May Update on Senior Living Facilities and COVID-19
Gratitude for Nurses, Mothers and Older Americans
May is a month of gratitude for Mom’s and Nurses and Older Americans (being Older Americans Month). Our families have adjusted to a lot of change and if your family is like mine, you’re glad you could have Easter with Facetime or ZOOM at least seeing your kids and loved ones. Mother’s Day was different. Visiting mom may have been through a window and talking on a cell phone or at a distance while sitting outside. Change causes us to be thankful for what we do have.
Long Term Care Facilities with COVID-19
COVID-19 cases and deaths still are climbing in MN. Those most at risk are our older adults. Thus the majority are occurring in long term care facilities. Long term facilities make up skilled nursing or nursing homes, assisted living and other congregate communities. The facilities impacted the most are those with shared rooms and bathrooms which is common in skilled nursing homes. The list of facilities provided by the department of health listed here is not real meaningful. For example, if only one person has tested positive for COVID-19, even if a remote worker who hasn’t been in the building, that facility is still on the list. This is the case with St. Therese Woodbury. Therefore, it is difficult to know what the real situation is in our senior living options. The best thing to do is to ask someone at the facility and hopefully they are disclosing the actual situation.
Impact on Senior Living Options
If a senior living option has COVID in their midst, they stop admitting any new residents if they had been prior to that. Some facilities stopped taking any new residents when the stay at home order was first issued. Choice Connections has seen this only in a few communities, most notably memory care. Memory care options are not typically quarantining their residents realizing that it would have negative impacts on their residents. However as a new resident in memory care, they must quarantine for 14 days. That is the case with any type of move in at a senior living options. Just as we are staying at home, older adults living in seniors living options are staying put. To see how one large senior living provider is addressing COVID-19 read this.
All staff at senior living options are working extra hard and in different roles to keep their residents safe by continuing to deliver meals, provide some type of activity through the hallway or virtually to avoid isolation and check on residents. A staff at one senior living said their company gave everyone a $2 an hour raise realizing they were working during difficult times.
Long term care facilities have the support of Gov Walz and our Department of Health to do all that can be possible to have adequate testing, PPE and staffing to care for our older adults in MN. If a loved one does have a health crisis and needs care, navigating today is more complex. Contact Choice Connections and we will help you better understand your options.