February 2, 2021
Is It Safe To Move Into A Life Plan Community During COVID?
Is It Safe To Move Into A Life Plan Community During COVID?
An overwhelming 39% of COVID-19 deaths have happened in long-term care facilities. This, despite the fact that less than 1% of the population lives in them.
This fact, plus the attention that the media has given this topic, may make seniors and their families nervous about moving into retirement communities. Unfortunately, the reality of the virus is that it hits the elderly who tend to have pre-existing conditions much harder than the general population.
However, that doesn’t mean that living in a life plan community is unsafe. Facilities and communities that are following social distancing protocols and taking extra precautions with the most vulnerable are not seeing large numbers of cases and very few deaths resulting from COVID-19.
It’s all about choosing the right facility. Here are a few questions to ask if you are considering a life plan community for you or your loved one.
1. Are Necessities Handled For You?
One of the big benefits of moving into a life plan community can be lessening the need for you to go out. Grocery shopping and other mundane tasks can put seniors at risk of catching the virus.
Find out if the facility you are considering is offering deliveries for medicine and hygiene products and how meals are handled.
A continuum care life plan community is an excellent option as you can easily adjust the level of assistance as your needs change.
2. Is There Wellness and Health Care On-Site?
Staying active mentally and physically are both excellent ways to boost the immune system. Look for facilities that offer healthy amenities on site. At 15 Craigisde and Arcadia, we offer facilities such as an indoor pool and fitness center where residents can safely stay active.
Housekeeping services and medical are also available with 24-hour emergency care.
3. What Are the Infection Prevention Policies?
Wearing masks, frequent hand washing, social distancing, and frequent cleaning of public spaces are effective recommendations for decreasing the spread of the virus. What are the prevention policies in place at your prospective community?
Additionally, are they being followed? Protocols don’t mean much if staff and residents are not adhering to the rules.
4. How Is Group Socialization Being Handled?
Many facilities shut down group activities and opportunities for socialization in the early days of the virus. However, physically isolating seniors has proved to have a devastating effect on both their physical and mental health.
Find out what opportunities for socialization the resident can enjoy and how they are being implemented safely.
5. Is the Life Plan Community Financially Stable?
Another thing to ensure is that the life plan community is financially stable. As the economy goes on its strange roller coaster ride, many industries have taken hard hits and been struggling significantly.
At any time, but in your golden year especially, you want to know you have a safe place to live that will offer the care you need. Through our lifetime care contract, the Arcadia Family of Companies gives our residents the peace of mind to know they will never become a burden on their families.
6. What Are the Visitor Protocols?
Next, find out about the visitor protocols in the community. In the early days of the virus, facilities closed their doors to everyone but essential staff.
Being isolated from their families has arguably done more harm than good. Now, the government is urging nursing homes and other facilities for older adults to allow visitors to come, following the appropriate safety measures, of course. The situation is so dire that the government is threatening sanctions against any facility that remains closed without an appropriate reason for doing so.
However, appropriate protocols should be followed to keep the residents, staff, and visitors safe. Find out what your potential facility is requiring.
7. What Are the Protocols for Residents?
A big question should be what protocols are in place for the residents. This will be your or your loved one’s home, they need to feel comfortable. Everyone has a different risk tolerance for COVID. However, all seniors need to realize they are most likely high risk.
This doesn’t mean they should be scared and stay holed up in their apartments for the next several months. Getting out and getting enough exercise, sunshine, and social interaction offers a significant boost to the immune system. It does mean, however, that they should take basic precautions to protect themselves from the virus.
8. What Is the Life Plan community’s Track Record with COVID-19?
We’re enough months into the pandemic now that there is solid data on how well a particular life plan community is doing in regards to COVID. For your safety, be sure to research a community’s track record. As we’ve already talked about, what they are doing now to reduce the spread is vital to continued safety, but how they’ve handled the pandemic overall is also critical. This will be your or your loved one’s home, it’s imperative to ensure that it is safe.
Ask how many infections the community has experienced and how do they communicate with friends and family when someone tests positive. Find out if current residents are happy with how they’ve been treated during the pandemic.
Most importantly, is it easy to find this information? A facility with nothing to hide will be open and transparent about what’s been going on in their community.
At the Arcadia Family of Companies, we provide detailed information about who has tested positive, how they were tested, and what is happening with that individual. Our goal is to be open and transparent so residents and their families can feel safe and confident. We have implemented hundreds of negative tests in our facilities and only had a small handle of positive results.
Moving Into a Life Plan Community
With the high degree of health protocols, social distancing, and amenities provided at a life plan community, this type of facility might be the best place for your beloved kupuna to ride out the pandemic. The main thing is to choose one with a good track record of limiting the virus and keeping its residents safe.
Interested in a life plan community in Honolulu? Don’t hesitate to check out our continuum care life plan community here at the Arcadia Family of Companies.