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Nursing homes, assisted-living facilities protecting residents and employees

| April 30, 2020
With strict isolation measures overtaking extended-care facilities and nursing homes, it can be a stressful time for not only care staff, but also residents. Many people have health conditions. They are away from family and many times isolated in their rooms and can’t socialize with others.
Nina Colvin, administrator at Lafayette Pointe Nursing and Rehabilitation Center, said “so far so good” as far as taking precautions and keeping everyone safe during this time of quarantine. Residents are confined to their rooms for safety. They are masked if they do go in the hall, and staff members are masked as well.
“We are trying to keep a normal lifestyle,” Colvin said. “Residents can sit in their doorway and play bingo. We also have coloring books and art classes. They have also been doing some painting. We have purchased some iPads for virtual communication so they can see their loved ones and make sure they are doing well.”
Another fun activity new to the center is create-a-card as a way to communicate with family.
“A family member used create-a-card to send one of the residents a picture of their new grandbaby,” Colvin said. “We also have music, devotions, hymns and worship for the residents. Donations like cards and pictures have to be sanitized, but if the community would keep us in their thoughts and prayers, they can help in this manner. Obviously there is some stress during this time. Our staff has gathered together to make every day the best for our residents.”
Signature Health Care CEO Mark Richards said, “We are very fortunate here in Coshocton for the tremendous support from the community. They really stepped up and donated face masks and hand sanitizer where communities near some of our other facilities have not.”
Windsorwood Place, an assisted-living facility in Coshocton, is following the governor’s order, executive director Betsy Crossley said.
“The order reinforces social distancing and cleaning practices to protect residents and workers,” she said. “Tenants use FaceTime and can go online so that their families know how they are doing. Family members can drop things off as well. As an assisted-living facility, we do have family members come to the window to visit. Some people are coming to visit outdoors on the porch, as long as they maintain the 6-foot distance rule.”
Because it is an extended-care facility, tenants can come and go, but most only go to their doctor appointments. They mainly use telehealth visits over the phone or video chats with their doctor. Staff is helping tenants with their appointments as well.
“Hair salon day has always been a big day, so staff members are washing and styling hair for the residents right now,” Crossley said. “We try to keep a sense of normalcy for them. We have beefed up our activities to keep everyone busy.”
Windsorwood is planning something special on Mother’s Day for their residents. A parade of families and friends in their cars or even on a bike is being considered.
Other easy and simple ways to connect with a friend or relative in a restricted facility is by phone while watching a favorite TV show or movie together and commenting during commercials and letting grandchildren call and talk to their grandparent or even read a story.

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Article contributed to The Beacon.

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