Not much has changed in senior living options in the last month even though there have been more cases of COVID-19. Options are not allowing visitors and are still delivering meals and working to keep their residents from feeling isolated.
Virtual Tours Are Effective to Understanding Options
Some independent living options are allowing a short in person tour. Most options are not. Choice Connections has been arranging virtual tours with clients. These “Face to Face” tours are an effective way to narrow down your choices of options to consider for a move that may happen in the future. With a virtual tour you still gain a lot of information and get a sense for the community, size, and services. There is less pressure as well in a virtual tour. When it is time to get more serious about a move, you have already narrowed down your choices to one or two options.
Move Ins Are Still Happening
When a move in cannot wait due to health needs they occur. The RN assessment is virtual and signing paperwork may be done through the mail if no access to email/printing of documents. The procedure of moving in is more defined. Typically, if you have family helping you, they are only allowed into the community the day of the move. If you are using a moving service, the number of people involved, and the process is very defined as well and seems to vary by which community you move to.
Cases of COVID-19 in Facilities
The media has reported a higher number of COVID-19 cases in Minnesota compared to other states. There is no standardized way to report data across states. Our state includes assisted living options as long term care facilities. The MN Department of Health released information on cases in skilled nursing homes which compares to other states on June 3.
Positive Cases: Average number of nursing home cases per 1000 – National average is 62%. Minnesota average is 39.9%.
Deaths:Average number of nursing home deaths per 1000 – National average for is 27.5%. Minnesota average is 12.7%.
There Are More Cases in Facilities Compared to The Past
Also reported by the MN Department of Health is that about half our facilities state wide have 1 or more cases of COVD-19. Keep in mind, even if there is 1 o 2 cases whether a resident or staff member that facility is included. There are 377 facilities with 3 or more cases. In Dakota County there were 3 facilities a couple months ago that were reported and now there are 13 on the list. Of those 13, some may not have any active cases at this time but they still show up on the list. Even if one staff member had the virus they will still be listed. 13 facilities represents about 1/3 of the long term facilities in the county that has had or currently has cases.
Battle Plan to Combat the Virus
Minnesota has a five-point battle plan to combat the virus in long term care facilities:
Expand testing for residents and workers in long-term care facilities
Provide testing support and troubleshooting to clear barriers faster
Get personal protective equipment to facilities when needed
Ensure adequate staffing levels for even the hardest-hit facilities
Leverage our partnerships to better apply their skills and talents