Daisy Hill residents return to activities; visits to assisted living facilities still limited
Residents of Daisy Hill Senior Living began participating in small group activities and eating together this week while following social distancing and other modifications to ensure they stay healthy, Executive Director Laurie Dorough said. The decision to allow up to 10 residents to participate in activities while six feet apart follows the guidelines and direction of Kentucky’s Cabinet for Health and Family Services, Dorough explained. She said social distancing guidelines will mean residents can again eat together – albeit six feet apart – in Daisy Hill’s dining room beginning this week. “So they’ll be out of their rooms for meals if they choose to come. So that’s good,” said Dorough. “Everybody’s going to be so excited to resume the activities and the structure; getting out of their rooms again …” she added. Visits with family and friends will continue in exterior spaces while wearing masks at a safe social distance, according to Dorough. She noted interior visits, while allowed in this phase of reopening, are being put on hold because Daisy Hill has many screened-in porches and an open-air front porch, which “almost caters to the exterior visit.” Outdoor visits have been allowed over the last month, she added. “I’d like to keep the visitor restriction … for awhile,” said Dorough. She said modified interior visits in a designated area may be necessary when the weather changes and its no longer conducive for families to visit residents in outdoor spaces. Daisy Hill Senior Living implemented in-person visitor restrictions March 6 to keep its residents safe during the COVID-19 pandemic. “Families have been very appreciative of the restrictions (to ensure their loved one’s good health),” said Dorough. She said allowing exterior visits over the last month has helped families. Previously, their visits only came through windows and exterior doors or virtually – other than essential deliveries and in-person visits, she explained. Being allowed to again offer group activities and eating in a dining room together is a big deal for Daisy Hill residents, who came here in large measure because they want social interaction with others, Dorough said. “They came here for the social setting, and so we’ve had to take that from them,” she said. “… It’s been hard for staff too … because (as an assisted living facility, not a nursing home) we’re not focusing on their medical needs. … That’s not what we do.” Instead, Daisy Hill’s staff provides personal care in a senior community, while also supporting emotional, spiritual and intellectual health for residents, according to its website. Residents will soon be able to visit Daisy Hill’s hair salon, which reopens July 8, and its country store, while wearing masks and continuing to follow social distancing guidelines, Dorough said.