The COVID Challenge: Keeping Golden West Safe During the Pandemic

The Golden West community has demonstrated remarkable reserves of patience and resilience over the last 11 months of the pandemic. Not only has it been inspiring — it has served to keep our COVID-19 case rates low and our residents and staff members safe!

In March, as Stay at Home orders went into effect across the country, our staff immediately leapt into action to protect residents, implementing a range of infection control measures our residents, staff members and families have complied with: social distancing, wearing a mask, washing hands frequently, disinfecting hard surfaces and reporting relevant symptoms, among others.

We also strongly encouraged individuals 65 and older to stay home except for essential activities; required regular testing for staff members and residents; restricted communal dining and visitation; and reserved building access for staff, essential care providers and vendors.

Another important part of our response was keeping in constant communication with residents, staff members and families. Our team issued weekly email updates on the community’s infection status and new safety measures and posted them on the Golden West website and our LifeShare network. Our community also established a COVID-19 hotline so people could ask questions or report an illness.

While completely necessary, this has not always been easy. These restrictions and precautions stifled some of our beloved culture, engagement and energy, something people always comment on when visiting, and what entices so many to become residents of Golden West.

But COVID-19 has also inspired great innovation here at Golden West, as we found new ways to stay connected with each other. From residents networking with friends and family over Zoom, to our Director of Resident Programs transitioning in-person activities to our in-house TV station, it has been inspiring.

During this time, Golden West also felt good will from the local Boulder community, with people donating homemade masks and bringing in bagel breakfasts or pastries for our hardworking staff.

Finally, because Golden West’s Low-Income Housing Tax Credit and Renovation Project kicked off around the same time COVID started, we worked with our contractor to make the construction process as safe as possible for residents and staff, and continue to abide by these safety protocols as we move on to renovating our resident apartments.

As construction is completed and the vaccine arrives at Golden West, all of us are looking forward to regaining the connections we put on hold when our programs and activities were interrupted. Currently, we are working to get vaccinations scheduled for staff, assisted living and independent living residents and will have an update soon.

Going forward, Golden West will be among many senior living communities around the country that will continue to innovate in the areas of health care, infrastructure and sanitary practices so that our communities are equipped to handle the “new normal.” In the meantime, thank you to our Golden West community for your patience and support, which has allowed us to remain healthy and strong!

*A final update, our first vaccination clinic is scheduled for January 22! Excellent news!