Managing Memory Care During the Pandemic

AHAVA Finds Success In Battling COVID

Throughout the many months of the COVID-19 pandemic, the staff and residents of the AHAVA Memory Care Center of Excellence have been resilient and resolute. They have had to adapt to new protocols and adjust their routines, which is no small accomplishment for a memory care unit. However, everyone did so with grace and understanding.

Staff  members   at AHAVA demonstrated their commitment to the residents in the way they protected and nurtured their residents. Many staff members worked extra hours to avoid the need for temporary caretakers who could possibly bring the COVID-19 virus into AHAVA. Additionally, the staff became close with the residents’ families through the many video and telephone visits they conducted.

“What COVID has given us is the push to do virtual visits, which we thought wouldn’t work with memory care patients,” says Amy Dukes, Senior Director of Memory Care Operations. The residents responded well to this method of communication and it gave them the ability to connect with loved ones.

AHAVA continued to manage resident activities, but in small cohort groups. Because residents were typically exposed to the same group of people, there was a decreased risk of spreading COVID. These groups were carefully assigned based on interests, abilities, and friendships.

AHAVA administrators worked diligently to make space for eligible memory care family members at JAA’s CVS vaccine clinic. This way, they could visit their loved ones as soon as the restrictions changed.

Today, as the weather gets warmer, residents continue to do more outdoor activities such as gardening, bird watching, nature trainings, and happy hour.

Further, JAA now gives families the opportunity to have scheduled visits with their loved ones in the courtyard, vestibule, and in resident rooms. This is a welcome relief for all, including staff who enjoy seeing residents and their families reconnect in person. Although the pandemic has been difficult on both residents and staff, the hard work paid off.

To date, there have been no COVID-19 cases in AHAVA during the most harrowing months of COVID.

It took leadership, teamwork, and diligence to accomplish all that has happened at AHAVA since March of 2020.  According to AHAVA Administrator Kelie Schneider, “Instead of just surviving, we thrived.”