ALEXANDRIA, Va., April 20, 2020 /PRNewswire/ -- The top priority of senior living communities, now and always, is the safety of their residents and staff. Staff at assisted living, independent living, continuing care, and memory care communities are doing everything they can to protect residents and mitigate the spread of COVID-19 in their communities.
"This is no doubt an extremely challenging time for everyone, and the senior living industry is no exception," said James Balda, president & CEO, of Argentum. "Our member communities follow strict infection control procedures and protocol every day to mitigate the spread of illness and they are taking significant steps, with the resources they have, to minimize risk to their residents and staff. But they critically need priority access to testing and PPE as they are on the front lines, caring for a highly vulnerable population."
Measures taken by senior living communities include restricting visitor access, pausing communal dining, adding enhanced infection control measures, and taking the temperatures of employees, among other controls, while also closely following guidance from local and state health officials. Employees also receive initial and ongoing training to maintain their safety and the wellbeing of senior living residents.
While the media is doing a significant public service by providing important reporting during this crisis, many news outlets continue to make a common but meaningful error in conflating nursing homes with the broader spectrum of senior living communities that support independent living, assisted living, and memory care.
While senior living communities have experienced tragic losses in the past weeks, the coronavirus risk profile for those living and working in these communities is far more optimistic. A study published by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on April 3 suggests that senior living communities may be in a better position to contain the spread of the disease because of their ability to have greater social distancing.
"Senior living communities support a vulnerable population of seniors and require the prompt attention of our elected officials and regulators," said Dave Schless, president of the American Seniors Housing Association (ASHA). "It is critical that we secure funding and priority access to testing and PPE in order to continue to protect both residents and staff."
Argentum is the leading national association exclusively dedicated to supporting companies operating professionally managed, resident-centered senior living communities and the older adults and families they serve. Since 1990, Argentum has advocated for choice, independence, dignity, and quality of life for all older adults.
Argentum member companies operate senior living communities offering assisted living, independent living, continuing care, and memory care services. Along with its state partners, Argentum's membership represents approximately 75 percent of the senior living industry—an industry with a national economic impact of nearly a quarter of a trillion dollars and responsible for providing over 1.6 million jobs. These numbers will continue to grow as the U.S. population ages.
The American Seniors Housing Association represents over 550 companies that develop, own, operate and finance the full spectrum of housing for seniors, including active adult, independent living, assisted living, memory care, and life plan communities. ASHA's members consist of both for-profit and not-for-profit organizations who own and /or operate more than 750,000 units in the U.S. and Canada. The organization was created in 1991 and focuses on advocacy, research, executive level meetings, and consumer education delivered through a digital platform that can be visited at WhereYouLiveMatters.org. For more information about ASHA, please visit seniorshousing.org
Senior Director of Marketing & Communications
SOURCE Argentum; American Seniors Housing Association