Covid-19 and Senior Living Update for August
Outdoor scheduled visits are still occurring in senior living as they were earlier this summer. Essential care giver procedures have been communicated recently.
Visitors are still not allowed into senior living unless they are an essential caregiver and have been approved to come in as such. When entering the building as an essential caregiver, the community will have expectations that you must follow like wearing masks and staying in the apartment for no more than 3 hours. Each community is putting their guidelines into practice a little differently due to staffing, type of community, etc. It is always good to ask what a community’s expectations are if you are considering a move for a loved one so you know in advance.
More testing is taking place in senior living. Because there is more testing, a community may have a resident or staff member that tests positive that was asymptomatic. If that happens, things change for what is allowed. Testing is being done before a move in and in other certain situations.
Senior living is now having small group activities that are socially distant in many places that are COVID free. It seems to vary quite a bit between communities as to how much is being done. All communities long to do more than they are but they are being cautious to keep their residents safe. They are doing their best to engage residents in conversation and check in on them with treats or fun things to help avoid isolations. More focus is given to those in memory care or that need more checking.
Staffing Challenges/Staffing Burn Out
Staff has picked up a lot more tasks than in the past. Three things that we hear is happening as examples are:
- meals and snacks are being delivered.
- taking temperatures regularly of residents.
- if they have a move in, staff may be who is meeting the moving truck at the door and taking belongings to the apartment.
More hours are spent by staff in generals as they are picking up tasks such as the above. And, there is still the care that needs to be taking place for many residents.
Having enough staff is a challenge. This may be due to COVID directly and staff being sick. Yet we also hear that finding qualified people that will show up for work to fill in the gaps is difficult.