Senior Housing Considerations during Covid-19

By Shelly Stewart-Girton, LPN ~

Choosing the right housing option in your retirement years can be daunting, and even more so now with the pandemic looming in the background. If you are in the market for a new apartment home, I want to help provide some important insights to options during this time. I am a nurse and have worked in Senior Living for the past 10 years and have 18 years of experience in Real Estate. As a passionate advocate for seniors, I make it a priority to advise older adults about options and help guide them in the right direction for their best future.

If you are considering a move to a senior living community, there are some obvious things to ponder. For example, what kind of community would be the best fit for you? What is your budget? How do you get through the downsizing process with your sanity in-tact? Finally, due to COVID-19 and the unusual circumstances we find ourselves in, I encourage you to contemplate one more thought as you start your search. Is the senior community you are considering going to allow you to live your best life?

Currently many communities are imposing very restrictive protocols to “keep their residents safe”. If you are looking to make a change, thoroughly review and understand each community’s management protocols and restrictions. For example, how are they handling the move in process? Are they allowing residents to come and go freely from the community? Are they allowing visitors and if so, what measurements are in place? Are they providing engagement and programs for their residents, and if yes, are they able to do it in a manner that meets current guidelines on social distancing? All these activities can be done successfully while still following state and local guidelines as well as CDC protocols.

As you conduct your search, I want to encourage you to consider Active Adult communities as they still allow residents to freely enter and exit the community, allow family members and friends to visit, and engage in programs and activities that keep residents connected. Additionally, in Active Adult communities, staff members don’t go from room to room to provide care, meals and housekeeping. As such, the exposure that a sick staff member could cause is diminished.

One of the most important considerations for healthy aging is not becoming isolated and maintaining social connections. In a time of extremes, I am proposing that you focus your search on communities that provide balance between reasonable protocols and provisions for the right kind of engagements.

I recognize that these are trying times and we all need to do our part. At Avenida Lakewood we have been able to successfully implement appropriate protocols and still provide an enriching and meaningful lifestyle for our residents. I am committed to be a resource for you if, you are looking at making a change in your living situation. I can provide vetted resources for downsizing and preparing a home for sale. I am also happy to answer any general questions about senior living options so don’t hesitate to reach out.

Shelly Stewart-Girton, LPN Avenida Lakewood 720-705-0055


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