The primary benefit of senior living communities such as Treemont Retirement Community is its ability to provide a package of services designed to give seniors the support and care they need while also helping them maintain a good quality of life, all at a cost effective price. “Treemont’s understanding of senior’s needs and our experienced staff are especially important during difficult times. As a community that cares for each other and watches out for each other, these aspects have even greater importance in difficult times,” says Executive Director Rodney Brooks. “Treemont Retirement Community has been able to successfully weather hurricanes and power outages and is committed to being good stewards for our residents and staff during this time of coronavirus concerns.”
Treemont is following CDC and health department requirements and guidelines to protect its residents. Treemont has restricted visits to its Health Care Center to essential people only, and those that enter are screened, have their temperature checked and must wear a mask. The Independent Living side is discouraging all but essential visits and also screening those that must enter. Resident temperatures are being checked daily. All staff members are screened, and temperatures taken as they enter the property. Anyone with symptoms of illness, including a high temperature, are not allowed to enter the community. Staff are now asked to wear masks and, supplies permitting, will ask residents to do so in common areas.
Food Service. Treemont has adjusted its food service to increase social distancing. Independent living residents are encouraged to take meal delivery in their apartments, and may close the buffet line, now limited to 5 at a time, for resident take out to their apartments or a common area. Table service has stopped so as to maintain guidelines on social distancing. Our Health Care Center has reviewed the care plan needs for each resident to accommodate required social distancing, while also assuring safe supervision during meals of those who need it. This means that while most residents eat in their rooms, some are assisted or supervised with dining in an activity area.
Activity Programs: The opportunity for social interaction is a key benefit of senior living communities, whether it be independent, assisted or nursing homes. Activity Director Monica Muniz says, “We are doing our best to maintain our activity program, with a focus on smaller group and individual activities.” Treemont exercise classes (Chair Tai Chi, Chair aerobics and Zumba), Jazzy Thread Knitting Club and Color Me Calm continue, but are limited to 10 residents with increased distances. The Knitting Club is making cloth masks for internal use.
“We are finding creative ways to support resident quality of life and social engagement,” says Director Brooks. This includes having a "poem" contest, sketching or painting contest, and also having each resident write a message to their loved ones or write advice to the younger generation on how to cope with this pandemic. Health Center Activity Director Jeanette Mitchell says, “Treemont is providing cross word puzzles, trivia handouts and newspapers to residents, and spacing out residents for Bingo. We have also set up screens at end of hallways so residents can sit outside their room and view movies from their hall doorway.” For family members that want to see their loved one, HCC staff is facilitating interaction via Face Time or Skype.
The TreeMart gift shop has toiletries available, at cost, so residents can limit the need to shop.
Residents continue to move into Treemont’s Independent, Assisted Living and Nursing/Rehab communities, subject to screening prior to move-in. While tours are restricted in the Health Care Center, one can still tour Independent Living with screening precautions in place. Call Lupe, Linda, Keri or Rodney at 713.783.6820 in Independent Living and Kelli in Nursing/Rehab at 713.816.2033. Treemont is located at 2501 Westerland Drive in the Memorial area near Gessner, or visit www.Treemont.com. They are happy to have walk-in tours, including on weekends, or to arrange for a virtual tour.
To view this article as published in the Houston Chronicle, click here.