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.
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.
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.
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.