What to Consider Before Moving a Parent Into Assisted Living During COVID-19

June 22, 2020

Making the decision to help a senior loved one move into assisted living can be challenging and emotionally fraught. The coronavirus crisis has certainly not made the decision any easier for families and their loved ones. 

The COVID-19 outbreak has led to many changes in senior health care and facilities are adapting and innovating due to the changing landscape. Here we provide some insight into the changes in care that are occurring and what you should look for in a senior living community.

What should you look for in an assisted living community?

The CDC has provided assisted living facilities with key actions they need to take during the pandemic. 

These include:

  • Ensuring the administrators of the facility are referring to their state and local protocols regarding the restrictions in place.
  • Having a point of contact at the local health department in order to notify them immediately if a resident is suspected or confirmed of having the virus.
  • Creating and sharing preparedness and action plans with visitors and personnel.
  • Implementing a timely communication plan for residents, staff and family members if a positive COVID case appears within the building.

Learn more about the CDC’s infection prevention and control recommendations for healthcare facilities and personnel. 

When considering an assisted living facility, you’ll want to ensure they meet all the necessary requirements as determined by the CDC and local and state governments. The facility administrators should be able to explain their protocols in depth and make you and your loved one feel safe.

In addition, be sure to ask the following:

  • Is the facility fully staffed and able to provide residents with the attention and care they need?
  • What safety protocols do they have in place to prevent the spread of COVID-19?  
  • How are they screening residents and staff for coronavirus?
  • Do they have adequate personal protective equipment (PPE) and wear it consistently? Wearing personal protective equipment is now standard practice in senior facilities and home health care settings. Research shows proper use of face masks minimizes viral spread.
  • Do they or have they had any active COVID cases? How were they managed?
  • How/when do you communicate with family members if/when you have active cases?
  • What is their Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) rating? This five-star rating system was developed to help families, caregivers, and seniors insight into facility quality. It includes ratings on health inspections, staffing, and more. 

How Marquis is Caring for Seniors During the COVID-19 Pandemic

COVID-19 highlights the importance of infection control, from hand washing to deep cleaning. Senior care community residents over 65 years old face increased risk from age and underlying health conditions. 

To keep your loved ones safe, Marquis follows best practices from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), such as disinfecting surfaces multiple times daily and requiring personal protective equipment to protect residents, staff, and visitors. While some companies have struggled to obtain PPE, Marquis consistently maintains enough for current needs as well as an emergency supply.

Marquis quickly implemented protocols to protect our residents from COVID-19. Residents no longer gather for large group activities. Instead we’re offering in-room dining service and restricting outside visitors.

Look for an Assisted Living Facility That Prioritizes Communication

When you put your parent’s health in someone else’s hands, you rely on them to keep you informed. Concerns regarding care amplified as news reports told of nursing homes keeping coronavirus outbreaks hidden from families. These incidents, sadly, reinforce the need to carefully vet any assisted living or senior health care facility you’re considering.

Marquis has always communicated openly with our residents and their families. We provide updates about safety protocols and latest news. Communication is paramount during this outbreak and going forward.

Marquis Provides Connection During COVID-19

The pandemic has expanded the use of technology in our daily lives. We talk with family, order groceries, and seek medical care online. Researchers have found video chat to be a powerful tool for preventing loneliness and depression in older adults.  

Marquis has long led the industry by providing devices to our residents, so loved ones can interact via FaceTime or Zoom. This way families can enjoy moments together like “sharing” meals, playing games in real time, or reading books aloud to grandkids. These activities support the mental and emotional health of everyone involved.

Marquis has a #SendSeniorsLove program that allows families and community members to drop off mail in a special secure mailbox. You can also connect with residents through our #VirtuallyVital Facebook page and via email. 

We understand that the physical separation of our residents from their loved ones is one of the most difficult challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic. This is why we have introduced SafeLink, a plexiglass panel allowing safe face-to-face visits that minimize the risk of exposure to the virus.

Learn more about SafeLink and our visitation policy.

Senior Assisted Living & Health Care for Your Loved One

This pandemic has brought many changes to senior care, and that can feel overwhelming. 

Marquis will continue adjusting to these changing circumstances, using our clinical expertise to keep your loved one safe. We use cutting-edge protective measures to care for seniors in assisted living, memory care, post acute care, and care at home. 

We are your champions and we take all needed measures to keep your loved ones safe. We invite you to connect with us today for updates on how our team is managing the care of our residents and staff.

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