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