Ensuring Basic Needs Are Met For Independent Living Residents Amid the Covid-19 Pandemic
As the COVID-19 pandemic fear and restrictions continue, we are doing everything we can to meet our residents’ most important needs. Our senior residents were challenged enough when life was normal and now for many, life seems even more confusing, difficult and isolated than ever. First and foremost, they and their families worry about how their basic needs will continue to be met. To address questions and concerns that we've been receiving during this time we've compiled a list of the most asked questions and our answers as to how we're addressing them.
Below are the most common concerns for our senior independent living community during the COVID-19 crisis:
I can’t go to the community dining room anymore to enjoy a meal. How will I eat or get groceries?
- We are delivering an afternoon meal 7 days a week to each resident’s door. In order to facilitate delivery to well over 400 apartments, we have gone to a limited menu and reduced the price of the meal. The dining plan, which is included in rent, yields 30 meals per month at this rate.
- There are multiple options to receive groceries and supplies:
- Family/friends may shop for their loved one themselves or purchase via grocery stores with online ordering and delivery service. Family members or our nearby Fry's and Bashas' stores can drop off groceries and other supplies at delivery drop zone and staff will deliver right to the resident’s door. If a resident needs help setting up and placing an online grocery order, they should contact our Resident Administrator, Debbie Harwood, at 480-290-7050.
- Residents may also order from our on-campus Country Store Monday – Friday from 10 am to 2 pm. Call Trisha at 480-290-7014 to place an order. The store carries commonly needed items like milk, bread, canned goods, cereal and other easy to prepare food items as well as commonly needed paper products, as available. Items are charged to their dining account with a daily purchase limit of $5. Some essential items over $5 may be charged and will be billed on the next rent statement. Special requests for an item not regularly stocked can be made and we will do our best to accommodate.
- Some items such as paper and cleaning products continue to be difficult to find in the stores. We have received some donations of these items and they are given to residents free of charge on an as needed basis and as available. In addition, if a resident is finding it financially difficult to purchase grocery items, we have received some donations of shelf stable food products which are given to residents free of charge on an as needed basis and as available. Residents in need should contact our Resident Administrator, Debbie Harwood, at 480-290-7050.
What if I run out of dollars on my dining account?
- Each resident gets $225 per month in dining dollars which, at the lockdown reduced rate of $7.50 per meal, provides them with 30 meals per month. If a resident is running short because they have made Country Store purchases, we will NOT refuse a delivery a meal to them. The cost will just be carried forward on their billing statement and we will worry about it when the pandemic and dining room restrictions are over.
How will I get to my medical appointment?
- We are still offering individual transportation (couples living together okay) for essential medical appointments. (Note that we cannot provide transportation for residents in quarantine).
- We expect non-essential appointments to start opening up this week and we can provide transportation for those too. As always however, transportation is by appointment only. If we do not have a van available near your appointment time, we will try to help you find alternative transportation.
- At this time we still highly encourage residents to cancel any non-essential appointments to avoid being exposed to the virus.
- Residents may call Dispatch Health (a mobile urgent care service) in the event they cannot see their doctor. Please reach them at 480-493-3444.
- Life threatening concerns should prompt a call to 911 for possible transport to the hospital.
How will I receive my prescriptions?
- Pharmacy staff or family/friends making prescription deliveries are considered essential visitors. They will be required to be symptom screened and then they will deliver directly to the resident. Our staff will not handle prescription deliveries.
- If a resident needs help with medication pill box set up, a caregiver, who is considered an approved essential visitor, can assist. The caregiver may be a family member or friend, an agency caregiver or one of our Supportive Services staff. In any case, all will be symptom screened daily upon their arrival to our community.
How can I safely take a shower?
- If a resident needs help with showering/dressing, a caregiver, who is considered an approved essential visitor, can assist. The caregiver may be a family member or friend, an agency caregiver or one of our Supportive Services staff. In any case, all will be symptom screened daily upon their arrival to our community.
How am I going to get my apartment cleaned?
- Normally housekeeping services are every other week.
- At this time, our housekeeping staff are working extra hard in other areas where needed and often outside of their job scope, such as making deliveries. Because of this, we have had to cut housekeeping services to once per month during this period.
- If a resident needs assistance with laundry, they can still ask housekeeping to do it for $5 per load but it may take a little bit longer than usual to get it back.
- The other option is to use our community laundry which is free and disinfected daily.
- Only one person should be in a laundry room at a time and they must remember to wear masks and not touch their face.
How can I avoid getting sick?
- We’ve all heard the most important things to do to avoid getting COVID-19:
- Maintain your social distance
- Wear masks
- Wash hands frequently
- Avoid touching your face
- For more details and videos, please visit this site we think is helpful for seniors during the COVID-19 crisis.
If you have any other questions that were not addressed above please reach out to us or visit our COVID-19 page for all updates that we're sharing with our independent living residents.
Please know that we at Fellowship Square Historic Mesa are continuing to work on providing updates via our website, Facebook page, emails and blog posts like this one. We're currently working on the next blog topic of helping with the fear and stress caused by this pandemic, and look forward to sharing that with our residents, their families, friends and staff.