Assisted living can be a wonderful way to ensure that loved ones get the care they need as they age.
Many assisted living and skilled nursing centers offer a robust level of care while also doing what they can to ensure that those who live there are able to retain some independence and live life as “normally” as possible.
However, the COVID-19 pandemic has radically altered how assisted living facilities can operate. State and federal guidelines regarding the management of care centers have severely restricted visits with family members and even hampered how much residents can see and talk with each other within the facilities.
In fact, these restrictions have led many families to think about removing their mom or dad from long-term care to help ensure that loved ones aren’t isolated and lonely while they wait out the pandemic.
Is removing a loved one from assisted living during COVID-19 something you have been considering? Or maybe you’ve been thinking about placing mom or dad in assisted living, but during the pandemic you’re not certain it’s a good idea?
Here are a few questions you might want to ponder:
- If you take a loved one out of long-term care, how will he or she receive the necessary care? Regular visits from an at-home care provider could be one way to ensure that your loved one’s daily needs are met during COVID-19. Or perhaps you will be providing the care yourself. Either way, you’ll want to have a plan in place before you decide to move mom or dad — and one that includes where your loved one will stay.
- Are you worried about your loved one’s state of mind? Loneliness can have drastically negative consequences for older adults. If you fear that your loved one spends too much time alone due to COVID-19 restrictions, bringing them home — where kids and grandkids can pop by any time for a socially distanced visit — might be a good choice.
- What are your long-term care facility’s policies? If your loved one is currently in assisted living, check to find out what policies and procedures are currently in place regarding visitation, infection prevention and other issues. This article from NextAvenue includes other great questions to ask a current or prospective long-term care facility.
- Do you have a long-term lease set up? If you’re locked into an agreement of any kind, you’ll want to think about the potential costs of leaving early. You’ll also want to consider whether your loved one can be readmitted to the assisted living facility down the road.
- What will you do when the pandemic is behind us? When COVID-19 has run its course, or when governments allow the return of some of the freedoms of yesteryear, will your loved one continue to live at home? Will you need to line up a long-term home or apply for admission to assisted living? Will you continue to make use of at-home care to provide for your loved one in the comfort of home?
The pandemic and its related lockdowns haven’t had nearly the effects on at-home care that they’ve had on assisted living centers. Here at Take My Hand At-Home Care in Lynden, we certainly are being cautious to avoid spreading COVID-19, but we’re generally able to continue as before, caring for people in their homes and helping them conduct essential duties throughout Whatcom County. Government restrictions on health care facility operations, on the other hand, have forced larger changes.
Are those changes big enough to cause you to consider caring for a parent or loved one at home? The choice is yours, and we hope this post has given you a few good considerations to ponder.
Related: What are the differences between communal living and at-home care?