How Covid-19 Will Shape the Future of Senior Living

Two elderly women

The world has drastically changed due to the Covid-19 pandemic. All aspects of life have altered our way of living and presented new challenges for everyone’s wellbeing. 

Governments worldwide have taken measures to provide personal protective equipment (PPE) and testing kits across many facilities. However, some facilities such as continuing care retirement communities (CCRCs), assisted living facilities, and home health care agencies that provide care to millions of seniors are undersupplied with the necessary equipment and testing kits

The lack of supplies presents troubling situations for seniors living in such facilities as they are already living in close quarters amongst each other. Due to the uncertainty of when the pandemic will end, it is in our seniors’ best interest to change the shape of their living in years to come. 

This article aims to provide information on how Covid-19 will shape the future of senior living. 

If you are interested in some information about care giving, then learn about it on Champa Care Givers.

Related: About Champa Care Givers 

 

Architectural Changes to Senior Living Facilities

Currently, seniors living in assisted living environments face not being able to have their families visit. Some facilities allow their loved ones to visit them with a separation of a window or a glass door. Also, these facilities’ activities have stopped due to lockdown protocols and have left seniors with not much to do, which has resulted in feeling lonely and isolated

There is no definite answer to when this pandemic will end. Therefore, necessary architectural changes will have to be implemented to provide a safer way for families to visit their family or friends, especially for the seniors living in such facilities.

To regain some form of normalcy and protect residents’ and staff’s wellbeing and health, adaptive changes that require creative operational approaches will have to be implemented; such advancements include using new technologies.

Areas that will be reexamined include: parking lots, reception areas, from activity spaces, dining rooms, from hallways to elevators, health care offices, gyms, and senior living communities as a whole will be reexamined how spaces are used

Also, the devising of new practices and protocols will take place. Some of these changes will be temporary and be put in place to meet the current times’ demands. While some changes will evolve into more permanent features. As the safety of the residents and staff are of priority.

 

The EntryWay

This area requires alterations as it is the first defense line since this is the primary method of entering the building. Careful and screening procedures will be implemented. Every visitor will be expected to undergo various screening measures that will be conducted via new and advanced technologies. Check out this article on How to Redesign Long-Term Care for Older Adults After Covid-19.

The main focus will be for entryways to have surfaces that require less touching by the visitors. To accomplish this, communities will have to install “touchless” style technologies; such an example is automated entrance doors. 

A healthcare professional will check temperatures via disposable thermometers. Visitors may have to step on mats that can be disinfected by solutions to clear the visitors’ shoes of the virus. 

Buildings will offer PPE stations so visitors can sanitize their hands, put on a new clean mask and gloves. 

Caregiver showing phone to an elderly woman 

Outdoor Living Rooms

The concept behind transmission is that it is more likely to occur indoors than outdoors. Therefore, as senior living communities begin to allow loved ones to visit residents once again, outdoor meetings are expected to be the first step. You might be wondering, how is this going to be accomplished? 

Well, some senior living communities in the midwest have begun to implement the idea of outdoor tents. The idea is to create an outside living room that involves setting up chairs that are six feet apart

This design calls for a piece of Plexiglass, which creates a barrier between the residents and visitors. There will be comfortable seating for residents and up to two visitors at a time, and the ability to provide refreshments. 

These outdoor living rooms will often be created under a roofed porch to provide shade; otherwise, a tent can be used. This is a design that is highly in consideration since funding and space are important factors for consideration.

Related:Covid-19 Tips: In Home Care

 

Amenities within the Communities

Covid-19 dramatically shut down common spaces within assisted living communities, as residents have been mainly isolated in their living units. Amenities such as wellness centers, salons, and dining venues are gradually beginning to reopen, but with significant precautions in place.

This approach requires limiting the number of people that gather in a particular place at one time. Therefore, residents will be asked to sign up for appointments to visit gyms, salons, and use other amenity spaces. 

In areas where common spaces are used, providers will be moving furniture and taking other steps to create social distancing. Some communities will likely secure furniture to the floor in their new positions.

 

Financial Costs

Everything has a cost, and just because there is a vast necessity to implement changes does not always mean that funds are available to implement these changes. Unfortunately, senior living residents have not been a priority for testing compared to other health care settings.

Senior living providers all over the country are strapped for cash as this pandemic has driven up expenses and choked off revenue. Altering buildings for this pandemic comes with costs, and companies will have to make strategic decisions about where to invest

Also, with the changes that will be implemented, the cost arises for companies and the residents. The price of senior living communities will again be rising for the expenses to equate to profit. Therefore, it is highly recommended to seek other forms of care for senior living situations. Many have started to invest in in-home health care since the costs may be more beneficial than placing your loved one in a senior living community.

 

The overall picture of how COVID-19 will shape the future of Senior Living

Senior living buildings will have to be altered to meet the safety protocols of Covid-19. This comes at a cost that many companies could not afford to implement right away. Therefore, considering other options for seniors to seek assistance other than residing in such places is Home Health Care Aids.

Related:Home Health Care: The Value of Healing at Home

Remember Champa Caregivers are here for you. Contact us today!

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