Elderly Transition & the Coronavirus
With all the news regarding the global spread of the coronavirus and certain precautions being recommended, many of you may have the exact question my friend did last evening, “What am I supposed to do? No longer am I allowed in the community where my ninety-year-old mother is living.” First, don’t miss the reminders to us all – that life is fragile, that we need to practice good health habits such as handwashing, and that during this coronavirus crisis, the increased vulnerability to our seniors requires us to be more patient and careful.
Your First Step – Protect Yourself
Your first step is to keep yourself well by being informed, practice healthy engagement with others and make prudent choices about activities in which you will participate. Next, consider why senior communities might not want you to visit. Just the other day while visiting one, talking with two others and reading correspondence from a few others, many of these communities are following the CDC’s recommendations to protect their residents, communities, staff, and visitors.
The Big Why – Protecting All People
My first appointment of the yesterday morning I found the doors locked from the outside. Once inside, and I was met by a hand sanitizing station and a receptionist before being allowed to enter for my appointment. By the end of my day, five different communities and companies demonstrated different aspects of their overall process to keep people safe. I was proud to consider these communities my partners in care, and I was impressed that they were already enforcing strict health standards before being exhorted by our Governor Polis in his public statement days earlier. (Colorado Governor Jared Polis’s public address on Wednesday 11 March 2020)
This highlighted for me that the “senior care industry” of Colorado really does focus on people – protecting, advocating, and even assisting outsiders in protecting seniors. This is so important because while news headlines are updated us hourly on the pandemic, families or seniors themselves are still needing to transition. Yesterday, one facility was touring a potential resident. This is impressive and important because our lives go on, families and seniors still have a need for additional care. Knowing that our state and industry are ready is fantastic!
What About Mom or Dad’s Needs Today?
At Senior Placement of Denver, please know, tours are still being scheduled. We understand that elderly transition needs to continue. Meetings with families to “have a plan” are taking place, and all are being done with greater awareness and precautions for safety. So if a senior you love needs to schedule a meeting, a tour, or a visit with anyone, that can still happen. Also please anticipate a bit more time for that process because of newly placed safeguards. In fact, if things appear like it is business, as usual, you should be wary. More time is required because often there are forms that must be completed asking about recent travel domestically or aboard, current health conditions, monitoring of temperatures or additional measures as health agencies discover new information about the coronavirus. If you have any questions please call us.
But I Really Do Need to Visit?
If your parent or relative is in a community, and you really do need, or just want to visit, contact the facility and find out their process for allowing you in. I found this link very helpful and really appreciated the response if you are not feeling well don’t go! A phone call may suffice until you are well.
What More Can I Do
Stay well! And as a family member, a senior, or residence ask questions, stay up to date with CDC information and stay informed:
- Helpful questions to ask care communities – Whether you are touring one, live in one, or just visiting, be a thoughtful and informed person.
- It can’t be overstated, make sure you are healthy, practicing good hand washing, staying informed and cautious but not afraid.
- Find out more, here is another link, we are not infectious disease experts but sources like this can be helpful.