Starting Feb. 22, Homestead Assisted Living residents in Creston Knoxville, and Osceola, Iowa will begin hosting family members and friends for in-person visits in their apartment homes. Three other Homestead locations in the area will resume in-person visitation thereafter.
Since March of 2020, visitation at assisted living communities has been largely restricted to essential caregivers or virtual visits due to COVID-19. Now, residents can welcome guests into their apartment homes.
“We’ve been waiting for this for a long time,” said Michelle Jameson, executive director at Homestead of Creston. “Our residents are overjoyed to be visiting with friends and family members again in the comfort of their own apartment.”
The visitation policy change comes after residents and staff members at the communities were offered both doses of the COVID-19 vaccine. After the second shot, the communities are waiting the recommended 14 days to ensure the vaccines are fully effective. When visitation resumes, there will still be precautions in place.
“We’re very excited to take this step back toward normalcy, but we are still being cautious,” said Bailey Stone Homestead of Knoxville’s executive director. “Although our residents have been vaccinated, the visitors we are welcoming likely have not had that opportunity yet, so we want to protect their wellbeing, too.”
All Homestead guests must follow the community’s visitation guidelines including, but not limited to the following:
• Visits must be scheduled in advance by contacting the community team
• All visitors must test negative for COVID-19 when they arrive for their visit
• All visitors are required to wear a facemask during the visit
• All visitors must pass a health screen prior to entering the community
Homestead residents were not required to receive the COVID-19 vaccine, but Jameson says seniors did not hesitate to get vaccinated.
“Residents were eager to receive the COVID-19 vaccine,” said Jameson. “Our elders have been afraid of contracting COVID-19 for nearly a year, and the vaccine provided much-needed protection and emotional relief.”
About Homestead: There are seven Homestead Assisted Living and Memory Care communities in the Southern Iowa area. These communities offer a combination of assisted living and memory care services. At Homestead communities, seniors enjoy the privacy of their own apartment home while also receiving the specialized care and assistance they need. All Iowa Homestead Assisted Living & Memory Care communities are managed by Midwest Health, Inc. Midwest Health is a family-owned company headquartered in Topeka, Kansas which manages roughly 65 senior living communities in the Midwest.