Of all the lessons learned over the past year, the biggest for senior living communities must be this one: togetherness is healthier than going solo.
In 2020, our WellAge Senior Living team members — and staff at senior living communities nationwide — rose to the challenge of protecting residents’ health and safety while creating new, socially distanced ways for them to stay stimulated and engaged. Through dedication and innovation, senior living communities proved their value over and over last year, in part by showcasing the advantages only a community can provide.
Socialization is Encouraged
Research shows that people who don’t or can’t maintain social connections are more likely to experience chronic medical problems. If visits from friends and family are infrequent, seniors living at home can begin to feel lonely and isolated. As an antidote, senior living communities provide access to relationships with other older adults who understand age-related changes, which helps residents stay positive. In addition, community staff provides individualized resident care.
In 2020, our WellAge communities offered help with technology like Facetime and Skype so that residents could stay connected with family and friends.
There’s Much More to Do
A diverse array of socially distanced activities kept residents at WellAge communities busy over the past year, from brain games and hallway Bingo to virtual exercise classes, live-streamed singalongs over in-house TV, and our traveling Happy Hour carts. Most senior living communities offer a range of life enrichment activities and wellness services year-round, including fitness options and events calendars that feature movies, lectures, classes, clubs, and outings. Staff at senior living communities also make a point to encourage residents to stay active and attend community events.
A Safer Environment
While our communities have stringent infection control policies and procedures in normal times, during this past year, we doubled down on our infection control and prevention guidance, following specific guidance from the CDC and state and local health authorities. At our WellAge communities, these measures included visitor restrictions, modified activities, routine COVID-19 testing, enhanced cleaning procedures, and later, vaccine clinics for residents and team members almost as soon as vaccines became available. In general, communities have staff monitor residents daily, so developing medical conditions are typically caught and treated in early stages. Some provide security technology, like emergency alert systems in resident rooms, to ensure families’ peace of mind.
Your Necessities are Handled
Most senior living communities offer numerous amenities and services, so residents don’t need to rely on adult children who may not be able to visit often; employing team members who take care of apartment maintenance and repairs, housekeeping, IT support, and transportation to medical appointments, shopping, and outings. This past year, our WellAge communities also set up safe delivery systems for groceries, meals, medicine, and packages. In some cases, team members delivered healthy, delicious meals directly from the dining hall to residents’ apartments.
Senior living communities pivoted quickly in the last year to keep residents safe while continuing to offer the social advantages they expect. Despite every challenge, WellAge and other communities demonstrated our unique value, proving, in the end, that “together is better.”
Explore any of our WellAge communities at wellage.com to learn more about how our programs and services keep residents engaged, safe and living life on their terms in a healthy communal setting where support is the norm.