NORTH METRO ATLANTA, Ga. — As the coronavirus pandemic continues to evolve, senior living communities are modifying their operations and adding safeguards to protect the health of residents and employees.
As a means to keep residents active while promoting social distancing, The Mansions at Alpharetta Assisted Living and Memory Care provides residents with weekly virtual religious services and Facebook Live cooking demonstrations.
The facility also announced a virtual bingo night scheduled for Aug. 28. The “high-octane” event will be co-hosted by 1986 Nascar Daytona 500 winner Geoffrey Bodine.
“We are so pleased to have Geoff Bodine participating in our event,” The Mansions Marketing Director Kristen Lockwood said. “Our residents and local community are so looking forward to ‘meeting him’ online and are thankful for his willingness to be involved in this event.”
Belmont Village of Johns Creek is prioritizing residents’ health by organizing daily doorway activities such as exercising, word games and storytelling. Residents have the option of partaking in outdoor games, such as balloon volleyball and ball toss.
Dunwoody’s Phoenix Senior Living Executive Director Nick Rowell said his team is working to provide residents with a variety of activities without risking anyone’s health.
“We have had no confirmed cases of coronavirus in our community,” Rowell said. “Our team is working hard to establish smaller groups, eliminate all possibility of a spread and maintain a healthy schedule of activities such as morning stretches, puzzles and exercise...We are keeping our residents and staff safe while continuing to provide a great standard of living.”
Recreation is only part of routines senior living facilities have adjusted. The operations follow CDC guidelines of prohibiting any in-person visitations and have reduced all forms of interaction.
“We are following the CDC’s guidelines and have no in-person visitations,” Rowell said. “We do encourage our families to reach out virtually.”
In a newsletter to residents and family, Belmont Village Executive Director Jan Boatright said her facility is closely monitoring the evolving situation created by the pandemic.
“We have prohibited all visitors and nonessential personnel from coming into our community and all internal and external group activities are prohibited until further notice,” she said.
The Mansions CEO Kim Davis said he and his staff recognize many residents enjoy their time with visitors, and they don’t want them to feel lonely.
“We will take extra measures to ensure our residents feel lots of love and attention from our staff members during this time,” he said. “We also encourage and have staff ready to assist with facetime, sending videos, skype, etc. to encourage communication.”
According to data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 80 percent of COVID-19-related deaths in the U.S. are among adults 65 years old and older.
The CDC provides timely updates and guidelines to keep elders, high-risk adults and families safe. Visit www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019 for more information.