MASON, Ohio – With final approval for more approaching vaccines, Mason Assisted Living Center is preparing to participate among the first facilities to participate in the COVID-19 vaccination program.
Parke Centrally Supported Living and Memory Care at Mason has 66 beds for older people living with a memory impairment. The Center has taken careful steps to protect its citizens, who are at increased risk of serious illness, from COVID-19.
“Our people are among the most vulnerable,” said Penny Coffey, executive director of Central Parke Living and Forgotten Care.
Following the exclusion of in-house visits at the start of the pandemic, the center has since allowed family members to visit their loved ones, provided they follow social isolation instructions and other safety protocols. Employees work to be creative in their efforts to help people have fun, but there are still many challenges.
“At the moment, our residents’ family members are not allowed to embrace their loved ones,” Coffey said. “They can’t hold hands.”
The step is to ensure the safety of older people at the facility until the vaccine is approved for distribution. When it is, Central Parke will be one of the first communities to be accepted by older people living in the place. The center is already registered with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s national vaccine program, and when the vaccine becomes available, residents and facility staff will be able to get it for free.
“Social interaction and contact are very important to our elders in the care of memory,” Coffey said. “They are used to the routine and they are used to their loved ones coming several times a day.”
Coffey said she and staff hope that participating in the vaccine program will bring residents of the center one step closer to regular visits to their families.