The COVID-19 crisis has upended much of what we all take for granted in life. The gatherings we look forward to, leisurely restaurant meals, and days spent shopping are now on the back burner as the entire world works to understand, fight, and eventually triumph over this virus.
News of outbreaks in nursing homes are especially alarming, given that seniors are more likely to have comorbidities that increase their risk of serious coronavirus complications.
The Arbor Company responded swiftly to this crisis with a strong COVID-19 policy and a demand that public health officials prioritize senior living residents. We take this threat seriously, and we are doing everything we can to keep residents safe. Here’s what we want you to know.
Should I Delay Moving Myself or a Loved One into Senior Living?
Senior living can change lives, alleviating loneliness and boredom, offering caregivers support, and ensuring that seniors get delicious meals, plenty of exercise, and meaningful ways to pass the time. You don’t have to give up on senior living because of the COVID-19 crisis. For many seniors, senior living may actually be safer than going back and forth between various caregivers’ homes, or accepting help from an ever-changing roster of visitors.
At Arbor, we’re practicing aggressive disinfection and a rigorous commitment to safety, so that our residents can stay emotionally and physically well.
How We’re Keeping Seniors Safe
At Arbor, our residents are everything. Their well-being and peace of mind matter more than anything. Here’s what we’re doing — and why it might be more than what you can do at home:
Senior living communities operated by The Arbor Company have infection prevention measures in place at all times. We have strengthened those measures in recent months with the arrival of COVID-19 in the U.S. You won’t find similarly stringent measures taken in public, and you may find them extremely difficult to implement at the same high level at home. If you don’t have access to personal protective equipment (PPE), for example, that makes caregiving riskier for both you and your senior loved one.
Currently, no visitors are allowed in Arbor communities, and anyone who must enter (staff members and healthcare workers) is screened carefully before entering the building. You may find it difficult, if not impossible, to limit the exposure of your senior loved one to other people in your own home, especially if you have someone in the family who must go out into the community often for essential work or other reasons.
Remember that Arbor communities are staffed 24/7. If your senior loved one wanders at night, or needs help toileting, or is ready for a meal, we have staff members here to take care of that. With a dedicated team of caring people, we ensure that our staff never burns out. Providing 24-hour care at home is virtually impossible unless you pay in-home aides. And doing that can increase your loved one’s exposure to the virus.
If you’re worried that a senior living resident may no longer be safe, remember that transitions can be very stressful, especially for those living with Alzheimer’s or another form of dementia. Our residents have formed lasting friendships in their communities and enjoy daily interaction with staff members. Even though that interaction is temporarily curtailed, the community feels like home to our residents. That sense of comfort matters.
Being away from loved ones during a pandemic can be intensely painful. It is also the best way to keep them safe. If you have a loved one in an Arbor community, we encourage you to send letters and cards, communicate via video chat, send emails, and find other ways to connect. At Arbor, nothing matters more than our residents’ well-being.
If you’re considering a move or want to learn more about selecting a quality senior living community, check out our free guide, “The Journey to Senior Living.”