During the Tuesday, May 12 Virtual Roundtable Discussion, many members shared concerns about the toll that being restricted to their rooms/apartments has taken on the emotional and mental health of our residents. Several members expressed frustration over the uncertainty around how the re-opening of senior living will look, and when it will occur. Some of our members asked to whom they could write to insure that these concerns are being heard and understood, as DAIL/OIG have stood firm in their directives despite pushback from many communities.
On Wednesday, May 13, the KSLA Board of Directors met via conference call and discussed these issues and others and what the appropriate action would be. What follows is the Board's plan to address these and other issues in our current situation:
The Board has reviewed DAIL's FAQs and has identified 2 issues that it intends to discuss with Buddy Hoskinson and Victoria Elridge this week.
The first issue is the limited re-opening of salons in our communities, with residents being allowed to obtain services, at scheduled appointments (no walk-ins allowed), one at a time, with no waiting room, while wearing masks, and with disinfection of the salon between each visit.
The second issue is the ability to allow groups of 2-3 residents to participate in scheduled, staff-led activities together in common areas (not in apartments), with 6 feet or more of social distancing, while wearing masks, and with disinfection of the site between activities.
The Board believes that allowing these activities will improve resident mood, morale, emotional and mental health. It is finalizing its proposal today and will share it with Buddy Hoskinson and Commissioner Elridge later this week. We will let you know the results of this meeting as soon as we can.
Once we have (hopefully) been given modified directives on these two issues, KSLA and the Board of Directors will begin working on a proposal for a phased re-opening of senior living across the Commonwealth. It is important for us to be proactive in educating our state leaders on the differences between Assisted Living/Personal Care and skilled nursing, and to have the ability to provide input into a re-opening plan that relates directly to the specific health, abilities and needs of our residents.
We ask for your continued patience. Thank you for all that you do, and we hope to have some good news for you later this week.