If you’ve been paying attention to the news over the past several months — and let’s be honest, it’s hard to avoid — the coronavirus has significantly changed our world.
But some things in the news have been misconstrued, which has led to a number of senior living myths being widely circulated in the media. These myths about senior living communities during the COVID-19 pandemic include: They’re not safe places to be right now, residents are locked in, isolated from friends and family, and now isn’t the time to consider a move to a senior living community.
It’s important to note there are many different types of senior living facilities for older adults, and no two are alike. For example, independent living communities attract younger seniors seeking an active lifestyle, while skilled nursing homes are for older adults recovering from an illness or hospital stay. Senior living communities like The Waterford have adapted during COVID-19 to continue catering to all our residents’ needs.
So let’s address four of the common myths you may have heard about in the media, and discuss what the truth actually looks like at The Waterford.
Myth #1: Because of COVID-19, senior living communities are unsafe.
The Waterford truth: Our community has made residents’ health and safety Priority #1 since the start of the pandemic.
Very early in the pandemic, leadership at Lifespace Communities and The Waterford worked together to establish thorough and stringent safety protocols, using guidelines established by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Those guidelines include:
- Instituting a universal mask policy for all team members, essential visitors and vendors.
- Requiring all essential visitors and team members to be screened before entering our community, which includes a questionnaire and temperature check.
- Prohibiting all team members from coming to work if they have any symptoms of COVID-19 or other illnesses.
We also continue to follow or exceed the City of Juno Beach’s protocols and all state health department recommendations.
All our housekeeping team members receive training on proper COVID-19 cleaning protocols. We also enhanced our communitywide cleaning protocols, requiring all cleaning team members to follow CDC guidelines that include enhanced cleaning and disinfection processes for our common areas, and using CDC-approved cleaning products and protective gear.
Myth #2: Senior living residents are prohibited from socializing.
The Waterford truth: We’re making sure residents are staying socially connected while staying physically apart.
We know how important human connection is. It’s one of the main reasons older adults choose to move into a senior living community like ours.
To keep residents socially engaged, we’ve made modifications to the types of programs we offer, and the way in which we present them. Our monthly calendar of activities now features both virtual and in-person-yet-socially-distanced events. We now stream exercise classes, movies, and lectures over our in-house TV station.
Our dining experience has changed to include the choice of pickup or delivery right to residents’ doors. We also reintroduced outdoor dining, with tables socially distanced for safety. One thing that hasn’t changed is the high quality of our cuisine, still freshly prepared by our talented culinary team.
Myth #3: Communities are in “lockdown:” Residents aren’t allowed to leave their communities.
The Waterford truth: Lockdowns are for prison movies. That’s not what you’ll find here.
There’s a reason people choose to enjoy their retirement at our community: We’re located in Juno Beach, Florida. It would be a shame not to be able to enjoy the sun, the warmth, and the lovely ocean breezes.
But we are asking residents not to leave the community unless absolutely necessary and, fortunately, we have beautifully landscaped grounds and surrounding neighborhoods to walk around. Many residents have found renewed interest in their green thumbs, planting flowers and tomatoes in the resident garden.
Residents enjoy membership privileges at our neighbor, PGA National Resort and Spa, and a round of golf is a perfect way to enjoy the Florida weather, get in some exercise, and stay socially distanced.
And because we’re located in Florida, all our independent living floor plans have screened balconies or enclosed patios, perfect for enjoying the outdoors without leaving the apartment.
Myth #4: This is the worst time to consider a move to a senior living community.
The Waterford Truth: Now is a great time to move to The Waterford.
Consider how the coronavirus has changed life as we know it. Depending on the city and state, shopping centers, gyms, libraries, pools, restaurants and bars have all been forced to close, and may be shuttered again to keep cases from rising. Many people simply don’t feel safe gathering together to play cards, going to movie theaters, or seeing friends and family. Americans are increasingly becoming isolated. And studies have proven isolation can be detrimental for older adults’ overall health and well-being.
But at The Waterford, residents have opportunities for engagement, activity and involvement, even during a pandemic. Restaurants may close around the community — ours have actually expanded dining options. Our dedicated team members are always here to serve you, from housekeeping and maintenance to security. And our health and safety protocols conform to ever-evolving local state and federal guidelines. The truth is, there might never be a better time to consider The Waterford. To learn about our community, COVID-19 precautions and more — just call us at 1.888.511.5851, or complete the form at the bottom of this page.