Life has changed a great deal in the last 3 months, and it will continue to change over the next 3 months too. As states and counties across the country enter varying stages of re-opening, safety will continue to be top of mind. For senior communities, the challenges of allowing visitors and increasing socialization are being met with creativity and cutting-edge methodology. Here are just a few examples:
FAMILY MEET-UP PODS
Just one week ago, Senior Housing News shared an idea that Canadian independent living communities are adopting to help families visit with loved ones face-to-face. PARC Retirement Living, based in Vancouver, is re-purposing modular containers (think moving pods) to serve as family meeting facilities. These modular rooms include air filtration systems as well as a clear, tempered glass barrier that helps protect loved ones from virus transmission.
OUTDOOR LIVING ENHANCEMENTS
Another solution that addresses outside visitors as well as increases in visits between residents is the concept of outdoor living rooms. While pre-screening, disinfection and mask-wearing will still be required, outdoor meeting spaces can be comfortable, convenient and accommodate social distancing criteria. This would replace gatherings in shared indoor spaces (pre-COVID days) with other residents, and eliminate concerns over contact in hallways, doorways and elevators. Furthermore, communities under construction are considering advice to ensure that isolation is addressed in future pandemics. Many providers and architects are working on community concepts in which individual resident balconies and patios face each other, such that distance can be allowed while contact is still maintained.
In virtually every senior living community, entryways are the first line of defense. As such, many buildings are looking into ‘touchless tech’ options to help with visitor accessibility and screening. Automatic entrances (instead of paddle-style doors) and no-contact temperature screening devices are the first touch (or shall we say ‘no touch!) points to consider. In addition, rapid COVID tests, PPE kiosks and visitor questionnaires may also support safety and be utilized and adapted in the weeks and months ahead.
Resources Used & Further Reading:
Cheers to all that is old, all that is new and all that is you,
Bobbi & Team
NAR Instructor….“Designations Create Distinctions”
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REI, AHWD, RSPS, MSLG
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