Protecting Our Seniors: COVID-19, Senior Living and You

We don’t need to tell you that Coronavirus – COVID-19 – is at the forefront of everyone’s minds these days. That’s definitely the case here at Avalon Memory Care. As a memory care provider, we’re responsible for the health and well-being of individuals who are the most vulnerable for catching the virus, with the most serious results.

We want you and your loved ones to know; we are here for you. We understand (better than anyone) how important safety measures are at this point, and the health and safety of our residents, staff and family members are our top priority.

However, we also understand the importance of the emotional and mental well-being and happiness of our residents. Obviously, being quarantined is both stressful and boring – and for many memory care residents, they may not remember or always understand why we’re doing what we’re doing. It can be scary, too, when staff members and care providers are wearing masks and other protective gear, particularly for seniors who are experiencing cognitive issues due to dementia or other forms of memory loss.

So, our other challenge – besides protecting the health and safety of our residents – is to make sure that life in our communities remains fulfilling, enriching and enjoyable for those who call us home. And that’s where people like you come in.

We’ve spoken before about the importance of emotional connection from friends and family members for our residents. Now, more than ever, we need your help to make sure the seniors in our care are receiving the support, love and care they need – not just physically, but emotionally and mentally as well. And although our long-term memory care communities are on lock-down in order to flatten the curve of COVID-19, there are plenty of things you can do to help stay connected to your loved ones and help all of us ride out the rest of this pandemic.

Write letters. Letters are a fantastic way to stay connected with your loved one with memory issues. Although the communication is only one-way, it’s a form of communication that can be enjoyed over and over again. Your loved one with dementia may not remember talking to you on the phone, but a letter can be read and re-read with the same enjoyment as the first time. Our staff has even “delivered” the same letter to a resident several times, with the same benefits. Letters also allow you to include items like pictures or other small mementos that are meaningful to your loved one. (If you’re concerned about spreading the virus via paper, don’t worry – we’ll make sure everything is sanitized before we pass it off to your loved one.)

Schedule a Face(time)-to-Face(time). Sure, you can’t actually visit your loved one in-person – but you can do the next best thing. Our communities are equipped with the latest video call technologies, and we’re always willing and able to help you set up a chat with your loved one. We have used FaceTime through Apple devices and Google Meet through the internet. Both have worked well for our residnets.  Nothing is better than actually seeing the face and hearing the voices of the people you care about. A video chat is a perfect opportunity for your kids to sing a song, read a story or otherwise “entertain” your senior loved one. (It’s also something fun for your kids to prepare for and will hopefully provide a nice distraction from the quarantine routine.)

Drive-by with a “hi.” You’ve probably seen the photos and videos of people around the globe standing outside their loved one’s homes, waving signs and bringing a bit of cheer – even if they have to stay more than 6 feet away. If you’re in the same town as your senior loved one, we encourage you to drive by with a “hello” for your loved one. While our residents will have to stay inside, our windows provide perfect views into the parking lot, where you can wave, blow kisses and share happy words of love in person.

Social distancing doesn’t have to mean social isolation. Although we’re taking every precaution at our memory care communities to ensure that the spread of COVID-19 is limited as much as possible, our first priority is and always will be balancing safety with the happiness of our residents. It’s essential for them – and you, and us – to know that they are not alone, they are loved, and they are remembered.

Yes, this may be a scary time, but we’re starting to see the light at the end of the tunnel. Avalon Memory Care is committed to ensuring that your loved ones stay safe and healthy until the thread of this pandemic is over – and beyond. If you have any questions about how our memory care communities are handling health and safety during the coronavirus pandemic, or if you’d like to learn more ideas of how to stay connected to your senior loved ones with memory issues during quarantine, please contact us at (972) 713-1383.

Stay safe, stay healthy, wash your hands – and remember, you’re not alone!

By |2020-04-17T09:19:01-05:00April 17th, 2020|Categories: Uncategorized|0 Comments