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How to Choose a Senior Living Community During the COVID-19 Pandemic

Long-term care shouldn’t be difficult to access. In light of the coronavirus (COVID-19) crisis, however, senior living communities have been put to the test—adjusting care models and learning to cope with contagions in an open setting that is supposed to foster communal care and support quality of life. While these communities are adapting to new public health mandates like social distancing and similar guidelines that limit visitation, how can one choose a senior living community during the COVID-19 pandemic? For starters, you should look for a senior living community that’s adapting new care models to support and prioritize quality of life—a medically necessary consideration for isolated elderly residents during the pandemic. In this article, we’ll go over the importance of these new care models—offering a list of considerations and services that you should look for in senior living communities as you hunt for the perfect long-term care solution for yourself or a loved one during COVID-19.

Look for New Care Models That Support Quality of Life

Senior living communities are currently adapting new care models to address a permanently changed landscape that isolates at-risk residents—a hidden yet devastating development from the pandemic that has proven to severely impair the health and livelihood of seniors. In this new COVID-19 setting, communities are faced with the challenge of supporting quality of life for elderly residents while still following social distancing guidelines. 

When looking for a senior living community, many future residents may believe that they’re faced with a similar challenge: A choice between quality versus quantity of life. This is not a choice that you should have to make; instead of settling, why not find a solution that caters to both? Here’s what you should look for to ensure you’re benefiting from long-term care in a setting that prioritizes residential well-being, safety, and acute healthcare needs without reverting to social isolation:

Supporting the Residential Experience

For senior living communities dealing with the changing dynamics of the pandemic, understanding the residential experience is critical to ensuring quality of life. This requires a shift in perspective that accounts for daily interactions, everyday challenges, and safety considerations. Communities that prioritize this will often provide a much more personalized residential experience that accounts for individualized concerns by offering solutions based on community and residential research, as well as your needs and expectations.

Offering Tech Support 

The 21st century is a virtual and technological epicenter, one that many elderly residents do not fully understand or have trouble accessing. Instead of removing the obstacle, consider senior living communities that council residents with tech support and provide learning opportunities about computer operations. This will ensure that they can communicate with family, friends, and loved ones despite social distancing ordinances and the anxieties surrounding in-person visitation during COVID-19.

Providing Care-in-Place Alternatives

Last but not least, it’s important that you look for a senior living community that offers a  care-in-place alternative to facility-based emergency centers. Health complications and underlying conditions are much more prevalent in seniors, as is the increased risk of infection after an extended hospitalization. During the pandemic, organizing urgent care services for understood exacerbations is not only stressful, but the hospitalization could also result in future readmittance. In-home care alternatives, like DispatchHealth’s on-demand service, provide acute medical attention without removing the resident from their familiar environment—keeping things comfortable, personalized, and succinct for the patient’s healthcare and community network.

DispatchHealth: The Partner Senior Living Communities Prefer

DispatchHealth partners with senior living communities to provide an urgent healthcare alternative that comes to residents. Our on-demand services are a valuable resource for anyone with underlying health concerns who would benefit from in-home care. Doing away with the stress of organizing transportation and impersonal healthcare that favors quantity over quality, DispatchHealth can address your elderly loved one’s urgent care needs without a disruptive medical experience. With access to nearly all of the tools and technologies found in an ER, our medical teams will provide residents with a streamlined service that is effective, efficient, and affordable, allowing your elderly loved one to skip the ER and receive the care they need from the comfort of their senior living community. We even accept Medicare and Medicaid, and offer an affordable flat rate for uninsured patients. 

patient treated in home

DispatchHealth is here to support you in any way that we can. We can also test for COVID-19 as well as treat and support COVID-19 patients, personalizing acute healthcare services to meet your needs. To request care, simply contact us via phone, mobile app, or through our website.

Sources

DispatchHealth relies only on authoritative sources, including medical associations, research institutions, and peer-reviewed medical studies. 

Sources referenced in this article: 

  1. https://skillednursingnews.com/2020/09/quality-of-life-is-medically-necessary-what-nursing-home-residents-families-want-in-a-post-covid-world/
  2. https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/community/retirement/considerations.html 

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