Your Loved One Is Safer Here: Why Moving Your Elderly from Assisted Living Facilities Can Be Dangerous
We’ve seen the frightening images on our TV screens. Much has been made of COVID-19’s apparent targeting of senior living communities across the United States. The result is the assumption that all care facilities are unsafe, leading loved ones of the elderly to believe that their seniors may be better off in their home or on their own. This is a dangerous assumption, because it leads to placing vulnerable seniors outside the professional care they may require. Surprisingly, moving an elderly person away from a senior living community may actually increase their risk of COVID exposure, as well their susceptibility to everyday hazards such as falling or suffering a life-threatening medical event.
The truth is, COVID-19 thrives anywhere humans are in close proximity and without preventative measures in place. It makes sense, then, that stay-at-home orders were so rigorously enacted: separating humans from one another disrupts the life cycle of the virus. Yet places like grocery stores, deemed essential, remain open, as do senior living communities. The logic follows that as long as precautionary measures are taken and vigilantly adhered to, these places will remain safe and able to provide the vital services we expect from them.
Redstone Presbyterian SeniorCare believes the safety of their residents and staff is paramount, and was quick to respond. They know the care they provide in conjunction with rigorous new policies kept Redstone residents safer. Because of these uncertain times, Redstone knows that the families and loved ones of the seniors in their care have concerns. Redstone developed a thorough plan which is enacted every day to keep loved ones as safe as possible.
From the outset of the pandemic, Redstone administered appropriate Personal Protection Equipment (PPE) to staff. Every resident also received a protective mask. To ensure each location remained virus-free, employees were screened for temperature and wellness at the beginning and end of each and every shift, plus a single entrance to buildings was established to control the flow of people on campus, ensuring every person was screened. Residents at all levels of care received wellness checks on a regular basis.
To reduce the chances of COVID-19 entering the protected communities from outside, Redstone restricted visitation, vendors were screened and required to wear appropriate PPE, and new residents were quarantined for 14 days. All packages, newspapers, mail—anything coming in—the Redstone staff distributed in a safe, no-contact fashion. Because each Redstone location is closely monitored to maintain this vigilance at such an acute level, seniors living at Redstone are receiving more monitoring and services than those living in the external community.
In addition to putting safety protocols in place, Redstone added free services to further enhance resident experience and safety. Redstone’s Personal Shopper Program allows residents to get the things they need, such as groceries and prescription refills, without leaving the safety of their community. By keeping seniors in, they stay out of harm’s way. Redstone was at the forefront of enacting these protective measures, but didn’t stop there. In addition to preventative measures, Redstone created an isolation unit featuring four negative-pressure HEPA filter rooms for the treatment of potential cases of COVID-19; plus, a specific isolation team was designated to serve only in this unit to avoid cross-contamination.
Isolation can have its own damaging effects. Well aware of this, Redstone established a Family & Friends Hotline that’s accessible to all. A virtual visit program via Skype, Facetime, and Zoom was created to help families and loved ones stay in touch as much as possible. Family interaction is key, but this communication network serves another purpose as well. By establishing an extensive communication network within the community, that’s also accessible to family, Redstone was able to safely distribute vital education materials to help residents maintain better safety practices, such as social distancing, while also giving them as much connection with their lives as safely possible.
Residents’ continued mental and physical health remains an important focal point at all Redstone locations. Fitness classes are telecast across their CCTV station, as are weekly worship services and daily devotionals. The normal recreational activities Redstone curates for residents were creatively modified in order to maintain the safety of all residents while still cultivating a fun, engaging atmosphere. Redstone is not only committed to staying vigilant during the pandemic, but also plans on continuing some of the safety programs indefinitely, such as the single point of entry and screening of employees. These programs will provide peace of mind for all residents, staff, and their families.
Families are appropriately concerned about their elderly loved ones during a pandemic, but reviewing the practices that have been put in place reveals that seniors are safe at Redstone. Redstone has led the way in developing a robust program of crisis communication, safety measures, and quality of life measures. Families of seniors who are seeking a safe and welcoming environment for their loved ones, are encouraged to take a virtual tour of one of Redstone’s locations.
From Villa Homes to senior apartments, personal care, or skilled nursing at their Greensburg, North Huntingdon, and Murrysville locations, Redstone offers a level of compassionate care for a variety of different senior needs that reflects their commitment to safety and importance of quality of life for all who call Redstone home. Take a virtual tour today and consider the peace of mind of knowing that your loved ones are safe at Redstone.