News has been spreading rapidly about what actions governments, communities and organizations are taking due to the coronavirus. Local long term care and assisted living facilities in Independence have recently been taking steps to ensure the safety of their residents. In an interview with April Nutt, director of the Independence Housing Authority, she mentioned that letters with information from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) website have been sent to tenants in Penn Terrace Apartments, a senior living facility. The letters include advice on self care and hygiene practices and lists what steps are recommended by the CDC. For a complete list and more on the coronavirus, go to www.cdc.gov

 

Nutt reported there is a gentleman on staff who cleans and disinfects the facilities daily. Also, they are asking any resident who is feeling ill stay in his or her apartment and any non-resident feeling that way to please avoid entering the facility.

 

Medicalodges Director of Nursing, Skye Dean reported their facility is also taking steps to protect their residents. Only necessary personnel are allowed to enter the facility at this time. Necessary personnel are required to complete a questionnaire that asks about symptoms such as fever, cough or shortness of breath. Other items covered include recent travels and locations of those travels. If an individual has been to areas where confirmed cases of COVID have been reported, admission is denied. 

 

If a person is deemed admissible, he or she must visit a washing station and scrub thoroughly upon entry. Dean also reported resident council members have been meeting to discuss the current pandemic. She said, "It's still new. Everyone is a little concerned but you must do what you have to."

 

Amber Ragan, operator and director of Gran Villas, said her and other facilities in the area are doing the same thing as Medicalodges. The recommendations come from the Kansas Healthcare Association. When asked how the residents are reacting to the current situation, she reported they are, "Worried and a little confused but that so far, they are pretty understanding." Ragan mentioned most of them were happy the staff were taking steps to protect them. She also mentioned staff have been operating with these extra precautions in place since March 10 and that, "From the beginning, we were working to make it happen." So far, there have been no cases of the virus reported in Montgomery County.

 

For more information on preventive procedures and precautions in residential facilities, visit the Kansas Healthcare Association's website at www.khca.org