Help Our Loved Ones Stay Safe Amid Coronavirus
Keeping seniors from exposure is critical.
Coronavirus (COVID-19) is still new, and healthcare organizations are doing everything they can to reduce its spread. Unfortunately, it currently seems that seniors are at the greatest risk of serious illness. To maximize prevention, elderly adults should have limited interaction with outside visitors. Whether it’s a caretaker, friend, or family member—anyone coming in and out of the house could pose a potential risk. To stay updated with the latest news, some resources include:
- Check the CDC and World Health Organization
- Contact your local Department of Public Health with questions about your city
- Stay in touch with APFM to learn the latest in how the outbreak is affecting seniors
Expect constant change.
As tests become available and more data is collected, facts and percentages will be amended. In response, guidance for older adults and senior living communities will shift as the COVID-19 outbreak evolves, according to the Interim Guide for Healthcare Facilities.
Raising prevention standards.
The senior living industry—practitioners of already high standards of excellence and care—is putting an even greater premium on caution, prevention, and overall well-being during the coronavirus outbreak. New protocols for the elderly include:
- Strict limits on non-essential visits
- Extensive visitor screenings
- Frequent temperature checks
- Turning away anyone with known symptoms
- Patient quarantines when necessary
Consulting the coronavirus experts.
Senior living communities throughout the country are reinforcing existing policies and procedures to actively combat the spread of COVID-19. Additionally, communities are instituting specific protocols provided by the CDC and World Health Organization to enhance cleaning and sanitization guidelines, with a particular emphasis on hand-washing.
Consider a move to a senior living community instead of an extended hospital stay.
Patients may not want, or be able, to stay in hospitals for extended periods of time. Senior living communities are a strong extension of our national healthcare network and are working hard to prepare for the influx of elderly patients during this time. Some advantages include:
- The majority of our 17,000 community partners are open and taking new residents
- Communities offer different levels of acuity support to support medically complex needs
- Senior living can potentially prevent return trips to the hospital
If your loved one is in a hospital and you need help navigating next steps on his/her behalf, check out our Caregiver Discharge Guide for materials that can best explain options and next steps.
Tour and research communities in new, different ways.
Many communities are still providing in-person tours while taking important precautions, such as checking visitors for symptoms, taking temperatures, hand-washing and sanitizing, and limiting tours to smaller parts of their facilities. Depending on location and exposure risk, some communities have responded in creative ways to help families explore their facilities in a safe and easy way, including:
- Limited Touring Zones – gating a public area to serve as a dedicated tour zone
- Offsite Meetings – hosting families in an offsite location, in dedicated offices, or conducting home visits
- Virtual Tours – using the latest technology to facilitate virtual tours via your preferred device
Communities understand how challenging this might be and are open to working with you to find the best approach for your family. Our team is committed to helping you learn about the different options, facilitate the right conversations and even coordinate logistics.