Wishful memories hit me hard every once in a while. Thoughts of having family over, dining with my husband at our favorite now closed restaurant, meeting with friends, and getting nails done create longing for liberties just not possible in this new ‘normal’. Some days it takes more effort to redirect my mind from missed things toward all the things I am grateful for, so our culture topic this month, gratitude has come at a very good time. But as we see the country slowly open up, those longings, I expect, will continue to grow.
For all that I feel the pull, I do keep focused on doing the right things. It helps to think about you and how every effort means something. I think about our residents and model the strength and patience I see. I think about our staff and, as they do, count to 20 while handwashing. I think about families with loved ones on our campuses and how that trust requires that I too wear my mask and practice social distancing. I am grateful for the encouragement thoughts of you bring. Our diligence is critical to keeping our loved ones, our fellow residents and coworkers, safe.
You may have questions about ‘when’ – when community visiting opens up again, when it is safe to engage with outside family and friends for a drive, when will scenic drives and salons return, and when we can host community celebrations again. With abundant caution, we are preparing for the future and preparations are in motion for the weeks and months ahead. Community signage will be placed in the next week to remind us to physically distance and properly and frequently wash hands, committees are working on how to organize safe small group Vitality activities, and strategies for dining rooms are coming together, along with how to welcome visitors back to the community in a safe manner. Please know our focus firstly is always the safety of our people. We will follow guidance from our local health departments and as authorized state and local “phasing back” stages, but we look forward to having some answers to share for many questions of ‘when’.
Community Updates: We have updated the Generations web site to reflect any positive cases of COVID-19 in staff and residents. Please see the COVID-19 link on each community website or go to www.generationsllc.com.
The following are some continued and ongoing actions:
- We remain in communication with health officials to ensure we stay in alignment and have been ahead in our practices.
- We continue with recommended and best practice infection control procedures, internal teams have enhanced regiments of disinfection, and we continue to refresh protocol training, such as PPE procedure and hand hygiene.
- In the event of a potential exposure on campus, our initial response strategy, to be done with thoroughness and care, includes immediately investigating facts; meeting with leadership to ensure accurate information and consistency of response; contacting those/the families of those possibly exposed and ensuring appropriate actions and monitoring; meeting with our entire staff family to share facts, answer questions, reinforce infection control protocol, and discuss any additional measures to be taken; and communicating with our entire resident family and their families to share facts, response strategies, and invite questions.
- We continue to monitor residents in care daily, keeping a sharp and educated eye out for all symptoms and changes in behavior or condition.
- Though not needed for symptoms, we have a universal requirement of facemasks for all staff and visitors and ask essential visitors to provide their own where at all possible. We continue to invite volunteers with sewing skills to support this inventory. Anyone interested is welcome to reach out to firstname.lastname@example.org.
- We continue to screen everyone who enters.
- We continue to not permit visitors (with end of life exceptions) and invite engagement by facetime, phone, family connection window stations, etc. Our team can assist!
- We are maintaining important critical emergency supplies and are sustaining them.
- Our Vitality teams continue to focus on engaging our residents to limit physical contact, but are encouraging engagement. As social distancing policy continues and group activities remain suspended, hallway activities from doorways continue. Memory care teams focus on lots of one on one time.
- We assign duties to limit staff to specific areas (“cohorting”) to reduce campus-wide interaction.
- We are prepared to shelter staff who wish it, to limit potential of their being exposed to coronavirus in public, off-duty, or at home, or to better support their team.
- We continue to actively hire to ensure a good back up so only healthy staff are serving.
- We have taken steps to cherish our employees through the unique needs of this challenge, providing free shift meals, getting creative with our hours, and ensuring a full complement of leadership all days of the week.
- Members of our Generations Home Office are phoning-a-friend, working through our resident phonebook, just to check in, see how they are doing, and what we can do to facilitate connections with loved ones.
- We continue to manage drop off locations for online orders/delivery, using the main campus entrance address and ensuring internal transfer to residents.
Thank you for standing with us and thank you for keeping me strong.
All my best,
Melody Gabriel, CEO