COVID Impacts at Homestead of Auburn Assisted Living

Normal things at Homestead of Auburn Assisted Living are not so normal anymore due to the pandemic.


Raini Mueting, the Certified Medication Aide at Homestead of Auburn, has elaborated on the changes and spoken about the negative effects the coronavirus has had on residents, residents’ families and staff.


“There has been a general decline in the health of the residents since the start of the pandemic in March. This includes losing two residents, but not due to covid,” Mueting said.


The residents are now required to social distance when sitting at the dinner tables and sitting six feet apart from each other. They have to be spread out throughout the entire building, which adds extra time to kitchen staff because they have to walk around more of the building to serve food. Residents also find it harder to socialize now that they are six feet apart.


 Activities have also been cut down from almost one everyday to now a couple every week. This makes residents sad because this would be the residents’ joy in their everyday life, but it is cut down.


Another challenge that they face is that covid can stay on surfaces for 24 hours. This means that residents can’t get their packages until 24 hours after receiving them, which creates a build up of packages and it is hard for staff to keep track of them.


In regards to the residents’ mental health, Mueting said, “Covid is making the residents sad, depressed, irritable, and anxious which is harder for everyone. This isn’t normal for anyone and residents not being able to see family isn’t making their mental health better.”


This transition has also been very hard on staff. “Staff are losing their minds. Most people don’t think about the  staff’s stress levels, but it has been very hard on us too,” Mueting said.


“Residents weren’t able to get beauty shop services from March to middle of October, which is not ideal. We just started slowly having our hairdresser come back and it has been a miracle for everyone. We also couldn’t have outside services such as the library, exercise, bands, and therapists come into the building, but we are allowing most of these services to come back, just not as often as we would like,” Mueting said.


Residents feel trapped, because they aren’t allowed to do activities that they would normally do. Some residents would go outside pre-covid, and this is only allowed in the courtyard. Staff are only allowing residents in the courtyard because residents like to talk to outside people, and that might spread covid. 


The last six months haven’t been easy for anyone but things have had to change to stop the spread. Although these changes are for the health of everyone, it still could have a negative impact on the lives of the residents.