Senior, assisted living facilities need supplies to protect elderly from COVID-19

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MEMPHIS, Tenn. — Independent and assisted living facilities are doing what they can to protect seniors from the coronavirus pandemic. But some say they need more resources to fight the virus.

Residents at Feels Like Home Senior Lifestyle Residence have their own apartments and are accustomed to coming and going as they please. But during the coronavirus crisis, they’re confined to the square footage of their rooms for their safety and well being. Conversations are limited to telephone and curbside visits.

“The family members are able to pull under an awning and remain in their cars,” said Vanecia Kimbrow, owner of Feels Like Home, “and we can bring the seniors to the covered porch area and electronic means, but we just cannot risk outside individuals bringing illness into our vulnerable population.”

The operators at Feels Like Home say there are thankfully no COVID-19 cases here. But they’re sending an SOS to public officials. They need help getting cleaning supplies and protective gear for their staff and residents.

“We have no access,” Kimbrow said. “Every shipment that we’ve had placed for weeks prior to this thing have been delayed or canceled. All of the vendors supplies have been diverted to hospitals and or governmental entities and that does not include our facilities.”

In recent days, WREG has reported on outbreaks at nursing homes and assisted living facilities. A Gallatin nursing home reported more than 100 residents and staff tested positive for coronavirus. At least two have died.

A resident at a Tunica nursing facility also died from COVID19 complications.

This past week, as many as five residents and one staff member at Carriage Court assisted living in Memphis tested positive.

Kimbrow wants help to keep her residents and staff safe.

“What would be the channels that could make it better to have access to those PPE’s?” Kimbrow said. “I would think just like the hospitals are designated entities to receive that equipment they ought to include our congregate living for seniors.”

She’s contacted lawmakers and the governor’s office pleading for more focus on prevention for seniors. She says they need help not to get sick.

If you would to donate to Feels Like Home Senior Lifestyle Residence, you can visit their website at https://www.flhseniorliving.com. You can also call them at 901-542-0864.

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