If you have a loved one in assisted living, you likely have questions. Will they be safe? What precautions are taken to prevent Covid-19?

Assisted Living and Covid-19: A Nurse’s Perspective

To help answer your most pressing questions, we sat down with Lorrie Kovac, RN and Regional Wellness Director at Sonata Senior Living. Here is her perspective on assisted living and Covid-19.

How does Sonata Senior Living protect its residents from COVID-19?

We’re following all of the guidelines and mandates from the Florida Department of Health and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). We’ve increased our already strict sanitation and cleaning protocols. We’re also encouraging social distancing within the common areas and consistently training and retraining our staff as we learn more about the virus and how it spreads.

Our COVID-19 updates page is a great place to learn more about our latest efforts. You can see that in many instances, we go above and beyond the mandates to keep our residents safe.

What happens if a resident shows Covid-19 symptoms or tests positive?

If symptoms are severe or if the resident is having trouble breathing, we call 911 right away. But if their symptoms are mild, or if the resident is asymptomatic, we’ll ask them to self-isolate in their room to protect the rest of the community.

During that time, we stay in close contact with the resident’s family and physician. We monitor their vital signs throughout the day and administer antibiotics and other medications as prescribed by their doctor.

Anyone who interacts with the resident is required to wear personal protective equipment (PPE), including a face shield, gloves and a gown, to prevent the spread of the virus.

The resident must self-quarantine in their rooms until they test negative for Covid-19. During that time, we try to keep their spirits up by bringing them activities and entertainment options. We also encourage residents to stay in touch with friends and family using tools like FaceTime and video chat.

How many Covid-19 tests are available to Sonata?

As many as we need! Sonata works with a private lab that supplies results in 48 to 72 hours.

Sonata Senior Living was one of the first assisted living communities to test every resident, caregiver and staff member for Covid-19. We will continue to test and retest as needed.

If a resident or staff member tests positive, we will rescreen the entire community and/or building unit. All new residents must be tested, unless they can prove they obtained a negative result in the week before their move-in date. We also test anyone who has to leave the community for essential services like rehab or hospital visits.

Any staff member, caregiver or resident diagnosed with Covid-19 must show a negative result on two separate tests before they can either return to work or leave self-isolation. This helps reduce testing errors like false negatives.

Will Sonata contact me if someone at the community tests positive for Covid-19?

Yes, we let all residents, as well as their family members and caregivers, know right away. We’re very transparent. If someone tests positive, we want everyone to know what’s happening and how we’re handing it.

During this crazy time, are older adults safer at home or in an assisted living community?

That’s a very personal decision based on your family’s unique circumstances. But I believe it’s overall safer for older adults who need help with their daily activities to be in assisted living than at home during this time.

At Sonata, we offer regular testing. We require temperature checks from staff members, essential visitors and anyone else who interacts with residents. People here wear masks and gloves.

You won’t find that in the real world. If anything, I think the rest of the world is becoming complacent, despite the recent increase in cases.

Also, Sonata Senior Living has licensed nursing teams on-site 24/7. Our trained caregivers can help with bathing, dressing and toileting. They also ensure residents are eating right and taking their medications.

Just as important, our teams are also encouraging residents to stay safely connected with friends, family and each other, which can help reduce feelings of social isolation.

I want to learn more. Is Sonata Senior Living offering tours right now?

Yes, to keep everyone at the community safe, Sonata Senior Living offers virtual tours. To learn more, contact us today.

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