Did you know older adults are more likely to require hospitalization from COVID-19 than younger adults? COVID-19 has infected millions of people around the world, but fortunately two vaccines are now being distributed for use. To protect the members of our community, we are proud to be distributing the COVID-19 vaccine at The Kensington Sierra Madre.
Currently, the CDC has made recommendations that certain high-risk groups receive the vaccine first. Among these groups are seniors 65 and older. People in this age group have made up eight out of every 10 COVID-19 deaths in the U.S. This high number is mostly due to underlying illnesses we tend to develop as we age.
We are sure our residents and their loved ones have many questions about the vaccine and our COVID-19 safety protocols. Read on for information on how we are keeping our community members safe, happy, and healthy during these confusing and difficult times.
COVID-19 Symptoms for Older Adults
Seniors may experience any of the common symptoms now associated with COVID-19, or they may have different symptoms that appear due to any underlying conditions they have. It’s important to continue all current medications and supplements to keep underlying conditions treated, and to keep at least a 30-day supply on hand to avoid any delays.
Seniors also sometimes have a lower overall body temperature than younger adults. Understanding your baseline temperature is important so you know what a fever looks like to you.
COVID-19 symptoms can appear two to 14 days after you have been exposed to the virus. This window is much larger than the flu, which COVID-19 sometimes initially is mistaken for.
COVID-19 symptoms include:
- Fever or chills
- Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
- Muscle or body aches
- New loss of taste or smell
- Sore throat
- Congestion or runny nose
- Nausea, vomiting, or diarrhea
If you experience any of these emergency COVID-19 symptoms, seek immediate medical care:
- Trouble breathing
- Persistent pain or pressure in the chest
- Inability to wake or stay awake
- Bluish lips or face
- New confusion
At The Kensington, we take resident temperatures and oxygen levels throughout the day as part of our COVID-19 protocols.
Can You Get Infected with COVID-19 After the Vaccination?
The COVID-19 vaccines require two doses for full protection, spaced weeks apart. The vaccines, produced by Pfizer/BioNTech and Moderna, are messenger RNAs (mRNA). MRNAs work by entering the cells near the injection site and instructing them to start making the same protein found in the COVID-19 virus. Then, your immune system can create the antibodies required to fight the virus.
Testing has shown the COVID-19 vaccines are more than 90% effective. The vaccines will not infect you with the virus, and once you have received both doses you will be protected from getting sick. If you happen to get sick with COVID-19 soon after receiving the vaccine, this means you were exposed to the virus right before or right after you received it. That’s why it’s so important to continue all safety measures until everyone is vaccinated and has built immunity.
It will take time for your body to build the antibodies, as well as to get everyone vaccinated with both doses, so all COVID-19 protocols must remain in place. Some people have reported side effects after receiving the vaccine. This does not mean the vaccine has infected you with the virus, it’s just your immune system at work. Symptoms, which can include fever, fatigue, and chills, should subside in a couple days.
Current COVID-19 Prevention Protocols at Sierra Madre
Sierra Madre is dedicated to protecting our team and residents from illness. In working continually to sustain a COVID-safe environment, we have been complying with all the latest recommendations from the CDC and local Department of Health.
Our safety measures include:
- Monitoring team members for symptoms twice per shift
- Practicing social distancing
- Wearing personal protective equipment (PPE)
- Regularly hand washing and sanitizing
- Monitoring resident temperatures and oxygen levels throughout the day
- Providing assistance for hand washing and sanitizing
- Maintaining full staff
- Screening all visitors, and refusing entry if they exhibit any symptoms or do not pass the screening questions
At The Kensington, our residents are family. We provide care beyond what a traditional assisted living community can offer, because we are devoted to a level of comfort, security, and love exemplified by passionate leaders. You can rest assured that during these troubling times, your loved ones continue to receive the highest level of care.
Anticipated COVID-19 Vaccination Protocol for The Kensington Sierra Madre
The COVID-19 vaccine at The Kensington is being distributed to all team members and residents. Community members received their first doses on Jan. 16, with the second dose scheduled for Feb. 6. Anyone who did not receive the first dose can expect to get it on Feb. 6, with a third clinic date of Feb. 27 expected.
New residents are also eligible for the vaccine! Contact our team to walk you through your options and answer any questions you may have about becoming a part of The Kensington family.
Phase 3 testing of the COVID-19 vaccines included 74,000 people, following strict guidelines from the FDA and independent panels of scientific and medical experts. This testing revealed the vaccines are safe, and appear to be more than 90% effective. In comparison, the flu vaccine is about 50+% effective.
Experiencing symptoms after receiving a vaccine is normal. Not everyone will experience symptoms, but remember, this does not mean you are sick with COVID-19, it just means your body’s immune system is working to build protection against the virus.
If you have questions about our COVID-19 safety procedures or vaccination protocols, please don’t hesitate to reach out. We would be happy to hear from you and explain more about how we are keeping residents safe.
To learn more about our exceptional assisted living and memory care at The Kensington Sierra Madre, click below or give us a call today for any questions. We promise to love and care for your family, as we do our own.