Administering Hope to Our Brookdale Family
All Brookdale communities have received or are scheduled to receive the COVID-19 vaccine!
Through a strategic partnership with CVS, Brookdale residents and associates at eligible communities have already begun receiving the COVID-19 vaccine. We feel honored that our residents and associates are among the first recipients in the country. Since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, we’ve remained committed to our residents and associates’ health and safety needs. The COVID-19 vaccine allows us to continue working to protect our Brookdale family during this time.
Brookdale associates and residents are excited to share their stories and experiences receiving the COVID-19 vaccine. Receiving the COVID-19 vaccine is about so much more than protection. It’s about bringing people together. And working towards a healthier future for all.
Seeing Hope in Action
Our senior living communities share photos tagged with #BrookdaleHope to celebrate Brookdale associates and residents receiving the COVID-19 vaccine.
Most people do not have serious problems after being vaccinated, according to the CDC. Note that your arm may be sore, red, or warm to the touch. These symptoms usually go away on their own. Some people report getting a headache or fever when getting a vaccine. These side effects are a sign that your immune system is doing exactly what it is supposed to do. It’s working and building up protection against disease.
Yes. Nearly all COVID-19 vaccines being studied in the U.S. require two shots. The first one starts building protection, but everyone will have to have a second one a few weeks later to get the most protection the vaccine can offer.
No. The CDC says getting the COVID-19 vaccine is the safer choice. While scientists are still learning more about the virus, the current advice is that COVID-19 has caused serious illness and death for many, many people and if you get it, you also risk giving it to your loved ones, who may get very sick.
No. Vaccines will be administered according to the federal government’s carefully planned priority list, which Brookdale is thrilled to be a part of.
We need to use many different methods to stop a pandemic. The CDC points out that vaccines work with your immune system so your body will be ready to fight the virus if you are exposed. But washing hands and using hand sanitizer, maintaining social distance, and wearing face masks help reduce your chances of being exposed or of spreading the virus to others.
A COVID-19 Vaccine
How Brookdale Is Getting Ready
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As a Brookdale resident, you can forgo going to the store for personal items and instead get them delivered right to your front door. Through our Personal Solutions program, available at most Brookdale communities, residents, or their families, can purchase items such as hearing aid batteries, shaving products, paper towels, hygiene products, and more. These items will be delivered to the apartment door without a resident ever having to interact with someone.
Because you can transmit COVID-19 even if you’re not showing symptoms, we worked in coordination with local health departments to test community residents and associates, regardless of whether they were symptomatic. Our goal with baseline community-wide testing was to help contain the virus. We shared these testing plans with our residents, their families and our associates in advance and answered any questions. In the case of positive test results, we notified residents and their families, as well as the local health department.
As of August 31, 2020, baseline testing has been completed in all of our communities.
Yes, we are accepting move-ins, unless the specific community has been otherwise instructed by public health officials or pursuant to the direction of corporate clinical leadership.
New residents considered low risk can now avoid a 14-day quarantine if they have a COVID-19 test and a negative result within three days prior to move-in. High-risk new residents must have a COVID-19 test and a negative result within three days prior to move-in as well. They can then move in and quarantine until being tested on Day 4 or 5, and then released from quarantine when they receive the second negative test result. Risk level is assessed in a pre-move-in screening. New residents who were exposed to someone who is COVID-19 positive would have to quarantine as noted above and through 14 days of the date of their exposure.
Yes, in most cases, residents are allowed to leave their apartments. We are educating our residents on social distancing and health practices set forth by the CDC and local government officials.
In accordance with the recommendations of the CDC, residents with respiratory infections or suspected COVID-19 will need to self-isolate in their rooms for the protection of others at the community.
To help our residents cope with possible feelings of isolation, we’ve rolled out some great high-tech ways they can be social over any distance. Our residents have access to video call apps like FaceTime®, SkypeTM, Zoom® and more to help them stay in touch with family, loved ones or even their best friend next door.
FaceTime is a registered trademark of Apple, Inc. Skype is a trademark of Microsoft Corporation, Inc. Zoom is a registered trademark of Zoom Video Communications Inc.
Where community and local regulatory guidelines allow, residents can participate in outdoor visits. These in-person visits may look different than you are used to, because our top priority is helping to keep our residents, associates and visitors are safe. Here’s what we ask of our visitors:
- Schedule a visit in advance during designated visiting hours.
- Undergo temperature check and screening.
- Limit visitors in the group to four or fewer.
- Use hand sanitizer prior to and after each visit.
- Visits in designated outdoor areas, weather permitting.
- Limit visits to 45 minutes.
- Follow social-distancing guidelines, and avoid physical contact. Assistive technology, such as hearing devices or cell phones, will be provided as needed.
- Wear face coverings at all times (unless medically unable).
And some communities, as allowed by state or local health officials, are offering indoor visits when following similar precautions.
Our approach to re-opening amenities in our communities varies by location and is based on the health and safety directives from the CDC, local and state public health officials and our own clinical experts.
In most cases, these amenities will initially resume on an appointment-only basis, with other additional safety guidelines in place, such as time and occupant limits, time between appointments and enhanced cleaning. Social distancing and face covering rules will also apply.
We refined our cleaning protocol for infection control specifically to target the novel Coronavirus, based on scientific and healthcare recommendations. We use products that are certified by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to both clean and disinfect and that have been deemed effective against the virus that causes COVID-19. Associates are trained specifically to understand how to use these products, including how long they must be in contact with a surface in order to properly disinfect it.
Community areas such as elevators, hallways and courtyards are typically cleaned as frequently as three times a day.
- Suspending planned or sponsored group outings and strongly encouraged residents to refrain from making trips outside of the community unless medically necessary
- Restricting visitors and non-essential health personnel from our communities, except in end-of-life situations until state and local health officials allowed relaxation of these restrictions
- Conducting health screenings of anyone coming into the community
- Limiting travel of our associates to avoid possible spread of the viral illness from city to city
- Created a corporate emergency response team to provide support to our teams on the ground in our communities
- Refined our best practices and re-educated associates on those practices for hand-washing, sanitizing and other infection prevention measures that are part of our daily operations
- Provided communities with additional tools to assist in monitoring residents’ health, such as thermometers and pulse oximeters
- Engaged with leading medical centers for recommendations and guidance to complement the internal expertise of our clinical team
In the cases of a confirmed diagnosis of COVID-19 in a community, we have acted in compliance with the CDC local and state health authorities’ guidance, as well as the best interest of the person. Residents and designated emergency contacts as well as associates are notified.
When necessary, we have created special areas for residents who test positive. These separate quarters typically utilize temporary plastic walls to try to minimize spread of the virus into the surrounding community.
Dedicated associates are assigned exclusively to these special areas and wear expanded Personal Protection Equipment (PPE), which may include head coverings, eye protection, face shields, N95/KN95 masks, gowns, gloves and shoe covers.
We activated an emergency command/resource center to help ensure regular communication with corporate leadership, field team leaders and suppliers.
We have a comprehensive number of resources and support in our newsroom.
We are able to answer questions through a variety of communication channels, including:
- Directly with our executive directors at each Brookdale community
- Brookdale.com, where there is comprehensive information and tools
- Through social media, where each Brookdale community has a local Facebook page and provides important information specific to that community
- Through our national connection center
There are a few ways to stay informed as to what is going on:
- First, contact the executive director of your local community.
- Check the local community social media pages.
- Visit brookdale.com and the Brookdale newsroom for general information and updates.
If there is a positive COVID-19 diagnosis at the community, residents/designated emergency contacts will be notified by the community executive director.
Yes, we are offering several options for prospective residents and their family members to visit a community, including in-person, where allowable. Learn more about how you can choose your own visit experience.
The above information is current as of August 31, 2020.