Now that vaccines are readily available and several senior living communities have achieved a 100% vaccination rate, many communities are opening back up to visitors. In the thick of the pandemic this is a time we could hardly imagine. The days of visiting with loved ones without worrying about putting their health at risk seemed so far off, but now that we’ve finally arrived, many are wondering how to ease back into normal social activities and events.

With the spread of variants and a continual effort to reach herd immunity with 70% or more of our population vaccinated, we have a long road ahead of us on our journey to return to a pre-COVID existence with no masks or social distancing. However, if your loved one’s senior living community has reopened to visitors and you’re ready to visit, it’s certainly safe to do so, as long as you keep a few precautions in mind.

Here’s how to prepare for visiting vaccinated loved ones in senior living communities:

  • Get a vaccine. The best way to protect yourself and the ones you love against COVID is to get vaccinated. Now that vaccinations are available to all Americans age 16 or older, make appointments for you and your family members to get vaccinated as soon as possible.
  • Wait your two weeks. Remember that your vaccination isn’t fully effective until two weeks after your second does if you get the Moderna or Pfizer vaccine, or one week after your dose of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine.
  • Don’t leave your mask at home. Even if both you and your loved one are vaccinated, it’s not quite time to put away your mask. Keep in mind that not everyone else who enters a senior living community is vaccinated, meaning some individuals are susceptible to getting COVID-19. Do your part to protect health care personnel, staff members, and other visitors who may not yet be vaccinated by wearing your mask when in common areas or any time you’re not in your loved one’s private room. 
  • Remain vigilant. Whenever possible, continue to practice the 3 Ws of safety: wear a mask, watch your distance, and wash your hands.   
  • Take time to reflect and celebrate. Don’t be afraid to take a deep breath and smile. The past year has undoubtedly presented several challenges and hardships to you and your family as you navigated the emotional strain of physical distance. Now’s the time to safely celebrate making it through with quality time together and some big hugs!

To see St. Martin’s in the Pines specific visitation guidelines, click here.