Senior Living​ During a Pandemic: How to Find What’s Right For You
How to Find The Right Senior Living Community For You During A Pandemic

You may have been considering a ​senior living community​ for your loved one when ​the COVID-19 pandemic hit, but stopped the search to see what impact it would have on things. Luckily, we haven’t stopped doing what we do best, and we are here to help you as you begin to move forward.

Though making this decision is not always easy, a pandemic shouldn’t stop you from making the right one. Every situation is different, so it’s important to cover all the bases and get the information that will help you make the best choice for YOU.

Don’t be afraid to ask questions—because we really are all in this together. So, here are some things to consider when searching for the right senior living community:

Questions to ask yourself

The factors you may need to consider for yourself and your family depend on your specific situation, like if you are retired and the sole caregiver for your parent, or if your parent is your roommate, or even if you are working full-time while caring for a parent with dementia. These can make a difference when finding the best solution for all of you.

Here are a few common questions to ask yourself:

  • Do people in your household go to grocery stores, pharmacies, or restaurants? Or do they get deliveries from these places?
  • Do you clean deliveries or grocery items before bringing them inside?
  • Are you doing extra cleaning and hand-washing?
  • Do children in the home understand and practice the proper safety procedures?
  • Are there pets in the home that go outside and possibly interact with other people?
  • Are you able to effectively take care of your loved one, your family, and yourself simultaneously?
  • What’s your backup plan if someone in the home is exposed to COVID-19?

Questions to ask ​senior living communities

With specific guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), state authorities, and county health departments​, we are constantly working to improve our unique aspects of safety; these are in addition to all the things we already know help seniors live well, such as social activities, research-based health plans, and professionally trained team members. It’s important to look to senior living providers who know and love what they’re doing to help you make the right choice for you and your family.

Here are some questions to ask when looking for a senior living community:

  • Are team members wearing masks at all times? Do they have access to full PPE?
  • Who are they letting into the building, and is this limited to healthcare workers only?
  • What contact can you have with your loved one? Are there window visits or virtual visits?
  • Have they made changes to their cleaning protocols since the COVID-19 pandemic started?
  • Are residents screened daily for COVID-19 symptoms? What does that look like?
  • What does daily engagement look like right now?
  • Do they have a plan if COVID-19 gets in the building? Is there ongoing training for this?
  • Do they test residents and team members for COVID-19? If so, what is their protocol, and how often do they test? 
  • Do they have community signage regarding hand-washing and other safety measures?
  • What does the move-in process look like now?
  • Do residents have to follow protocols like social distancing and wearing masks?

These questions are so important—if not only for your peace of mind. A senior living community with know-how can provide answers that will make you feel better about making your decision.

Remember this

Independent living​, ​assisted living​, and ​memory care communities​ are the experts in older adult living—from medication management to physically distanced happy hours. Here to help in the good times and the challenging ones (and to make the challenging times a little more fun). Remember that if you need extra guidance, there’s always someone to assure you you’re not alone – served with a virtual pat on the back.

Consider everything you need in terms of living your best life, your older adult’s happiness and safety, and the current environment. Ask the right questions so you can find the perfect place for Mom or Dad, and both you and your loved ones will be sure to Thrive!