Angelia Brigance describes the methods used to keep senior care staff and residents safe during the pandemic, and the various stages of reopening. Allowing visitors would be among the last stages. Angelia is executive director of Harbour Pointe Senior Living and author of “Finding Rose,” about how to support a loved one through dementia.
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*The following is the output of transcribing from an audio recording. Although the transcription is largely accurate, in some cases it is incomplete or inaccurate due to inaudible passages or transcription errors.
The following is a podcast from a qualified senior care provider, hurt, on the answers for elders radio show. And Welcome back everyone to answers for elders radio with Angela brick camps, executive director for Harbor Point Senior limiting and also published author of finding rows and Alzheimer’s and dementia expert that she is. And Angela, thanks for coming back and thanks for being here on the show today. And we talked a little bit about communities coming together and I think one of the things that everybody’s in confusion, and I’m sure you don’t have a crystal ball. All you’re doing is coming out it from your own expertise of where you think we are in this process, your professional with seniors. Where are we in this process? And you know, where do we even begin to speculate about the future? Well, right now in the process we are all kind of in lockdown. So our residents are staying in the buildings, most of them saying, within their rooms, a few that get a little strolls to the halls and such. But, just like everybody else who’s on this day at home, stay faith and stay at home. Orders are residents are too. So it’s Riley a matter of keeping everyone safe within your community. If you don’t have covid in your community, like ours, it’s free of COVID. You want to keep it that way. So you want to make that people aren’t going out and associating with large group and then coming back and possibly bringing something with them that they didn anticipate. Brain so it’s right that keeping everyone safe within a building, and right now I would say I don’t know of a building has visitor kind in most are just doing home healthcare. So your home helped nurse or physical therapist coming in, hospice nurse is coming in and pretty much that’s it. That in your staff and when someone walks on a door you’ll see it all over the news bag. Everyone gets their temperature taken, they go through surveys. We want to make sure that everyone’s safe. And then everyone here all staffer and masks. And then for our community we’ve given all residents masks so well, so that if they’re out and coming out of their rooms, they can use those. And we’re kind of in this holding pattern as we wait to hear the next steps in Washington. But as I think most communities right now in most companies, we are planning for the reopening phases ourselves. So Right Company we’ve got a red, orange, yellow and green bay. You’re in red right now. So we’re in the Red Das right now, which is be the you know, the full lockdown or the full closed out piece to keep our residence page. The next sphase would be doing some small group activities. Again, our residents have all been here and isolated and such. So since we don’t have covid and no one’s shown signs and we take every residence temperature every day, we’re will start opening up to small group activities so that people can start getting back into a routine, and then the dining room will slightly open a little bit to very small group one meal a day. Will start a reading up little bit at a time and once we do that for a couple weeks, if everything stays table, then you go to the next phase and that opens them a little bit more and then the next phase. And so there’s no more three or four stages that we’re all going through and you may have different parts of your building in different stages. So where activities goes into the orange stage, but dining is still doing all deliveries and rooms for a while more, although a lot of its fist and makes sense. Yeah, you’re moving, you know, visitors and buildings. Unfortunately, that’s probably going to be one of the latter stages right for there are small groups like one or two coming in during a time period and it’s set. So if there are visitors, my guess is that they will only be during the time that there’s someone at the front desk to greet them, open the doors for them, greet them, screen them, tempt them, and then they will be limited to the area that they can visit right first at and that makes total sense. Yeah, and you do every step very, very slowly, because we’re working with the most vulnerable. I mean you have nursing homes that are highly vulnerable and compromised. Health is you and assisted living has many of those residents that are compromised, as well as dementia and memory care as well are compromised. Absolutely withou definitely knows, especially because you really indicates they don’t have the ability to communicate if they’re not feeling well. You’ve got to have to pick up one of the clues, obviously to bout re writing reason. Is that correct? Yeah, getting your memory care areas. You can’t isolate them to their rooms. They don’t understand that no, and trying to keep someone isolated in their rooms in a memory care area of the community would cause frustration and anger and fear. So you have to allow them to have that ability to walk still, to go to a dining room. You just have set it up a little differently so that you’re writing the social distance within the construct of what you’ve always had right. Very complicated works, it’s what needs to happen and keeping them as safe as possible. And you know, congrats to you guys, because you would really so far, knock on wood, harbor point is been covid free so far, which is really amazing and awesome and and certainly you’ve taken major precautions due to your incredible expertise. So tell me a little bit about you know, people always ask me, well, how long do you think this is going to last? So that’s the like the sixty million dollar question, and I’m sure you get the same question, do you not? Every day? Every day you get families at Collins say and want to see my mom. I don’t know what to do. How do I take care of them when we see them? When can we come in? How is it going to look? When can they come to our house? When can they do this in? Right now we don’t have that Crystal Ball that tells us an exact date, but like opening the states, going to take more than thirty days, probably sixty to ninety days before we’re fully open. I would say it’s going to take probably sixty to ninety days to fully open a community within the state too. I’ve been on hold with twelve days of goodness because I don’t know. You know, our listeners are very familiar with twelve days of goodness and with the seahawks legends and what we do over the holidays and you know, normally this time of year, by June first we have all of our sponsors lined up and we have all of our events books and right now I only have one event that’s been promised to a community and that’s the kickoff of it ceaditive than that, I don’t I haven’t done anything. And of course it’s interesting too that you know we’re we’re kind of sitting on hold and and looking for maybe there’s a way we could do twelve days of goodness differently. This year and I don’t know what that looks like yet, because one of the things that I’m mindful of is I know how important the program is to our seniors every year to have that connection with our seahawks legends and if there’s a way that we can somehow make that happen, maybe virtually. I don’t know yet. I’m trying to figure I’ll see if about to. So again, we’re all thing is looking at these options. Yet everything is outside of the box thinking. If you’re an outside of the box thinker, this is your time, because we have to have bide the box. We have to be creative. And how do we do this? How do we make like we did mother’s Day photos and we had a residence to is socially distance from their family but all outside, so they could take one photo with everybody in it and still be six feet apart with all the right equipment it. I love have to think, how do you do it? How can I make this happen and keep their lines as similar as we can with all the craziness it’s going on? And then how do we do that over the next thirty sixty days? How do we open up insights? I think I always think of a building is kind of a little city in itself because we have all the residents who live here. We’re kind of in a big bubble because we’ve all been perkade so well, we’re kind of in a big bubble. So we opened up insight our little city here before we open up to the outside. Well, and you know, the thing is, I think there’s a real desire for the community to be involved and one of the things that you guys have really done is allowed that to happen in you know, with your glass time and with the parade that you did, and we’re talking to you about doing something special over the father’s Day weekend. Will will be found on to you on that to see if we can make something like that happen and and the whole idea will be obviously, you know, having the opportunity to bring the community together in a different way and to be creative. And how long this is going to laugh, is the SIXTYZERO dollar question. I wish we had an answer. We don’t. And most certainly there’s nobody that wants to open and up the community more than the senior living industry or you know, our or are you know citizens or leadership community. You know, in our civil leaders different things like that. We want to do right by our community and nobody likes being walked down, but at this time we have to do it to keep people safe and certainly it’s hard. People are restless, people are getting misinformation about this scenario and and not something that I think we want to make sure that everybody is understanding that this is to keep everybody safe. Absolutely. That’s the whole goal, is to meet the resident safe. If there’s no code in your community, you know you you have that job to keep it like that every day and it’s one of them. Maybe it’s no in fault, it is it is you don’t know right career make. So no signs or sentence. WHO BRINGS IT in? And so my heart goes out to those communities that have an active case going on in a billion or more, because it affects all of them every day, every worker who comes to work, every you know, everyone who’s interacting and talking. And right now for us, this is this is where technology comes in right now, because this is where face time and all the difference, the zoom calls or the Microsoft team and all the things trying to keep your residence within your building connected through zoom calls. You can get a lot of people on where they can play Bingo or play games together from their own rooms. The timing, their families getting part of your heart. Technology is huge and you’re helping the your residence being able to connect. Is that correct? So that they absolutely and I love we have a figh love that we the sin I love’s. They find up for one on one activities, which includes facetime, we bowling, one on one, fitness in the gym, whatever we can do. We just we just move them from small group activities to one on one activities and highlem in so that our residents can get some that one on one time. And it has been such a wonderful thing to have you on the show today. So thank you so much for being with us. How do we reach you? You can reach me through at harbor point and our phone number here is four two, five, four nine, three eight five, five, five, and I’m always I’m here quite often Monday through Friday at least, and many times on the skins and holiday so that we can keep everyone happy and healthy here. So they can call me there and they can look me up on and US on for my book finding rows or on facebook. You can look at me up on facebook. I have a page for my speaking and publication business there too. Perfect. Thank you so much for being on the show today and for all of you remember wearing a mask has more to do with protecting others than it does do with protecting yourself. When you go into the grocery store, put your mask on. Put your masks on for essential workers, for people that are maybe cat compromised, help that are in there trying to do their grocery shopping. Just take a moment and do it, and everyone please stay home, stay safe and know that we are all with you. And so, until next week, everyone, be good to each other. Answers for elders radio show with Susan Newman hopes you found this podcast useful in your journey of navigating senior care. Check out more podcasts like this to help you find qualified senior care experts and areas of financial, legal, health and wellness and living options. Learn about our radio show, receive our monthly newsletter, receive promotional discounts and meet our experts by clicking on the banner to join the Senior Advocate Network at answers for elders, radiocom. Now there is one place to find the answers for elders.
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Founder and CEO of Answers for Elders, Inc., Suzanne Newman proclaims often, “Caring for my mom was the hardest thing I ever have done, but it was also my greatest privilege.” Following a career of over 25 years in sales, media, and marketing management, Suzanne Newman found herself on a 6-year journey caring for her mother. Her trials and tribulations as a family caregiver inspired an impassioned life mission outside of the corporate world to revolutionize the journey that so many other American families also find themselves on. In 2009, she became the founder and CEO of Answers for Elders, Inc., subsequently hosting hundreds of radio segments and podcasts, as well as authoring her first book. Suzanne and Answers for Elders, Inc. have spent 14 years, and counting, committed to helping families and seniors along their caregiving journeys by providing education, resources, and support. Each week on the Answers for Elders podcast, Suzanne is joined by vetted professional experts in over 65 categories including Health & Wellness, Life Changes, Living Options, Money, Law, and more. Suzanne lives in Edmonds, Washington with her husband, Keith, and their two doodle dogs, Whidbey and Skagit.