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COVID-19: Creating Assisted Living Communities for the Future

The Design and Schematics of CopperStone Assisted Living, creating the FIRST Pandemic ready Assisted Living Facility in the Fox Valley

During these trying times many of our minds are wondering, what will the future hold? How will this affect going to the grocery store, or stopping at the local post office? How might this change our healthcare systems and Assisted Living facilities for our loved ones?


Serious questions about care, community, and competency can leave you worried, skeptical, and afraid.  After all, your family member should be able to enjoy the evening of their life in the comfort, care, and dignity they deserve. We can assure you that SARS-CoV-2 (COVID-19) and other potential health pandemics were at the forefront of our minds during the design phase of CopperStone Assisted Living, located in Neenah, WI. The strongest focus for management and control of viruses in Assisted Living Facilities is containment. From participation in daily activities and dining in community areas, to visits from family and relaxing outside, these are all opportunities to spread both airborne and droplet-based pathogens.


Many have recently seen senior living communities as areas to be wary of, instead of realizing the opportunities provided and the advantages supplied by a well-run Assisted Living Facility. Daily access to monitoring services, highly trained care teams, current infection prevention measures and alternative socialization techniques are among the many advantages your family member will experience at CopperStone Assisted Living.

Often, one overlooked item is the access senior living communities have with government health officials and acute care professionals. This can be especially crucial during times when they can almost be un-reachable due to the demands placed on them. During a pandemic like COVID-19, CopperStone will be in contact with health officials on a weekly, and sometimes daily basis, receiving updates and new best practices. Families and residents alike can be rest assured that they are provided the best care possible, by those who know their individual care needs and concerns.

Many of us have seen firsthand the ‘panic buying’ that took place during COVID-19. Shelves went empty and most stores had to go to the extent of having ‘Senior Only’ shopping hours, in an attempt to allow seniors the time to find and purchase the items they needed. CopperStone will have contracts with multiple large suppliers to ensure we have everything available at all times. Additionally, we will always have 30 days of emergency and care supplies on hand at all times. Our meal preparation will include a variety of fresh food items and our licensed Dietitian will be available to ensure our community members are receiving the proper nutrition to help ensure our loved one’s immune systems are performing at their best.


Within our community, a large factor in keeping our loved one’s spirits high, while maintaining social distancing, is daily interaction. CopperStone’s staff will be highly trained in the proper use of PPE (Personal Protective Equipment) to ensure meaningful levels of interaction while protecting your loved ones and our associate’s. The seniors living in our community will continue to have the option to participate in various individualized activities while remaining safe. Our community dining rooms, and lounge areas are very spacious to ensure social distancing can be accomplished while still safeguarding a high quality of life and environment. To further practice social distancing, our community will have a kitchenette in every CBRF unit, a private full bathroom within the unit, and fully operational windows for fresh Wisconsin air! Our staff will be trained on proper sanitation procedures and infection control measures and will utilize a new infection prevention system called Protexus.  This system allows for 360° touchless disinfection and sanitizing, while reaching up to three-times more surfaces than more commonly used buckets, rags and wipes. This system will be used on a routine basis in all common areas to ensure the best protection of our Residents and staff.


Due to the common susceptibility of our elderly family member’s immune systems, we unfortunately see a trend in health-related issues during the flu season or, in this case, COVID-19. When flu-like symptoms are identified in a Resident by facility care staff, it is important to react quickly. Assisted Living Facilities will typically request that the Resident showing flu-like symptoms, remain in their room to maintain isolation to help prevent the spread to other Resident’s living within the community. Often times, the most overlooked item in these situations, is the Resident’s room itself. Standard Assisted Living Facilities operate on positive air flow and commonly receive their airflow from a few different sources: Air Handlers, PTAC Units or Mini Split Systems. Positive air flow occurs when the air provided to the room, exceeds the exhaust, and pushes additional air into the corridor.


Air pressure relations is very important when trying to contain a virus from spreading. Negative pressure rooms are one of the best ways to prevent additional contamination of other resident’s and staff. While common in hospitals, it is very rare for an Assisted Living Facility to have negative pressure rooms. When needed, the negative pressure system can be engaged.  When this occurs, the exhaust of the unit will exceed the supply, preventing air from the specific unit from infiltrating into common spaces and potentially infecting others. Positive airflow units have the opposite effect and can significantly increase the chances of spreading the virus. Having the choice of negative air rooms is vital in Infection Control measures during isolation, along with social distancing, proper use of PPE (masks, gloves, gowns etc.), and proper hand hygiene. While still unheard of in the industry, CopperStone Assisted Living will have all Resident rooms equipped with the instant ability to convert into a negative air pressure environment!  While on a day-to-day basis, our units will operate with positive air, they will have the ability to be converted to a negative air environment with the flip of a switch! This is accomplished with no hassle or interference to your loved one while in their room, creating a relaxed healing environment.


A bipolar Ionization system was built into our HVAC units in common areas, creating superior air quality and reducing the infectivity of certain viruses by over 90%; specific to COVID-19, the rate of reduction is 98.0% on hard surfaces. A bipolar Ionization system purifies indoor air by reducing airborne particulates, odors, and pathogens without producing ozone or other harmful biproducts. How it works: https://globalplasmasolutions.com/how-it-works


To reduce the risk of exposure at Hospitals and Clinics, CopperStone has partnered with HealthDrive Services to provide our community members with in-home care and services such as Podiatry, Audiology, Dental Care, Optometry, and Mental Health support. Consultation and treatments can be provided in the comfort of their home within our facility.  Additionally, our community will be outfitted with telehealth technology to ensure your family member can keep appointments with their chosen care provider, all while remaining in the safety of our community! Telehealth is an emerging technology that allows visits with your physician through a computer software program. This private computer room can also support another amazing function, visits from family! You read that correctly, families will be able to use assorted domains to have video chats with their loved ones whether the reasoning is to avoid transferring a virus, or simply because you are on vacation!


At CopperStone, we understand your fears and reservations.  You are looking for a trusted team of professionals that will care for your family member, with no detail left out. That is why we have reimagined Assisted Living facilities. You and your family will have confidence in knowing that your senior family member is safe with us when its time to consider an Assisted Living.  We are here to help, always.


Coming Spring 2021, we welcome you and your loved ones to experience CopperStone Confidence.​