The Year of Covid at Optimized Senior Living
Covid 19, the Coronavirus, came with full force in March of 2020, and caused massive shutdowns, and quarantines, to the extent that nobody has ever experienced. It has also caused some individuals and families to suffer from financial, emotional, physical, and spiritual hardships. I could go on about all the negatives and obstacles that the Covid virus has brought about, but, I want to tell you our story, here at Optimized Senior Living, and how we grew and smiled through the adversity.
Last year, when the shutdown first happened, it was scary. It seemed as if no one knew what was going on or how to respond. Of course, there were strict mandates and regulations put into place that we as an assisted living residence had to comply. Our first plan of action was to step back, pray, and immediately recognize that we couldn’t allow fear and isolation to settle in at our senior living homes. Our mission was to continue to bring a standard quality of life to our residents, and we knew that fear and isolation wouldn’t breath life into anyone. We are human, and we know how important interaction and socialization is for everyone, and that is a huge part of who we are at Optimized Senior Living.
Since day one of the shutdown, we chose not to isolate residents to their rooms. Isolation and loneliness in seniors and especially those with dementia can lead to behavioral issues, depression, and many other preventable symptoms . What would be worse, multiple angry and confused senior residents who are acting out in their rooms and unable to leave, or relaxed residents thinking their routine is still normal? At the time, we weren’t sure, but we decided to stay with the normal routine and allow our residents to leave their room. Often, when residents with dementia exhibit behaviors it is due to their environment. Solving that problem for facilities then means to either move them to a calmer environment that better suits their well-being, or with stronger medications that can keep residents more subdued. On a daily basis, we believe in creating calm and positive energy in our homelike environment for all our residents. That way, our residents can thrive, and not have to resort to any increased medication dosage.
Following the recommended guidelines for Assisted Living Resident Homes, Optimized Senior Living, last year, did restrict inside building visitors for an extended period of time. From last Spring to Fall, we only allowed outdoor family visits, and it worked out great given the circumstances. Last November, for a very short time, we attempted to re-initiate indoor building visits within a very safe and controlled environment. Unfortunately, that’s when Covid cases were drastically on the rise, so we immediately halted indoor visits. Our solution was to coordinate virtual visits whenever we could and come up with other ways to include the resident families in their days despite not being physically present.
During the entire pandemic, daily activities went on strong due to our desire to bring joy to our senior residents. Our residents were happy, smiling, and the staff spirits were high. This all happened despite visible changes like wearing masks and the drastic decrease in family and friends visiting our residents. Life inside our buildings still seemed very “Normal”.
What was the result of our decisions? I’m sure some of you might have read this thinking horrible thoughts about us and our actions that we took last year. But, here’s what happened. Praise to God, we have not had one single positive Covid case with our residents throughout the entire pandemic. We did have a handful of caregivers go through mandatory quarantine due to family exposure, etc. Also, we only had a few staff members test positive and made sure they took appropriate health measures prior to returning to work .
We continue to bring Joy, Prayer, and Hope daily to our Optimized Senior Living Family and can feel good putting our heads down at night that we are treating our senior residents with the humanity and dignity they deserve.
Contact Us today at Optimized Senior Living in Lebanon, Ohio to learn more about our assisted living home and services for you or your loved one.
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