Assisted living and memory care company Aegis Living announced the introduction of its Outdoor Living Rooms initiative as part of a comprehensive reopening plan in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. The company-designed outdoor spaces have been created to allow residents across all Aegis communities to safely see and visit with family and friends. Aegis Living also released the details of its multi-phased approach to reopening safely.
Aegis Living consulted with leading infectious disease experts when creating the Outdoor Living Rooms core design. All Outdoor Living Rooms are equipped with clear dividing walls made of plexiglass that stand approximately 7-feet tall with three panes of glass across, creating a physical barrier to prevent residents and family from physically touching, removing any opportunity for virus exposure.
“Our community teams have been working around the clock to keep our residents virtually connected to their families during this time,” said Kris Engskov, President of Aegis Living. “With each passing week of residents being physically separated from loved ones, we knew we had to find a better way. Design consulting and support from infectious disease experts and physicians helped us create these beautiful, new Outdoor Living Rooms to bring families together again – safely.”
The Outdoor Living Room experience is tailored for each Aegis Living community and equipped with a cozy sitting area for up to two visitors. While the dividing wall was created to prevent virus droplet transmission, both residents and visitors will be asked to wear masks during visits. All visitors will continue to follow company screening protocols and infection control best practices including proper sanitization and handwashing.
“As a company, we have stepped forward to help shape the future of the senior assisted living industry during this pandemic and beyond,” said Aegis Living CEO Dwayne Clark. “Things will not go back to the way they used to be so we must continue to use the latest science and medical research and our ingenuity to push new boundaries and create new ways of approaching resident care. Reconnecting residents with loved ones is one of the most important challenges we knew we had to overcome.”
The reopening plan, which was meticulously crafted based on Aegis Living expert experience, addresses areas including dining, activities, visitor protocols as well as ancillary services:
- Phase 1: Limited Internal Opening with Physical Distancing
- Phase 2: Limited Ancillary Services
- Phase 3: Limited Visitors
- Phase 4: Expanded Activities and Services
- Phase 5: Expanded Dining and Visitation
The reopening plan aligns company expertise with federal and state directives, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines and guidance from state and local health departments and state licensing agencies. Each phase will be carried out for at least two weeks and the company will host controlled pilots of key activities before programs are implemented across all 32 communities.
Phase I will be initiated on a community-by-community basis and in accordance with state reopening orders and city/county directives. This phase will allow for small group activities while residents also enjoy one meal per day in the common dining areas. Continued emphasis will be placed on outdoor activities and digital or video chat connections with families. By Phase II, residents may enjoy select spa and other ancillary activities. A community must not have active cases of COVID-19 among staff, residents or essential visitors for a minimum of 14 days before embarking on Phase I activity. Communities will return to Phase 0 if any symptoms of the virus are detected or a confirmed case of COVID-19 occurs in a community.
This announcement follows the formation of Aegis’ Coronavirus Advisory Council, comprised of leading physicians and medical experts. The Council plans to advance Aegis’ best practices for how to keep residents safe from the virus, while anticipating ways to prepare for the next health challenge. For more information on Aegis Livings’ coronavirus response, visit: www.aegisliving.com/communications.