Stay Safe. Be Well.
As we continue to welcome new residents, Watermark’s commitment to safety and well-being includes a comprehensive plan and certification process implemented at our communities nationwide.
Since the beginning of the pandemic, the safety and well-being of our residents and associates have driven Watermark’s operating procedures, informed each in-the-moment decision made by our 24/7 Task Force and also guided the spirit of each Watermark team member as they have risen to the realities of this very challenging time.
As the pandemic presents a fluid situation, our teams are on the leading edge of information and safety practices. Watermark’s dedicated associates are implementing and updating precautions as needed to safeguard residents in our dining rooms, community life and during visits with loved ones.
Watermark’s commitment to our residents’ and associates’ safety and well-being is captured in our Stay Safe. Be Well. certification program.
With a 30-year history of helping people thrive, Watermark Retirement Communities® is prepared and proud to support you. We have created an extensive set of standards, policies, procedures and resources for the safety, health and well-being of our residents and associates.
Task Force – Watermark’s Task Force formed in March of 2020 to provide 24/7 access to health, policy and testing, safety measures, interpreting CDC guidelines as well as state and local regulations expertise to all communities
PPE Warehouse in Tucson – When it became clear that the national and local supplies of PPE would not be adequate for the COVID pandemic, Watermark converted an office building to a warehouse and installed a procurement team to assure adequate supply of PPE. The warehouse continues to stock hundreds of thousands of gloves, masks and other critical supplies
Community Entrance Screening – Each community has a screening protocol for all associates and visitors at a single point of entry
Accushield Screening – Custom kiosks provide all-in-one screening that collects answers to health screening questions, automatically collects temperature, and provides sanitizer and complimentary masks prior to visitation. An alert is activated if requirements aren’t met and intervention protocol is followed. All data collected is stored and retrievable.
Testing – Testing for COVID-19 varies in frequency at each community according to licensing or clinical requirements to mitigate the spread of COVID-19
Go Health ID – A web-based ecosystem using block chain for COVID-19 Testing and Tracking, it ensures trust in identity and integrity in a secure environment, and provides contact tracing and automated reporting
Universal Masking – As a result of the success of Watermark’s PPE warehouse, universal masking was implemented for associates in April 2020 and every associate has a mask to wear every day
Hand Sanitizing Stations – Hand sanitizing stations are deployed throughout communities and all are reminded that keeping hands clean is a pillar of general safety precautions in the pandemic
Group Events – To assure that residents can continue to gather safely, appropriate guidelines are in place at each community that include physical distancing and masking
Enhanced Cleaning Policy – Watermark’s usual rigourous cleaning protocols have been enhanced during the pandemic to three times daily in high traffic areas
Electrostatic Disinfection Equipment (Sprayers & Backpacks) – Electrostatic sprayers work by charging disinfectants as they pass through a sprayer nozzle, generating charged droplets that repel one another and actively seek out environmental surfaces, which they stick to, and even wrap around, coating all sides
Vehicle Disinfection – Because residents still need transportation to essential medical appointments, Watermark has instituted a strict cleaning policy
Isolation Areas – If a resident tests positive for COVID-19, they are moved to an isolation area to mitigate the spread of the virus, and are cared for by staff who do not have duties in other parts of the community
Signage packages – Customized signage packages are available to each community as needed. Signage mainly concerns safety reminders (physically distancing, hand washing and masking) but also helps residents understand their post-COVID environment through non-intrusive cuing
Family Communication – Because of the importance of frequent and transparent communication with resident families during the pandemic, Watermark has deployed an email-based family communication tool
Website – Watermark maintains a website for residents and families for general FAQs, an introduction to the Task Force, local sources for information about COVID, Well-Being wisdom from our Director of Well-being, Kudos from residents and families and an Inspiration Board
Emergency Paid Sick Leave – Watermark instituted emergency paid sick leave to assure that associates do not come to work when they are not feeling well
With a 30-year history of helping people thrive, Watermark Retirement Communities® is prepared and proud to support you. Programs are now more powerful and engaging than ever before, for you to stay connected and keep loved ones in the know. We remain inspired and are committed to inspiring you through meaningful connections, self-discovery and lighthearted fun.
Project Hope – The brain child of Managing Director Rich Howell, Project Hope calls all residents into collaborative action creating art to commemorate strength, resiliency and community in this time of pandemic. All residents and associates may have a part in each project and communities look forward to seeing their collaborative artwork on display. Projects to date have included a tile art installation, origami cranes, a community quilt, painted gratitude rocks and a butterfly “garden.”
Technology Assists for Virtual Visits – Virtual visits have become the norm during the pandemic. All communities have created a program to assist with keeping residents connected and some communities even have a delegated Technology Concierge.
Taking It Online – Very quickly when it became apparent that the pandemic is going to require physical distancing, communities got to work figuring out how to move events, classes and gatherings online, adding live seminars, demonstrations, and shows from expert sommeliers, chefs, and comedians.
Taking It Outside – Many communities have been able to take advantage of mild weather to move events outdoors where residents can enjoy them from windows and balconies – courtyard concerts, BBQ cookouts or visiting wild animals – or take physically distanced exercise and movement classes such as yoga and pilates.
Engage VR-Virtual Reality – Engage VR uses Oculus Rift technology to provide an array of content including art, science, travel and more that residents can experience from their own residences. Titles include theBlu, Kremer Collection VR Museum, Google Earth VR and Through the Ages: National Parks.
Keeping Dining Fun – Despite the fact that dining has moved in-room during the pandemic, communities have found ways to keep it a social experience. In many communities cooks, servers and associates decorated the to-go containers in which meals were delivered with pithy and inspirational sayings. One community had some individuals introducing themselves to residents by giving their names and a hobby that they especially liked.
Keeping It Social While Keeping Our Distance – Many communities have also had holiday-themed food and drinks events in the hallways; residents will relax in a chair in their doorway and enjoy physically distanced cocktails and “mocktails” with their neighbors. Hallways have also become venues for art classes, discussion groups, and resident/associate karaoke.
Inspiration Board – Sections of the COVID website capture all the inspirational stories and messages that are sent by residents, families, friends and associates. Although it is generally focused on light-hearted fun, it also features some stories that are heart-warming even when they deal with the profound issue that the pandemic has brought. It is a celebration of the human spirit.
Sharing Ideas Across The Country – As a way of supporting each other through this unique time, our Community Life professionals have been sharing ideas, Best Practices and words of encouragement using our Community Life/ Google Community as the platform. This forum is one of many at Watermark and is open to any associate who is interested in joining.
Watermark’s Stay Safe. Be Well. Certification
Watermark’s established protocols of rigorous cleaning and disinfection processes are conducted throughout public areas in our communities including dining rooms, libraries, elevators, salons and lobbies. Safeguards include detailed procedures for housekeeping and laundry. Our standards review process ensures that each Watermark community adheres to the thorough training and stringent guidelines required for certification. Watermark’s safety protocols incorporate best practices from federal and state authorities as well as our 30 years of experience as a leader in senior living communities.