In April 2019, when Dr. Stuart Markowitz moved his father Edwin from Long Island to Cedar Mountain Commons in Newington, he could never have imagined how the face of independent and assisted living would radically change one year later.
As COVID-19 began spread across the United States, including in Connecticut, Hartford HealthCare began to take drastic measures to reduce the risk of exposure and care for those who were ill. Among the changes were stringent measures at the skilled nursing and assisted/independent living communities, including Cedar Mountain Commons. Staff and residents began wearing masks, the buildings were sanitized and cleaned continuously and visitors were no longer allowed.
Understandably, it has been a time of uncertainty. But the outcome has been positive and reassuring for those whose loved ones live at Cedar Mountain Commons, located at 3 John H. Stewart Drive.
As a physician, Markowitz, who is a senior vice president of Hartford HealthCare, knew firsthand the seriousness of the coronavirus.
“I was aware very early on that the elderly and those with chronic conditions would be most at risk during this pandemic,” said Dr. Markowitz, shown above at right with his father. “I was pleased to see that Cedar Mountain Commons took action very early to restrict access to the facility by visitors of any type. While this presented its own challenges for being able to see and visit with my dad, I recognized right away it was the safest thing to do and fully supported their efforts.”
Further safety steps included serving individual meals to residents in their rooms, a necessity that unfortunately led to isolation and reduced mobility.
“But again,” said Dr. Markowitz, “we fully understood and he did as well the necessity and value to doing this.”
Staff and residents were screened daily with temperature and wellness checks.
Throughout the ensuing months, Cedar Mountain Commons communicated regularly with families through emails and newsletters about the policies and precautions as well as special activities, programs and services being provided.
“They offered telehealth visits with his physician as needed and quickly responded to any of his needs,” Dr. Markowitz said about the care his 92-year-old father received. “Nursing staff there are also amazing, helping every way possible and reaching out as needed when problems and situations need discussing.”
Now that restrictions are being lifted, the family has enjoyed outdoor visits rather than only virtual chats and phone calls. Edwin misses eating at restaurants or going to his son’s home but understands the necessity for precautions.
“I couldn’t imagine a better place for him to be than Cedar Mountain Commons,” Dr. Markowitz said. “He has great people looking in on him and we have great access through them to assure he gets what he needs at this time.”
For more information about Cedar Mountain Commons or to schedule a virtual tour, call 860.665.7901.
Cedar Mountain Commons, a member of Hartford HealthCare Senior Services, is a not-for-profit independent and assisted living community at 3 John H. Stewart Drive in Newington. To learn more, click here.
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