Assisted Living COVID-19 Update – 4/5/20
Dear Family Members,
As we continue to do our best to keep your loved ones well through these uncertain times, we appreciate your understanding and support! We have no known COVID-19 cases at present.
The pandemic coronavirus continues to create unprecedented challenges for all of us, we appreciate all for taking the No Visitation policy seriously. As best we can, we are trying to keep the virus from entering the building.
We are also doing our best to keep the residents engaged as they are asked to follow the group gathering restrictions. Our activity department is working with the residents to provide them with small puzzles, adult coloring books, and word search books. We have also made “goody bags” to distribute to everyone weekly, cupcakes and ice cream for other days that parties are scheduled. If there is anything that you feel would help keep their spirits up, please let us know!
As I alerted to you in previous correspondence, our Dining Rooms have been closed, consistent with the latest CDC and Virginia Department of Health guidance. Residents will continue to receive nutritious meals via in-apartment dining service. The Dining Services Department and Assisted Living staff continues to work diligently providing meals as efficiently as possible to the resident’s apartments. As this is new situation to all of us, we are improving and refining our process every day.
The staff will deliver resident mail, as residents or family members request, so continue to send cards and letters, and of course keep calling your loved one by phone! We understand that connecting with your loved ones is incredibly important, and there are a variety of other ways you might consider communicating with them. These may include telephone, email, text, video chat or social media. We have an I pad for the activities director to be able to arrange a time with you to facetime with your family member. If you want to coordinate a video chat through skype or face time we would be happy to help, please reach out to email@example.com (Laura, our activities director) to arrange a day and time. Monday thru Friday 8am to 3pm. This actually has been working very well, for many family members to stay in touch. Keep in mind, it will only be Laura conducting all these requests.
The continued mental, physical and spiritual welfare of each resident is very important. We are providing opportunities for residents to spend time outside of their apartments and supervising that there is only one resident present in each area. However, residents are strongly encouraged to remain in their apartments. In addition:
- Residents who leave the community WILL BE QUARANTINED IN THEIR APARTMENTS FOR 14 DAYS upon returning. As for now, some residents are taking the opportunity to walk in the hallway, get their mail, take a walk outside. All this is being supervised as to not have more than one resident in these areas or congregating outside.
- Family members who shop for the resident can deliver the groceries or supplies to the front desk. The assisted living staff will deliver the items to the resident’s apartment.
- Please cancel all non-essential doctor or dental appointments. If a resident leaves the community, they will be subject to self-quarantine for 14 days.
The following protocols remain in effect:
- Front desk staff continue to screen all essential visitors, including a temperature check. All persons entering and exiting are asked to wash their hands or utilize available hand sanitizer.
- All community events in which external visitors were expected have been canceled or postponed.
- We have increased the frequency of cleaning common areas as well as frequently disinfecting high-touch areas like doorknobs, elevator buttons, faucets and handrails.
- Our staff are screened upon arriving at work, before each shift staff temperature is being taken, and now been being checked again after 4 hours and recorded They are screened for any symptoms of Covid-19. Additionally, if any symptoms arise during their shift, they are reassessed. Employees experiencing any of these symptoms are sent home.
- Staff are now wearing masks, while in the facility and encouraged to do so outside as well, in an added attempt to keep residents and all safe.
- Staff are changing into clean scrubs or similar wear, when arriving on site.
- Staff are also required to report any illness in their household or anyone they have had contact with who has been diagnosed with or quarantined for Covid-19. For those employees who work in other long-term care communities, we require that the employee notify us immediately if there is a confirmed case of COVID-19 at their other place of employment.
- We continue to stress the importance of handwashing, proper hygiene practices, and social distancing as the first line of defense. Gloves have always been available for staff use, with guidelines being followed.
We thank you for the confidence you have in us and appreciate your patience during this difficult time. We also appreciate all that you are doing to support the measures we have put into place. We all have a responsibility to protect the most vulnerable among us from contracting COVID-19. My team and I will work with you to find creative solutions to any problems that may arise. We will continue to monitor any new developments and evaluate our precautions daily. We’re committed to protecting the residents and staff during this time, and we will continue to take all necessary precautions with their health and safety in mind.
Mary Van Wie