Assisted Living and the "New" Normal

Assisted Living and the "New" Normal

❀ While we are living in a time when Covid-19 has to be a concern, folks still want to move and explore assisted living options. There are so many wonderful communities and there is certainly one out there for you or your loved one. There are many more questions to face these days beyond the norm.

Some questions are:

  1. Will I need to be tested and/or quarantined in order to move-in to my new home?

  2. Is there digital technology in place to assist during those needed scenarios?

  3. What is the visiting protocol for family and friends?

Covid-19 Testing Upon Move-In

Some assisted living communities, memory care, senior living communities and the like are requiring a Covid-19 test before a resident can move in. Senior housing officials can then have a quarantine period for the resident. This can affect the timeframe in which a move-in is possible. You will want to check with your new community about their guidelines and restrictions. This will help to make the process of moving more streamlined.

Digital Technology and Senior Care

The digital world has come to those who never really wanted it. With doctors having to make the choice to have regular scheduled visits on Zoom, Skype and other online meeting spaces. This has forced even those who didn’t want to learn about the digital world right in the digital classroom. Most have learned it can be extremely helpful and give some peace of mind in these trying times. Because we have all been affected by Covid-19, especially the senior care industry, utilizing these kinds of conveniences are essential.

cellular phone
Seniors can get much value from cellular phones.

Visiting Formalities

Some senior living communities have new formalities for visiting family and friends. This may include checking-in at a front desk or lobby location for a possible temperature test and a few questions. Let’s look at this a positive procedure for the safety of our loved ones and ourselves. Change can be difficult, lets embrace the ones we can and allow them to become either the “new” normal or “temporary” normal as we all progress through these uncertain times.

Some Additional Adjustments in the Assisted Living Environment

You may find changes in places throughout the community like, outdoor spaces, dining spaces and lobby areas. These changes are probably more temporary but with changing times may become more permanent. They are not unreasonable changes and ones that many people can easily become used too.

  • More outdoor spaces for socialization. These spaces they are referring to as outdoor living rooms. They are made to feel more comfortable than just the average lawn chair. Of course, these spaces will include comfort and a sense of community yet just the right amount of social distance.

  • Dining rooms that are more spaced apart. Perhaps the omission of tablecloths, coffee creamers, and salt & pepper shakers. This would be mainly to avoid cross contamination of germs from many people touching these items throughout the day. Also, the use of clear partitions to assist with the spread of germs. Some communities may also spread out their dining times to avoid too many residences in one place at one time.

  • Lobby areas are often a place for residents to meet and congregate for conversation. Some communities are spacing out seating areas and reducing the size of these areas to avoid too many people. This is when the outdoor space can be very helpful as well. Some senior communities are expanding their lobby area to outside with benches and chairs at the outside entrance area for meeting with other friends for conversations.

Depression, Anxiety and Loneliness Can Set In

Some older adults are already prone to things like depression and anxiety. With the restrictions in place at many communities this can set in even deeper. Many of these communities are working hard to avoid those feelings and subdue the loneliness. Some of the ways they are combating this is with activities that people are used to but doing them in a different way. Ballgames in the hallways, chair volleyball, ice cream parties at a distance. I have also read they are piping music through speakers in the rooms -I love that one! Needless to say, if you or a loved one is considering an assisted living home and you are worried about what it will be like. They seem to have a lot of things covered. Its, of course, stressful and comes with certain anxieties but they can be overcome and you can take comfort in knowing they too recognize the need for “new” changes and ways to keep you or your loved one safe, happy and healthy.

Believe it or not 50% of older adults are diagnosed with depression or anxiety as a senior. Many factors have an affect on these conditions. Losing a loved one can be a high contributor to these conditions. Issues like money, health issues and lack of family contact can contribute to one’s mental health. Older adults have new situations to deal with that they can be unprepared for and it affects their mind and mental stability. There can be stigma about depression and getting help for it. However, family and children should support their parents or older family members in getting help. Assistance for these issues are so accessible and there should be no shame in talking about it and allowing a doctor to assist. Reading about the factors that can lead to your loved one is important, there are many good article and research out there to go through and share with family members.

Feelings of depression in older adults include:

  • Despair
  • Attentiveness
  • No interest in going on
  • Sleeping issues
  • Tiredness

At the end of the day, remember that not all the restrictions and rules will be in place forever. They are there for the protection of everyone. We have all had to grin and bear more than this in a lifetime. Be safe and we hope you will use our website to search for your next home! What will you find – Community descriptions, images, floor plans, campus maps, videos and more. Use the red buttons on a community listing to get more information, request a tour or a brochure. You can also connect to a community’s website using the “visit website” button or the "request tour/brochure" button. These buttons will put you in direct contact with that community.