Unless you’ve been lucky enough to just wake up from a long, long winter’s nap, you know COVID-19 has run rampant across the U.S. and has impacted our elderly population disproportionately. It’s no secret that long term care facilities have been particularly hard hit. In fact, according to The Kaiser Family Foundation, nearly 45% of all COVID-19 deaths were among those in long-term care.
But, what you may not realize, according to the same source, is that a large majority of that 45% occurred in nursing homes, which are drastically different from assisted living communities. Naturally, no loss of life is “better” than another. We mourn as a country for everyone impacted by this virus. Still, it’s important to know the facts when making a big decision, like whether to continue your senior living search throughout COVID-19.
For many families, the decision on whether senior living is still a viable option is a very difficult one. On one hand, social distancing worries and news reports of COVID-19 in long term care cause hesitancy. On the other, risks of falls or accidents, the inability to be with a senior loved one 24-7, or concerns surrounding loneliness and isolation spark urgency.
If you feel caught in the middle of this difficult decision, you’re not alone. If your mom or dad needed help getting through their day-to-day before the virus hit, chances are those needs didn’t come to a screeching halt with the first reported COVID case. If anything, the past several months of isolation, anxiety over news reports, and the inability to get to doctor’s appointments have potentially worsened their overall well-being.
So, if you decide to continue your senior living search throughout COVID-19, know that you’re not doing anything “wrong.” Aging and senior care impacts each family differently, and if you do not have the capacity to care for your loved one at home, looking for alternative options is the responsible thing to do.
Here are some questions to ask throughout your senior living search, to help ensure you make the best decision for your loved one and your family:
- What are your cleaning and disinfection standards?
- If you have a positive case of COVID-19 in your building, are families notified? How?
- What are you doing to educate staff about COVID-19 and make sure they practice the CDC’s guidelines?
- How are you engaging residents?
- If the state or federal government stops allowing visitation, will I still be able to see my loved one? How?
- Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, what have you been doing to keep your residents and team members safe?
As we regroup as a country and move forward throughout COVID-19, it’s important that we make smart decisions. Hopefully these questions will help you decide if senior living is right for you, and, if you’d like more guidance, our experienced senior care advisors are standing by. Call or schedule a visit to learn more.