Assisted Living: Is It A Logical Option During COVID 19 Pandemic?

Assisted Living: Is It A Logical Option During COVID 19 Pandemic?

assisted living logical option covid 19 pandemic
Are assisted living places a logical option during this Covid 19 pandemic? Sadly they show some of the highest mortality rates. Should you even consider a nursing home over your own home? Read on for a range of helpful questions to ask before you make your decision.

As you’ve probably read (far too many times), senior citizens are the ones hardest hit in the Covid-19 pandemic. Yes, unfortunately care homes for the elderly are considered the “ideal” breeding ground for the spread of coronavirus.

As the virus spreads from person to person, living in a communal setting might further put the already vulnerable elderly people at risk for being infected.

Then again, living alone – or living with family members – might also put the elderly in danger.

With the healthcare system concentrating all of its focus on Covid-19 patients, those who need regular monitoring-  especially the elders – simply can’t get access to the care needed.

Considering all these factors, it is indeed a big dilemma for people who want to move their loved ones to an assisted living facility.

Assisted Living: Is It A Logical Option During COVID 19 Pandemic?

In this article, we will discuss whether you should consider assisted living facilities as a logical option for your loved ones during Covid 19. Plus read on for a series of questions to ask, so you can make an insightful choice. 

Home Vs Assisted Living

After the first surge of Covid 19 spread in assisted living and care homes, authorities have put strict measures to stop the spread.

Many of these newly implemented stringent safety measures cannot be followed in your home.

In fact, if the elderly are staying at home with you, they might also contract the virus through any of the family members running errands.

Considering the strict safety measures – and prompt responses in case of an emergency – assisted living might be a better option for your loved ones.  But it all depends on which assisted living place you’re exploring. Some are better than others. Some are simply not good at all.

Who Should Consider Assisted Living as An Option?

There are different levels of care available for seniors – depending on their physical condition.

You should particularly consider assisted living if…

  • You’re a senior who faces difficulties carrying out daily activities like bathing, dressing, or eating 
  • You are a senior with a pre-existing medical condition like dementia or Alzheimer’s

For example…

Things to Consider Before Moving Your Loved Ones to Assisted Living Facilities

Assisted living facilities might be the only solution for some families. Once your family is ready for it, you should take extra care to research your options. Here are some considerations you should take into account.

Number of COVID 19 Cases in The Facility

  • Question them about the number of COVID 19 cases in the facility.
  • Ask how frequently they test their residents and employees. (The number of cases will help you determine the level of an outbreak in the facility.)
  • Check with the facilities about their plans in case of an outbreak.

Level of Medical Care Available

COVID 19 situation demands that Medical staff and trained nurses should be available at assisted living facilities.

  • Question them about the level of medical care they can provide in case of an emergency.
  • Ask about their protocol for specialized care, hospitalization, and reentry to the facility.
  • Make sure you know all these details so you can follow accordingly when needed.

Communication and Visiting Strategy

Many facilities are not allowing any visitors inside – which can make communicating with the residents tough.

Before moving your loved ones to a facility, make sure you know you can keep in touch with them.

Questions you should ask..

  • What is the long term plan for communication?
  • How do they handle visitations?
  • When and how will you be notified by the facility about any positive COVID 19 cases or other related issues?

Measures To Prevent The Spread Of The Virus

You want to find an assisted living place which recognizes how important preventive measures are in containing the spread of the virus.

You want a place who prioritizes regular cleaning of

  • communal spaces
  • elevators
  • toilets
  • TV remote controls
  • glasses and dishes

You also need to find a  facility which cares about

  • social distancing.
  • whether the new residents are tested before they enter
  • quarantining new residents
  • wearing masks around residents

Proper Hygiene Maintenance

Make sure the assisted living facility is following CDC guidelines for hygiene maintenance.

Ask…

  • how often they carry out cleaning of the whole facilities. 
  • how the staff follows proper health protocols
  • if the facility is cleaned every day.
  • and if the facility can provide PPE to the staff as needed

Response to Confirmed Or Suspected Covid 19 Cases

  • Ask if the facility has enough isolation space for any suspected or confirmed COVID 19 case.
  • Make sure they have dedicated trained staff for managing the situation and caring for the isolated person.
  • If the take time to trace possible contact with the suspected person and isolate them before the situation escalates.

Staff Safety and Training

  • Staff safety should be prioritized in assisted living facilities.
  • They should be trained regularly on safety measures.
  • Staff should also be tested regularly in case of asymptomatic virus infection.

Mental Well Being of the Residents

Amidst our own panic, we often tend to forget the toll coronavirus is taking on the minds of the elderly.

Their mental well being is important to overcome this difficult situation.

So be sure to ask

  • what is the facility is doing to boost the mental being of its residents?
  • how does the staff help to keep residents happy, busy, entertained, active, motivated?
  • do they allow residents time for little window visit or a drive-through visit – so they can enjoy sort of normalcy in their life?

Opinion From Your Loved One

When you decide to move an elderly loved one into an assisted living facility, you should make sure they themselves are part of the decision!

You should be sure to take the opinion of the person in question to heart.

  • With the current death toll in care homes, 9 out of 10 people are unwilling to move into assisted living facilities.

If that is the case with your loved one, you should reconsider whether to move them to assisted living facilities – or look for other alternatives.

Fnal note about considering assisted living places as an option during Covid 19

COVID 19 has presented us with a situation unlike any other.

We all know that we are not going to get rid of COVID 19 any time soon. 

If you’re considering moving your loved one into an assisted living facility, please try to get all your questions answered – before making the final decision. There should be no compromise regarding the safety and health issues of the person you love.

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