Mason, Ohio – As many vaccines approach final approval, the Mason Life Support Center is preparing to be among the first facilities to participate in a COVID-19 vaccination program.
Central Parke Assisted Living and Memory Care at Mason has 66 beds for seniors living with memory impairments. The center has taken careful steps to protect its residents who are at higher risk of severe disease than COVID-19.
“Our residents are among the most vulnerable,” said Penny Coffey, executive director of Central Parke Assisted Living and Memory Care.
After banning internal visits at the beginning of the pandemic, the center has since allowed family members to visit their loved ones, provided they follow social distancing guidelines and other safety protocols. The staff is working to be creative in their efforts to help residents have fun, but there are still many challenges.
“Currently, family members of our residents have no right to hug their loved ones,”
The steps are to keep the elderly in the facility safe until the vaccine is approved for distribution. When that happens, Central Parke will be one of the first local communities for seniors to receive it. The center is already enrolled in the national program for Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and when a vaccine is available, residents and staff at the facility will be able to receive it free of charge.
“Social interaction and contact are very important for our seniors with memory care,” Kofi said. “They are used to the routine and are used to coming with their loved ones several times a day.”
Kofi said she and staff members hope that participating in the vaccine program will bring residents of the center a step closer to the usual visits with their families.