Friday, September 3, 2021

Seniors & COVID-19 Boosters: What to Do Now

The latest CDC guidance now suggests that qualifying, high-risk individuals receive a third COVID-19 vaccine dose for added protection against the virus.   

In a recent statement, the US Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC) formally recommended that moderately to severely immunocompromised individuals receive a supplemental (third), COVID-19 booster shot. The recommendation applies to all qualifying individuals who have already completed a two-dose vaccination series with either the Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna vaccines. Those who received the single-dose Johnson & Johnson vaccine do not need to take additional action at this time.

As a result of this latest development, it’s recommended that seniors consult their doctor or healthcare provider (if needed) for help in determining eligibility for a third dose of their given vaccine. Generally, qualifying individuals include those at heightened risk of infection due to:

  • Active, ongoing cancer treatment
  • Organ and/or stem cell transplant
  • Pre-existing medical conditions
  • Taking certain medications which may weaken the immune system

Discovery Senior Living is staying vigilant in the fight against COVID-19, and in accordance with the latest guidance from the CDC and other public health authorities, recommends that all residents and team members become fully vaccinated against COVID-19.

At present, prevention policies and recommended protective measures remain in place, including face masks in all indoor, public spaces of our communities nationwide. These policies apply to residents, team members and all visitors to the communities.

As this situation is ongoing, we will continue to evaluate new developments and take all, available measures to prevent the introduction and spread of COVID-19 in and around Discovery Senior Living communities.

Thursday, July 29, 2021

Announcing Temporary Changes to Our Company’s Mask & COVID-19 Protective Policies

Effective immediately, mask mandates have been temporarily reinstated for both vaccinated and non-vaccinated individuals (residents, team members, visitors, vendors, etc.) across all communities in the Discovery Senior Living family.

In compliance with the latest guidance and recommendations from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC), Discovery Senior Living and its family of communities nationwide now require that both fully vaccinated and non-vaccinated individuals wear a mask indoors in public places and in areas with substantial or high transmission potential.

This policy is intended to be temporary in nature and we are hoping to lift the mask mandate in our Independent Living communities soon, but we have taken this approach as part of measured actions to reduce the risk of being infected with the COVID-19 Delta variant and possibly spreading it to others in the community setting.

It’s also been deemed necessary when considering recent CDC data which reflects more than 34.6 million COVID-19 positive cases in the last 30 days, with 80% of new cases believed to be related to the Delta variant.

Given this change, current Discovery Senior Living policies are as follows:

  • Residents (both vaccinated and non-vaccinated) in Independent Living communities should now wear face masks while in public spaces of the community
  • Assisted Living & Memory Care communities remain under previous guidance to wear masks at all times while in those communities’ public spaces
  • All team members are required to wear face masks
  • All visitors of residents, vendors and contractors should wear face masks

As always, our company is supremely committed to the protection of residents, team members, vendors and all visitors to our communities, and will continue to evaluate this situation, consider the latest guidance from the CDC and other public health authorities, and take all measures necessary to prevent the introduction and spread of COVID-19 in and around our communities.

Monday, July 19

COVID-19 Delta Variant: What You Need to Know

At the time of writing, the Delta Variant has emerged as the dominant COVID-19 strain in the US and elsewhere. Discovery Senior Living continues to follow the latest guidance from public health officials and will take measured actions to ensure the continuing health and wellness of residents, team members and visitors to our communities.

Currently, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC) list the COVID-19 Delta Variant as a “Variant of Concern.” This particular strain is believed to be more easily transmissible, with unvaccinated individuals being particularly at risk.

Clinical research and testing remain ongoing, but with heightened focus on the Delta Variant expected throughout the months ahead, Discovery Senior Living will monitor any changing guidance and adapt policies (mask and other restrictions, social distancing, etc.) as deemed necessary by local, state and/or federal health officials.

It’s important to note that as of today (July 19), and consistent with the latest guidance from the CDC and other legislative agencies, Discovery Senior Living policies regarding COVID-19 protection and mitigation remain the same as in our June 25 update (see below).

We will continue to monitor changing CDC and local recommendations, and have included a link to reputable information on COVID-19 Variants here:

In the meantime, the Discovery Senior Living organization will continue to work diligently to serve and safeguard residents, team members and visitors to our communities. We also urge any non-vaccinated individuals to consider (or reconsider) vaccination as a reputable means to limit and ultimately stop the spread of COVID-19 and its emerging variants.

Please check back regularly for new information and guidance as it becomes available.

Friday, June 25, 2021

Announcing Formal Changes to Our Company’s COVID-19 Guidelines

Effective immediately, mask requirements for fully vaccinated individuals have been lifted for all Active Independent Living communities in the Discovery Senior Living family. Mask mandates remain in effect for all Assisted Living and Memory Care communities at this time.

Discovery Senior Living has eliminated mask-wearing requirements for fully vaccinated individuals (including residents, visitors and team members) in all of our Independent Living (IL) communities and any, designated IL portions of our campuses nationwide.

Current policies are as follows:

IL-Only Campuses:
• Fully vaccinated residents, guests and team members are not required to wear masks in our Independent Living communities

IL, Assisted Living and/or Memory Care Campuses:
• Fully vaccinated residents, guests, and team members in the Independent Living portions of these campuses are not required to wear masks. Mask mandates remain in effect for all Assisted Living and Memory Care communities at this time

To be considered fully vaccinated, all individuals, including residents, visitors and team members, must have received all, required doses of an FDA-approved COVID-19 vaccine, and must allow two weeks following receipt of their final vaccine dose before being released from mask-wearing restrictions.

To prove eligibility, fully vaccinated individuals must furnish either: 1) A copy of their COVID-19 Vaccination Record Card; or 2) A signed attestation form, which certifies full vaccine policy compliance. Discovery Senior Living and its communities have established confidential processes to ensure each person’s full privacy in all cases.

The limited removal of mask restrictions was made under careful consideration and is consistent with the latest guidance from the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC) and Occupational Safety & Health Administration (OSHA).

Again, the easing of mask requirements applies only to fully vaccinated individuals in Independent Living community settings. While our company fully supports a culture of vaccine acceptance, we believe this further exemplifies the ability to return to a more “normal” way of life more quickly for fully vaccinated people. With that, we encourage any unvaccinated individuals to consider the option once again, as vaccines are readily available nationwide.

As always, our company is supremely committed to the protection of residents, guests, vendors and team members, and will continue to evaluate this situation and take all measures necessary to prevent the introduction and spread of COVID-19 in and around our communities.

Monday, April 12, 2021

Official US COVID-19 Guidance Relaxed as Vaccine Access and Availability/Eligibility Expanding to All US Adults by April 19

Following the March release of loosened COVID-19 guidance from the CDC and others, President Biden announced on April 6 that the US would open up vaccine priority by next Monday, April 19 to include all adults (18+) who wish to receive it, beating the original target date which had long been set for May 1.

Forbes has reported that 75% of Americans 65 and older have now received at least one COVID-19 vaccine dose. Data from the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC) reflect that of the 187 million vaccine doses administered in the US (at time of writing), 7.7 million have gone to residents of long-term care communities, where 2.9 million residents were fully vaccinated and 4.8 million had received one dose out of the required two.

Across the Discovery Senior Living family of communities, 96% of residents have accepted the first and second doses of available vaccines. Organization-wide, we’ve administered over 14,300 vaccine doses to residents and team members, and will continue until every resident and team member who wishes to receive the vaccine has fully done so. Vaccine clinics are currently scheduled, in progress or already completed at more than 90% of all Discovery communities nationwide.

Discovery Senior Living has also updated its COVID-19 protocols based on the relaxation of guidance from both the CDC and Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services. The new protocols closely adhere to the latest official guidance regarding quarantine and isolation practices, recommended actions for vaccinated and unvaccinated individuals in the Independent Living, Assisted Living and Memory Care settings, and resident and team member protocols for anyone who comes into contact with someone who is/was COVID-positive at the time. Discovery Senior Living’s intention is to follow the latest, Federal guidance as well as comply with state and local guidelines to create a safe environment for residents and team members with an aim to enhance their quality of life in a prudent manner.

The newest guidelines do allow for in-person gathering, and as a result, we’ve been restoring dining, activities and events, chauffeured transportation and other services to fuller capacities, all while observing official recommendations regarding masks, social distancing and other preventive measures. Visitors, community tours and move-ins are also being permitted. Residents and all visitors are asked to wear masks and use discretion, and to become familiar with the federal, state and local procedures that apply to each, individual community. To maximize safety, all Discovery team members are still required to wear face masks while on duty.

Notable going forwards is that all 50 states are expected to ease their vaccine eligibility rules by Monday, April 19, thus enabling every adult (18+) who wants a vaccine to receive one. As a result, there’s now a heightened push for unvaccinated seniors to get their shots soon, because seniors will naturally be receiving a smaller share of overall vaccine doses from April 19 on.

Nonetheless, as manufacturers have ramped up production and output, supply limitations have largely been disappearing of late. Add to that more efficient processes for vaccine administration and it’s no wonder a record of nearly 4.1 million vaccine doses were administered this past Saturday (April 3) alone. The national average for daily vaccines has been 3.1 million over the past week, more than tripling the 1 million doses/day average being registered three months prior. (Source: CDC COVID Vaccine Tracker)

We continue to urge everyone to get vaccinated as soon as eligibility allows, and will post further updates as new information becomes available in the days and weeks ahead.

Friday, March 19, 2021

One Year into the Pandemic, U.S. Seniors Surpass Early Milestone in Fight Against COVID-19

Now, one year since the World Health Organization (WHO) declared the novel coronavirus a pandemic, U.S. seniors have reached a (sort of) midway point in the COVID-19 vaccination process, and the CDC has published its first set of recommendations regarding acceptable actions and activities for vaccinated individuals.

It was March 11, 2020—right around this time last year—when the magnitude of COVID-19 became real to many Americans. That was the day the WHO declared the current pandemic. With it, schools, businesses and sports leagues began shutting down, and hospitals and long-term care communities began an epic crusade to protect the health and welfare of vulnerable residents and team members. Those efforts continue to this very day, a full 12 months later. Let’s once again examine how the nation, its seniors and long-term care communities are now doing.

On Friday, March 5, White House senior adviser Andy Slavitt stated that 55% of US seniors ages 65+ had received at least one COVID-19 vaccine dose, up from just 8% six weeks prior. The increase is being attributed in part to improving vaccine inventory and mass vaccination sites being managed at the federal level and held in major population centers like Miami, Atlanta, Cleveland and elsewhere. Mass vaccination clinics can administer as many as 6,000 vaccine doses in a single day.

In total, the U.S. has now administered more COVID-19 vaccine doses (118 million at time of writing) than any other country in the world, according to the White House, Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC) and independent statistics by Our World in Data. The CDC also reported that 7.6 million doses (at time of writing) had been given to residents of the nation’s long-term care communities, an increase of about 550,000 from our last report on March 1.

Across the Discovery Senior Living organization, vaccination progress outpaces the national average, with more than 60% of the total resident population at least one dose into vaccine protocols at the time of writing.

By comparison, the stats validate the progress being made of late, but also illustrate the difficulty and (likely) frustration experienced by millions of vaccine-eligible seniors who have been unable to receive shots during the prior weeks (and/or months). We believe this trend further demonstrates the value of the long-term care community setting, where residents and team members haven’t had to endure the registration and search processes, and have instead received full service and the earliest priority through communities’ participation in the Pharmacy Partnership for Long-Term Care Program.

Elsewhere, the CDC this week released the first set of formal recommendations for what it says are safe and acceptable activities for fully vaccinated individuals inside of healthcare settings and long-term care communities. The guidance begins to roll back restrictions regarding masks and visitation among fully vaccinated and/or low-risk individuals or small groups like households. It also loosens in-person visitation restrictions for nursing homes and select long-term care settings (excluding Assisted Living, for now).

This does seem to clear a path for vaccinated grandparents to finally gather with adult children and grandchildren after as much as a full year of COVID-related separation. The resumption of more “normal” activities would be a tremendous incentive that could inspire seniors who remain undecided about receiving the vaccine to ultimately get it.

Please stay tuned for continuing vaccine-related updates and information as it becomes available.

Monday, March 1, 2021
J&J Vaccine Authorization Should Help Bolster National Supply

Johnson & Johnson’s COVID-19 vaccine has received Emergency Use Authorization from the FDA, a decision that now gives the world yet another important tool in the fight against the virus.

The most recent (at the time of writing) COVID-19 statistics from the CDC* reflected 75.2 million administered vaccine doses, up from 55.2 million as of our last update. Of those administered doses, 7.1 million have gone to seniors in long-term care communities, with that number up from 5.97 million as of Feb. 17. The stats also indicate that in the US, 24.8 million people have now received their two, recommended vaccine doses, including 2.4 million resident seniors in long-term care facilities.

Across the Discovery Senior Living organization, more than 92% of communities nationwide either have their vaccine clinics in progress or already scheduled. That amounts (at the time of writing) to more than 8,800 doses to resident seniors and 2,200 more for our dedicated team members.

Now, it now appears there’s additional help on the way, as the COVID-19 vaccine developed by Johnson & Johnson (J&J) has been granted Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) by the U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA). J&J’s will become the third, available vaccine being used in the fight against COVID-19, an important and much-needed development at a time when vaccine supply remains limited across most US states.

Critics have been quick to point out that the J&J vaccine has proven less-effective in large-scale US trials** (72%). However, it has distinct advantages as well. The J&J vaccine requires only one dose and doesn’t require ultra-low temperatures for storage, making it much easier to transport and maintain. It’s possible that the J&J formula might be distributed among younger populations, as well as in urban centers and rural outposts where vaccine supply is limited and it’s currently proving more challenging to administer two, recommended doses of the other, approved vaccines (from Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna).

Also, in recent Congressional testimony, leaders from both Pfizer and Moderna promised that vaccine production and delivery would “dramatically increase” this Spring, helping to counter supply issues that have been well-publicized in the early months of vaccine administration. Forbes reported*** that the manufacturers testified as follows:

  • Pfizer-BioNTech: Expects to have delivered 120 million doses to US government by March 31; 80 million additional doses by May 31; on track to deliver 300 million doses by July 31
  • Moderna: Will have delivered 100 million doses by March 31; on track to deliver 300 million doses by July 31
  • Johnson & Johnson: Following recent FDA emergency use authorization, the company expects to deliver 20 million doses by March 31; 100 million by July 1

President Biden said earlier this week that assuming these deliveries are met, every American desiring a vaccine would be able to receive one by the end of July, Forbes reported.

As our organization continues to administer vaccines to residents and team members, we will post regular news and updates on our community websites and Facebook pages. Please check back regularly for the latest information.

*COVID-19 stats sourced from CDC COVID Data Tracker
**Source: USA Today (Feb. 26)
***Source: Forbes (Feb. 23)

Wednesday, February 17, 2021
New CDC Quarantine Guidance an Encouraging Sign for Seniors & Long-Term Care

Fully vaccinated individuals need not quarantine following COVID-19 exposure as long as they remain symptom-free, says the latest recommendation from the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC).

The most recent (at the time of writing) COVID-19 statistics from the CDC reflect 55.2 million administered vaccine doses, up from 35.2 at the end of last week. Of all administered doses, 5.97 million have gone to seniors in long-term care communities, with that number up from 4.2 million the prior week.

The latest rates of increase are consistent with those seen in the last 3-4 weeks, suggesting steady, incremental progress as states and senior living communities across the nation continue efforts to vaccinate their most vulnerable populations.

Across our nationwide family of communities, more than 92% of all Discovery Senior Living communities either have their vaccine clinics in progress or already scheduled. That amounts (at the time of writing) to more than 6,600 doses to resident seniors and 1,700 more for our dedicated team members.

More good news from the past week was a new recommendation from the CDC, which advises that individuals who have received two vaccine doses and come into contact with COVID-19 need not enter 14-day quarantine, provided they remain symptom-free. For seniors in the community setting especially, this comes as an important development and signals that the potential for isolation may soon dissipate as more seniors become fully vaccinated in the weeks ahead. That’s noteworthy for seniors and families considering a long-term community setting, but who have been concerned about the possibility for limited social interaction due to virus prevention protocols.

We’ve mentioned previously the many, distinct advantages created by the community setting, which now include seamless and more ready access to vaccines through the Pharmacy Partnership for Long-Term Care Program. With vaccine doses still in short supply, it’s far more practical to have the vaccines come to you. However, for seniors and members of the general public, new tools are emerging at the state level to help connect individuals with available vaccines.

They go by a variety of names, everything from “Dashboard” to “Navigator” to “Vaccine Management System,” but nonetheless, more states are starting to rely upon software, digital apps and other IT solutions to address the issues caused by short vaccine supply and rampant demand. These tools help identify and appropriately rank the highest-priority candidates, ensure convenient, secure vaccine registration, and enable automatic alerts and status updates via phone or email.

Seniors and all members of the general public would be encouraged to investigate what tools are available in their respective states and utilize these new methods to make for a more timely and efficient vaccination process. As the CDC has now suggested, getting more seniors and high-risk individuals vaccinated will play a crucial role in their ability to restore “normal” and more widespread social activity and overcome the ill effects of COVID-related isolation and loneliness.

Friday, February 5, 2021
Vaccines to Variants: Assessing the Latest Developments in the Fight Against COVID-19

Public health experts have begun speaking out regarding the promise of additional COVID-19 vaccines, as well as the variant strains of the virus that have been detected in various world regions in recent weeks.

The latest stats from the CDC (at the time of publication) indicated that the US had administered more than 35.2 million COVID-19 vaccine doses, up from 26.1 million one week prior. Of all the doses administered, more than 4.2 million have gone to residents of the nation’s long-term care communities (up from 3.1 million the week before).

These numbers reflect a slightly slower rate of improvement over the prior week, likely due to tightening vaccine supply, an issue that remains problematic nationwide. Nonetheless, Discovery Senior Living is proud to report faster progress, with more than a dozen communities hosting vaccine clinics this past week alone. For many, these were second clinics, which will enable many residents of those communities to receive their second (and final) doses, thus becoming fully vaccinated against the threat of COVID-19. In all, more than 85%, or 57 out of the now 67 Discover Senior Living communities nationwide currently have COVID-19 vaccine clinics either scheduled or already in progress.

Still, with limited vaccine supply representing a core problem both nationally and worldwide, the potential emergence of two, new vaccines (from Novavax and Johnson & Johnson, respectively) in the weeks or months ahead could signify an important step in expanding vaccine efforts. (In fact, J&J submitted its application to the FDA for emergency use authorization of its vaccine on Thursday, February 4. Novavax, whose product is still in final-stage trials in the UK, might do the same as soon as late Spring.)

In three UK clinical trials, the Novavax formula proved more than 89%* effective against COVID-19, for an efficacy rate that’s close to those found in the currently approved vaccines from Moderna* (95%) and Pfizer-BioNTech* (94%). Meanwhile, the J&J vaccine (which requires just one dose) returned less-impressive trial results, with overall efficacy at 66%*, a figure that’s raising rightful questions among consumers awaiting vaccination: Are some shots better to receive, and should I refuse a less-effective vaccine now in hopes of getting a more effective one in the future?

To that, experts are saying “No,” reminding us that while 94%+ efficacy sets a very high mark that far outshines the 66% reported by J&J, those numbers don’t tell the whole story. That’s because the J&J vaccine has proven 85%* effective in preventing severe or potentially life-threatening illness. Now add to that the advantage of only one required dose (versus two with all others thus far) and even the nation’s top health experts are recommending that consumers not discriminate and opt to receive whatever vaccine is made available to them first.

Another emerging issue is in regard to variant strains of the virus, some of which are concerning to public health experts on account of their heightened transmission rates and resistance to vaccines. Variants of the virus do appear to be gaining traction in places like Brazil and South Africa, although these strains are not a pervasive problem in the US as of yet. Nonetheless, drug companies are studying the variant strains and evaluating possible solutions, like a supplemental booster shot designed to better combat the more potent and vaccine-resistant strains.

* Vaccine Efficacy Data Reported by CNBC

Friday, January 29, 2021
Many Seniors Still Searching for Answers About Vaccine Rollout

The latest stats from the CDC (at the time of writing) indicated that the US had administered more than 26.1 million COVID-19 vaccine doses, up from 16.5 million one week prior. Of all the doses administered, more than 3.1 million have gone to residents of the nation’s long-term care communities (up from 1.9 million the week before).

The numbers show notable advancement, and so too does the fact that at this time, 88% of all Discovery Senior Living communities (up from 82% last week) now have COVID-19 vaccine clinics scheduled or already in progress.

Still, also telling from the past week were the results of a study released last Friday (Jan. 22), which indicated that nearly 6 in 10 unvaccinated seniors (age 65+) don’t know where to go to receive their vaccine, nor do they know when they can get vaccinated. (Many may be eligible already and don’t know it.)

Here again, the advantages of the community setting are proving invaluable for resident seniors, whose vaccination process is being handled through the Pharmacy Partnership for Long-Term Care Program. As millions have experienced already, and millions more will experience in the weeks ahead, full-service vaccination is being provided right in the community setting, alleviating the need for resident seniors to make their own vaccine arrangements.

In short, for long-term care community residents, even those in Independent Living communities, the vaccine will come to them. No registration websites, long lines, or struggling to secure one (or more) of a very limited number of available time slots.

If you’re a resident of a long-term community that hasn’t yet had a vaccine clinic, there’s very likely no action required on your part; your vaccination opportunity is coming soon.

And for seniors from the general population, and anyone who’s not yet clear about the vaccination process, including when and where they’ll go to get vaccinated, the below resources are intended to help.

Click Here to View/Download Answers to Frequently Asked Questions

Also, because state and local policies vary, be sure to check the below links for State Health Department guidance and the latest information from all states where Discovery Senior Living communities are located:

Alabama: https://www.alabamapublichealth.gov/covid19/index.html
Delaware: https://coronavirus.delaware.gov/
Florida: https://floridahealthcovid19.gov/
Georgia: https://dph.georgia.gov/
Indiana: https://www.coronavirus.in.gov/
Kansas: https://www.coronavirus.kdheks.gov/
Louisiana: https://ldh.la.gov/Coronavirus/
Maryland: https://coronavirus.maryland.gov/
New Mexico: https://cv.nmhealth.org/
North Carolina: https://covid19.ncdhhs.gov/dashboard
Oklahoma: https://oklahoma.gov/covid19.html
Pennsylvania: https://www.health.pa.gov/topics/disease/coronavirus/Pages/Coronavirus.aspx
South Carolina: https://scdhec.gov/covid19
Texas: https://www.dshs.state.tx.us/coronavirus/
Virginia: https://www.vdh.virginia.gov/coronavirus/

We also encourage everyone to reference their home county’s health department website for up-to-date guidance for the local area.

Friday, January 22, 2021

Making New Strides in Our Continuing Fight Against COVID-19
At this time, all of our Assisted Living and Memory Care communities, and 82% of all Discovery Senior Living communities in total have COVID-19 vaccine clinics either scheduled or already underway. This is up from approximately 70% just one week prior.

Stats from the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC) at the time of writing indicated that more than 16.5 million vaccine doses had been administered (as of Jan. 20), including about 1.9 million long-term care community residents who’ve received at least one dose.

In Discovery Senior Living communities, the situation looks bright. Across our family of communities, more than 8 out of every 10, on average, have had their vaccine clinics scheduled, or have already had at least one clinic day. In fact, more than a dozen Discovery Senior Living communities hosted vaccine clinics this past week alone.

Organization-wide, every Assisted Living and Memory Care community has vaccine clinics at least scheduled, if not already in progress. Some Independent Living communities have been scheduled as well, with more to come until every community has been accounted for, effectively enabling every Discovery Senior Living resident and team member who want to receive the vaccine to do so.

At this point, we’re both proud of and encouraged by the relative ease and simplicity of the vaccine process as it relates to our residents and team members. We’re seeing important progress being made every day, although we’re still urging everyone to stay vigilant and follow public health and safety recommendations.

For residents, team members and concerned families, the community setting is imparting much-needed convenience, increased vaccine access and invaluable peace of mind. No error messages or striking out online while trying to get registered for a vaccine, no waiting in long lines at public health department vaccination clinics, and a better (and faster) experience overall.

Be sure to check back next week as we will again report the latest vaccine-related news and information as it becomes available. In the meantime, we leave you with a poem, courtesy of one of our residents from The Summit in Hockessin, DE:

Come welcome the vaccine, it’s soon to be here,
This needle injection will conquer our fears.
So, bare up your arms and welcome the jab,
It’s the future for wellness for all moms and dads.
We are still in mid-winter, but soon comes the spring,
By then we’ll be safe from COVID’s dark sting.
So, bring on the vaccine, because when we do,
Life can be normal for both me and you.

Friday, January 15, 2021

Efforts Continue to Bring Vaccine Clinics to More US Senior Communities & Residents

At present, nearly 70% of our communities have their COVID-19 vaccine clinics scheduled, but if you’ve yet to receive notification regarding vaccine clinic scheduling in your community, rest easier knowing that new clinics are being arranged every day. 

Another week into the nationwide vaccination process and the focus remains on the country’s high-risk (Priority 1A) population, which includes residents of long-term care communities like nursing homes, Assisted Living and Memory Care communities, and others.

Across the nation, concerted efforts to speed up vaccine delivery and administration are continuing at the local, state and federal levels. With manufacturers moving full speed ahead on production, new vaccination sites are being established, and vaccine doses once being held over for required, second doses are now being shipped to allow more seniors and healthcare/essential personnel to begin their own processes of COVID-19 vaccination as well.

Each and every day, pharmacy partners are working hard to accommodate the most at-risk populations, a process which will continue throughout the weeks and months ahead. Walgreens and PharMerica, for example, report that there are roughly 40,000 Assisted Living communities in the US, and with approximately 3 million long-term care residents and an estimated 3 million more team members all requiring priority vaccination, there are more than 6 million (initial) doses to plan and execute.

We share everyone’s desire and eagerness to begin (and complete) the vaccination process, but continue to stress the importance of patience, understanding and continued vigilance amidst the ongoing threat of the virus. As promised, we will share any news regarding vaccine clinics with all members of the impacted communities as soon as that information is made available by our pharmacy partners. At this time, specific timelines cannot be set for everyone, but if you’ve yet to have clinics scheduled for your community, rest assured that they are coming soon.

Wednesday, December 30, 2020

Latest Info Regarding COVID-19 Vaccination for Residents & Team Members

We have some important and exciting news to share with you today! Our pharmacy partners, which include CVS and Walgreens, have begun contacting our communities to schedule COVID-19 Vaccine Clinics, during which approved vaccines will be administered to all consenting residents and team members free of charge.

Vaccines are to be given in two (2), separate doses, each spaced 3-4 weeks apart. For that reason, three (3) clinic days will be scheduled at each community, with pharmacy partners on hand in the community on those days to conduct the process safely and efficiently.

What This Means for Seniors & Families 

For Current Residents & Families:

At this time, select Discovery Senior Living communities already have their clinic days set, and more are expected to be confirmed in the coming days and weeks. Watch for communications from your respective community for confirmed dates and further information regarding vaccine clinics.

For Prospective Residents & Families      

Keep in mind that if you’re considering a senior living community for yourself or a loved one(s), the ability to receive priority vaccine access before the general population is yet another excellent reason to take action right now. So don’t delay—contact us today to learn more!

Wednesday, December 23, 2020

Moderna’s COVID-19 Vaccine Approved: Implications for Seniors & More

On Friday (Dec. 18), the U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA) issued an emergency use authorization (EUA) for biotech company Moderna’s COVID-19 vaccine. The authorization, which comes exactly one week after the vaccine developed by Pfizer-BioNTech was granted a separate EUA, now clears the way for two vaccines to be used in the continuing fight against COVID-19.

The Moderna vaccine works in the same way as its counterpart from Pfizer-BioNTech, by producing an immune response to the virus’ spike protein. Both vaccines are administered in two doses, with shots taking place 3-4 weeks apart.

Clinical trial data suggest that both vaccines are safe and equally effective. However, Moderna’s vaccine does not require ultra-cold storage, which provides distinct advantages in shipping, warehousing and actual vaccine administration. Initial shipments of Moderna vaccines were expected to arrive in most US states beginning early this week.

With a second vaccine now being distributed, public health experts believe that roughly 20 million Americans (nearly twice as many as before) will have the ability to begin the two-stage vaccination process before the end of the calendar year, with senior living and long-term care community residents and team members continuing to receive foremost vaccine priority.

Already this week, the nation’s first COVID-19 vaccination “clinics” have taken place in select senior living and long-term care communities. These are the same clinics that will soon be held in each and every Discovery Senior Living community nationwide, conducted in collaboration with pharmacy partners Walgreens and/or CVS.

By any measure, vaccine deployment represents a momentous achievement for the medical community and the most significant step forward to date for our society in its battle to defeat the threat of COVID-19.

As right now is a critical time to be properly informed and well-prepared to navigate the vaccination process, we invite seniors, families and members of the general public to consult our Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs), and to check back frequently for updates. And of course, keep in mind that if you’re considering a senior living community for yourself or a loved one(s), the ability to receive priority vaccine access before the general population is yet another excellent reason to take action right now.

Tuesday, December 15, 2020

Latest News: COVID-19 Vaccinations Expected to Begin Soon!   

Following Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) by the US Food & Drug Administration (FDA) on Friday, December 11, the COVID-19 vaccine developed by Pfizer-BioNTech has been cleared for distribution in the United States.

Residents of Discovery Senior Living Assisted Living and Memory Care communities (and other, residential and long-term care communities) have been recommended by the CDC and other, leading authorities for priority vaccine access. And while individual states reserve the right to alter or uphold vaccine priority, we believe all states will closely consider this recommendation as they develop and finalize general distribution plans.

We have published the latest guidance and a comprehensive list of answers to the most Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) regarding COVID-19 vaccination. That information is available to you free of charge. Click Here To Download our FAQ

Discovery Senior Living highly encourages ALL residents and team members to get the COVID-19 vaccine as soon as it’s available to them. So here in the days prior, everyone is being urged to get properly informed about the vaccine(s), consult their primary care physicians and specialists, as needed, and sign any required consent forms.

Based on scientific evidence and clinical trial data, it’s our belief that the vaccine represents an important step forward in our collective quest to regain freedom, peace of mind and an improved, overall lifestyle experience. Seniors, as the most vulnerable segment of our society, should get the vaccine to protect themselves, their families and the team members and healthcare professionals who serve them on a regular basis.

Please check back frequently, as we will continue to publish the latest information and official guidance as it becomes available. In the meantime, however, we leave you with the below sentiments, courtesy of one of our resident wordsmiths from The Summit, a Discovery Senior Living community in beautiful Hockessin, Delaware:

GET OUT OF HERE COVID!

COVID sneaked in the Summit, despite our best tries.
It slipped in unnoticed, a disease in disguise.
To fight this intruder, we all need to be,
Mask wearing and distanced. Yes, both you and me.

It will not give up easily. It will fight to the end,
But once again science has become our best friend.
The vaccines are ready, and soon will be here,
We need to accept them and conquer our fears.

We are in this together and the end is in sight.
Will you take the vaccine and turn darkness to light?
Get out of here COVID, be on your way!
Because here at the Summit we await a new day.

Friday, December 11, 2020

Now Available: New COVID-19 Vaccine Resource for Seniors & Families

PRIORITY MESSAGE FOR RESIDENTS & FAMILIES

Discovery Senior Living has just released a comprehensive resource containing straight answers to the most frequently asked questions (FAQs) regarding the upcoming COVID-19 vaccine programs. Please access it anytime with our compliments and check back frequently for the latest updates and information as it becomes available.

As you stay abreast of all the latest developments regarding the ongoing COVID-19 vaccine response, keep in mind that individual state governments receive recommendations from the CDC’s Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP), but have ultimate authority to develop their own vaccine distribution plans. See below for individual state guidelines:

Thursday, December 10, 2020

IN THE KNOW: Your Go-to Source for Straight Answers Regarding COVID-19 Vaccines

When it comes to COVID-19 vaccination, we want to help ensure that all residents and their families have all the facts, and the knowledge and tools to avoid misinformation. That’s why we’ve been publishing updates to keep everyone informed about key issues like vaccine priority, timing, etc. And starting tomorrow (Friday, December 11), we’ll be doing even more, by launching a comprehensive resource containing clear, unbiased answers to your most frequently asked questions (FAQs).

This is the only place for continued information regarding COVID-19 vaccines in our communities. This information will not be posted on individual community websites. Please check back tomorrow as we publish clearly stated and comprehensive answers to the most frequently asked questions (FAQs) regarding the upcoming COVID-19 vaccine programs.

authority to develop their own vaccine distribution plans, however, it is recommended that states follow the guidelines from ACIP.

Thursday, December 3, 2020

GREAT NEWS! Important Info About Seniors & COVID-19 Vaccines

WE HAVE SOME GREAT NEWS TO SHARE!

The Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) has approved a recommendation stating that residents of Assisted Living, Memory Care and other long-term care communities be the first to receive the COVID-19 vaccination in the highest-priority grouping (1A).

WHAT THIS MEANS TO YOU OR YOUR LOVED ONE!

This latest news confirms residents living in Assisted Living, Memory Care and other long-term care communities will receive access to vaccines when they become available before other groups and the general public, as priority group 1A. If you want to be assured you or your loved ones are among the first to receive the COVID vaccine, now is your opportunity to not only live your best life with us, but also become part of this priority grouping!

Don’t wait – Now is the time to choose our community as your forever home!

Discovery Senior Living has long been doing its homework. Every Discovery Senior Living community has already registered and applied for priority vaccine access on behalf of all residents. This will enable vaccine management through direct partnership with major retail pharmacies CVS and Walgreens as soon as it becomes available.

As you probably have heard from the news, vaccines could become available as early as December 15th for distribution so why wait any longer? Make your move with confidence and peace of mind into our community TODAY!

*State governments have the authority to develop their own vaccine distribution plans, however, it is recommended that states follow the guidelines from ACIP.

Tuesday, December 1, 2020

IN THE KNOW: Important Info About Seniors & COVID-19 Vaccines

DID YOU KNOW?

The federal government and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services have recommended to all state authorities that senior living and care communities become a priority to receive the COVID-19 vaccines and that means us?

Don’t wait – Now is the time to choose our community as your forever home!

Here are the most up-to-date facts:

  • Decision-makers at the very highest levels in healthcare have recommended to state-level authorities that senior-focused communities receive priority vaccinations as part of Priority Group 1A
  • Discovery Senior Living has already been doing their homework. Every Discovery Senior Living community has registered and applied for priority vaccine access on behalf of all residents. This will enable vaccine management through direct partnership with major retail pharmacies CVS and Walgreens following initial distribution
  • It was recently reported that, “The FDA is likely to consider (Emergency Use Authorization) release of one or more COVID-19 vaccines by early December.” (Source: Argentum)

As you probably have all been watching on the news, there is no exact timetable for distribution, however, what is clear is that crucial developments in the fight against COVID-19 are continuing and residents of Discovery Senior Living communities are well-positioned to benefit from being classified as Priority Group 1A; before most others and the general public.

Know that Discovery and our communities have been on the forefront of ensuring priority vaccine access for residents. So why wait? Make your move with confidence and peace of mind.

Monday, November 23, 2020

This time of year is one when we’re accustomed to gathering among families and loved ones, and taking time out to be thankful and celebrate life’s many blessings. And while the lingering threat of COVID-19 will mean the festivities may look and feel a little different this year, the care and appreciation we have for one another and for our way of life will remain much the same.

As we have seen a recent spike in COVID-19 cases in cities and states throughout the country; this is a reminder of why we all must stay vigilant in protecting ourselves and those around us. You can rest assured that Discovery Senior Living communities remain as committed today to our comprehensive virus testing and prevention protocols as we were months ago when we were among the very first companies in our industry to roll out such measures.

Since then, we’ve steadily strengthened, refined and further advanced already-stringent health and safety protocols. And whether it’s through frequent cleaning of high-traffic areas, enforcing mask and social distancing policies or using our extensive resources and testing capabilities to ensure the protection of our residents and team members, this fight will continue until the threat of the virus is no longer a threat.

With that being said, togetherness remains important and in the spirit of the season, so we will not impose restrictions nor prevent residents from visiting with their families for Thanksgiving unless there is a state mandate in which we need to adhere to. We do, however, recommend the following: quite simply, act wisely, stay informed and proceed only in a manner that’s consistent with protecting personal and public health.

Here’s what you can do:

  • Potentially symptomatic residents planning to venture outside their respective community for Thanksgiving are recommended to take advantage of our in-house COVID testing program beforehand
  • With widespread testing options available at the local level, family members are recommended to get tested prior to visiting our communities or hosting and/or attending group gatherings
  • Consult and follow all state and local health department guidance regarding sanitizing, social distancing, face coverings and the like

We are happy to announce additional measures we are implementing to maintain a safe environment for our communities in the weeks ahead. Now and throughout the holiday season and beyond, Discovery Senior Living will pursue any and all available actions to help residents and team members remain healthy and protected, and we are supremely well-prepared to do so.

 

Independent Living communities will conduct random sample testing on 10-15% of their resident populations using our established protocols. This sample testing run will begin the Wednesday following Thanksgiving (to allow for a typical incubation period, as recommended by public health authorities)

  • Daily health checks (general health questionnaires and temperature monitoring) will be completed for a period of 14 days for any residents considered to be at higher risk of virus exposure
  • As always, the path to COVID-19 safety begins with each individual, however, we are all in this together. And through universal support and cooperation, we will strive to make this upcoming holiday season a safe and joyous one for all residents, team members and families.

This holiday season especially will be one that’s filled with anticipation regarding the months ahead. As many have likely heard, significant progress is being made to develop groundbreaking vaccines that aid the fight against COVID-19. In fact, senior industry group Argentum has reported that “The FDA is likely to consider (Emergency Use Authorization) release of one or more COVID-19 vaccines by mid-November or early December.”

This suggests that crucial developments could be upcoming for priority populations including those 65 and older, healthcare and essential workers and those with underlying health conditions. The Discovery Senior Living family is delighted to learn that the federal government and Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC) have recommended communities like (and including) ours be part of priority group 1A for receipt of approved COVID-19 vaccines.

Currently, it’s still premature to establish a timeline for vaccine eligibility, however, every Discovery Senior Living community in the country has already submitted for priority vaccine access on behalf of its residents and team members. This will enable direct partnership with major retail pharmacies CVS and Walgreens and allow all members of the Discovery Senior Living family early access to an approved, COVID-19 vaccine once it is formally made available to priority populations like ours.

Please stay tuned for further updates and information just as soon as it becomes available. In the meantime, know that the Discovery Senior Living organization will stop at nothing to ensure the continued safety and peace of mind of every member of our family. On behalf of our company, communities and thousands of team members, enjoy the upcoming holidays, but please, be sure to do your part to protect you and yours at this most critical juncture!

Wednesday, September 9, 2020

Florida’s State-Mandated Visitation Restrictions Are Being Lifted for Assisted Living & Memory Care—What You Should Know

Dear Seniors & Families,

Floridians have cause for celebrating, as we have reached an important milestone in the fight against COVID-19! Please read on as we share the latest developments and what they mean for you:

State-issued visitation restrictions are being lifted, allowing seniors residing in Florida-based Assisted Living and Memory Care neighborhoods to safely reunite with their families.

The order, issued by Governor DeSantis and the Florida Division of Emergency Management, allows for visitation to be reinstated at all our Florida-based communities, effective immediately.

And for you, it means that if fears regarding COVID-19-related separation have been keeping you from deciding or making a move to a Discovery Senior Living community, your wait can finally be over. With visitation returning, you will remain connected from day one, and can continue enjoying the same, close contact you always have!

Needless to say, we are ensuring strict compliance with the state’s order, and remain supremely committed to ensuring the continued health and safety of all residents, team members, and you, the general public.

We are truly delighted for the thousands of families who are reuniting in Discovery Senior Living communities across Florida. And we’d like to take this opportunity to invite you and yours to continue your senior living journey at the community of your choice as well!

Please contact a Senior Lifestyle Counselor at any of our communities today!

Update – July 29, 2020

For us, a new month creates a new forum to take continued actions against the spread of COVID-19 to our communities and throughout their surrounding areas. So this week, with August approaching, we’re announcing the latest enhancement to our COVID-19 Early Identification and Containment Protocols:

Effective immediately, we have further expanded our voluntary COVID-19 testing capabilities, and are able to provide free testing to all current and new, incoming residents, as well as team members at Discovery Senior Living communities nationwide.

Back in April, we were one of the first in the nation to offer a testing program, which rolled out in Florida, Texas, and other areas with high incidence rates. By growing the program to become national in scale, this represents the strongest measure taken to date to protect resident seniors and our dedicated team members from COVID-19. But it’s not all we’re doing to keep everyone safe and healthy…

Stringent cleaning and sanitization schedules, social distancing guidelines, and restrictions regarding visitation and outside vendor access to the communities all remain in place nationwide. Plus, we’ve pioneered new, socially-distanced activities and events, and are using technology and digital tools to keep residents entertained and well-connected to their families using FaceTime, Skype, and other apps on personal devices or our communities’ dedicated iPads.

We’re also beginning to implement a careful, measured approach to reopening, where permitted by local, state, and federal guidelines.

The reopening process will take place in phases (Red, Yellow, and Green), which allow us, over time, to methodically restore access to amenities, dining, and other lifestyle programs. And in some communities, where permitted, we may also be able to begin allowing non-essential, outside visitation, so get ready for plenty of joyful reunions with your loved ones!

Keep in mind, however, that if any point a resident or team member tests positive for COVID-19, the community shall reevaluate the current phase and revert back to Phase 1 (Red) guidelines if appropriate.

For Independent Living residents, the transition from Phase 1 to Phase 2 is underway in select communities. Residents, there are already enjoying more freedom to dine together in small groups, use the available amenities (beauty salons, fitness centers, etc.) and take part in indoor and especially outdoor activities (games, walks, group stretching and exercise, etc.). We are also touring in-person at our communities, so if you’re thinking of making a move to senior living, we encourage you to visit us. You can be assured all measures are being taken at our communities to keep you safe.

As for our Assisted Living and Memory Care communities, which are bound by state and local mandates, the process will be a bit slower. However, in partnership with area leaders and health departments, we’ll take measured actions to ensure the continued safety and well-being of more vulnerable seniors. We are also conducting personalized virtual tours, so if you or your loved one is in need of added care services, please reach out to one of our communities for your special, customized virtual visit.

Our policy throughout the pandemic has been to be careful, calculating, and decisive, and that commitment remains as strong as ever. We can’t express enough how much we appreciate everyone’s patience and continued support, and especially the many public demonstrations (gifts, signs, emails, Facebook posts, etc.) of love and gratitude for our efforts.

It’s also been fun and fulfilling for everyone to witness and experience your many drive-through visits, complete with signs and kind words of love and encouragement for our residents. In uncertain times like these, it’s difficult to overstate the value of a controlled environment, one that’s filled with caring and committed people. We take extreme pride in providing that for our residents and their families, and despite the current limitations, will continue to use every available resource to deliver the best experience we can.

Update – May 4, 2020

Discovery Senior Living has begun a national program of targeted COVID-19 testing, using a combination of Rapid and PCR Swab testing. Encompassing current and incoming residents, as well as team members, the program represents the latest expansion of the company’s stringent COVID-19 Early Identification and Containment Protocols.

As part of the unprecedented safety measures, the company began its testing in some of their Florida-based assisted living and memory care communities and has been quickly and continually expanding throughout the remaining states in which it operates. The testing will be conducted using an ongoing random sampling program at no cost to residents and team members, as this testing will continue to maintain the long-term health of the communities. All new, incoming residents can choose to be tested as well, especially as the company gets ready for the opening of three new communities; two in Florida and one in Texas. The voluntary testing policy is the strongest precaution implemented to date by Discovery Senior Living in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Several thousand tests have already been administered.

“These pioneering measures embody our company’s commitment to ensuring the safety of all residents and team members,” said Richard J. Hutchinson, CEO, Discovery Senior Living. “Our organization is proud to be one of those leading the charge to afford at-risk seniors and the dedicated team members working hard to ensure their care and safety this newfound level of protection and peace of mind in the fight against COVID-19.”

In recent months, Discovery Senior Living continually heightened operational procedures to promote sanitization, protection and distancing guidelines for residents, team members and the general public. The company has also implemented new programs utilizing digital media and technology to not only allow resident seniors to remain connected with family and loved ones, but to keep residents engaged and maintain their mental and emotional well-being, while large group activities remain restricted.

Update – June 19, 2020

As we reach the third weekend in June, our national and local news will certainly focus on Juneteenth observances and the Summer Solstice this Saturday. Aren’t we all ready to turn the page on the Spring of 2020? Our Discovery communities began battling the aggressive Coronavirus just as we reached the Spring Equinox in March and, as the season changes, we are at work today enforcing protocols, cleaning surfaces, delivering meals, obtaining face masks and gowns, caring for, and testing our residents and team members. We certainly feel the optimism that summer brings, but know we have a long way to go before things will seem normal again. Believe me, regardless of the “reopening” of states around the country or televised scenes of people dining out, we still take this pandemic very seriously.

Our team members are so happy when we get batches of negative test results or families send us thank you notes or parade by the community shouting love and support. And we have tougher days when we must inform someone of a positive case or send a team member home for the good of the group – our people want to stay on the job and give the residents the best experience they can under any circumstances.

We keep our spirits up knowing that we put our enhanced protocols in place very early and that those steps, plus our extensive testing program, have been paying off. We own and operate nearly 60 separate buildings and have had positive cases in less than half of them. In 17 of our communities, we have had 3 or fewer positive cases! That tells us that our practice of immediate contact tracing and isolation has worked well in preventing the rapid rise in cases seen in some senior living communities. We have administered nearly 5,000 tests in our communities and are expanding voluntary sample testing programs to gain insight into the overall wellness of a community before we see symptoms. This is a long way from March/April when only sick people could get a test. Today we leverage testing from local departments of health and our own reliable sources and even offer rapid antibodies screening to prospects who are considering moving into a Discovery community. We have also been ahead of the game in the daily tracking of relevant data and know that of the small percentage of residents who tested positive, the vast majority have recovered in our communities.

Discovery is all about lifestyle and we are eager to enhance our residents’ experience using a carefully planned, gradual easing of restrictions for our independent living residents. As the states in which we operate open their businesses and public areas, we face pressure to allow visitations or the return of certain services. We want our residents to see loved ones and cannot expect them to dine in their apartments forever – loneliness and isolation are challenges for us too. But we are going to be very cautious about changing rules which have worked well for us to date. There is not one size that fits all, but we have started to allow some modified group dining (less seating, tables spread into open areas, limited attendance), as well as the opening of fitness centers and salons. Let’s face it…everyone wants a haircut and we prefer that our residents have one in our controlled setting as opposed to leaving the building and returning.

Movement and socialization are so important: with summer weather we can conduct more outdoor exercise, group walks, and stretching. You may see markings so that everyone can be aware of safe distances. Our Executive Directors have their hands on the controls and can shut things down quickly if people cannot distance or if we see virus activity that gives us cause for pause. For about half of our communities – those that are licensed Assisted Living or Memory Care venues – the changes will come more slowly as we continue adherence to strict state regulations.

Our policy throughout has been to be honest and informative…even when we had bad news to deliver. We have not been perfect, but we have been quick to act and done our best to interpret changing statistics, local regulations, and the latest information we can glean from industry or government sources. We have allowed our best people to make timely decisions with this simple guidance: do the right thing. And they have stepped up over and over to do so. We are so proud of our teammates who have managed through the vagaries of this ongoing event and have unselfishly sacrificed time with their own families to help our residents and your families. And we’re proud of how our industry has delivered a level of care, cleaning, protective equipment, meal delivery, package screening, and Covid testing that would be very hard to duplicate for older adults living alone or in a family member’s home.

We thank you all for continued support and appreciate your public demonstrations (gifts, signs, emails, Facebook posts, etc.) of gratitude for our efforts. Despite our success to date, we continue to examine and refine the enhanced protocols that have gotten us to this point. We will not rest until we can safely provide the Discovery lifestyle that our residents want…and we want to deliver!

Update – April 9, 2020

We are using the power of technology to keep residents and families connected even while COVID-19 forces us all apart. By facilitating video chats for residents using our community tablets or on their personal devices, residents are staying informed and in touch with their loved one on a regular basis. It’s just part of our commitment to supporting our residents’ all-around health and happiness during this difficult time.

Update – March 30, 2020

We all know these are difficult times and we have developed Enhanced Communication Protocols to be sure our communities and you are obtaining the most up-to-date and accurate information possible. As part of our continuing commitment to keep residents, families and team members safe and properly informed, we developed a new FAQ resource that will help answer questions you may have. Please click on the PDF to learn more.

Update – March 23, 2020

We love our residents and their families!

During these difficult times, they are all finding creative ways to stay in touch. Whether they are singing happy birthday outside their windows or holding up signs for their loved ones, they are bringing smiles to everyone’s faces and we hope it brings one to yours too.

Here’s just one example. Jeff and Brian Pierce brought great joy to their Mom (Carolyn Pierce and other residents during lunch at our Blue Ridge Assisted Living & Memory Care community located in Georgia. They created these great signs and walked by the windows outside the dining room to the cheers of residents inside!

Update – March 20, 2020

As we continue to monitor all state and local agencies for changes, the state of Texas has announced they are banning any non-essential visitors from entering retirement and independent living communities.

We know it is a true hardship on residents and families to not be able to visit DURING THIS DIFFICULT TIME, but since these are mandated by the states, we must comply with these laws and we are compelled to halt all visitation until the bans are lifted. We are however, setting up “virtual visits” using technology such as Skype and FaceTime so you can stay in touch visually. Please contact the community directly for more information.

Also, we want to let you know we are still accepting new residents in all of our communities, everywhere; whether it be senior apartments, independent living, assisted living/personal care, memory care or skilled nursing. In fact, we truly believe our communities are the best place for seniors to be right now during these trying times, so new residents are welcome to join our family. We have put in place strict “move in” enhanced protocols to ensure the safety of the entire community and our new residents during their move-in process.

Other Independent Living communities that do not have state or local orders will continue to function as they have been. Our enhanced safety protocols have enabled us to confidently continue our residents lifestyle wherever possible, while keeping in compliance with state and local regulations and guidelines.

At Discovery Senior Living, we take the threat of coronavirus- or any other, communicable disease- seriously, and are universally committed to providing the safest environment possible for all residents, visitors and families, team members, vendors and the general public while maintaining as mush as possible the daily lifestyle our residents are accustomed to. We have experienced wonderful feedback from our residents and families and we appreciate all of their support.

Thank you for your understanding.

Update – March 18, 2020

In this ever-changing environment, we are making daily enhancements and changes to our Enhanced Operational Procedures and Protocols in order to create the safest environment for our residents and team members. We have updated our Frequently Asked Questions to include several of these enhancements and to help keep you informed during these times. Please click on the link below to read more.

Update – March 17, 2020

In response to new guidelines for group gatherings, we have implemented different dining options for residents. Residents have the option to dine in their rooms with either free meal delivery to their rooms or to-go options. In either case, we will gladly pack up full meals. Residents who would like to continue coming to the dining room have that option as well. If they wish to continue sit-down dining, we have made changes and increased safety protocols that include: social distancing of people and tables, limiting group meal sizes and overall dining room capacity while staggering dining times. Other measures, include sanitizing furniture and hard surfaces, removal of anything that normally has a “high-touch” factor (e.g. condiments, salt & pepper shakers, etc), and use of disposable paper menus, napkins, place mats, just to name a few

Update – March 14, 2020

Central to our company’s mission is doing everything possible to preserve and protect the health and wellbeing of residents, visitors and team members at all Discovery Senior Living communities nationwide.

Many of our Assisted Living and Memory Care communities across the country are now under state and local orders banning any non-essential visitors from entering the communities. We know it is a true hardship on the families to not be able to visit their loved ones in the Assisted Living and Memory Care communities DURING THIS DIFFICULT TIME, but since almost every state has mandated that no visitation is allowed, in the best interest of our residents and team members, we must comply with these laws and we are compelled to halt all visitation until the bans are lifted.

This does not mean we are not accepting new residents in our Assisted Living and Memory Care communities. In fact, we truly believe our communities are the best place for seniors to be right now during these trying times, so new residents are welcome to join our family. We have put in place strict “move in” enhanced protocols to ensure the safety of the entire community and our new residents. Please contact our communities directly to learn more.

Our Independent Living communities will continue to function as they have been. Our enhanced safety protocols have enabled us to confidently continue our residents lifestyle wherever possible, while keeping in compliance with state and local regulations and guidelines. While we are closely following these ever-changing state and local regulations and guidelines, we are also conducting independent living community tours and welcoming new residents.

At Discovery Senior Living, we take the threat of coronavirus- or any other, communicable disease- seriously, and are universally committed to providing the safest environment possible for all residents, visitors and families, team members, vendors and the general public while maintaining the daily lifestyle our residents are accustomed to as much as possible. We have experienced wonderful feedback from our residents and families and we appreciate all of their support.

Thank you for your understanding

Update – March 5, 2020
At this time, Discovery Senior Living has fully implemented enhanced operational procedures and protocols at our communities nationwide. These activities are part of continued efforts to guard against the transmission of COVID-19.

All procedures are in accordance with our enhanced guidelines and internal policies regarding communicable diseases, as well as the latest, published guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC), the World Health Organization (WHO) as well as local, state and federal authorities.

We take the threat of coronavirus—or any other, communicable disease—extremely seriously, and are universally committed to providing the safest environment possible for all residents, visitors and families, Team Members, vendors and the general public.

We know you have questions; therefore, we have created a Frequently Asked Questions document to help you. Please click on the graphic below.

Update – March 3, 2020

In response to the initial outbreak of COVID-19, the disease associated with the coronavirus, and amidst the first confirmed US cases, Discovery Senior Living has launched enhanced preventative measures and communication protocols at our communities nationwide.

These actions have been taken following careful review of our established internal policies regarding communicable diseases, published guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC), the World Health Organization (WHO) as well as local, state and federal authorities.

We understand the nation’s widespread concerns about coronavirus and its potential risk to seniors and the general public. Please know that Discovery Senior Living and our communities take this threat very seriously, and rest assured, that with three decades of experience and thousands of professionals at our disposal, we will continue to take the precautions and actions necessary to provide the safest environment possible for all residents, visitors and families, Team Members, vendors and the general public.

Discovery Senior Living will be using our website, DiscoverySeniorLiving.com and community Facebook pages, as a source of information regarding the enhanced measures being undertaken at our communities and we will also be providing timely updates as appropriate.

Please visit our Discovery Senior Living website periodically for the most recent updates.