A Population Health Approach to COVID Recovery
We were among the first in the nation to offer COVID-19 vaccinations to our residents, and we’re continuing to lead the way in post-COVID care. To help protect our residents, Brookdale is continuing to require associates to be vaccinated against COVID-19. In addition to vaccination clinics and a vaccine acceptance rate of over 90% for our residents and associates*, our clinical center of excellence has created clinical pathways specifically for seniors addressing the long-term effects of COVID-19 associated illness. Our long history of helping seniors manage chronic conditions uniquely positions us to help seniors as they recover.
What Are Post-COVID Symptoms?
Symptoms of post-COVID illness comprise a wide range of health conditions that are present more than four weeks after infection with the virus that causes COVID-19 illness. Even people who did not have symptoms when they were infected can have post-COVID symptoms. These can include:
- Dyspnea or increased respiratory effort
- Post-exertional malaise and/or poor endurance
- Brain fog/cognitive impairment
- Chest pain
- And other symptoms as we continue to learn more
As post-COVID symptoms are identified, we partner with a resident’s physician to track vital signs, conduct polypharmacy medication review in consultation with preferred pharmacies, and schedule appointments or telehealth consultations.
What Are We Doing to Help Residents with Post-COVID Symptoms?
- We are using our decades of senior-care experience and nationwide clinical reach to gain insights on how seniors experience COVID-19 recovery. In addition, we have worked directly with the CDC during the pandemic to keep them informed of the many impacts to seniors over the last 18 months.
- Our clinical teams are trained to identify many post-COVID symptoms and what to monitor, potential interventions and when to notify physicians.
- We have created enhanced resources for creating a culture of emotional and social well-being for both residents and associates.
- We are producing training materials to share with associates to help residents process grief and focus on self-care.
- We are creating dementia-specific post-COVID protocols in partnership with national experts to help those with dementia cope with the unexpected changes caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.
As we navigate the post-acute phase of the COVID-19 pandemic, you can feel confident that your patients at Brookdale will benefit from a holistic approach to care and recovery that emphasizes treating the whole person — their physical health, their mental health and their emotional health. We have helped tens of thousands of seniors navigate the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic, and our clinicians and care experts are using this unique depth and breadth of experience to identify post-COVID symptoms promptly and assist seniors in their recovery.
*As of Dec. 31, 2021
To tour a future community in person, reach out via phone or email to arrange a visit. When your patient speaks with a local community advisor, they will help your patient reserve a personalized tour time, answer any questions they might have and inform them of the latest health and safety protocols in place at the community.
On the day of the personalized visit, we ask that your patient adhere to certain basic health and safety standards, including:
- Wearing a mask
- Social distancing
- Participating in a Coronavirus (COVID-19) screening process
Being vaccinated is not required to tour a community.
Residents do not require testing or quarantine upon move-in, except under limited circumstances. If they have had direct, known exposure to COVID-19, we will ask them to settle into their new apartment and remain isolated for 14 days from the date of their last known exposure. For the health and safety of everyone in the community, we will abide by local, state, and CDC guidelines as we welcome new residents.
We ask that all new residents choose to follow the health and safety protocols that are in place at each community while focusing on getting connected to the community.
New residents are not required to be vaccinated to make our community their home. We do recommend that residents choose to receive the COVID-19 vaccination. We are proud to have recently completed on-site vaccination clinics as part of a US first priority program in partnership with CVS Health. We have worked diligently to create a culture that promotes universal adoption of the vaccine.
If your patient has not been vaccinated prior to their move, we ask that they consult with you to make the choice that is appropriate for their particular situation. And if they need any additional help or information specifically regarding vaccination, they can reach out to the Health and Wellness Director at the community.
Easing of restrictions for residents varies by location as set forth by the CDC, state and local public health officials. Small group gatherings and in some cases larger social gatherings are beginning to take place. Where restrictions still exist, group programs have been modified to create in-room opportunities that support well-being. This includes resources for in-room service, mental fitness workouts and tips for staying socially connected. "Engagement Room Service" cards are an easy and fun way for our residents to let us know what activities they would like brought to their apartment. Connections with family and friends remain one of our highest priorities. Technology has enabled connections through virtual visits and engagement through streaming of concerts, education and travel. Our communities are now offering in-person visits from friends and family where allowable by local health authorities.
Associates and visitors in Brookdale communities may be subject to health screening, face coverings and/or social distancing as recommended by the CDC or as required by state or local health officials.
Visitors and associates are screened upon entering the community. Our residents are also screened when they enter their community, and that includes any time they enter.
Brookdale refined its long-established cleaning protocols for infection control specifically to target the COVID-19 virus, based on scientific and healthcare recommendations. We use products that are certified by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to both clean and disinfect and have been deemed effective against the virus that causes COVID-19. Associates are trained specifically on these products to understand usage and dwell times (i.e., how long a product must be in contact with a surface in order to properly disinfect it).
Community areas are cleaned regularly per protocol, including:
- Common areas such as libraries (if open)
- Associate bathrooms and breakrooms
- Public bathrooms (if open)
Every community now has at least one electrostatic sprayer, allowing common area hard surfaces to be disinfected much more efficiently after they have been cleaned. Sprayers help communities in the battle against COVID-19, disinfecting high-touch, hard surfaces at least three times per day. Two key advantages to electrostatic sprayers:
- Speed, as disinfectant can be applied at 24,000 square-feet per hour
- The electrostatic charge seeks out surfaces that human hands may have missed, like all around a handrail or door knob.
We’ll continue to make the health and safety of our residents and associates our top priority.
For updates on Brookdale's steps to help keep senior residents healthy and well, views from our experts, and information on our Continuing Education Series for healthcare professionals, please subscribe to our monthly newsletter.