Keeping COVID-19 out of senior living communities, assisted living facilities, memory care communities, and post-acute care locations has become a full time job on top of the everyday care and services healthcare heroes are continuing to perform. No matter how hard some try, they are still finding that test results may come back positive for the virus. It is absolutely paramount that there is a steady and universal strategy in place to ensure the safety of the residents, patients and healthcare providers. Our teams have been working tirelessly to uphold the strictest policies and procedures to help keep COVID-19 away from our associates and the people we care for. Here are a few of the ways that we have done that and the optimistic outcome as a result.
Following All Cleaning and Infection Prevention Guidelines from Health Officials
First and foremost, just like the rest of the world during this global pandemic, we are still actively doing our best to educate and inform our communities on what the best practices for COVID-19 treatment and prevention are. With that in mind, we have been following guidelines from the CDC and local health officials to ensure that the seniors in our care, whether at our assisted living, memory care, or post-acute care communities, are safe. According to the CDC’s official set of guidelines for senior living communities, “As demonstrated by the COVID-19 pandemic, a strong infection prevention and control (IPC) program is critical to protect both residents and healthcare personnel (HCP).” The health and well-being of our staff, seniors and family members remains our top priority so we aim to make sure we follow all official recommendations from health and local government officials.
Successful Discharges to Hospitals and COVID-19 Facilities
As we are all acutely aware, COVID-19 affects older adults and those with various preexisting health conditions at a much higher and more devastating rate than younger people with no previous health conditions. With that in mind, there have been instances where those individuals in our care have had to be discharged to either a hospital or one of our COVID-19 facilities for proper treatment. In fact, health experts agree that, “The patient should go to a facility with an ability to adhere to infection prevention and control recommendations for the care of residents with SARS-CoV-2 infection. Preferably, the patient would be placed in a location designated to care for residents with SARS-CoV-2 infection.” One of the most important things we bear in mind during those transitions and discharges is the safety of the individual as well as everyone else in the community.
Regularly Testing Staff and Residents to Ensure Early Detection
Like most other diagnoses, the name of the game is early detection and regular testing. From day one, we have acted swiftly and decisively in our efforts to mitigate the effect of COVID-19 by implementing testing on a routine basis to address it as soon as possible and limit any potential spread. Experts note that, “When a communicable disease outbreak begins, the ideal response is for public health officials to begin testing for it early. That leads to quick identification of cases, quick treatment for those people and immediate isolation to prevent spread.” We have worked diligently to keep COVID-19 under control at our senior living communities across the country and we will continue to fight to protect those we love and love to serve.
Looking Forward to a Better Future
One thing that has been fundamentally lacking during this year has been hope. When it comes to continuing to fight and be strong, hope is such a huge part of that equation. That is why our heroes work hard every single day to ensure that the only thing they are spreading around our communities is optimism for a better future. Our Executive Director for Poet’s Walk Fredericksburg, Diana Marks, spoke to the feeling of how her and her staff felt when they learned they were 100% free of COVID-19 after experiencing an outbreak by saying, “When we learned that residents and associates recovered 100% from COVID-19, we were just overwhelmed with joy…. We really couldn’t have achieved this without the love from our staff. They have just gone above and beyond.” Our heroes of healthcare serve to shine a bit of an optimistic light into the future for the seniors in their care. It’s true that we are stronger together.