Posted: June 19, 2023
As we get back to a more normal life after years of the COVID-19 Global Pandemic, our neighborhood is stronger and more prepared and the health and safety of our residents, families, and staff remains our most important priority.
Our lives at Capella of Pueblo West changed dramatically during the pandemic – from social distancing to sanitation and cleaning practices and mask-wearing. During the pandemic, we made it our priority to keep our residents, staff, and families healthy and happy by balancing the important COVID-19 guidelines with the mental and emotional health of our residents. Due to the wide availability of safe and effective vaccines, increased treatment options, and continued preventive measures, we are all in a very different place, that looks much more like normal today.
During the height of the pandemic, people’s lives changed suddenly, affecting nearly every aspect of daily life, including schedules, communication, social life, isolation, and health management, as well as the concern and stress about the risks of COVID-19 itself.
We know that an increase in stress can have negative effects on both physical and mental health and can present itself in many ways including irritability, fatigue, pain, lethargy, sleeplessness, and other detrimental symptoms. For many people, this stress level during COVID-19 was greater than anything they have experienced before, so their normal stress management techniques were not enough.
Our team of caring staff made every effort to help our residents stay engaged, cope with the new routine of daily life, and manage stress through daily activities and weekly plans and events. In short, doing everything we could to help our residents stay happy and productive despite the restrictions and changes.
COVID-19 vaccines are one of the most effective ways to prevent the harshest effects of COVID-19. According to the CDC, COVID-19 vaccination helps protect people by creating an immune response without the potentially severe illness or post-COVID conditions that can be associated with COVID-19 infection.
As the COVID-19 vaccines were developed and available to the public, all staff were required to be fully vaccinated, including appropriate booster doses. At Cappella Pueblo West, all team members (other than those approved for exemption due to medical or religious reasons) volunteers and business partners working in our communities were required to receive the full vaccine series for the COVID-19 virus a full month before the state mandate because Christian Living Communities, our parent company, was well ahead of the requirement
The vaccine booster was made available later and the CDC considers a person to be “up to date” on their vaccinations when they have received all COVID-19 vaccines, including any booster dose(s). Boosters are important because immunity from prior infection or vaccination weakens over time. In addition, it’s possible that the virus that causes COVID-19 changes so the immune system doesn’t recognize it either. Research suggests that getting a booster dose can decrease your risk of infection and severe illness with COVID-19. And people who are elderly and those with underlying health conditions are especially vulnerable to severe disease.
When the pandemic began, we did not have tests, treatments or vaccines for COVID-19; therefore, our only tool to keep our residents, staff and families safe was prevention. Fortunately, our clinical team had its norovirus-prevention-guide already in place and proven to reduce the spread of other known viruses in communal living such as senior living communities. We were prepared for and able to follow the guidelines provided by the Centers for Disease Control, Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment as well as local health departments. By following the guidelines and using our expertise and experience in preventing viruses, we were able to minimize the outbreak in our community as much as possible during the unprecedented health emergency.