Just over a year ago, all of our lives changed. We were thrust into a battle against a hidden virus and adapted however we could to keep ourselves and our loved ones safe. But now, as more of the population is vaccinated and we see case counts declining across the nation, you might be wondering if now is the right time for Mom or Dad to move into Assisted Living?
We know that during the past year, many of you pulled together and cared for your parents. For some, it was running errands like bringing them groceries or picking up medications, while others had their parents actually move in with them so they could keep a closer eye. Like many, you may have discovered that they need more care than you can provide and that there may be certain challenges they are facing that they may not be ready to acknowledge.
What is the environment like now in Assisted Living?
As we slowly get back to a new “normal”, we see that life is returning to what we’ve experienced before, but with some slight modifications. Previously during the pandemic, Assisted Living facilities had to halt many things like in-person dining, visitations with loved ones, and fun outings. But with county positivity case counts decreasing, restrictions from state and local health authorities have begun to ease. Now our residents are once again able to chat with their neighbor over a nice meal, spend time indoors with their family, even holding hands if they’re vaccinated, or venture out into the community to experience things like visiting a tulip farm or going on a scenic drive.
We know how important it is for seniors to engage in activities like these for their own mental, emotional, and physical health. In hoping and planning for this moment, we’ve had time to make sure we are doing everything possible to keep our residents happy, safe, and healthy.
Is Assisted Living safe?
Yes, absolutely, and any of our Marquis Assisted Living facilities would be glad to share detailed information with you about our infection control processes. We’ve been in this profession for more than 30 years, and because we care deeply about our residents and staff, we are doing everything possible to keep them safe.
Additionally, since the release of the COVID-19 vaccines, we have successfully advocated with health authorities for priority vaccination of our residents and staff. As a result, our participation rates have surpassed the national average. Since we first began our vaccination clinics in January 2021, we have continued leading the way on the road to recovery, with 82 percent of our staff and 90 percent of our residents fully vaccinated.
What about COVID-19 testing and vaccines?
In partnership with our sister company, Consonus Pharmacy, we are providing ongoing weekly vaccination clinics at each of our facilities for our staff, residents, and associated staff. In addition, we offer a backup program where if we have extra COVID-19 vaccine doses, any family member of any resident, per state eligibility, can receive it if they can get to the facility within 30 minutes of being notified. These clinics are available on a routine basis so that any new Marquis resident or staff member has the ability to get vaccinated as soon as possible.
As for testing, we follow all recommendations from the Oregon Department of Human Services (DHS) as this is a primary strategy for reducing the likelihood of an outbreak in a long-term care facility. This means that we conduct routine surveillance testing of staff who have not yet been fully vaccinated and will conduct outbreak testing of residents and staff when they exhibit signs and symptoms of COVID-19. In addition, we follow all CDC-recommended cleaning processes, paying special attention to high-touch surfaces.
Can I visit my loved one?
Most likely, yes! On January 29, 2021, the Oregon Department of Human Services (DHS) released new guidance that allows for indoor and outdoor visitations in assisted living facilities, but these can be paused for a few reasons, such as if a facility:
- Has had any new onset COVID-19 cases of staff or resident(s) in the last 14 days.
- Is currently conducting outbreak testing.
- Is under an active Executive Order (EO).
- The facility is in an Extreme Risk County.
What to expect during a visit?
In order for us to continue to keep our residents safe and allow for visitations, it is essential that infection control practices continue to be carefully observed and visits are controlled. Here is how you can prepare and what you need to know about the protocols we have in place for your visit.
1. Arrive for your visit:
Upon arrival for your visit, approach the main desk to check-in, wearing a well-fitted mask. Here you will be screened for COVID-19 and will perform hand hygiene.
2. During your visit:
Your visit will be either indoors or outdoors. We require that well-fitted masks be worn and that a six-foot social distance be maintained at all times. Our fully vaccinated residents may have close contact, including touch, with their visitor, such as holding hands or embracing in a hug.
3. After your visit:
At the end of your visit, you will perform hand hygiene once more. We hope you come back again soon to spend time with your loved one!
Compassionate senior care and adapting to the new normal.
As a family-owned business, we understand the importance of connection and are here to support you and your loved one through every step of their aging journey as we adapt to the new normal. Contact us to learn more about our assisted living and care options.