Retirement Communities

3/8/2021 | By Seniors Guide Staff

Everyone sees the news stories about the effect that COVID-19 has been having on senior living communities. So, it’s not surprising that many older adults are postponing or second-guessing their decision to move into senior living. But that is unfortunate! Most senior living communities have had success keeping their residents and employees healthy and protected during this pandemic; senior living is still safe to move in to, even with the pandemic.

Even though some nursing homes and assisted living facilities have felt the impact of COVID-19 outbreaks, one of the safest places for you or a loved one during these difficult times continues to be a senior living community. Here’s why.

Safety Has Always Been a Priority at Senior Living Communities

Long before there was COVID-19, retirement communities had the skills and experience to ensure the safety and health of their residents. The pandemic has merely caused them to implement additional procedures and protocols. These added measures include the following.

Following CDC Guidelines to the Letter

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is the country’s health protection agency, ensuring that senior living is still safe. They’ve issued instructions to senior living communities on the best approach to keeping residents, employees, and visiting family members safe.

The communities have continued to follow CDC guidelines throughout the pandemic, requiring social distancing and mask-wearing to protect residents and staff as much as possible. Communicating changes as they occur and continuously reminding the entire community of these guidelines have become standard operating procedures in most communities.

Restricting Visitations

Restricting visitors also contributes to senior living communities being one of the safest places to live during COVID-19. By following CDC guidelines and state executive orders, visitations are typically limited to medical care, in support of daily living activities, and for end-of-life circumstances. But those visitors who are necessary for a resident’s emotional well-being could also be allowed. Any visitors are screened and required to adhere to social distancing and sanitation guidelines.

Reducing Group Activities

Since large groups and close contact can result in the spread of the virus, senior living communities have been limiting group activities. To take the place of these group activities, many communities are using technology to continue the all-important socialization that older adults value. Group discussions, meetings, and presentations happen virtually, and, weather permitting, smaller groups could meet outdoors while adhering to social distancing guidelines.

Masks and Social Distancing 

Wearing a mask may not be natural or comfortable, but studies show that it is an essential weapon in battling the spread of COVID-19. Combined with social distancing, mask-wearing can increase the residents’ and staffs’ safety substantially. Enforcing these measures in senior living communities is one more way that shows older adults are safer at these facilities than anywhere else.

Limiting Unnecessary Travel 

One way senior living communities are containing COVID-19 is by making it possible for residents to stay inside the community. These communities have systems in place so residents can get their medicines, meals, groceries, and almost everything else they need without leaving the facility. Most of them are continually educating their residents on the risk of unnecessary appointments and trips in order to ensure that senior living is still safe. The message goes out to not only the residents but also to families and staff.

Access to COVID-19 Testing and Vaccines

Many senior living communities have implemented testing and contact tracing to slow the spread of COVID-19. In many of these communities, residents can participate in on-site COVID-19 testing, giving them peace of mind and helping the community identify infections quickly. Staff members are also tested frequently. And vaccines are being distributed to seniors regularly!

Suppose a positive case of COVID-19 is discovered. In that case, the communities use established protocols and measures to quickly and effectively communicate the procedures they will follow to prevent it from spreading throughout the community.

Although moving to a senior living community might not return your life to “normal” immediately, it will provide a host of advantages for you or a loved one until they do. Living where your health and well-being are a priority is one of the primary benefits!

Seniors Guide Staff

Seniors Guide has been addressing traditional topics and upcoming trends in the senior living industry since 1999. We strive to educate seniors and their loved ones in an approachable manner, and aim to provide them with the right information to make the best decisions possible.

Seniors Guide Staff