or other routine medical assistance. Communal facilities, community activities, group meals, transportation, and socialization opportunities are abundant at these places.
In other words, all of those community amenities and the opportunity to try new things and meet new people become risky when living through a global pandemic. AARP emphasizes that several conditions can exacerbate the spread of the disease, including frequent physical contact between residents and staff, employees working in multiple areas within the facility, residents sharing rooms, and shortages of personal protective equipment (PPE).
To protect its residents in every possible way – especially since the elderly are at higher risk for COVID-19 – here are a few strategies that senior living communities across the country (and particularly in our great state of Florida) have embraced:
Review and Implement Emergency Operation Plans
No matter the level of transmission in a community, every facility should have a plan to protect residents, workers, and visitors from the spread of this deadly virus. In addition, per the CDC, facilities should collaborate with local public health departments, local or state regulatory agencies, and other relevant partners.
Share Information with the Community Promptly
Informing residents, workers, volunteers, and visitors about COVID-19 is essential during this crucial time. If a senior living community hasn’t already done so, it is critical to develop information-sharing systems tailored to that particular community’s needs. For instance, administrators can support residents who have no or limited access to the internet by delivering print materials to their residents.
Promote Healthy Behaviors
If you feel sick, stay home instead of going to work or visiting a loved one who resides in a senior living community. Promoting healthy behaviors also includes:
- Practicing appropriate hand hygiene.
- Wearing masks (especially in communal and high traffic areas).
- Practicing social distancing.
- Always having plenty of PPE on hand for those who need it.
Addington Place of East Lake is a wonderful living option for seniors at every stage of their personal health. Because the more aspects of your physical and emotional health you engage in, the happier and healthier a person ages. Addington Place of East Lake is an Assisted Living community in the picturesque neighborhood of East Lake, Florida that thrives on vibrant and meaningful senior living. Every day is a beautiful day, as our residents enjoy a happy and carefree lifestyle. With chef-inspired meals, compassionate staff to serve residents 24-hours a day, and exciting social activities, our distinctive community offers a variety of opportunities for a rich life.
For more information on respite care and what Addington Place of East Lake offers its residents, visit our website and contact us today. Like us on Facebook to learn more about life at Addington Place.