The need for quality residential assisted living housing is rapidly increasing, especially with the coronavirus creeping through the senior population at an alarming rate. COVID-19 poses greater risks for elderly people than anyone. Unfortunately, seniors who occupy big-box living facilities face a higher chance of exposure to this virus. These facilities are typically occupied by more than 50 residents. As a result, big-box facilities require more staff and more outside interaction for deliveries and healthcare. The potential of viral transmission is much higher when such a large number of people co-exist in the same setting.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), there are approximately 15,600 nursing homes in the United States. These facilities are occupied by 1.4 million seniors who are in need of assisted living. What can the assisted living industry do to make sure our most frail population is safe during a pandemic? This safety starts with smaller residential assisted living homes that offer quality care in a home-like setting. While some seniors are coping with feelings of isolation during the current quarantine, RAL home caregivers are able to offer residents a different experience.
New Protocols To Protect Assisted Living Seniors From Covid-19
- Family members are not able to have face-to-face visits with seniors during this time
- Limiting other visitors like entertainers and extra staff
- Defining the difference between critical workers and an essential workers
- Utilizing telemedicine for communication with doctors for prescriptions
- In some cases essential visitors are even using window visits to limit interactions
A View From The Frontlines With Dana Robinson
According to nurse Dana Robinson, some smaller residential assisted living homes are allowing families to do window visits without being in the same room. One small positive coming out of all this is observing more people share their spare time helping their elderly loved ones while working from home. During the isolation period, it is also important to keep seniors engaged in activities such as music therapy, pet therapy, and enjoying the sunshine.
Ways to Alleviate Isolation
- Pet therapy,
- Musical therapy,
- Keeping seniors engaged with activities of daily living,
- Short outdoor walks, and
- Turning off the TV and other news sources to eliminate worry.
The Residential Assisted Living Academy teaches owners, operators and caregivers how to do good and do well even during these difficult times amidst COVID-19.
Dana Robinson is proof of this with her 12 bed RAL home that is fully occupied. With a waiting list of potential residents, she is preparing to open a second home in the same community to accommodate the need. This is a trend that is happening across the country.
There is a nationwide shift of seniors opting for residential assisted living homes rather than large nursing facilities. Robinson is experiencing the effects of how COVID-19 is impacting the assisted living industry firsthand. Many of these visiting family members are able to see the type of care needed when visiting their loved ones on a regular basis. Most seniors need more assistance with activities of daily living than their family members previously thought. The current quarantine is creating a wave of families that are realizing the importance of quality care.
How Safe Is Mom And Dad In Assisted Living During Covid-19?
According to Robinson, big-box assisted living facilities are inundated with high traffic which poses a higher risk for seniors being exposed to coronavirus. She explained how caregivers in smaller residential assisted living homes are able to provide care and accommodate other responsibilities at the same time. On the other hand, big-box facilities have cleaning crews, kitchen staff, activity directors, physical therapists, maintenance workers, and other specialty employees.These employees are constantly entering and exiting the facility.
According to the CDC, as it pertains to the coronavirus, limiting the number of people coming and going minimizes the opportunity for transmission and spread. It is important to limit exposure of the virus, especially for seniors with pre-existing conditions or compromised immune systems. Mom and Dad are safer when they live in smaller assisted living homes with much less exposure to large numbers of people during this time. Dealing with coronavirus, quarantine and self-isolation does not have to be all doom and gloom. While some family members, doctors and other individuals are finding these new RAL home precautions difficult, there are many silver linings to this horrible pandemic.
Two Most Important Positive Perspectives:
- Furloughed and out-of-work family members can conduct more window visits, and
- More seniors are using Skype, Zoom and other technology to stay connected with family and friends than ever before.
- There is a greater level of scrutiny over the senior living industry during this period and with that comes improvements to care and safety that will serve to strengthen this industry.
Why Residential Assisted Living Will Benefit Businesses For The Next 20 Years
Accelerate your vision by checking out our informative articles and learn why the RAL Academy fast track training is helping RAL business owners succeed.
There are three good reasons why RAL business owners, operators and investors will benefit from senior assisted living:
- Smaller homes are safer for the residents because they have less exposure to others than they would have in a “Big-Box” facility. It’s safer for the caregivers and staff as well.
- Interest rates are low, which makes it easier to buy property and to fund your project.
- The demographic shift that is happening is unstoppable. The Silver Tsunami of Seniors is coming.
We know exactly what’s coming and when it will arrive. We truly are at the “Right Place At The Right Time”.Visit www.RALAcademy.com and learn how you can get ready for the next big investment opportunity of a lifetime.