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During COVID-19, Utah's senior living care providers get creative with social interaction

Posted at 7:22 PM, Apr 23, 2020
and last updated 2020-04-23 21:22:50-04

SOUTH JORDAN, Utah — Senior living facilities across the country are taking every step they can to protect those most at risk.

Most facilities have limited some or all visits to loved ones and family members as well as directing facilities to self isolate all individuals living on the property.

That has taken a toll on some living in these facilities and the staffs themselves.

“This has definitely been a challenge,” Jesse Buntjer, the executive director Cedarwood at Sandy, said. “At first, when all this came out, was probably the biggest challenge was because everything was changing almost daily.”

To combat the issues that these residents might face during this pandemic, facilities have had to come up with creative solutions to deal with it.

“To be able to maintain that connection with those who love is so important,” said Wade Vest, Executive Director of Sagewood at Daybreak. “25 years ago it would’ve been a different story, so it’s fun to see how our residents have used technology to connect with loved ones.”

Things like concerts from a distance, video workout classes, letters, video conferences from families, and tic-tac-toe on windows are all things that some facilities are doing to keep social interaction between patients.

Both facilities FOX 13 spoke with highlighted social interaction as one of the most important things involved in assisted-living care.

“This is a terrible thing that happened. However, I think there’s going to be a lot of good that comes from this and a lot of things we’re going to learn as an industry that’s going to help us moving forward," Buntjer said.

The community in Utah has also stepped up by writing and sending letters to help during this tough time.