Although sometimes hard to remember, only last year at this time families that were considering moving their loved ones into senior living communities would have never guessed that a decision already emotionally challenging, was about to become heart wrenching. Do I move my parents where they can live more safely, knowing that I cannot visit them? Or do I become a caregiver myself?
At Crossroads Eldercare Options, we saw that families that could make the decision to care for their own parents at home, happily and with relief, made that decision. Many people stopped looking for assisted living or delayed a move. In all the grief and fear of the beginning of the pandemic, one of the silver linings was that most people began working from home, where they could be close to and help care for their elderly family members. This eventually, however, became untenable for many. As life expectancies are increasing, many of our seniors have significant care needs that require quite a bit of stamina, strength, experience, and training. This is hard work, and not possible in the long run for many family caregivers.
As a result, we are now seeing families realize that a move for their parents is inevitable, and they will have to adjust to a new reality in assisted living during Covid…and beyond. At Crossroads Eldercare Options, we help people navigate that transition.
Here are some important considerations when you must move your elderly loved ones while we are still struggling with the pandemic:
Before the move:
- Every assisted living and memory care community (except for specific communities set up to accept COVID-19 positive residents) requires at a minimum a negative COVID-19 test shortly before moving. There are other requirements specific to individual communities.
- Most assisted living communities have virtual tours you can watch from home, and they will also walk you thru the community via facetime.
- Moving companies that have approved processes and PPE are being used to facilitate moving belongings in and setting up apartments to be move-in ready for new residents.
After the move:
Though protocols differ by location, this is what to generally expect:
- Self-quarantine for 7 to 14 days after arrival
- Daily symptom screenings for residents throughout the two-week period
- A coronavirus test 7 and 14 days after move-in
- Meals delivered directly to the new resident’s apartment
- No travel outside the community for the first two weeks
Assisted living communities are making great efforts to provide activities and interaction with their new residents while they are quarantine, to make those first days as easy as possible.
- Before the pandemic, visitors could come and go as often as they liked in most circumstances, but for now this has changed. Each assisted living property is following state law and for now visits are restricted to outside only, obviously more challenging during our Michigan winters. Hopefully this will change soon as vaccinations increase.
Even though this has been an incredibly difficult time for our elderly loved ones, we take solace in the fact that we are blessed with incredible, compassionate and talented people working in and managing our assisted living communities in West Michigan, and our family members are being well cared for and loved.
If you inquire specific information on West Michigan’s assisted living communities Covid-19 protocols, Crossroads Eldercare Options is happy to help. www.crossroadseldercare.com