Since our update a month ago, things are beginning to open up. Outside visits began in June which have to be scheduled and socially distant with masks. As of Friday July 10, the MN Department of Health deemed that Essential Caregivers would be allowed in to see their loved one for up to 3 hours at a time. One caregiver per resident will be deemed that essential caregiver. Guidelines about this order from the MN Department of Health can be read here. Each community has until the 25th to put their policies in place as to how they will manage the new guideline.
Occupancy in Senior Living
According to Senior Housing News on July 9, nationally 2nd quarter occupancy had dropped 3 .2 percentage points in assisted living compared to first qtr and sits at 82.1. Independent living dropped 2. 4% to 87. 4%. April particularly was a bad month.
Senior living occupancy in the Twin Cities has dropped as well. Some communities that were near 100% occupancy before the pandemic are fairing better than others that started out the year with a lot of vacancies. Communities that are new are especially impacted. Senior living communities that are more diverse in their receivables, i.e., they receive Medicare/Medicaid dollars are likely going to weather this better financially.
We saw in the news this past week that Millers Landing which is in the Ceresota building in Minneapolis is filing Chapter 11. Industry experts feel the worst may be past but that all depends whether we have another up tick in cases this Fall.
What Choice Connections is Experiencing
There are moves to senior living because people can’t wait. Either the care is too great for the family members or a lease is up. The market is still very good to sell and realtors are busier than normal for July. Some people want o get a move done while they can sell their home in the nicer months.
Options are accepting move ins. The process to tour is still virtual. It will be that way for some time is our belief.
If care is needed, the RN assessment may be over the phone or may be in person, we’ve seen both. It may take longer to schedule than in the past since the nursing staff is very busy due to the pandemic.
The move in process has set guidelines and procedures which vary by community. For example,two people are allowed to assist with the move. And are able to be in the unit with their loved one for that day for example. And once moved in, the new resident is asked to quarantine in their unit for two weeks. This may change now as more testing is being done.
There is a great deal more testing happening in senior living for both residents and staff. This has allowed restaurants and beauty salons to open up and activities now are starting but with social distancing and masks. PPE is being worn by staff and they are doing everything they can to keep their residents safe. That is their number one priority!