As we pass the one year mark of the initial lockdown COVID-19 caused across the country, senior living communities are starting to see a return to normalcy. And for loved ones of seniors, this comes with a great sense of relief.

Now, SeniorLivingU is reflecting on what senior living communities have done to improve the safety of residents. In addition, we’re sharing the topics professionals can learn more about in order for you to provide a safer, more enriching community moving forward.

Learning from COVID 19 effects on senior living communities

For many senior living communities, being able to keep residents safe and healthy is a point of pride or even an added benefit of specific services and facilities. Senior living communities have always had to take concerns of health crises seriously to protect their residents due to the many vulnerabilities that come with aging. The routine of adding in more protective practices for residents is something commonly seen during cold and flu season. This often included keeping residents more secluded from each other by staying in their own rooms and keeping common areas closed.

COVID-19, however, challenged even the most restrictive senior living communities due to its ability to easily spread from person to person – and not just the most vulnerable residents interacting in common areas, but healthy caregivers and staff members working in close quarters as well. So while all normal practices were taken into consideration, there were unexpected challenges that senior living communities had to face on a daily basis to maintain the physical and mental wellbeing of residents and staff members. Eventually, it became clear that the safest procedure for all parties was to enforce a strict lockdown that limited contact between residents and requiring staff members to continue working while wearing Personal Protective Equipment (PPE).

Changes that have been made in senior living communities to prepare for emergencies

Beyond the obvious restrictions within senior living communities in common areas and gathering in groups, senior living communities have implemented many new safety and cleaning procedures. This has also included the installation of air purification equipment in communities for continuous filtering and monitoring of air quality. Industry experts also predict that several of these new practices, such as the use of some PPE products, will be the new normal for senior living staff members and caregivers. Visitations have also been heavily regulated, and some communities have designed new ways for loved ones to visit senior living residents, including outdoor spaces with increased cleaning protocols and window visitations.

SeniorLivingU courses that address safety in senior living communities

Because of the increased need to prepare for what had once been unimaginable, SLU has created several courses directly related to emergency preparedness. We also offer COVID-19 courses to continue educating about best practices within senior living communities, even as vaccines roll out and we see a decline in new cases.

If you or your senior living community is interested in learning more about these materials, please feel free to contact us through our website at any time. Our team is equipped to help you find the courses that best suit your specific training and educational needs in addition to providing opportunities for continued education in the future. If COVID-19 has taught us anything, it’s been that there is always an opportunity to learn and prepare for the unexpected, especially for our most vulnerable citizens.

SeniorLivingU is headquartered in Hershey, PA, serving as a support system and education provider for organizations and individuals within the senior living industry. Our website provides a full e-commerce storefront for registered account members to easily purchase new trainings as they see fit and as often as they like. You can also visit the FAQ page for some helpful tips on how to navigate our materials. To learn more about SeniorLivingU, the services we provide, and how we can provide the best resources for your organization, contact us today. We look forward to helping your team receive the quality senior living training you’ve been searching for.