Is It Safe to Move During COVID-19?

Now may be the best time to move into senior living

Our world has been in a constant state of pause for months due to concerns about COVID-19. But with states starting to reopen, it’s a great time to consider a move to a senior living community.

There are a lot of benefits to living in a retirement community, and many of these far outweigh concerns about moving at a time when older adults have been told to shelter in place.

Services catered to older adults

Senior living communities cater needs exclusively to older adults. Their programs, activities and in-house services such as dining and spiritual services, bring people with similar interests together. They also create friendly and supportive communities that people draw on for entertainment, companionship and emotional support in tough times. United Church Homes is beginning to reopen independent living dining rooms. Now residents will have the option to dine with friends again with proper distancing. While dining rooms were closed, staff delivered meals and snacks to residents several times each day, ensuring even those who could cook their own meals were getting adequate nutrition and had contact with others while they were physically distancing. The delivery option remains in most communities. Staff also are making weekly shopping trips to pick up groceries, prescriptions and other necessary items so that residents may stay home and stay safe.

Maintaining family Connections

Many families are still practicing safe physical distancing to protect older relatives. While this helps reduce the risk of infection, it could lead to unintended social isolation for older adults. Senior living communities have adapted to these necessary precautions in a variety of ways, by limiting entrance to essential staff only and screening employees each day for illness to comply with strict federal health guidelines. In addition, staff wear masks and disinfect common areas multiple times daily.

To keep families connected, United Church Homes communities schedule virtual visits and now provide safe outdoor visitation for those in assisted living. In between family visits, residents can participate with neighbors in safe, small group activities inside the community. Many communities also have large and beautiful outdoor spaces where residents can relax or take a walk without the risk of being exposed to crowds and people who could make them ill.

Compassionate and comprehensive care

Since March, a lot of older adults have delayed doctor’s appointments or medical procedures out of extreme caution. Senior living communities with assisted living or skilled nursing services have trained medical professionals on staff. They are providing daily wellness checks for all residents, even those in independent living, to ensure that residents are getting the care and attention they need. This can be invaluable for monitoring health and weight, and identifying sudden changes that require further medical evaluation. United Church Homes communities have dedicated medical directors and can quickly connect residents with appropriate providers if a concern arises. This includes arranging for home health services for independent residents who may need a little extra help with daily life activities. If a resident needs surgery or a hospital stay, they can often opt for rehabilitation services in their own familiar senior living community where the they are familiar with the staff, standard of care and infection control procedures.

Preferred mover services

If a move makes sense in your family, United Church Homes communities can recommend preferred movers who will work with new residents to safely pack and move their personal belongings. These movers are taking extra precautions such as mapping out the shortest move-in routes in a community and following recommended sanitary processes to protect older adults. We only work with preferred movers who follow these processes including wearing sanitary masks, gloves and shoe covers to reduce the risk of spreading infection. Read more tips about safe moving.

Our society is quickly adapting to life in a COVID-19 world. Older adults remain highly vulnerable to the disease, and need to take important precautions to protect themselves. A move to a senior living community that is taking these precautions seriously could be a step up to a better quality of life.