With the COVID-19 virus affecting all of us, things have changed significantly for our loved ones in senior care facilities. Most of us are well aware that no visitors are allowed at most senior facilities at this time unless they are part of the staff or medically essential personnel. This has been so difficult for loved ones as they have had no physical contact from family or friends. They are also confined to their rooms for the most part. For many families, it is even more stressful as many of us have seniors with many critical care needs. We pay for many services in order for our loved ones' needs to be met. As I have stated in many of my blogs and on my website, it is imperative that families be present in facilities as much as possible in order to make sure the staff is providing full quality care. While there are many wonderful staff members at these facilities, there are also many that do not do their jobs. These caregivers are paid so little and the demand for them is great, but many people can't do this incredibly difficult job the way it needs to be done. There is still a shortage on quality caregivers all over the country. Most facilities are short staffed, and this is even more of a concern during the COVID-19 pandemic. We now have facilities that are short staffed and have no assistance from the family members of residents. I have no idea what is being done in my mom's room or how it is being taken care of, as she depends on staff to do that. I do not know if her laundry is done or if her kitchen is clean. I usually visit her every other day. I could monitor how things were going, and I could check up on her care and what was happening around the facility. Now, I have no ability to do that. I do not know if they are wearing gloves and masks, or if they are taking the precautions they claim they are. This is very difficult for me, and I assume it is for many of you as well. Our loved ones can only tell us so much, and they often forget things that have happened as the day goes on. I have had to call the front desk numerous times because my mom's phone wasn't working, and I have had to ask someone to go check on her and fix the phone. Obviously, this is something none of us could have planned for, and I certainly sympathize with the many caregivers and staff working these jobs. Many of them are sacrificing their own health to care for others. However, they must make sure they are doing so using all safety procedures and doing their job the way it should be done. Please make sure you talk to your loved ones as often as you can. Make sure you ask questions about the care they receive and how things are being done, since you can't be there to see for yourself. Do not be afraid to ask staff questions or contact the executive director or nurse with your concerns. The policies of your facility should be listed on their facility website, and you should make sure your facility is implementing those policies. Just because the company website says they are doing something does not mean it is happening in your facility. Thank you to those staff members who are doing their job and doing it with great care and honesty. We are grateful for what you are risking to care for our loved ones. Be well.
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