New Technology Adds Level Of Safety Against Spread Of Coronavirus

A living community for older adults in Cherry Creek opened in November with the final months of its planning and construction happening under the pandemic, the challenges of COVID-19 also gave them the chance to use new technology for the safety of their residents and staff.

In the first few weeks of operations, they say it offers an added level of safety for those in the community and their families.

“The wellbeing of seniors was in our hands and that if we took a wrong step, somebody could die,” Adam Kaplan, CEO and founder of Solera Senior Living, said Friday on a video conference call. “We were planning for this and we had put measures in place that keep people safe.”

Kaplan last spoke to CBS4 in May when his company was still working on Modena Cherry Creek. He tapped a team of COVID consultants made up of doctors to help design the community. They used the eight months to prepare for the opening and better manage the coronavirus, he says they anticipated the second wave of cases coming in the fall and winter.

“There’s a lot in place to make sure we quickly identify it and if there is a case, then we isolate that person,” he said of a potential outbreak at Modena.

So far, none of the residents have tested positive for COVID-19.

He said the assisted living community has Personal Protective Equipment or PPE on site and a testing plan that lets them check on residents and staff at that location, part of the plan before the development opened. They also invested in technology that allows staff to check in with a facial recognition system that goes through potential symptoms. Staff also have daily temperature checks, along with residents who are also checked for their oxygen level.

“It’s been really positive, the employees really enjoy it and appreciate it, given the ease of the use with the station itself,” said Jamie Ranzan, the president of Solera Senior Living. “It’s just one more step that the residents know and the family members know that we are taking the safety and the precautions above and beyond the protocols.”

The setup when staff enters also sanitizes their shoes at the same time, in a process that lasts eight seconds. Once complete, employees walk to the right, so they never step in an area that might be infected once the machine kills 99.99% of viruses, according to Ranzan. It’s an example of the steps they’ve taken with the help of medical experts.

“At the very inception of COVID it was almost impossible to keep up with what was going on and understanding. There were so many different conflicting reports happening,” she said. “That’s not our genre. We’re not scientists, we aren’t infection disease experts by any stretch of the imagination and given the severity and the criticalness of staying ahead of any protocols that were mandated.”

These services are part of the advantage from opening a new development during the pandemic, the technology also helps to keep staff and residents engaged when they need to be apart. Visitors are not allowed at the moment, so they are focused on providing resources while prioritizing safety. The next step in preparing for the coronavirus is vaccine administration, they are working with national pharmacy chains to facilitate on-site access for residents eligible in the early phase distribution.

“It is the most challenging period I have ever dealt with but honestly it’s also, in some respects, the most rewarding,” Kaplan said.

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