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Heed Signs Posted In Long Term Care Communities – Here’s What Happened To Me

Five weeks ago, I went to a long-term care community for a meeting. When I signed in at the reception desk, I noticed there were signs warning there was a respiratory illness circulating on specific units. The units were located in the nursing home. My meeting wasn’t going to take place on any of the affected units; but, I took what I thought was a precautionary move: I told the receptionist where I was going and confirmed that the illness wasn’t circulating in the unit where I was going. She assured me it was not. So I proceeded to the locked memory unit, where the meeting was being held. I used my covered elbow to push the elevator button. And I waited for a certified nurse’s assistant to open the door to the unit. The meeting lasted no more than 40 minutes.

The next morning when I woke up, I had chest congestion, a cough, and a sore throat. Strangely enough, I did not have a high temperature or nasal congestion. I thought I had caught a common cold, but whatever illness I had acquired rendered me so fatigued that I slept for close to three days straight! The only exception I made to resting was to walk my wonderful golden retriever. By re-tracing my own steps, I don’t think I had been any place where I could have picked up a respiratory problem, although I have no absolute proof.

After a week, I realized that my cough and chest congestion were not subsiding. I decided to go to an immediate care center and see a doctor. The doctor, who was very kind, listened to my breathing and told me there was no sign of pneumonia, but that I had chronic bronchitis. It is now a month later, and I still haven’t been able to shake the cough completely.

So what’s my point? My point is that I am not immune to disease and neither are you! My advice to you is that when you see a sign like the one I saw, turn on your heels and walk out. Had I done so, I would not have had to re-arrange my client appointments for 2 weeks and sit out performing a dance exhibition that I had really been looking forward to. Don’t take any chances. Right now you can’t, anyway, and here is the reason.
In light of the spread of the Corona-19 virus, the U.S. Center for Disease Control and the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid have issued guidelines for long-term care communities. All visitors are now restricted to only professionals who are attending to end-of-life and compassionate care situations. If you would like to read all of the guidelines here is the link:

Even after these guidelines have been issued, I am mortified to be in receipt of several emails from the marketing departments of several long-term care communities stating they are open for business, and ready to take you on tour. Restrictions include no children under 14, and the willingness to have your temperature taken and sign some papers.

Bottom line is, how can you take care of your loved one when you are sick? I am a veteran in the senior living/elder care profession and look what happened to me!

I overheard someone say, “These poor residents. Their families can’t visit them.” But I think of the temporary sacrifice this way: If you get sick, how can you help your loved ones?

Do you need a second opinion? Let Andrea Donovan Senior Living Advisors help. Call us at (708) 415-2934 or email us. Please visit our website. Please watch my video to learn how the process works and learn what some clients have to say.