Frequently Asked Questions

March 30, 2021

You’ve got questions. We’ve got answers.

We are living in a “new normal” that may go on for quite some time. Now that vaccinations are available being prepared and knowing what to expect when you transition your parent to a senior living community will go a long way toward making the experience positive and helping them thrive in their new home.

With our resident vaccination rate rising, residents feel safer than ever with this extra layer of protection. However, GenCare Lifestyle will continue to proactively ensure they remain safe and happy proactively and their families have peace of mind.

As our states and counties begin opening, what is GenCare’s approach?

Following the guidance provided by the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention(CDC), the Washington State Department of Health(DOH), the Washington State Department of Social & Health Services (DSHS) and Local Health Jurisdictions (LHJ) guidance, we have strategically and safely reopened our dining rooms, fitness centers, activity spaces, and beauty salons. We have also implemented a phased visitation plan. 

Making the decision: Is it safe to move now?

Above everything else, you want your loved one to be safe and to remain healthy and happy. COVID-19 has affected older adults, especially in skilled nursing facilities and some senior living communities, and we want to address the reality of that issue. We know that older adults, especially those with underlying conditions, are more vulnerable to the virus.  The significant differences between a skilled nursing home and a senior living community are care services and lifestyle options. Senior living communities offer more independence and life enrichment opportunities, while many nursing home residents need around-the-clock monitored support. Senior living communities often resemble an upgraded apartment complex. Nursing homes often offer single bedroom or shared room options due to the high nurse-to-resident ratio. Also, in a senior living community, the level of assistance varies based on residents’ needs, which allows for customization of the care plan and room layout.  But with this knowledge, senior living communities, especially GenCare Lifestyle communities, remain vigilant and closely follow public health guidance, including practicing infection control protocols such as frequent handwashing, mask-wearing, and social distancing.

We are also committed to ensuring our residents remain healthy, happy, and thriving through our signature Whole Life Living™ program. It’s the cornerstone of the GenCare way of life and plays a significant role today more than ever. Our holistic and unique approach permeates through our retirement communities’ culture, made up of four vital facets inherently personalized to meet each resident wherever they are in their abilities, interests, health, and wellness journeys. When you eat better, have opportunities to be more active and engaged, live with purpose, and are surrounded by community, you feel healthier, happier, connected, and get more out of life. That’s the GenCare difference.  

Keep in mind that older adults in long-term care communities, along with the team members caring for them, are among the first in the U.S. to receive COVID-19 vaccines. Data for both of the first vaccines approved by the Food and Drug Administration — from drug makers Pfizer and Moderna — shows that they are more than 94% effective in preventing the virus. Side effects associated with the COVID-19 vaccine are not serious and typically resolve within 24 hours after administration. (confirmed Pfizer 95%, Moderna 94.1%)

So, In fact, a senior living community may be safer for your parents. If they’re currently living with you or other family members who leave the house to go to work or grocery shopping, their exposure risk is higher. If your parent is living alone and relying on a private caretaker, the risk is the same, and, also, they may feel isolated and lonely. Due to guidelines that they limit contact with others.

Are GenCare communities accepting new residents?

Yes, we are. We do have restrictions on group size in most communal areas, enforcing physical distance guidelines, wearing facemasks correctly, social distancing, and proper hand hygiene. At GenCare, our new and even better normal will continue with the additional measures of rearranging furniture, posting distance signage, and constantly communicating with residents and families with reminders to protect themselves and their neighbors.

What can I expect in terms of COVID-19 testing, quarantining, and vaccination requirements?

Requirements for quarantine are constantly changing. We suggest speaking to a team member. Be sure to ask for clarification so as not to delay a planned move. However, we’re committed to a safe and stress-free move-in process for your family member while we meet COVID requirements, we follow CDC guidelines as well as state and local requirements. 

If a new resident is fully vaccinated, they do not have to quarantine. If they are not vaccinated there is a 14-day quarantine. Remember that these precautions are to protect our new residents and our existing residents and team members. At GenCare Lifestyle communities, we like to think of them as a Staycation – days of rest and rejuvenation, so we do whatever we can to make them enjoyable. As we welcome residents to their new home during COVID, they can expect to receive a welcome gift and meet the team. We even deliver personalized activity packets to their apartment as well as room service with a smile.  

Additionally, a wellness consultation will determine the level of care needed for Assisted Living and Memory Care. At GenCare, a wellness consultation can be done virtually or in-person with proper PPE. You will be introduced to the Wellness Director, who will work with you regarding support services for your loved one on an ongoing basis. Once the wellness consultation is complete, you’ll have a better idea of the associated monthly fees.


VISITATION

Our foremost goal is to reunite you with your family members. We recognize how difficult this lack of contact has been and understand your desire to have closer contact with your loved ones. We look forward to the many smiles, laughs, and even hugs that will soon fill our communities. That said, we know we cannot let our guard down in the fight against COVID-19, especially as new variants continue to spread across North America.

Will I be able to visit my parent?

Now that we are in phase 3 of the Healthy Washington Roadmap to Recovery, you are welcome to visit seven days a week. We currently offer one visitor per day per resident. The resident OR visitor must be fully vaccinated for indoor visits. Social distancing is required, and visitors must always wear a mask during the visit. We ask that our visitors encourage their family members also to wear a mask.  

If your loved one is in our PEAK Memory Care Program, we require scheduled visitation.

How many people can visit at a time?

For an indoor visit, we are currently welcoming one visitor per apartment per day.  If you wish to have more than one visitor, we can direct you to an outdoor visitation area, or you can take your loved one out for a visit at the location of your choice.

How long can my visit be?

You are welcome to stay up to 2 hours per visit.

Am I able to go to my loved one’s apartment?

Yes, for our independent and assisted living residents, visits will be held only in their apartment. For Memory Care residents, we have a designated area where you can spend time with your loved ones. We are unable to welcome visitors to any of our communal areas currently.

Can I take my mask off during my visit?

We require you to always wear your mask during your visit and practice social distancing. We strongly encourage your loved one to wear a mask as well during your visit. If this policy is not adhered to, visitation can be revoked for up to 30 days.

Can we have a meal together in the dining room?

We are not able to accommodate guests in our dining rooms right now. If you would like to have a meal with your loved one, please bring food with you to be shared in their apartment. We can also deliver their meal to their apartment though we cannot provide guest meals at this time. Please social distance a minimum of 6 feet if you are dining together.

Do I have to be vaccinated to visit?

For an indoor visit, if your loved one is fully vaccinated, you are not required to be vaccinated.  If your loved one is NOT fully vaccinated, you will need to be fully vaccinated (2 doses if the second dose is required).

Do I have to have a Covid test before visiting?

Per the Governor’s order, testing is not a requirement.  However, due to GenCare’s ability to provide rapid testing on-site in all our communities, we strongly encourage all visitors to continue to follow our testing protocol.

Testing results are good for seven days, so if you test negative, you do not have to get the test done again if you plan to visit more than 1x per week.

How do I get a Covid test?

You will need to schedule an appointment with our concierge and complete the approved testing form. You can also schedule by registering on the “BeSure” patient portal. 

What happens if I test positive?

Unfortunately, we will not be able to welcome you into our community.

Following a positive result, you will need to wait at least ten days to be tested or visit.  All symptoms must be resolved, and you must be fever-free for at least 24 hours without the use of any fever-reducing medications.

What will happen when I come to visit? (assuming visitor has already been tested if they are willing)

You will need to enter the community fully masked. You will need to use hand sanitizer upon entry. 
You will sign in and be screened at the concierge desk. (Covid questionnaire and temperature screening). 
You will proceed directly to your loved one’s apartment after screening. Please socially distance yourself from any staff or residents you may encounter. Please do not stop to chat with anyone.
If a visitor refuses to follow any infection control protocols described above, visitation may be revoked for up to 30 days.


TOURS

Do I need an appointment for a tour?

Yes, please. To ensure we are available to meet you and tour when you arrive, an appointment is required.  Tours can be scheduled any day of the week, always between 9 am – 5 pm, and after hours can also be arranged.

How many people can tour at one time?

We can allow up to 3 guests to tour at once (all with the same group).

Am I able to tour the entire community?

Yes.  Some modifications may have to be made depending on resident activities occurring during your visit, but we will do our best to offer you a comprehensive tour.

Do I need to be vaccinated to take a tour?

No.

Do I need to be Covid tested to take a tour?

Yes, we require a negative test result for our resident’s and staff’s safety and health before touring our community.

How do I get the test?

We have a few options to accommodate you. Schedule your tour on the day ‘BeSure’ testing is available at your desired community and test immediately before touring (results within 30 minutes). You may also test up to 7 days in advance of the tour (at any GenCare community) and provide proof of testing and negative result. If ‘BeSure’ is not available the day of your tour, one of our nurses can administer an Abbott rapid test. Please allow time for tests and results before your tour.

What happens next if my test is negative?

You will need to enter the community fully masked. You will need to use hand sanitizer upon entry. 
You will sign in and be screened at the concierge desk. (Covid questionnaire and temperature screening). 
The Marketing Director will greet you to begin your tour.

What if I test positive?

We will not be able to welcome you into our community at this time.  We can still provide an exterior tour and/or a virtual tour.

What if I do not want to take a Covid test?

Unfortunately, we will not be able to accommodate an interior tour for you but will be happy to provide you with an exterior tour and/or a virtual tour.

Can I take my mask off during my tour?

No.

Can we have a meal to try your food?

Unfortunately, not at this time.


Safe, healthy, and happy at GenCare Lifestyle Retirement Communities

When you consider transitioning your loved one to senior living, we’re here for you. Our team members are delighted to answer any questions you may have. We want to be your trusted resource as you navigate our world and transition to phase 3. We are committed to doing everything possible to keep your parent healthy, safe, and happy. Our residents are still living, loving, and laughing at GenCare Lifestyle. And remember — this pandemic will eventually come to an end. We are here to answer your questions. Visit Gencarelifestyle.com to schedule a virtual or in-person tour or call any of our six local Washington retirement communities to speak to a Gencare team member.

Our GenCare family Thanks you for your continued patience, support, and trust. It remains our honor to serve you.  As always, we’re here to help answer any questions you may have. Contact your community with questions and feedback.

Our Residents Are Vaccinated and Staying Safe, Healthy and Hopeful at GenCare Lifestyle!

Take a tour of one of our GenCare communities!