Deciding to move into a senior living community can be difficult. It may be even harder during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Should you move into an independent living residence now or wait until the pandemic is over?
If a spouse or family member needs assisted living, skilled nursing and rehab, or memory care, is it best to continue caring for them at home for a while longer, or find them a senior living option now while space may still be available?
Common myths and facts to consider:
- I’m safer at home right now; nursing homes have many cases of COVID-19.
Some senior living communities across the country have higher numbers of positive cases, in large part because they care for those at high risk – the elderly and those with underlying medical conditions.
While living at home, you still may need to run essential errands or otherwise come into contact with others. Each time you do that, you can be exposed to the virus. Because people exposed to COVID-19 can take up to 2 weeks to develop symptoms, they may look perfectly healthy and feel fine, yet still expose you.
If other people live with you or help you, do they frequently wash their hands, wear a facemask whenever they are around you, and follow all CDC guidelines to prevent spread of the virus?
Our employees do! They are required (and trained how and when) to effectively use personal protective equipment and follow all other recommended precautions to greatly reduce your risk of contracting the virus.
- My family can help me until COVID-19 ends.
Because no one knows how long the pandemic will last, consider how long family members and/or helpers will be able to continue providing their current level of support and resources, especially if the pandemic lasts several more weeks, or slows, only to return later.
Also, does a primary caregiver and/or other support person need to return to work or school now that some businesses have re-opened and many schools will open this fall?
- Home feels secure for now, so I can wait it out.
Your home may be free from tripping and fall hazards, and have safety measures like bathroom grab bars. However, do you have any health issues that may worsen, requiring long-term care services sooner than later?
Our residents often comment they are relieved they made the decision to move when they did. Waiting until a sudden injury or illness occurs could prevent you from making your own choices.
If you become a resident in a CHI Living Communities campus that offers various levels of care, in the event you ever require a different level of care, you can remain on the same campus you will soon come to know as home.
- If Mom moves now, she may be lonely until your visitation restrictions are lifted.
We know it’s difficult not seeing a loved one. We highly encourage our residents and families to have virtual visits (FaceTime and Skype), plus call often and send cards and special packages during the pandemic.
While living at home, seniors sometimes may feel lonely because their age isolates them. At CHI Living Communities, residents often gain confidence and may feel more connected overall. That’s because they are surrounded by others similar in age – people who have the same point of reference, may share similar values or hobbies, and can reminisce about historic milestones that younger people have not experienced.
Further, our activity director offers residents ongoing activities throughout each week to keep residents actively engaged. While our employees can never replace your unconditional love, be assured we treat your loved one like our own.
- I want Dad to enjoy your full amenities, like communal dining, which you currently can’t offer.
Yes, group activities are temporarily suspended to help keep our residents safe. In the meantime, though, we’ll deliver Dad hot, scrumptious meals right to his door, along with plenty of snacks! Our chef prepares meals that meet the unique nutrition needs – and taste buds – of seniors, which will help to keep your dad’s immune system strong.
- My aunt is looking forward to going to Mass again soon, but your chapel may be closed.
Many houses of worship are closed or limiting live services during the pandemic. Until our chapel can safely re-open, we offer videotaped and/or live-stream services, as well as other types of spiritual support through our Director of Mission Integration and a chaplain. CHI Living Communities is proud of our faith-based mission, and our services deliver that sacred ministry.
While only you may know what is best for you or a loved one right now, CHI Living Communities offers plenty of fun activities in a safe, healthy and supportive environment … even despite the COVID-19 pandemic!
If you would like to explore living options now or in the future, please contact us to discuss your specific needs. We always appreciate the opportunity to help a senior find their fit at CHI Living Communities, where home is here.