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Are You Ready to Reopen?

 

Across the nation—depending on each state’s status in fighting the coronavirus—adult day service providers are in various stages of reopening. Are you ready?

The National Adult Day Services Association (NADSA) recently sponsored a webinar in which representatives from adult day facilities in several states shared some of their approaches to reopening.

Top of mind, of course, are the most basic needs, such as ensuring your facility, staff and clients have a reliable supply of personal protective equipment, enhancing infection control procedures, and taking regular temperature checks. (The CDC provides guidance for these areas, as do individual states and municipalities.)

Beyond the basics, the webinar participants offered other ideas you may consider. Lori Sanchez, the program supervisor at Morning Star Adult Day in Aurora, Colo., said in the webinar that her center’s opening adjustments include:

  • Only 10 people, including staff, are allowed in each program.
  • Some activities are offered virtually only.
  • Operating hours are shorter.
  • The center offers telephone health check-ins.

Sanchez also noted the importance of being specific about your plan, being creative, and celebrating and sharing your successes. “Celebrate your successes” is a particularly good idea—we’re all going through very public challenges, and celebrating even small successes is an important part of the caring nature of our profession.

Mark Bumgarner, the executive director of Adult Life Programs in Hickory, N.C., suggested these steps in the review and sharing of reopening plans:

  • Invite your local emergency management services and public health department to review your plan.
  • Include a communication plan that includes social media, website updates, and email, and which involves participants, caregivers and other stakeholders. Send them updates regularly.

Vicki Maynard, the executive director of SarahCare of Indianapolis, noted that Indiana’s Division of Aging required adult day centers to reopen incrementally, at 25%, 50%, 75% and finally 100% of capacity (including staff) over the course of about six weeks. Other centers may find that an effective approach, if their state and local agencies permit it.

The plan at Easterseals DC MD VA, whose offerings include several adult day service centers, has been guided by a task force created specifically for post-coronavirus reopening. But even with a task force and a plan in place, Elizabeth Barnes, the senior director of Adult and Senior Services at Easterseals DC MD VA, said that the hallmark of any well-executed reopening plan is “its ability to evolve.”

“The plan will change daily as you learn and experience new things,” Barnes noted. “This is normal. Embrace the chaos!”

To find other valuable resources for adult day care providers (some of which are for members only), visit www.nadsa.org.

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