There is simply no choice anymore; anyone who is sick or been with someone who is sick must practice self-isolation or quarantine. The rest of us should practice social distancing – essentially maintaining five to six feet between others and ourselves. Our president and our local and state officials have asked some types of care communities to limit or fully stop visitors. As of March 13, we were required to do just that in our Colorado and NJ communities. It is required in skilled nursing facilities and recommended in personal care communities in Pennsylvania. We are now restricted to allowing just essential visitors, which includes immediate family members, but typically only in end-of-life situations. As difficult as this is, all of these restrictions are for the safety of our residents, or staff and ultimately, YOU!
In true Juniper fashion, we do have a solution to prevent isolation in the face of limited visitation and again we are working hard to make lemonade from the lemons that are all around us!
In addition to helping our friends and family connect, we are also thinking ahead to make sure that we can bring health and medical services to our residents, if they cannot go out or the providers cannot come to us.
Each of our communities is equipped with secure virtual tele-conferencing capability. That means that any family or friend wishing to visit virtually can do so. If a resident has a phone or other device, we will help make sure they can use it to “meet up”. If not, each community has several devices, which with proper infection control, allow residents to stay connected AND safe. We will use a similar system to make sure we can connect with health care providers should that be necessary.
Here’s how to give a virtual greeting or hug:
Using FaceTime: this allows for both video and audio connection.
It requires an iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch device. We have several appropriate Apple devices in the community and bring the device to your loved one. All you need is a compatible Apple device.
Using Zoom: this also allows for both video and audio connection.
Each community has at least one dedicated zoom account. One of our team members sets up the zoom meeting and assists the resident. You can access zoom on any Mac or Windows device with an internet connection. We will provide a zoom meeting code; you will log in to www.zoom.us select “join a meeting” and enter the code. This opens the video share. For audio, you can either use the phone number that pops up on the screen or connect via your device.
We know that gathering in groups is not a good idea in these difficult times and is also restricted by state regulation for Colorado and New Jersey and recommended in Pennsylvania. So we are limited or postponing most group meetings and presentations that are on our Connections Calendars. That does not mean these events will be cancelled entirely! Instead, we will offer a new series of educational and entertainment related programs on line. The full listing will be available shortly. Families and friends are welcome to join these events too!
Full details on how to connect will vary somewhat with the presenter and type of presentation. We will provide detailed information on how to connect to each via email and other communication pieces soon. We will also post instructions on our community Facebook pages.
At Juniper, we are all about staying engaged and that means connections! We are also problem solvers at our core. Together, we will weather this storm, the blue skies will return, and we will enjoy our lemonade in the sunshine!