TAMPA, Fla. (August 31, 2020) — In August 2019, local resident Michele Moore helped her parents Don and Georgia Lamirande move into an assisted living community. Her mother had come to need more care than her father could give her, and it made sense to transition her into a community where she would receive the care she needed. Her mother moved in for the care, and her father to be with his wife of 63 years.
After touring several communities in the area, her parents decided on a two-bedroom residence at The Watermark at Trinity in Pasco County. Michele and her husband would join them for dinner at the community often and she saw firsthand the love and support of the associates. She had peace knowing that they were both happy and well taken care of.
Then, on March 15, the state of Florida issued an emergency order prohibiting visitation to nursing homes, assisted living facilities and other long-term care facilities except by family and friends during end-of-life situations.
“Was this ideal? No,” said Moore. “But we understood that the priority of Watermark was to keep our loved ones safe. Instead of our in-person visits, we began visiting via Skype.”
These virtual visits went on until early May, when Michele’s mother entered her final days. At the news of her mother’s health, Michele and her family were able to resume in-person visits.
“The staff knew the importance to my parents and myself, of being present to hold my parents’ hands and sharing these finals days together,” said Moore. “After my mom passed, I visited my dad for another week to help sort through mom’s things and make the necessary arrangements. Then, I was gently told we would need to resume the visitation restrictions. Again, we understood that this was in the best interest of all residents, not just my father.”
David Schupack, Executive Director of The Watermark at Trinity, says visits like these are always difficult and COVID-19 has not made them any easier.
“These are certainly unprecedented times, and we understand how difficult it has been for family members who have been asked to pause their regular visits with loved ones,” said Schupack. “As a Watermark family we support these personal and loving visits in the final days, and do everything we can to ensure that the families and residents are comfortable, and following the necessary precautions.”
Watermark screens all guests before entering the community for end-of-life visits. The community performs temperature checks and asks guests a series of questions to determine their risk profile. Visitors are also required to wear a mask and stay in the resident’s apartment for the duration of the visit.
It’s been more than three months since Georgia passed away, and Don Lamirande has since settled into a one-bedroom apartment next door at the community’s new independent living community. The independent living community, while not included in Florida’s emergency order, has its own set of precautions in place.
Residents must be tested for COVID-19 before move in, and all visitors are required to wear masks and have their temperature checked. The community also follows strict social distancing guidelines and adheres to state guidance regarding indoor seating at restaurants in all three dining venues.
“Dad enjoys the freedom he has at the new community, and we enjoy getting to see him more,” said Moore. “And while this certainly has not been an easy time to grieve a loved one, we’ve been so happy with the care, service and quality at Watermark. The folks there love my dad almost as much as I do, which gives me enormous comfort that he is safe and cared for.”
About The Watermark at Trinity
Located in Trinity, Fla., The Watermark at Trinity is a 218-residence retirement community offering independent living, assisted living and memory care in the Pasco County suburb of Trinity. Differentiators of the community include certified associates, continuous care and an extraordinary lifestyle built on an abundance of choices. Owned and managed by Watermark Retirement Communities, The Watermark at Trinity is committed to creating an extraordinary community where people thrive. To learn more visit www.WatermarkCommunities.com.
About Watermark Retirement Communities® Inc.
At Watermark Retirement Communities, we’re committed to creating extraordinary and innovative communities where people thrive. Watermark communities are known for highly trained associates, a lifestyle built on choice and innovative signature programs, including our award-winning Watermark University featuring a wide variety of engaging classes and programs for residents and area seniors. A privately held company with a 30-year reputation for service, innovation, integrity and financial stability, Watermark manages nearly 60 retirement communities nationwide and was recognized by Fortune Magazine as a Great Place to Work. Based in Tucson, Ariz., Watermark is ranked as the nation’s 12th-leading senior housing operator by the American Seniors Housing Association. Learn more about the Watermark difference at watermarkcommunities.com.