2020 Review: 2021 What to Expect

It can be stated with confidence that 2020 will not be missed. It is a year that put an extraordinary burden on Senior Communities. The quarantining of our residences coupled with restrictions on family visitation, put an extreme strain on the leadership and staff of healthcare communities, stretching resources and creating conditions for employee burnout. It will continue to challenge everyone in 2021, but with the vaccine being issued as we speak, it is a reason for hope that we can look forward to a better ending to the year than the current state.

There are many lessons to be learned from our 2020 experiences, including but not limited to an appreciation for all staff members, the need for being prepared with the vital supplies, and an understanding of how blanket regulatory guidance is not always in the best interest of everyone. It will be important going into 2021 that we prepare and plan for the unknown at the same time managing to control our budgets the best we can. In the NY region a big shout out goes to ESSAL on their diligence in keeping their members abreast of the constantly changing regulations, interpreting the changes, and ESSAL’s efforts to help their members to be heard. The importance of community will be front and center in 2021.

This chart “Biggest Concerns Heading Into 2021” reveals that one of the big lessons is keeping sufficient inventory of PPE in our facilities.

Many of the changes that were made in reaction to COVID, are now looking more permanent than temporary. Better systems to understand who is entering our buildings, and the importance of knowing their health status. This includes staff, visitors, and family members. Technology upgrades and bandwidth will most likely continue to be an important factor in maintaining strong family relationships with staff and residents.

The difficult but critical goal of 2021 will continue to be keeping the most vulnerable healthy and mitigating risk factors within our control. According to the CDC, COVID related death rates are highest among the 75 – 84 group and those 85 and older.  These numbers highlight the effort needed to keep infection control procedures focused throughout our residential communities.

It will be a year where we will all need to work together to provide safe care while keeping a high regard for budgets which have been pressed to the limits. We look forward to a better 2021 and working with the healthcare community to realize the goals we will need to achieve in the upcoming year. We continually post new information on our LinkedIn page. Please join our group for updates and information.

We wish all of you a prosperous and safe New Year!

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