During the current COVID-19 pandemic, senior living communities are still safe places for older adults to live. The majority of COVID-19 cases are found in the general public, and with safety protocols and proper use of personal protective equipment used at all times in senior communities, they are still safe living options. For seniors who are afraid to shop for groceries or go to the pharmacy, the help of those who work in these communities helps keep people healthy.
With the safety protective protocols already in place and the dedication of team members following updated precautions, some communities are still welcoming new residents at this time.
“We are still able to move new residents into our communities while following protocols from the Centers for Disease Control and the Minnesota Department of Health,” said Victoria Svoboda, director of sales and marketing at Walker Methodist Levande in Cambridge. “We’re taking precautions, but we’re still helping people make Walker Methodist their home. But the process looks a little different than it used to.”
Leo, an 82-year-old veteran, settled into his apartment home at Levande in April. Before he moved, Leo and his family completed the necessary steps via email, phone calls, and virtual meetings. When move-in day arrived, each person helping was thoroughly screened before Leo’s furniture and belongings were brought to his apartment.
“My move went very smoothly, and my apartment is comfortable.” said Leo. “I hung up pictures of my family and memories of my travels and places I lived. I made it my home.”
Even during a pandemic, Walker Methodist teams still follow their trusted move-in process. “We adjust as needed to follow the safest guidelines and protocol,” said Svoboda, “and communication with everyone involved is still key.” Before a resident moves in, the team communicates with the resident, their family, healthcare professionals, and additional support people. Each step of the process is shared upfront and in detail, and a limited number of properly screened family members are allowed to help with the move. Contact is limited, and the entire transition is efficient. Before, during, and after move-in, the team provides plenty of time for questions.
Teams at Walker Methodist strive to care holistically for residents, and community is essential to upholding this value. Following social distancing and sanitation procedures, residents and caregivers can enjoy the communities’ decks and outdoor spaces. At most communities, residents are invited to participate in safe hallway activities, including singing and exercise, multiple times per week.
“I’m being taken care of well, and food is delivered to my apartment.” said Leo. “I’m getting to know my neighbors, like Dale across the hall, through hallway activities.”
“If you are contemplating a move to senior living, Walker Methodist is here to help you through that transition,” said Jaclyn Duren, executive director at Levande. “Now is the time to make sure you’re getting the best care, having your needs met in a comfortable home setting, and improving your wellbeing while thriving as a whole person.”