Jamestown Assisted Living: Caring for Residents during the Pandemic
Curtis Miner Architecture recently completed the architectural design for a new addition and remodel for The Courtyard at Jamestown Assisted and Senior Living facility, a top tier retirement community in Provo, Utah. The renovated facility will include a three-story, 35,000 square feet addition and more than 7,000 square feet of remodeled space. The addition will provide 30 more resident units with one- and two-bedroom options.
The facility has passed all of the review processes and construction started in April of this year. Construction while a facility remains occupied is challenging under the best of circumstances; maintaining the health and safety of workers and residents during a pandemic complicates things exponentially. To avoid any unnecessary risks, meticulous planning and communication were critical. Prior to construction, the executive team met with contractors, and then on a separate occasion met with the staff, residence council, residents, and families.
Barriers were built to keep construction crews separate from staff and residents. While working in the barricaded areas workers wore their standard PPE (personal protection equipment), however, if they needed to walk through the facility, they were required to undergo screening and wear protective PPE expected by all visitors. The protective gear consists of face shields, gloves, and gowns. The screening requires them to have their temperature taken and answer questions to determine if they have potentially been exposed. Questions included “Have you interacted with anyone who has COVID-19?” and “Have you been in an area identified as a hotbed of COVID-19 confirmed exposure?”
The renovation of the existing facility includes upgrades to the dining area and kitchen. While those areas are under construction the kitchen has been temporarily relocated to the activity room and a tent has been set up outside the facility for dining and activities. The cook and kitchen staff prepare meals buffet-style and the staff plate the meals and take them to the residents in the tent. Residents dine in small groups who rotate according to a schedule. Likewise, large group activities have been suspended and are held in small, rotating groups in the tent. Individual activities are provided in the resident’s room.
“The pandemic obviously presents challenges, but executive leaders and staff have risen to the opportunity by providing creative solutions,” said Megan James, Head Nurse at Jamestown. Planning, clear communication, and vigilance to limit exposure by everyone involved have made a complicated situation manageable.