Older adults are asking this question anew in light of the ongoing toll of the coronavirus pandemic — disrupted lives, social isolation, mounting deaths. Many are changing their minds.
Some people who planned to move to senior housing are now choosing to live independently rather than communally. Others wonder whether transferring to a setting where they can get more assistance might be the right call.
These decisions, hard enough during ordinary times, are now fraught with uncertainty as the economy falters and COVID-19 deaths climb, including tens of thousands in nursing homes and assisted living centers.
. . . . More than 70,000 residents and staff members in nursing homes and assisted living facilities had died of COVID-19 by mid-August, according to the latest count from KFF (Kaiser Family Foundation). This is an undercount because less than half of states are reporting data for COVID-19 in assisted living. Nor is data reported for people living independently in senior housing. (KHN is an editorially independent program of KFF.)
. . . . Colin Milner, chief executive officer of the International Council on Active Aging, stresses that some communities are doing a better job than others. His organization recently published a report on the future of senior living in light of the pandemic.
It calls on operators to institute a host of changes, including establishing safe visiting areas for families both inside and outside; providing high-speed internet services throughout communities; and ensuring adequate supplies of masks and other forms of personal protective equipment for residents and staff, among other recommendations.
read the whole article at the link at the beginning of my post ~
I guess one thing is for sure - considering the pandemic, if you (you and your family) are considering moving into a senior congregate living environment - the list of questions has gotten a whole lot longer.
I would love to get into senior housing (independent living type) mostly for the low cost, and many nice relatively new complexes in my area of Hudson Valley, NY. But they have long waiting lists, often 1 to 5 years, and pet restrictions. One of my two dogs is medium-size and they all limit to 25 or 30 pounds. It was fine when I had my house, but I had to sell last year. My dogs are family, and not going anywhere. Compassion and empathy seem to be lacking in the senior housing industry.
The senior, subsidized, housing industry for independent living does their job which is supplying seniors and, most times, the disabled, with this type of affordable housing. Usually they are high rise, small apartments. It is not that they don't have compassion or empathy, they just have to have rules to make the experience best for the most people living there.
They believe that a small(er) dog is manageable by the tenant whereas something larger could be troublesome especially as people age. A small(er) dog would not be as likely to knock into somebody perhaps knocking them down.
Where my Mom lived for 12-years, the small dogs would ride around in a baby carriage or a container placed on the owner's rollator cause it was best that the dogs not walk inside the building for resident safety reasons.
When you live amongst others, especially the elderly, safety has to be a priority.
As far as the wait list - that is usually for Sect 8 or perhaps a subsidy program - See what HUD plans they offer and if you can get in at the market rate - then you are in and can still be on the waitlist for a lower rent if your income and assets prove eligible - course you have to be prepared to pay the market rent until something else opens up; that could still be a long time.
I don't know if it's a typical model across the nation -- here we have many continuing care retirement communities. You can live 100% independently in an apartment or cottage, and then get moved up to assisted living or a nursing home if you need to.
My mom has been on the fence about moving into senior housing for the past several years. Her home is too big to really care for, although she's still very healthy and active. And she was very grateful not to be living in senior housing when COVID first hit. But as the months went on, none of her friends in the active senior housing got sick. Those who depended on bus rides to grocery stores and other shopping had to change their approach, and that was difficult for some. But they didn't get sick. Sadly, it was people in the nursing home buildings who got sick. 😞
So she's back to considering it again, using Amazon and my Instacart app for any deliveries she may need.
I am not sure, as the person who would care for her if she had challenges with any ADL, how to approach the situation if she lived in an assisted care facility. I could bring her home but then we'd likely need caregivers who come to the home to provide care. I have a friend who owns that type of business and they got VERY busy during COVID. She said a lot of that was because people still had to work from home and couldn't provide the care their loved ones needed. And she's been fortunate because very few employees got sick. I'm sure not all businesses were that lucky.