Senior living communities taking extra precautions

Facilities in south metro area look to reduce residents' risk of contracting COVID-19

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Senior living facilities throughout the south metro area are taking extra precautions to prevent the spread of COVID-19, a virus that can bring serious health complications for older adults.

For the most part, visiting hours have been limited and events canceled. Facilities are upping their cleaning and disinfecting efforts and reminding staff to be aware of respiratory and flu-like symptoms.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention states it is extra important for people in vulnerable groups to take action to reduce the risk of contracting the disease caused by a coronavirus, COVID-19. People with heart disease, diabetes and lung disease are also at higher risk of becoming severely sick from this illness.

MorningStar Senior Living, Wind Crest retirement community and Brookdale Senior Living have posted messages to residents and their families on their respective websites about the preventative measures being taken and reminders to take steps to help curb the spread of the virus.

These and other senior living facilities in the area are focusing on prevention and containment. Their actions include sending informational letters out to residents and their families, additional training for staff, stocking up on disinfectant and cleaning supplies, boosted cleaning frequency and posted extra signage throughout the facility.

MorningStar — which has locations throughout the metro area, including in Lone Tree, Parker and Centennialwill limit resident outings and visiting hours and has canceled all large-scale events and outside entertainers.

“We believe these protocols are a wise and necessary part of protecting the populations we serve. We ask you to partner with us for the sake of our seniors,” MorningStar CEO Ken Jaeger states on the facility's website.

Wind Crest, in Highlands Ranch, stated it is taking “unprecedented action” in response to the virus.

“Although we have no reported cases, we are acting with an abundance of caution and taking every precautionary measure necessary, consistent with CDC guidelines, in response to this serious public health concern,” Wind Crest spokesperson Courtney Benhoff stated in a March 12 email.

Wind Crest stated it will be screening visitors prior to entry to the facility. It is also temporarily suspending all large on-campus sales events and activities that include outside groups. Non-essential business travel for employees has been canceled.

Brookdale stated it has a corporate emergency response team in place to provide support to local staffs in the event of a confirmed COVID-19 case. Among its numerous area locations are sites in Englewood, Highlands Ranch and Greenwood Village.

“We would follow the guidelines of the CDC for recommendations for confirmed cases in healthcare settings; those guidelines include steps to minimize chances for exposure, adhering to personal protection protocols and managing visitor access,” Brookdale spokesperson Heather Hunter stated in a March 10 email.

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