Losing Someone to Covid-19 Who is in Assisted Living

We aren’t going to sugar coat this. Losing a loved one, no matter the circumstances, is really hard. Losing someone to Covid-19 who is in assisted living has additional challenges that are important to acknowledge.

If you are struggling with how to find closure or would like help navigating the new visitation and funeral rules due to Covid-19, please check out our list of resources later in this article.

Losing Someone to Covid-19. Older woman with hand to her face looking sad.

Getting Closure from Losing Someone to Covid-19

For many families, closure has been a lot harder. Especially if family members live far away and are unable to be part of the dying process.  Visitations have been extremely limited and in some cases not allowed. Funeral arrangements have their own set of challenges with limited number of attendees and social distancing precautions.

Imagine attending a funeral where only 10 people are allowed. How do you decide who can come? No one can touch each other, hug each other, or physically comfort each other in all the usually ways. It just doesn’t seem real. Imagine having to view a funeral via a video feed because you aren’t allowed to attend. Many people over the past few months have experienced this exact scenario.

Especially in the early days of the outbreak, when so much about Covid-19 was still unknown. The best course of action was to be as careful as possible, but this left many families struggling to cope with their loss in a whole new way. It was hard to wrap our heads around not being allowed into the hospital or assisted living facility as our loved one passed from this life to the next.

The Challenges of Losing Someone to Covid-19 Who is in Assisted Living

The Assisted Living and Memory Care industry is challenged with some of the most rigorous changes as our senior residents are among the population most susceptible and affected by the virus.  We’ve had to completely revamp our entire cleaning and sanitation process, wear masks and other PPE equipment all the time, and change all of our visitation rules. The list goes on and on.

Many of these changes have been very good and will continue long after the Covid-19 pandemic of 2020 is just a distant memory. Our communities have never been cleaner, more testing is being done, and in general, we are just so much more aware of current and potential health problems. We now have procedures in place to reduce or eliminate exposure to current and future issues.  Our relationships with local health departments and hospitals have strengthened and we have improved and increased communication across the board.

But hands down the hardest part of all of this has been losing beloved residents and having to communicate and help facilitate the limitations and restrictions put on families through the process. Death and dying is a regular part of our business but that doesn’t make it any easier.

Ask anyone in this industry what the hardest part of the job is and they will most likely say, “losing a resident we have grown t0 love and care about.”  We are trained for it and encounter it much more than most people. Still, deaths during this pandemic have been extremely hard on everyone.

That is why we have put together this list of resources for families who have lost a loved one during the pandemic, whether is was due to Covid-19 or for some other reason. This virus has made so many things harder. We hope you can find closure and something from the following list that can you and your family.

Help and Resources for Losing Someone to Covid-19 (or during the Covid-19 pandemic)

Articles to Assist with Losing a Loved One

6 ways to help loved ones grieving deaths during the coronavirus pandemic

Dealing with Grief & Loss During COVID-19 Pandemic

Grief and COVID-19: Saying goodbye in the age of physical distancing

Coping With Losing a Family Member to COVID-19

Understanding Grief in the Age of the COVID-19 Pandemic

Losing Someone to Covid-19. Adult daughter comforting elderly mother on couch

Arranging a Funeral During Social Distancing

Funerals face changes amid COVID-19

Losing Someone to Covid-19. Man holder a folder with the words Funeral Plan on it

Contact the Nearest Vibrant Life Community (Michigan)

We have four locations through Michigan’s lower peninsula. If you would like to talk to a staff member about additional resources or to find out more information about our assisted living and memory care communities, please contact one of the following:

Vibrant Life Superior Township (Ann Arbor, Michigan Area) (734) 484-4740

Vibrant Life The Lodge of Durand (Durand, Michigan 40 minutes Northeast of Lansing) (989) 288-6561 

Vibrant Life Temperance (southeast corner of Michigan 20 minutes north of Toledo, Ohio) (734) 847-3217 

Vibrant Life New Friends Community (Kalamazoo, Michigan Area) (269) 372-6100

Assisted Living and Covid-19. Yard sign in front of building that says A super hero works here

New Visitation Rules and Guidelines for Assisted Living Communities

We are happy to announce that the most recent state mandate allows us to start having scheduled (but limited) family visits. You can learn more about that here and review our guidelines for scheduling a visit here.  If you are curious about all the changes we have made to ensure the health and safety of our staff and residents, you can read that here.

Limited Visitation. Senior man putting on a mask outside

Limited Visitation Now Allowed at Assisted Living Communities

On June 30th, 2020, the Director of Health and Human Services, Robert Gordon, gave an Emergency Order MCL 333.2253 to all long-term care communities.   Click HERE to read the order.

With this post we hope to clarify, as much as possible, when limited visitation may occur at any of our four Vibrant Life communities. 

The State is SLOWLY opening up visitation to people in long term care communities.  They are trying to be extremely careful, as we all know the people in long term care communities are the MOST vulnerable to the COVID-19 virus.  

We at Vibrant Life will be adhering to the Emergency Order.  If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact us.  Vibrant Life Senior Living’s priority is to help you the families, as well as the people who live at Vibrant Life, and the people who work at Vibrant Life communities,  be safe, secure, and keep living life as best as possible during these extremely difficult times.  

Summary of Emergency Order of June 30, 2020

Effective Immediately

  • The overall goal of the Emergency Order is to allow, but LIMIT visitation, as the Covid-19 virus continues to spread throughout the nation.  While Michigan numbers are down, in the last few weeks they have slowly started growing again. 
  • All Visits and visitors must be SCHEDULED in advance, and the Senior Community will have the right to set the guidelines of those visits in a reasonable manner. 
  • Vibrant Life is going to have LIMITED visitation.  In order to adhere to the Emergency Order, we must have enough staff, have the proper PPE, appropriate sanitation, and appropriately be able to continue to care for the residents as directed by our licensing.   
  • We are going to ask families to visit OUTSIDE as much as possible, weather permitting.   The more outside visits we have, the more visitors we can have.
  • Most indoor visits will be limited to those on Hospice or have conditions considered Critical or Serious by the Administrator and the Director of Resident Care Services. 
  • Outdoor visits will be scheduled for those that deem it vitally important for the well-being of the resident. 

In summary, with more detail below, there can be no more than 2 visitors at one time. Visits will be limited to 30-45 minutes. All visitors will be required to wear masks, stay 6 feet or more apart, and NOT be or have any symptoms of sickness.  All visitors will be required to fill out a questionnaire and have their temperature taken.  

The Emergency Order limits visitation to the following two situations:

(No. 5 in the Order). 

    • Those who are on Hospice Care
    • Those who are in a critical condition
    • Those who have a “serious” condition
    • Those who have had a serious “change in condition”

Previous Help with ADL’s (No. 2 in the Order).

The Order also allows visitation for those that, before March 14th, routinely would visit to assist those who needed help with ADL’s.   As Vibrant Life performs all the personal care for residents, this provision will apply to very few persons.  Therefore, visitors will be allowed under this provision on a very limited basis due to Vibrant Life’s understanding of the intent of the Emergency Order to limit visitors inside the building, and in order to protect the safety all residents, staff and families. Outside visits, weather permitting, will be suggested in most cases. 

If you fall into any of these categories, please contact us, as we start arranging limited visitation.  

There are conditions of visitation, based on the Emergency Order. We will summarize them below.  However, please read the entire order to gain a better understanding of the order and our policies in enacting the order.  

Conditions of Limited Visitation

All Family or Friends who would like a visit and fit the criteria above MUST adhere to or undergo the following: 

  1. All Visitation by appointment only. 
  2. All visitors will be required to fill out a questionnaire describing any travel, or proximity to anyone with Covid-19 or symptoms of Covid-19. 
  3. All visitors will have temperature taken and cannot be over 100 degrees F. 
  4. All visitors cannot be sick or show any signs of sickness. 
  5. All visitors must wear a mask. 
  6. All visitors must socially distance, staying at least six feet apart from EVERYONE. (excluding those who are helping a resident with ADL’s).
  7. All visitors must adhere to the facility handwashing and sanitizing protocol. 
  8. All visitors must be respectful to the staff, Administration and residents. 
  9. All visitors will visit only either outside in a designated area, in the resident’s room, or in another designated area. 
  10. All visitors must enter and exit from the designated entry and exit points. 
  11. All visitors should limit their interactions to their own relative or loved one. 
  12. All visitors should not share food with residents. 
  13. All visitors must let the facility know if they have had Covid-19 or symptoms similar to Covid-19 within the last 14 days. 
  14. Visitors will not be allowed to visit individuals who are: In a Covid-19 positive unit; are in isolation; are in Observation for Covid-19. 
  15. There will be a strict policy of NO TOUCHING OR HUGGING RESIDENTS.  (Sorry!) 

If a family member or guest violates these provisions, they will be given one warning.  If they violate them a second time, visitation rights will be terminated.  

                                             These guidelines will be strictly enforced for the safety of everyone. 

These provisions may be changed or updated depending on new Government guidelines or the facility’s ability to provide the appropriate care for individuals while allowing limited visitation. 

FRIENDLY REMINDER: We are a SMOKE FREE COMMUNITY!

Thank you in advance for your support of these visitation rights and practices.  We are doing our best to accommodate everyone – the government, our families, and of course our residents and staff. We care deeply for all of you and will get through this together. 

Your Vibrant Life Senior Living Family

Vibrant Life Senior Living Guidelines for Visiting Families and Guests

Updated and current as of July 14, 2020

Below are Vibrant Life Senior Living Guidelines for Visiting Families and Guests. These rules are based upon Emergency
Order MCL 333.2253 declared June 30, 2020 by Robert Gordon, Director of Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS). Please click here to view the order.

These items have been determined primary from Item #4 in the Emergency Order. The letters of each item correspond with the letters of that Order.

Please note, that based on the Emergency Order described above, we, as a facility, have the right to determine visitation rules for our particular community, based upon guidelines set in the order. Our first priority is keeping residents, staff and families safe. We also understand and respect the importance of family visitation for the well-being of our residents, staff and families. Please work with us and respect our process, as we attempt to balance these two important issues. Please remember, that all visitation rights are granted by the Administrator of the senior community in conjunction with the Director of Resident Care Services. All visitation will be scheduled and be determined on an individual basis.

Conditions and Guidelines for Visitation

All Family or Friends who would like a visit MUST adhere to or undergo the following:

  1. All Visitation by appointment only.
  2. All visitors will be required to fill out a questionnaire describing any travel, or proximity to anyone with Covid-19 or symptoms of Covid-19.
  3. All visitors will have temperature taken and cannot be over 100 degrees F.
  4. All visitors cannot be sick or show any signs of sickness.
  5. All visitors must wear a mask.
  6. All visitors must socially distance, staying at least six feet apart from EVERYONE. (excluding those who are helping a resident with ADL’s).
  7. All visitors must adhere to the facility handwashing and sanitizing protocol.
  8. All visitors must be respectful to the staff, Administration and residents.
  9. All visitors will visit only either outside in a designated area, in the resident’s room, or in another designated area.
  10. All visitors must enter and exit from the designated entry and exit points.
  11. All visitors should limit their interactions to their own relative or loved one.
  12. All visitors should not share food with residents.
  13. All visitors must let the facility know if they have had Covid-19 or symptoms similar to Covid-19 within the last 14 days.
  14. Visitors will not be allowed to visit individuals who are:
    • In a Covid-19 positive unit
    • Are in isolation
    • Are in Observation for Covid-19

These provisions may be changed or updated depending on new Government guidelines or the facilities ability to provide the appropriate care for individuals while allowing limited visitation.

Thank you in advance for your support of these visitation rights and practices. We are doing our best to accommodate everyone – the government, our families, and of course our residents and staff.

We care deeply for all of you and will get through this together.

Your Vibrant Life Senior Living Family

What’s Next for Senior Care in Durand?

Senior Care in Durand, Michigan , including Assisted Living and Memory Care, has changed drastically in the last few months due to the Covid-19 outbreak. As the state starts to open back up again, what does that mean for senior care?

The senior population is one of the most vulnerable to coronavirus. Many assisted living and senior care residency locations where hit hard by the virus.

Why are Vibrant Life’s numbers of positive cases so low?

How to Keep Covid-19 Out of Senior Care in Durand

Strict guidelines, proactive testing, and community education are the three top things that will keep Covid-19 number down.

Strict Guidelines

Rules and protocol must remain very strict — even as other types of businesses like restaurants, retail stores, salons, etc. start to invite the public in again. Since the beginning of the coronavirus outbreak, Vibrant Life has been at the forefront of executing safety measures and we plan on continuing a very cautious and proactive approach.

Please check out What We Are Doing to keep you Safe, Healthy, and Vibrant During Covid-19 for a complete list of all the changes, protocols, and safety measures we have in place.

Proactive Testing

Vibrant Life has provided more testing for our staff and residents than most. Proactive testing is still unusual in the State of Michigan but Vibrant Life is doing it.  The State mandate requires testing of all residents of nursing homes and weekly testing of nursing home staff. This is problematic because not all senior care is considered “nursing homes.” In fact, Vibrant Life is not – we are categorized as assisted living. Therefore, the mandate does not apply us. Even so, we are testing. 

We now know that people can have the virus and be asymptomatic. Unfortunately, it is during the asymptomatic period when they are most contagious. This is why testing often is important. 

Vibrant Life follows all mandatory guidelines plus non-mandatory guidelines as appropriate for each community. We believe in doing what is right and what is working, not just the bare minimum defined in a mandate. 

Our staff is tested regularly even though we aren’t technically required to. 

Senior Care Community Education and Support

Vibrant Life created an innovative coalition between our senior communities, physicians, local hospitals and local health departments to enact pre-testing, and subsequent monitoring of Covid-19 positive residents. These coalitions have prevented the spread of the virus to others throughout the community.

In addition, we created a Public Service Announcement (PSA) video,“If You Don’t Get It, You Might Spread It” to educate people on preventing the spread of the virus. This was shared with our communities and also made available for all assisted living and senior care facilities to use in order to educate their staff and residents. 

The Lodge of Durand success story

In the last few weeks we have had a great success at the Lodge of Durand (20 minutes east of Lansing).  Until mid-April there were no positive tests of staff or residents in Durand.  In fact, Shiawassee County had very few positive cases in general. However, a nursing home nearby in Durand had a severe outbreak and Vibrant Life decided to proactively test all residents and staff there.  The health department in Shiawassee County was very cooperative and pleased with our proactive testing program. 

Sure enough, four asymptomatic residents and one staff tested positive.  The staff member was taken off the schedule and successfully recuperated at home.  The residents were moved to a Covid-positive unit on the campus, separated from everyone else.  Staff was assigned to that unit only, and wore appropriate PPE equipment. Two weeks went by and the people recovered. 

Upon retesting everyone tested negative and were able to return to their bedroom suites.  The health department has told us they consider what we did at the Lodge of Durand a model for how assisted living communities should handle dealing with the Coronavirus.  As of May 26, 2020, The Lodge of Durand is Covid free. 

What’s Next?

The next steps will likely be limited outdoor meetings with loved ones. Visitors will continue to be screened and have their temperature taken before they can participate. Family members and their loved one who is a resident of Vibrant Life will be able to meet outside for a limited amount of time while practicing safe social distancings. Short walks or sitting outside will be allowed.

Dormant Positive Testing

People who have had the virus sometimes test positive for a long time – up to 60 days and beyond. This can be the case for people who were symptomatic or asymptomatic.  The professionals are beginning to think that even when someone recovers from the virus, it can lay dormant in the body. This can result in a positive test, but it may not be active in a person’s body. 

They think it may not be transferrable or contagious at that time either.  When someone tests positive, and is not in the hospital, we put them in our Covid-positive units.  They would return from the units to their suites when they test negative.  So, if they keep testing positive, that would be a problem.  We will keep conferring with our physicians and health departments as we deal with this issue on an individual basis. 

We are very happy to report that each positive resident who recovered and moved out of the Covid unit has not re-tested as positive since. 

Interested In Learning More?

Our location in Durand is accepting new residents at this time. We offer virtual tours of all of our locations. We also schedule virtual meetings to answer all of your questions and provide information on the process for moving in a new resident. Please contact us  (989)288-6561 or visit our website for more information.

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What’s Next for Senior Care in Ann Arbor?

Senior Care in Ann Arbor, Michigan, including Assisted Living and Memory Care, has changed drastically in the last few months due to the Covid-19 outbreak. As the state starts to open back up again, what does that mean for senior care?

The senior population is one of the most vulnerable to coronavirus. Many assisted living and senior care residency locations where hit hard by the virus.

Why are Vibrant Life’s numbers of positive cases so low?

How to Keep Covid-19 Out of Senior Care in Ann Arbor

Strict guidelines, proactive testing, and community education are the three top things that will keep Covid-19 number down.

Strict Guidelines

Rules and protocol must remain very strict — even as other types of businesses like restaurants, retail stores, salons, etc. start to invite the public in again. Since the beginning of the coronavirus outbreak, Vibrant Life has been at the forefront of executing safety measures and we plan on continuing a very cautious and proactive approach.

Please check out What We Are Doing to keep you Safe, Healthy, and Vibrant During Covid-19 for a complete list of all the changes, protocols, and safety measures we have in place.

Proactive Testing

Vibrant Life has provided more testing for our staff and residents than most. Proactive testing is still unusual in the State of Michigan but Vibrant Life is doing it.  The State mandate requires testing of all residents of nursing homes and weekly testing of nursing home staff. This is problematic because not all senior care is considered “nursing homes.” In fact, Vibrant Life is not – we are categorized as assisted living. Therefore, the mandate does not apply us. Even so, we are testing. 

We now know that people can have the virus and be asymptomatic. Unfortunately, it is during the asymptomatic period when they are most contagious. This is why testing often is important. 

Vibrant Life follows all mandatory guidelines plus non-mandatory guidelines as appropriate for each community. We believe in doing what is right and what is working, not just the bare minimum defined in a mandate. 

Our staff is tested regularly even though we aren’t technically required to. 

Senior Care Community Education and Support

Vibrant Life created an innovative coalition between our senior communities, physicians, local hospitals and local health departments to enact pre-testing, and subsequent monitoring of Covid-19 positive residents. These coalitions have prevented the spread of the virus to others throughout the community.

In addition, we created a Public Service Announcement (PSA) video,“If You Don’t Get It, You Might Spread It” to educate people on preventing the spread of the virus. This was shared with our communities and also made available for all assisted living and senior care facilities to use in order to educate their staff and residents. 

What is Happening Specifically with Senior Care in Superior Township

In the last 30 days we have had no no staff test positive. Recently, we had four residents in our Covid-positive unit.  They all tested negative after two weeks and returned to their suites.  We have had two persons recently come back from the hospital who are still testing positive, and they are in the Covid-positive unit.  They both have been doing well.  This could be a case of the dormant situation explained below. 

What’s Next?

The next steps will likely be limited outdoor meetings with loved ones. Visitors will continue to be screened and have their temperature taken before they can participate. Family members and their loved one who is a resident of Vibrant Life will be able to meet outside for a limited amount of time while practicing safe social distancings. Short walks or sitting outside will be allowed.

Dormant Positive Testing

People who have had the virus sometimes test positive for a long time – up to 60 days and beyond. This can be the case for people who were symptomatic or asymptomatic.  The professionals are beginning to think that even when someone recovers from the virus, it can lay dormant in the body. This can result in a positive test, but it may not be active in a person’s body. 

They think it may not be transferrable or contagious at that time either.  When someone tests positive, and is not in the hospital, we put them in our Covid-positive units.  They would return from the units to their suites when they test negative.  So, if they keep testing positive, that would be a problem.  We will keep conferring with our physicians and health departments as we deal with this issue on an individual basis. 

We are very happy to report that each positive resident who recovered and moved out of the Covid unit has not re-tested as positive since. 

Interested In Learning More?

Our location in Superior Township near Ann Arbor is accepting new residents at this time. We offer virtual tours of all of our locations. We also schedule virtual meetings to answer all of your questions and provide information on the process for moving in a new resident. Please contact us (734) 484-4740 or visit our website for more information.

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What’s Next for Senior Care in Temperance?

Senior Care in Temperance, including Assisted Living and Memory Care, has changed drastically in the last few months due to the Covid-19 outbreak. As the state starts to open back up again, what does that mean for senior care?

The senior population is one of the most vulnerable to coronavirus. Many assisted living and senior care residency locations where hit hard by the virus.

Why are Vibrant Life’s numbers of positive cases so low?

How to Keep Covid-19 Out of Senior Care in Temperance

Strict guidelines, proactive testing, and community education are the three top things that will keep Covid-19 number down.

Strict Guidelines

Rules and protocol must remain very strict — even as other types of businesses like restaurants, retail stores, salons, etc. start to invite the public in again. Since the beginning of the coronavirus outbreak, Vibrant Life has been at the forefront of executing safety measures and we plan on continuing a very cautious and proactive approach.

Please check out What We Are Doing to keep you Safe, Healthy, and Vibrant During Covid-19 for a complete list of all the changes, protocols, and safety measures we have in place.

Proactive Testing

Vibrant Life has provided more testing for our staff and residents than most. Proactive testing is still unusual in the State of Michigan but Vibrant Life is doing it.  The State mandate requires testing of all residents of nursing homes and weekly testing of nursing home staff. This is problematic because not all senior care is considered “nursing homes.” In fact, Vibrant Life is not – we are categorized as assisted living. Therefore, the mandate does not apply us. Even so, we are testing. 

We now know that people can have the virus and be asymptomatic. Unfortunately, it is during the asymptomatic period when they are most contagious. This is why testing often is important. 

Vibrant Life follows all mandatory guidelines plus non-mandatory guidelines as appropriate for each community. We believe in doing what is right and what is working, not just the bare minimum defined in a mandate. 

Our staff is tested regularly even though we aren’t technically required to. 

Senior Care Community Education and Support

Vibrant Life created an innovative coalition between our senior communities, physicians, local hospitals and local health departments to enact pre-testing, and subsequent monitoring of Covid-19 positive residents. These coalitions have prevented the spread of the virus to others throughout the community.

In addition, we created a Public Service Announcement (PSA) video,“If You Don’t Get It, You Might Spread It” to educate people on preventing the spread of the virus. This was shared with our communities and also made available for all assisted living and senior care facilities to use in order to educate their staff and residents. 

What’s Next?

The next steps will likely be limited outdoor meetings with loved ones. Visitors will continue to be screened and have their temperature taken before they can participate. Family members and their loved one who is a resident of Vibrant Life will be able to meet outside for a limited amount of time while practicing safe social distancings. Short walks or sitting outside will be allowed.

Senior Care in Temperance: Above and Beyond

Vibrant Life was one of the first senior communities to test all residents in all of our facilities. Temperance was our first community to have a positive tested resident in late March. We immediately tested everyone here (and in our other locations.) We separated out all the negative and positive residents.  

Temperance has not had a new positive tested resident in over five weeks. 

Dormant Positive Testing

People who have had the virus sometimes test positive for a long time – up to 60 days and beyond. This can be the case for people who were symptomatic or asymptomatic.  The professionals are beginning to think that even when someone recovers from the virus, it can lay dormant in the body. This can result in a positive test, but it may not be active in a person’s body. 

They think it may not be transferrable or contagious at that time either.  When someone tests positive, and is not in the hospital, we put them in our Covid-positive units.  They would return from the units to their suites when they test negative.  So, if they keep testing positive, that would be a problem.  We will keep conferring with our physicians and health departments as we deal with this issue on an individual basis. 

We are very happy to report that each positive resident who recovered and moved out of the Covid unit has not re-tested as positive since. 

Interested In Learning More?

Our location in Temperance is accepting new residents at this time. We offer virtual tours of all of our locations. We also schedule virtual meetings to answer all of your questions and provide information on the process for moving in a new resident. Please contact us 734-487-3217 or visit our website for more information.

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What’s Next for Senior Care in Kalamazoo?

Senior Care in Kalamazoo, Michigan, including Assisted Living and Memory Care, has changed drastically in the last few months due to the Covid-19 outbreak. As the state starts to open back up again, what does that mean for senior care?

The senior population is one of the most vulnerable to coronavirus. Many assisted living and senior care residency locations where hit hard by the virus.

Why are Vibrant Life’s numbers of positive cases so low?

How to Keep Covid-19 Out of Senior Care in Kalamazoo

Strict guidelines, proactive testing, and community education are the three top things that will keep Covid-19 number down.

Strict Guidelines

Rules and protocol must remain very strict — even as other types of businesses like restaurants, retail stores, salons, etc. start to invite the public in again. Since the beginning of the coronavirus outbreak, Vibrant Life has been at the forefront of executing safety measures and we plan on continuing a very cautious and proactive approach.

Please check out What We Are Doing to keep you Safe, Healthy, and Vibrant During Covid-19 for a complete list of all the changes, protocols, and safety measures we have in place.

Proactive Testing

Vibrant Life has provided more testing for our staff and residents than most. Proactive testing is still unusual in the State of Michigan but Vibrant Life is doing it.  The State mandate requires testing of all residents of nursing homes and weekly testing of nursing home staff. This is problematic because not all senior care is considered “nursing homes.” In fact, Vibrant Life is not – we are categorized as assisted living. Therefore, the mandate does not apply us. Even so, we are testing. 

We now know that people can have the virus and be asymptomatic. Unfortunately, it is during the asymptomatic period when they are most contagious. This is why testing often is important. 

Vibrant Life follows all mandatory guidelines plus non-mandatory guidelines as appropriate for each community. We believe in doing what is right and what is working, not just the bare minimum defined in a mandate. 

Our staff is tested regularly even though we aren’t technically required to. 

Senior Care Community Education and Support

Vibrant Life created an innovative coalition between our senior communities, physicians, local hospitals and local health departments to enact pre-testing, and subsequent monitoring of Covid-19 positive residents. These coalitions have prevented the spread of the virus to others throughout the community.

In addition, we created a Public Service Announcement (PSA) video,“If You Don’t Get It, You Might Spread It” to educate people on preventing the spread of the virus. This was shared with our communities and also made available for all assisted living and senior care facilities to use in order to educate their staff and residents. 

What is Happening Specifically with Senior Care in Kalamazoo

Our New Friends Memory Care and senior care location in Kalamazoo, fortunately has had no positive tests of any resident or staff.  We proactively tested everyone a few weeks ago and have had no positive tests.  Congratulations to all the staff at New Friends for socially distancing, having great infection control, and not bringing in the virus from the community. This is no small feat and a huge success. 

We are also excited to announce that our very own Laurel Space is participating in the Alzheimer’s Association‘s ECHO program, which aims to enhance the long-term care community’s ability to respond to emergencies, such as COVID-19.

There are only FIVE communities in Michigan who were accepted to this program and Vibrant Life is one of them. The ECHO program uses video conferencing technology to connect dementia care experts with leaders from assisted living communities.

The five-week program explores topics within the Alzheimer’s Association Emergency Preparedness: Caring for persons living with dementia in a long-term or community-based care setting.

The series will focus on emergency preparedness to equip communities for COVID-19 and other emergencies. Participating communities develop case presentations about challenges to receive real-time feedback from peers and experts.

What’s Next?

The next steps will likely be limited outdoor meetings with loved ones. Visitors will continue to be screened and have their temperature taken before they can participate. Family members and their loved one who is a resident of Vibrant Life will be able to meet outside for a limited amount of time while practicing safe social distancings. Short walks or sitting outside will be allowed.

Dormant Positive Testing

People who have had the virus sometimes test positive for a long time – up to 60 days and beyond. This can be the case for people who were symptomatic or asymptomatic.  The professionals are beginning to think that even when someone recovers from the virus, it can lay dormant in the body. This can result in a positive test, but it may not be active in a person’s body. 

They think it may not be transferrable or contagious at that time either.  When someone tests positive, and is not in the hospital, we put them in our Covid-positive units.  They would return from the units to their suites when they test negative.  So, if they keep testing positive, that would be a problem.  We will keep conferring with our physicians and health departments as we deal with this issue on an individual basis. 

We are very happy to report that each positive resident who recovered and moved out of the Covid unit has not re-tested as positive since. 

Interested In Learning More?

Our location in Kalamazoo is accepting new residents at this time. We offer virtual tours of all of our locations. We also schedule virtual meetings to answer all of your questions and provide information on the process for moving in a new resident. Please contact us (269) 372-6100 or visit our website for more information.

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Memory Care in Temperance: Options for Dementia

Are you looking for Memory Care in Temperance, Michigan, or surrounding areas? The good news is that you have options, even though it is never an easy decision to make for a loved one.

If you are struggling with this decision or aren’t sure if it is the right time, we encourage to you read When Is It Time for Assisted Living?

The very fact that you are researching this possibility means that it is time for some sort of senior care or assisted living. We speak with many families on a weekly basis who are in the same place you are right now. The question really isn’t “Is it time?” but rather, “What level of care is needed at this time?

Note: During this difficult time of quarantine and Covid-19, there are many precautions and additional things to consider. Please read Assisted Living & Memory Care in Temperance Coronavirus Updates and Information for information about specific changes and new protocols. Later in this article, we address some very creative solutions to combating dementia and Alzheimer’s during this time of isolation.

Memory Care in Temperance: Things to considermemory care in kalamazoo

When someone starts experiencing dementia it is a confusing time for the whole family. Each case is unique and the rate of progression is different for each person. However, in all cases there comes a time when it just isn’t safe for the person to live alone or to be left alone for any significant amount of time.

This is why it is so important to choose an assisted living residence that has several different levels of care. This is often referred to as aging in place. Your loved one can move in at the level that makes sense for where they are today and can easily transition to more care as they need it. Unfortunately, with dementia and memory care later in life, people will generally decline. They will need more care at some point.

It is also really important that they have a stable and familiar environment as their dementia progresses. Lots of moves and changes will make a difficult situation even harder, so aging in place in a really important consideration.

Different Levels of Memory Care in Temperance

memory care in kalamazoo

The best kind of memory care provides compassionate care and 24-hour supervision in a comfortable environment that feels like home.

Unlike most memory care communities, at Vibrant Life’s Assisted Living and Memory Care Temperance location, we see memory care/dementia as having three different levels of care.

  1. Early-stage memory care
  2. Middle stage memory care
  3. Later stage memory care

Residents mostly interact with other residents who are at the same level so they are with people most similar to them.  We try and place people in the appropriate setting for their level of care and dementia. All of our Carefriends are specially trained to provide the highest quality of care in a respectful, dignified, and loving way. Our staff works with each resident and their families to determine what level of cognition they have when they first come to us. We also all work as a team to decide when and if  it becomes beneficial to move to a different level of care and potentially different memory care “lodge.”

Our personalized care plans encompass everything from assistance with everyday activities like grooming and dining to programming that encourages hobbies and relationship building.

Music and Memory Care in Temperance tic-toc choir

Music is a very big part of the culture at all of the Vibrant Life communities. We use it every day to provide peace and joy. The Music Program here is second to none and utilizes the latest research and developments in how music helps with dementia. Click here to find out more.

RelatedThe Science Behind Music Therapy to Combat Dementia

Our Tic-Toc Choir has gained local fame with their music video “Don’t Define Me, Just Remind Me” and a documentary that was made about the choir called The Spirit of Caring. Check them out!

How Has Covid-19 Coronavirus Changed Assisted Living in Temperance?

Isolation is hard on everyone but it is especially hard on those dealing with dementia. We are finding new and creative ways to keep our residents engaged and active while still maintaining safety measures. Here a few things we are doing:

  • Eating in doorways. Now that our residents are isolated to their rooms we set up tray tables in their doorways during meal times. This allows them to see each other and socialize.  We also call bingo and provided music and singing this way, too.
  • More 1 on 1 time with staff. Both the staff and residents are enjoying getting to know each other better.
  • Video Calls. We are utilizing Zoom and Facetime for our residents to connect with family. Many people have reported that they are communicating even more now than before the pandemic due to this technology.
  • Physical Activity. Many people with dementia and memory issues tend to wander. We are allowing our ambulatory residents individual time to walk around the community and go outside when weather permits. They always have a staff member with them and this helps with restlessness.
  • Staff Pictures on Shirts. All of our staff wear face masks at all times, which can make it hard for our residents to recognize them and ready their lips. Some of our staff have started to put a large picture of themselves on the front of their shirts. This has really helped.

Would You Like More Information?

Vibrant Life is providing Virtual Tours of all 4 of our locations. If you or a loved one is in need of assisted living, senior living, or memory care, we can provide the answers and resources to answer your questions.

You can visit our website for information on each community. For information specific to our Temperance Community, please click here or call (734) 847-3217 to speak with our Director of Admissions and Community Relations.

We are also updating our site regularly with any new information about coronavirus that is urgent or helpful to our staff, families, residents, and the community in general. You can find that information here.

Additional Resources

Musical Minute – Social Distancing with Song!

Message to Families of Vibrant Life Senior Living Residents from Dean Solden

Memory Care in Ann Arbor: Options for Dementia

Are you looking for Memory Care in Ann Arbor, Michigan or surrounding areas? The good news is that you have options, even though it is never an easy decision to make for a loved one.

If you are struggling with this decision or aren’t sure if it is the right time, we encourage to you read When Is It Time for Assisted Living?

The very fact that you are researching this possibility means that it is time for some sort of senior care or assisted living. We speak with many families on a weekly basis who are in the same place you are right now. The question really isn’t “Is it time?” but rather, “What level of care is needed at this time?

Note: During this difficult time of quarantine and Covid-19, there are many precautions and additional things to consider. Please read Assisted Living & Memory Care in Ann Arbor Coronavirus Updates and Information for information about specific changes and new protocols. Later in this article we address some very creative solutions to combating dementia and Alzheimer’s during this time of isolation.

Memory Care in Ann Arbor: Things to considermemory care in kalamazoo

When someone starts experiencing dementia it is a confusing time for the whole family. Each case is unique and the rate of progression is different for each person. However, in all cases there comes a time when it just isn’t safe for the person to live alone or to be left alone for any significant amount of time.

This is why it is so important to choose an assisted living residence that has several different levels of care. This is often referred to as aging in place. Your loved one can move in at the level that makes sense for where they are today and can easily transition to more care as they need it. Unfortunately, with dementia and memory care later in life, people will generally decline. They will need more care at some point.

It is also really important that they have a stable and familiar environment as their dementia progresses. Lots of moves and changes will make a difficult situation even harder, so aging in place in a really important consideration.

The Different Levels of Memory Care in Ann Arbor

memory care in kalamazoo

The best kind of memory care provides compassionate care and 24-hour supervision in a comfortable environment that feels like home.

Unlike most memory care communities, at Vibrant Life’s Assisted Living and Memory Care Ann Arbor location, our memory care/dementia program has different levels of care.

  1. Early-stage memory care
  2. Middle stage memory care
  3. Later stage memory care

We have “lodges” all right next to each other on the same campus and look virtually exactly the same.  A person generally will be able to stay in their same room and lodge as time goes on, but occasionally they do move to another lodge.  However the rooms look identical. In this way we make all the transitions as smooth as possible.

Residents mostly interact with other residents who are at the same level so they are with people most similar to them.  We and our families have found this to be a very effective way of providing the highest quality of life for our residents. All of our Carefriends are specially trained to provide the highest quality of care  in a respectful, dignified and loving way. Our staff works with each resident and their families to determine what level of cognition they have when they first come to us. We also all work as a team to decide when and if  it becomes beneficial to move to different level of care and potentially different memory care “lodge.”

Our personalized care plans encompass everything from assistance with everyday activities like grooming and dining to programming that encourages hobbies and relationship building.

Music and Memory Care in Ann Arbor tic-toc choir

Music is a very big part of the culture at all of the Vibrant Life communities. We use it every day to provide peace and joy. The Music Program here is second to none and utilizes the latest research and developments in how music helps with dementia. Click here to find out more.

RelatedThe Science Behind Music Therapy to Combat Dementia

Our Tic-Toc Choir has gained local fame with their music video “Don’t Define Me, Just Remind Me” and a documentary that was made about the choir called The Spirit of Caring. Check them out!

How Has Covid-19 Coronavirus Changed Assisted Living in Ann Arbor?

Isolation is hard on everyone but it is especially hard on those dealing with dementia. We are finding new and creative ways to keep our residents engaged and active while still maintaining safety measures. Here a few things we are doing:

  • Eating in doorways. Now that our residents are isolated to their rooms we set up tray tables in their doorways during meal times. This allows them to see each other and socialize.  We also call bingo and provided music and singing this way, too.
  • More 1 on 1 time with staff. Both the staff and residents are enjoying getting to know each other better.
  • Video Calls. We are utilizing Zoom and Facetime for our residents to connect with family. Many people have reported that they are communicating even more now than before the pandemic due to this technology.
  • Physical Activity. Many people with dementia and memory issues tend to wander. We are allowing our ambulatory residents individual time to walk around the community and go outside when weather permits. They always have a staff member with them and this helps with restlessness.
  • Staff Pictures on Shirts. All of our staff wear face masks at all times, which can make it hard for our residents to recognize them and ready their lips. Some of our staff have started to put a large picture of themselves on the front of their shirts. This has really helped.

Would You Like More Information?

Vibrant Life is providing Virtual Tours of all 4 of our locations. If you or a loved one is in need of assisted living, senior living, or memory care, we can provide the answers and resources to answer your questions.

You can visit our website for information on each community. For information specific to our Ann Arbor Community in Superior Township, please click here or call (734)484-4740 to speak with our Director of Admissions and Community Relations.

We are also updating our site regularly with any new information about coronavirus that is urgent or helpful to our staff, families, residents, and the community in general. You can find that information here.

Additional Resources

Musical Minute – Social Distancing with Song!

Message to Families of Vibrant Life Senior Living Residents from Dean Solden

Memory Care in Durand: Options for Dementia

Are you looking for Memory Care in Durand, Michigan or surrounding areas? The good news is that you have options, even though it is never an easy decision to make for a loved one.

If you are struggling with this decision or aren’t sure if it is the right time, we encourage to you read When Is It Time for Assisted Living?

The very fact that you are researching this possibility means that it is time for some sort of senior care or assisted living. We speak with many families on a weekly basis who are in the same place you are right now. The question really isn’t “Is it time?” but rather, “What level of care is needed at this time?

Note: During this difficult time of quarantine and Covid-19, there are many precautions and additional things to consider. Please read Assisted Living & Memory Care in Durand Coronavirus Updates and Information for information about specific changes and new protocols. Later in this article we address some very creative solutions to combating dementia and Alzheimer’s during this time of isolation.

Memory Care in Durand: Things to considermemory care in kalamazoo

When someone starts experiencing dementia it is a confusing time for the whole family. Each case is unique and the rate of progression is different for each person. However, in all cases there comes a time when it just isn’t safe for the person to live alone or to be left alone for any significant amount of time.

This is why it is so important to choose an assisted living residence that has several different levels of care. This is often referred to as aging in place. Your loved one can move in at the level that makes sense for where they are today and can easily transition to more care as they need it. Unfortunately, with dementia and memory care later in life, people will generally decline. They will need more care at some point.

It is also really important that they have a stable and familiar environment as their dementia progresses. Lots of moves and changes will make a difficult situation even harder, so aging in place in a really important consideration.

The Different Levels of Memory Care in Durand

memory care in kalamazoo

The best kind of memory care provides compassionate care and 24-hour supervision in a comfortable environment that feels like home.

Unlike most memory care communities, at Vibrant Life’s Assisted Living and Memory Care Durand location, our memory care/dementia program has three different levels of care.

  1. Early-stage memory care
  2. Middle stage memory care
  3. Later stage memory care

We have “lodges” all right next to each other on the same campus and look virtually exactly the same.  A person generally will be able to stay in their same room and lodge as time goes on, but occasionally they do move to another lodge.  However the rooms look identical. In this way we make all the transitions as smooth as possible.

Residents mostly interact with other residents who are at the same level so they are with people most similar to them.  We and our families have found this to be the most compassionate and a very effective way to provide our residents the highest quality of life. All of our Carefriends are specially trained to provide the highest quality of care  in a respectful, dignified and loving way. Our staff works with each resident and their families to determine what level of cognition they have when they first come to us. We also all work as a team to decide when and if  it becomes beneficial to move to different level of care and potentially different memory care “lodge.”

Our personalized care plans encompass everything from assistance with everyday activities like grooming and dining to programming that encourages hobbies and relationship building.

Music and Memory Care in Durandtic-toc choir

Music is a very big part of the culture at all of the Vibrant Life communities. We use it every day to provide peace and joy. The Music Program here is second to none and utilizes the latest research and developments in how music helps with dementia. Click here to find out more.

RelatedThe Science Behind Music Therapy to Combat Dementia

Our Tic-Toc Choir has gained local fame with their music video “Don’t Define Me, Just Remind Me” and a documentary that was made about the choir called The Spirit of Caring. Check them out!

How Has Covid-19 Coronavirus Changed Assisted Living in Durand?

Isolation is hard on everyone but it is especially hard on those dealing with dementia. We are finding new and creative ways to keep our residents engaged and active while still maintaining safety measures. Here a few things we are doing:

  • Eating in doorways. Now that our residents are isolated to their rooms we set up tray tables in their doorways during meal times. This allows them to see each other and socialize.  We also call bingo and provided music and singing this way, too.
  • More 1 on 1 time with staff. Both the staff and residents are enjoying getting to know each other better.
  • Video Calls. We are utilizing Zoom and Facetime for our residents to connect with family. Many people have reported that they are communicating even more now than before the pandemic due to this technology.
  • Physical Activity. Many people with dementia and memory issues tend to wander. We are allowing our ambulatory residents individual time to walk around the community and go outside when weather permits. They always have a staff member with them and this helps with restlessness.
  • Staff Pictures on Shirts. All of our staff wear face masks at all times, which can make it hard for our residents to recognize them and ready their lips. Some of our staff have started to put a large picture of themselves on the front of their shirts. This has really helped.

Would You Like More Information?

Vibrant Life is providing Virtual Tours of all 4 of our locations. If you or a loved one is in need of assisted living, senior living, or memory care, we can provide the answers and resources to answer your questions.

You can visit our website for information on each community. For information specific to The Lodge of Durand, please click here or call (989)288-6561 to speak with our Director of Admissions and Community Relations.

We are also updating our site regularly with any new information about coronavirus that is urgent or helpful to our staff, families, residents, and the community in general. You can find that information here.

Additional Resources

Musical Minute – Social Distancing with Song!

Message to Families of Vibrant Life Senior Living Residents from Dean Solden