Visitor Alert: Due to concerns regarding the Coronavirus (COVID-19), Harrison Senior Living communities are under visitor restriction for the safety and wellbeing of our residents and staff. Please contact us if you have any questions. Thank you.

Watch Harrison House of Georgetown featured on WRDE for launching video chat options during COVID-19 pandemic.

With the novel coronavirus running through the country and forcing people to stay home, Harrison House of Georgetown (as well as other Harrison Senior Living communities) has launched a new video chat program to help residents stay in touch with their loved ones while still practicing social distancing.

Because of this, Harrison House of Georgetown and Harrison Senior Living president and CEO Harrison Saunders were featured in a news segment on WRDE Coast TV. You can read the article below and view the video segment here.

From the original article:

GEORGETOWN, Del. – The Delaware Department of Health and Social Services recommended on Thursday that nursing homes and other long-term care facilities temporarily ban visitors to reduce the risk for spreading COVID-19. Restrictions have been in place for visitors of the Harrison House in Georgetown for about a week. Its staff is now helping seniors stay in touch with their loved ones via phone calls and video-chats.

Harrison Senior Living put visitor restrictions in place last week to keep its seniors safe during the COVID-19 and influenza outbreaks.  Those who entered the building had to go through strict sanitation and screening processes to ensure they wouldn’t jeopardize the health of those who live in the community. After President Trump advised in a speech on Wednesday night that nursing homes suspend visits and protect the most vulnerable population, the Harrison House decided to limit access to those who have a medical need or are accompanying them.

“The elderly population is a vulnerable population,” says President and CEO Harrison Saunders.  “As the president said just last night, we need to secure the safety of our building, our residents, and of our staff.”

Pearl DeBow is grateful for this protection. She talks to people on the outside, like her daughter, via Skype.

“I don’t have to worry about not being taken care of,” says DeBow. “Best of all, when I go to bed at night, I know that I’m safe.”

Saunders says the Harrison House recognizes the risk of moving more aggressively than the rest of the industry. He says this is something to be taken seriously and that changes are made almost daily.

“We’re not allowing any visitors who are not here for an express medical need whatsoever,” says Saunders.

Saunders says communicating with family is critical to the health of the seniors. That’s why the team decided to use technology like video-chatting to keep them in contact with the rest of the world.

“That enables the resident to maintain that very important sense of connectivity to their communities,” says Saunders. “Unfortunately if they’re not there, that resident can quickly decline.”

Employees are trained and entrusted to ensure minimal exposure to potential outbreaks of the virus. Saunders says they must sanitize when they come in for each shift but if they develop any symptoms they will be encouraged to stay home. These guidelines apply to all of us.

More recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention can be found on WRDE”s COVID-19 Resource and Information Page.

There are no cases of COVID-19 at the Harrison House communities in Georgetown, Salisbury, Snow Hill or Coatesville, Pennsylvania but restrictions are in place across all four locations.