Q: How has the COVID-19 pandemic affected the ability of senior living facilities to continue their rehabilitation programs?
A: Genesis has been partnering with Maplewood Park Place in providing physical, occupational and speech therapy services to its residents. COVID-19 brought disruptions and challenges to delivering services. When the pandemic began last February, everything shut down. But by the summer, with the Maplewood health care team, we designed the best ways to keep residents moving amid strict safety precautions. We added balance and seated exercise classes to the in-house TV channel that residents could stream into their homes. We worked with the concierge physician to help identify which residents were most at risk and masked up to bring therapy to them, in their homes. We recently launched a live, in-person exercise class. It’s small, since social distancing limits the size of group activities, but it’s a hopeful sign for continued progress in ramping up activities in the months ahead.
Q: In a recent evaluation, Genesis reported Maplewood’s scores are outstanding for improving independence for rehab patients. To what do you attribute these impressive results?
A: First, Maplewood management has had a laser-like focus on making sure, despite the obstacles, the community keeps moving. Second, Maplewood’s residents “own their health” and are proactive in maintaining it. Residents of all ages have seen significant improvement, even a 91-year-old who fell, causing a right hip fracture and surgery. When she was first evaluated by our therapists, she needed moderate to maximum assistance from the caregiver. Through determination, a positive outlook and hard work, she made significant gains and has progressed to independence. Even a pandemic can’t stand in the way of Maplewood residents getting back on their feet.