Are Retirement Homes Safe for Seniors?

Are Retirement Homes Safe for Seniors?

The safety, health and security of your senior loved one is a top priority during the COVID-19 pandemic. Each day brings stories on the news of nursing homes, care facilities and retirement communities facing the challenges of the coronavirus. Often the news isn’t good. Is it safe for your Mom or Dad, Granpa or Grandma to live in a congregate living community? At Bria Communities, our answer is a resounding yes.

What is the difference between a retirement community and a nursing home?

Seniors who need 24/7 licensed nursing care and personal support live in environments referred to as nursing homes or residential care facilities. Many are government-funded, some like BriaCare Centres™ in Langley and Tsawwassen are private pay. The driving force behind private pay facilities is customer service, and they can respond quickly to emergencies with staffing, adjustments to cleaning and people-centred care.

Retirement homes, however, house independent seniors who are capable of looking after their personal health and living in their apartments but enjoy an all-inclusive lifestyle. Some have government funded suites, and many are private and paid for by residents. Retirement communities are often referred to as the ‘cruise ship that never leaves the dock’ —they offer a carefree lifestyle and allow residents to maintain independence and personal space.

Four Advantages of Living in A Retirement Community

1. Support

While independence is a high value in retirement homes, seniors can relax knowing that they are in a supportive atmosphere. Staff can address simple things: a maintenance technician can hang pictures, a receptionist who can help reprogram the TV, recreation staff organize shopping trips to the mall, and the courtesy shuttle takes seniors to their appointments. And family members rest assured knowing their loved one is seen, known and loved.

2. Cleanliness

Disinfecting surfaces is key to keeping the coronavirus from spreading among people. Like many retirement homes, Bria Communities has flu outbreak protocol, and staff are vigilant about cleaning common spaces as well as resident suites. Instead of seniors needing to rely on themselves and family members to keep their homes clean, they can trust the team of professionals around them.

3. No Need to Leave Home

Exposure to the coronavirus in public places is a primary concern. Seniors enjoying all-inclusive living can stay home and enjoy the amenities around them. There’s no need to visit the grocery store, library, recreation facilities, or even the casino— they’ll find everything they need in-house. Meals are prepared and served for them, recreation teams create programs that adapt to individual and community needs, and the buildings offer lots of fitness and entertainment opportunities.

4. Reduce Social Isolation

There is plenty of documentation about the ill-effects of loneliness on seniors’ physical and mental health. Even in times of self-isolation in their apartments, seniors in retirement homes have opportunities to engage and connect. Daily regular interactions with hospitality staff, special events and treats delivered by recreation staff, and knowing you’re surrounded by friends who can help at any time make unbearable situations easier to bear.

Not Every Retirement Home is Created Equal

How can you know if your loved one is living in a community that cares for the physical, social, emotional and mental health the way Bria Communities cares for their residents?

Do your research! Find out who the owner/operator is and if you have direct access to ask key questions. Search Google and Facebook reviews for input from current residents and family members. Inquire about resident satisfaction surveys and results.

Bria Communities is a safe place for you and your loved ones. We are a private, locally own family of four independent living communities and two care centres in Langley and Tsawwassen, BC. Our mission is to work together to create safe and vibrant communities where choices are valued, and seniors lead active, purposeful lives.