To say these past months have been challenging would be an understatement! Acclimating to the social distancing rules that society has bestowed upon us has been tough. As humans we depend on social interaction; to go from daily interaction to now measuring the distance between us and others has become extremely stressful. So how do we keep that connection while keeping ourselves and others safe? How do we slowly transition back into a normal social interaction regiment?
Keep Yourself Safe!
First things first protect yourself! If you are not protecting yourself, you are not protecting others. How do you keep yourself safe?
Utilize the Mail: Use the mail as a source of communication by sending letters, postcards, photos, and care packages.
Masks: Wearing is caring! Wear a mask to protect yourself and others. Wear a mask that covers your nose and mouth to help protect others in case you are infected with COVID-19 but do not have symptoms. Ensure that you are wearing your mask properly. How do you properly wear a mask?
- Wash your hands before putting on your mask.
- Put it over your nose and mouth and secure it under your chin.
- Do not put the mask around your neck or up on your forehead.
- Fit it snugly against the sides of your face, and make sure you can breathe easily.
- Do not touch the mask, and, if you do, wash your hands, or use hand sanitizer to disinfect.
How you are putting on your mask is just as important as how you take off your mask. Who would have ever thought that this mattered? Well you learn a lot during trying times. So, what is the proper way to take off a mask?
- Untie the strings behind your head or stretch the ear loops
- Handle only by the ear loops or ties
- Fold outside corners together
- Place mask in the washing machine (learn more about how to wash masks)
- Be careful not to touch your eyes, nose, and mouth when removing and wash hands immediately after removing.
Hand Washing: Spread love and not germs by washing your hands often! Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds (sing the ‘Happy Birthday’ song) especially after you have been in a public place, or after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing. If soap and water are not readily available, use a hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol. Cover all surfaces of your hands and rub them together until they feel dry. Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
Sick: You are out of order if you are sick! Remember life is beautiful and nothing is more important than your health. By taking care of yourself you are taking care of others.
Transitioning into Social Interaction
As we slowly transition back into our social standards that we lived by prior to the pandemic we need to consider taking baby steps. We cannot go from counting the distance between us and others to large gatherings right away. So how are we, as an assisted living facility, slowly transitioning back into the social standards that we have always gone by?
- Scheduled Visits
Prior to the pandemic the friends and families of our residents could come into the facility whenever it was convenient for them. Having our visitors call the facility to schedule the time and date allows us to control how many visitors we have in the facility.
- Time the Visits
Unfortunately, we cannot socialize the same length of time as we have in the past prior to Covid-19, at least not yet. Allowing certain time frames for visits allow for multiple residents to have the opportunity to visit with their loved ones. As we know we need that human interaction.
Limit the number of visitors allowed to visit the resident at the facility during visitation sessions. Designate a specific area in which the visits may occur. Ensure that there is a barrier between the visitors and the residents. We still need to practice social distancing while connecting with others.
- Be Wise & Sanitize
Wipe away the worry by sanitizing! Set an allotted time to properly clean each visitation area. Ensure that you are following the proper steps for sanitization.
- Wear disposable gloves to clean and disinfect.
- Clean surfaces using soap and water, then use disinfectant.
- Cleaning with soap and water reduces the number of germs, dirt, and impurities on the surface. Disinfecting kills germs on surfaces.
Remember that this shall pass. In the meantime, we need to be conscious of self-care while maintaining healthy relationships through social distancing. By taking care of yourself you are taking care of others!