Resident speaks out about life in an assisted living facility during the COVID-19 pandemic

Berkeley County News

BERKELEY COUNTY, S.C. (WCBD) – More than 700 residents or employees of long-term care facilities in South Carolina have tested positive for COVID-19 and more than 100 residents in the facilities have died.

Many residents are concerned with how something as simple as going to the doctor is now impacting their life.

A resident at The Blake at Carnes Crossroads shared what it has been like living in an assisted living facility during the coronavirus.

“This was a beautiful place to come to,” said DeAnna Trout, who lives at The Blake. “But today I would like to be an advocate for those who cannot speak for themselves.”

Trout says COVID-19 changes have made life very difficult at her home.

“To get to a doctor, to get to your regular doctor, is extremely difficult. It’s almost isn’t worth it,” she said.

Trout says The Blake used to provide transportation, but now friends or family must be arranged.

“Once we get there and we get back, we’re quarantined for three days,” she said.

They require her to have the nasal COVID test to only have to quarantine for 3 days.

“We go through a very painful nasal swab, and to my understanding, it was only for those who had been to a hospital. I have never had a fever; I do not have a cough.”

Trout said when she refused the nasal test, she was told she had to quarantine in her room for 14 days.

She has several doctors she must see, and she feels constantly confined to her room. It has made her put off going to the doctor as long as possible.

“I am behind about four doctor’s appointments,” she said. “I need to see my own physicians without being punished.”

Trout went on to say, “I’m just asking, please be reasonable for those of us who need our own personal physician who knows our plight in life. That’s all I’m asking.”

Scott Hames, the senior Vice President at The Blake Management Group told News 2 they understand the frustrations some may have, but they’re implementing the CDC guidelines at The Blake and said the fact that they haven’t had any cases of coronavirus or deaths at the facility is some proof that what they’re doing seems to be working.

Read Hames full statement below:

“The response to the rapid spread of the novel coronavirus has created unique challenges and requirements, particularly in the senior housing industry.  As part of Blake Management Group’s pledge to protect our resident’s safety and well-being, we have supported and implemented CDC and DHEC recommendations for senior living communities.  These guidelines do not require us to restrict residents from leaving the Community, and we have not done so.  However, if a resident chooses to leave the Community, we must consistently implement the recommended screening protocols upon return.  This, of course, is part of our concerted effort to keep the virus from entering the community. 

We are very sensitive to the inconvenience and emotional strain that this may create, but the health and safety of our residents and team members remains our top priority. As a result of initiating these protocols at the beginning of the pandemic, the Blake at Carnes Crossroads has not had any positive cases of Covid-19 to date, which is something we are extremely proud of. 

During this time, we are continuing to explore and implement creative ways for our residents to experience family, social and recreational engagement while remaining diligent about protecting the safety and well-being of our community as a whole.”

Scott Hames, Senior Vice President of Operations, Blake Management Group, LLC.

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