It’s a Good Choice in Difficult Times

By Angela Franz, Administrator, Independent & Assisted Living at Valley VNA Senior Care

This is Assisted Living Week in the U.S., a time when we celebrate our residents and staff and take time to explain the benefits of living in an assisted living community. Because this year has been so different—and difficult—in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, we have become accustom to hearing distressing news about communal living situations, especially for seniors. At Valley VNA, we take the safety of our residents and staff extremely seriously. On top of the already focused housekeeping protocols and caregiving safety measures for our residents, we immediately instituted all CDC guidelines for long term care facilities. We are doing our best to stop the virus from entering our building, but that means a lot of you have been stopped from visiting your loved ones as usual, too. This is incredibly sad, and it breaks our hearts just like it does yours.

I do think, however, that there are real advantages to living in a senior community during a time of societal upheaval like that which we are experiencing. When I think of our residents who might otherwise be living alone or with an elderly spouse, I am happy to know that their home at Valley VNA provides daily services and interpersonal contact that keeps them safe and healthy. As family members, you should be proud and confident in your decision to help your loved one join the Valley VNA community. Consider this:

  • During times of stress, it’s important to have consistent social and emotional support to help maintain one’s mental health. I certainly do acknowledge how much our residents miss their hugs and visits from family and friends! We continue to put forth special efforts to help our residents stay engaged and ward off loneliness.
  • A senior who must make trips for groceries or medication refills is putting him or herself at risk to being exposed to COVID-19. In an assisted living setting, these responsibilities can be addressed by our staff so residents can stay safe and comfortable in their apartments.
  • Our residents live in a place with medical expertise on site, including three registered nurses. It’s easy for us to help answer questions, assess conditions, observe changes, and make direct contact with family members and health care providers.
  • We play an important role in limiting off-site visitors to our buildings and sanitizing all shared spaces. Unfamiliar visitors are not a threat to our residents like they might be for seniors who are running a household on their own in the midst of COVID-19.
  • On top of your concern for your loved ones who are aging, you and your family have the added stress of health concerns, economic downturns, and online learning. It is my deepest hope that you feel confident in your choice of Valley VNA and that our diligence takes a burden from your shoulders.

I believe now more than ever, assisted living communities are making lives better during very difficult times. Or, as the slogan goes this year, Assisted Living is EssentiAL. Thank you for your love and support during this extraordinary year.