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Senior Living Community has Uncommon Experience

BOULDER, CO:  Frasier, a not-for-profit Life Plan community in Boulder shared the same difficult journey that so many other life plan communities experienced by having to quickly respond to a virus that was proving to be deadly for older adults throughout the world.  And like other communities offering a continuum of care, including a 54-bed nursing care center, restrictions on visitations and other activities began in early March 2020 - almost a year ago.

Frasier was amid a plethora of “rolling” move-ins into The Prairies, which was their brand-new independent living building comprised of 98 large one and two-bedroom apartments. At the time the pandemic struck, The Prairies was nearly 100% pre-sold, with move-ins beginning in January 2020, and scheduled through the rest of the year.  So, what is uncommon?  

COVID-19 Community Cases

Although Frasier had its fair share of COVID-19 positive results, the numbers seem to be relatively low with only 11 residents in The Peaks (Frasier’s original independent living building), and three in The Prairies. Meaning, out of 372 independent living residents, only 3% have tested positive, and most significantly, 100% of those made a full and healthy recovery.

More incredible is the experience in the areas serving the most vulnerable residents from a health perspective. There were only four residents in Frasier’s assisted living and memory support community, The Meadows, that tested positive. To date, there are no indications of positive residents in The Summit Care Center, Frasier’s skilled nursing and long-term care community, and most importantly, no hospitalizations or deaths associated with the virus. 

From a staff perspective, there were 60 out of 331 staff members who tested positive for COVID-19 since last March. Over 60% of those staff members were asymptomatic and were only determined positive due to surveillance testing. It is believed those staff members had exposure to the virus through community spread (outside of Frasier). Again, there were no deaths throughout the staff tied to COVID-19. 

Frasier’s Vice President of Health and Supportive Services, and COVID-19 Incident Commander Michelle McParland stated, “While we know continued vigilance will be required to hold onto this experience, we are grateful to the residents, staff and our greater Frasier family who helped this result by following strict adherence to procedures that were put in place to protect the community.”

Vaccine Participation Rate

Another uncommon experience trending now is the willingness of the entire Frasier community to voluntarily participate in COVID-19 vaccine clinics. Frasier partnered with Walgreens and began offering the vaccine first to residents and staff in The Summit Care Center and The Meadows, followed by a community-wide offering at the end of January. To date, a total of 821 Pfizer COVID-19 vaccines were administered at Frasier. Some residents and staff also were vaccinated off-campus.  To date, Frasier is experiencing:

  • 91% of the entire campus employees and full-time contractors participated in one or both vaccines to date.
  • 92% of skilled nursing staff received the vaccine.
  • 94% of our 173 dedicated assisted living and skilled nursing staff elected to receive the vaccine.
  • 100% of residents that were on campus and good candidates for the vaccine received one or two vaccines to date. Only four residents were not on campus, or able to get the vaccine at the time of the clinics, but some of those may be getting them before or after they return. Additional staff is also expected to participate in the next clinics being offered February 18 and 19, 2021.

Frasier is thankful that residents and staff came together as a community with a desire to protect one another from COVID-19.

Occupancy and Move-Ins

And one final uncommon experience for which Frasier is thankful relates to occupancy and move-ins. While dipping slightly, the average occupancy in all levels of care never dropped below 90%. Additionally, there were 149 residents that moved into The Prairies building between January and December 2020 so that fill-up continued to meet occupancy projections of the new building, not to mention that 14 new residents moved into The Peaks as well. 

While the onset of the pandemic tempered sales in retirement communities nationwide, in January after news that vaccinations had begun at Frasier, interest picked up significantly and quickly in this vibrant community - which coincidentally had its 60th anniversary in 2020 and had to pause all large celebratory activities.  With 13 apartments being reserved since January 2021, Frasier stands at 97% occupied and reserved status.

“We don’t take for granted the fact that in addition to a lot of hard work, and support at every level of the organization, we were also extremely lucky,” said Tim Johnson President and CEO of Frasier.   Johnson added “We were hesitant to share this news as we don’t think we are better than communities that did not have the same experience, but we also feel an obligation to try to offset so much of the negative press that the senior living field has endured during this pandemic.

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