Kennewick retirement home hopes to bring back indoor visitation, awaits state guidance

KENNEWICK, Wash. – At Parkview Estates in Kennewick, an assisted and independent retirement facility, it’s been a year of flexibility.

Staff have had to not only keep residents safe from COVID-19, but also entertained while in lockdown.

“Well it was restrictive but our staff made it as fun as it could be,” Jean Muller, a resident at Parkview said she was still able to play BINGO, knit blankets and enjoy delicious food.

Rachel Brune, the Community Relations Director said when the pandemic began, many seniors like Muller, were afraid their residence was next.

Retirement homes across the country experienced COVID-19 outbreaks early on in the pandemic, including in Washington state.

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“We just really had to focus on them and making sure they knew they were safe, they were secure,” Rachel said.

“Kinda (sic) fearful but I think our staff did an excellent job of taking everything out you know being diligent, I think we still have to be vigilant,” Jean added.

Brune said luckily, their diligence paid off, nobody got sick at the retirement home.

At the same time, staff also had to make up for the lack of visits from loved ones.

“We are their extended family,” Brune explained.

As Washington continues to reopen, Parkview Estates has held masked, outdoor visitations. Visitors must also get their temperature checked and fill out a health attestation.

The retirement home is still waiting on state guidance when it comes to letting family members back inside.

“We’re very excited to see what happens, but we wanna stay again on top of everything and make sure we don’t go too quickly,” Rachel said.

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Jean encourages everyone to continue to mask up, even as restrictions loosen.

“So you have to be diligent about all the good hygiene and everything,” she said.

Even during a time of social distancing, Ranch said the pandemic has allowed staff and residents to bond; ready for whatever comes next as we return to normal.

“It was, you know, a hard year, but at the same time it brought everyone together so much and you could really feel the love in the building,” Rachel said.

The retirement home has a call with officials on Tuesday to discuss bringing visitors back inside, in the future.