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Recreation Inside Senior Living During Coronavirus

Andrew Diediker, Co-Owner

Simple Senior Solutions

May 26, 2020

Community 1

Core Bingo: The staff is calling bingo numbers through the PA system. They are hosting Happy Hour and live music outside. Staff and residents are keeping social distance the best they can. In this case, standing / sitting at least six feet away. They will maintain social distancing and keeping groups at ten or fewer.  No one can utilize the movie theatre right now.  It has been very detrimental to the activities.  They no longer doing horse racing because the group was 50-60 people.

Residents are having a hard time adjusting to the new normal of wearing a face mask and complying with social distancing. Having meals delivered to their apartments has also been very challenging, as fine dining is completely different than being served in your room.  This has been going on for two and half months.

Community 2

Challenges: In the past, all activities were done in groups. Now they are just handing stuff out individually, i.e. crosswords, puzzles, reading material etc.  The residents are missing socialization.  They are getting really ancy.

In Person Interview 1

She stated, “I cannot say that I have had any specific challenges; however, I did have one challenge getting online to shop.  So now I shop online and learn something new.” In addition, she is not able to get out with her friends.  She also plans to stay at home and not look into senior living options until the pandemic is over.  She did state, “Not having socialization and getting together with friends has been a big challenge.”

In Person Interview 2

He stated, “I avoid going any place, but if I do go someplace, I wear a mask and that stuff. Other than that, we are not too challenged.” The doctor does not want him to do anything unless it is absolutely necessary.  All doctor appointments have been put off, and this is a negative thing. This person is waiting to move his wife into memory care.   One thing he did not mention is that sometimes the caregivers who come to his house show up late or do not come.  This can be a challenge, as it throws a wrench in his day.  He could not think of any other challenges.

What Does It Look Like for Seniors Who Are Currently Living Inside Senior Living?

Community 1

The staff are still allowing older adults to move-in.  The challenges are hearing about concerns in other senior living communities such as Life Care Center of Elkhorn. This does push them away, and they say, “We do not want to move while the coronavirus is gone.”

Community 2

Not making the move, until normal gets put back into place, i.e. socializing. 

For example: Someone was not able to go to the cemetery on Memorial Day, as leaving the building for anything other than a doctor’s appointment is not permitted.

How they are coping? They are opening up an apartment so that family can do window visits.  The Executive Director said, “We are not getting too much push back, but some families are getting frustrated with this ‘no visit policy’ as they haven’t been able to see their loved one for two months.”

What Are the Challenges that Seniors Face to Be at Home by Themselves During This Coronavirus?

In Their Own Home: Mobility and being able to take care of the house. 

In Their Apartment at a Senior Living Community: Depends on the situation and if the family is with them or not.