The pandemic from Covid-19 has caused new challenges to be dealt with by long-term care providers all over the industry. But for those who are operating memory care communities, the problem is much more prominent.
These challenges happen to include limiting the residents in memory care from moving around freely. This includes meeting with other residents, as well as ensuring that their daily activities are not affected by the pandemic response to maintain an opportunity for low agitation.
Due to oversupply, the census has been declining for many years, and the memory health community has been frustrated. Travel restrictions and slowing relocations caused by Covid-19 may stop the increasing occupancy. The good news about this is that in earlier days of the pandemic, the rate for occupancy seems to have remained stable. Memory health as a demand-based product may perform better than other health care levels during the economic recession. Still, operators must prove that It is possible to create safe, secure, and productive communities.
Control relocation costs
During the pandemic, the lives of the elderly are related to the cessation of community sports travel, and memory care is no exception.
Anthem responded to the new situation by increasing its marketing efforts. The marketing and sales team is spending time cleaning the recommendation database. They are keeping in touch with potential customers and their families who may need faster memory care services and taking some virtual tours.
The operator is still accepting the move-in, but a more in-depth review is needed to ensure that new residents will not carry the virus. Moreover, as a demand-based service, McCoy expects that there will not be much work other than vision loss.
The principal requested new admissions and re-entry to get quarantined for 14 days upon the arrival. Still, it did not accept new admissions from its memory care department because it is almost impossible for dementia patients to perform.
Nevertheless, the occupancy rate may decline in the coming weeks.
Due to staff shortages and supply costs (mainly in terms of replacing PPE), memory care providers will also face the problem of increased expenses. Seasons Living is adding staff to keep the community clean and disinfected.
This month, Anthem also launched an incentive plan for frontline workers and looked for other alternatives to thank them for their efforts in this crisis.
In response, it is considering alternatives to staffing, such as 12-hour shifts, reorganizing tasks, authorizing overtime, and double time. Also by hiring new employees who can be screened by Covid-19, and reducing working hours. If this does not pass their ability, Negatively affect drugs, or assist residents with ADL, cleaning, disinfection, and feeding.
Social Distancing is a Challenge
The biggest nursing challenge for memory care providers is to balance the needs of people with dementia with adherence to social evacuation habits.
Of course, one of the biggest challenges in social alienation is because memory care residents may not be able to grasp the nature of the Covid-19 threat.
However, the lack of understanding of residents also brought benefits.
The principal is worried that requiring frontline employees to wear PPE every day will cause the residents’ emotional and destructive moments to increase. To minimize the impact, some religious communities have set up “dress-up days” in some communities.
As the crisis intensifies and the community protects non-essential personnel, it is imperative to practice people-centered care delivery methods consistently. Also, caregivers need to be alert to every opportunity to interact with people with dementia.
It is a good idea to take an hourly tour of the memory community at any time, but this is especially true given the pandemic. These types of visits allow residents to be monitored. Now, employees should increase the “five Ps” of personal hand hygiene, management strategy consulting, and medical strategy leader Cindi Raymond suggested and Plante Moran’s operations.
She pointed out that washing residents’ hands or using hand sanitizer achieved not only the essential purpose of infection control but also provided opportunities for physical contact that could get treated.
Raymond’s recommendations include manicure/pedicure, which is another best practice to consider, and that is to create more opportunities for participation and stimulation in the residents’ rooms. Build a craft corner or reading corner; set up a nursery; renovate the room with the residents; bring the seed sprouts to celebrate spring, or provide a small fish tank for animal lovers.
When taking these measures, keep in mind the routine of memory nursing residents.
At first, Anthem tried to maintain its leading position in the CDC guidelines and continued to take more restrictive measures in its portfolio. However, the initial guidance of state and local public health agencies was inconsistent and sometimes confusing, leading residents to a series of questions about maintaining medical care during the outbreak.
Anthem’s executive directors have actively strengthened communication with families to keep them up to date with local conditions. They are forwarding new guidance from state and local agencies when information is available. McCoy has also been sending letters to his family every week.
As guidance becomes more consistent, providers have been able to answer the community. In addition to handling concerns from the family, fewer and fewer calls, and families are more confident in Anthem’s response.
During this uncertain time, better communication can also reduce the pressure on employees. In this regard, Anthem, its community leadership team, and frontline staff made mistakes in transparency, shared new guidance when available, and how the CARES Act stimulus plan and other legislation passed by Congress will affect operators.
The Premier House, headquartered in Windsor, California, operates 16 high-end housing communities in six states.
The prime minister is screening employees and distinguished visitors for signs of viruses, including temperature checks. Besides, it issued a directive to its community requiring all employees to start wearing masks during working hours. This includes volunteers or families, whether they are surgical masks or hand-made masks.
Although there are many uncertainties and concerns about how long the Covid-19 crisis will last, when the pandemic weakens, the occupancy rate of memory care may rebound significantly compared to other types of care. Williams of Seasons believes that as a demand-based product, it will go beyond independent life and assisted life.
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