During the pandemic of 2020, everyone is modifying their lifestyle and day-to-day activities to remain safe and function within the guidelines set forth by our public health agencies. Older adults have to be particularly careful because they are part of the high-risk group that could encounter more serious health problems if exposed to COVID-19.
Because of this, senior living communities have implemented major changes in their health protocols and social interaction rules. The media has focused on the need for the isolation of senior living communities which has led to many senior living misconceptions. The truth is that with proper adherence to the guidelines set forth by medical experts, senior living communities remain vibrant, active wonderful places to live. So what are these senior living misconceptions?
Misconception: Senior Living Communities Aren’t Safe
Reality: Senior living communities are designed specifically to enhance the quality of life for their residents, including their wellbeing. Which means team members thoroughly trained in infection control and prevention, a cleaning staff to disinfect the community with approved cleaning products, and a team focused on modifying social areas and activities to comply with leading health agencies like The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). In addition to all that, they strictly control who is allowed to enter from outside.
Misconception: Senior Living Residents Are Socially Isolated
Reality: Social distance does not equal social isolation. This is probably the most common senior living misconception. Senior living residents are guided to practice proper social distancing, mask wearing and hand-washing. Being socially active is an important part of life for any senior, and the coronavirus does not change that. While certain social activities may not be possible during the pandemic, your social life can continue to thrive with a robust calendar of activity options. Residents have enjoyed an outdoor, social distanced Halloween party for example, and we regularly hold art and craft classes (we’ve even made COVID-19 piñatas!).
Of course, all activities are adjusted to mitigate the spread of the virus. Team members can also help residents with technology like video chatting and emailing to keep in regular contact with family members.
Misconception: Senior Living Residents Are Not Physically Active
Reality: Getting outside for a walk in the fresh air or participating in a socially distanced exercise class is still entirely possible with expert guidance. The coronavirus pandemic has made life more stressful for people of all ages, and one of the best ways to combat stress is physical activity. As you consider this senior living misconception, think of older adults who live in a traditional private home. They may be the ones who lack a network of support that can make regular exercise safe and convenient during these uncertain times. Senior living community staff members are well aware of the importance of exercise as a part of their commitment to whole-person wellness, and they are dedicated to providing opportunities for safe and convenient exercise for independent living residents and for all levels of care.
Misconception: Senior Living Residents Have Nothing to Do
Reality: Staff members are specially trained to coordinate COVID-19-conscious activities that keep life rich and vibrant at all levels of care. A focus on quality of life is what a senior living communities are all about, and having experts on hand to provide health and wellness programming is an advantage that cannot be so easily found in a traditional private home.
If any of these senior living misconceptions are keeping you from considering a senior living community, then contact a friendly team member at Edgemere in Dallas. Let us tell you the ways we focus on whole-person wellness — social, physical and emotional — especially during these uncertain times. The health of our residents and team members is our number one priority. We are here for you. Let us show you how we can improve your quality of life, keep you safe, and give you peace of mind in independent living and at all levels of care.