COVID-19 Updates

Embracing the Fear, an update from Melody Gabriel, CEO

Last week I shared with you our thoughts around staying strong. It seems appropriate amid the apex of this crisis that we all address the elephant in the room. The fear. Fear of the unknown, fear of death, fear around how long this will last, fear of what a new normal might look like for us. It can be paralyzing.

Here is what I know for sure, our Generations family has a deep love for the work we do. Our caregivers, nurses, waitstaff, housekeeping team, Vitality crew, and all of the special people who serve, serve with a higher purpose. The courage drawn from this higher purpose allows us to push through the fear and focus on action. We are warriors and yes, we do experience fear. We give it a little hug and then let it go on its way. The love we have for our work does not leave room in our hearts for fear.

Company-wide, a few things to know:

Our commitment to communication.  We want to keep you abreast of changes as new information becomes available. To allow for predictable and regular, but not overwhelming communication, we will provide you with a weekly update letter.  At your community there will be additional weekly communication, as needed.

Cherishing transparency. Currently, across all campuses, here is the most updated information about any positive cases for our people.

Montage Ridge: 1 resident, 4 employees

Paradise Village Parkview: 1 employee

Cherishing our staff.  We are excited to roll out features and perks of our “hero pay and benefits” for the months of April and May, designed as a multi-faceted approach to supporting and honoring our team during this challenge.

Our commitment to enhancing our protocols even further. We are never done in the work of fine tuning our approach. Below you will find a list of some of the many of the steps we are taking to ensure a thorough and effective response.

Some ongoing and evolving actions include:

  • All of our communities continue to be in close alignment with official guidelines and recommendations.
  • We continue with recommended and best practice infection control procedures, including residents self-isolating in their apartments.
  • Internal teams continue with a schedule of around the clock disinfection.
  • We implemented universal facemask requirement for all staff and outside individuals on campus.
  • Where appropriate, we have/will implement droplet precautions with the use of N95 masks, face shields, and full PPE for any resident that tests positive for COVID-19 and other residents nearby.
  • We are generally assigning duties to limit staff to specific areas of the community (“cohorting”) to reduce campus-wide interaction.
  • We continue to monitor all residents in care daily, keeping a sharp and educated eye out for our growing list of potential, and any remotely associated, COVID-19 symptoms and for changes in behavior or condition.
  • We are maintaining important critical emergency supplies and are working tirelessly with vendors and local public health departments to sustain them.
  • We continue to screen everyone who enters and have increased criteria for entry.
  • We continue to not permit visitors at this time (excepting for end of life circumstances) and invite residents to engage with loved ones via phone, text, facetime, etc. Our team is happy to assist.
  • Our Vitality teams continue to focus on engaging our residents but limiting physical contact, encouraging engagement from within apartments while we continue our self-isolation policy. Group activities remain suspended, but hallway activities at doorways continue. Memory care teams focus on lots of one on ones.
  • We are preparing for the potential of sheltering staff who wish it, to limit potential of their being exposed to coronavirus in public, off-duty, or at home.
  • We have been actively hiring staff and maintaining staffing ratios to ensure we have a good pool of back up so only healthy staff are serving.
  • All staff who call out for any reason possibly related to symptoms are being interviewed by HR.
  • We have taken steps to cherish our employees through the unique needs of this challenge, providing free shift meals, strategizing childcare, getting creative with our hours, and ensuring a full complement of leadership all days of the week.

Melody Gabriel, CEO

 


Staying Strong – An update from our CEO, Melody Gabriel

In the middle of big challenges, I find myself recalling Generations history. One moment that comes to mind is of Marcia Parisi, of Fairfield Village, accepting a Distinguished Service Award. On stage she said, “I am part of Generations, who honors faith and family, and community, and vitality, and friends and laughter, and love and loyalty.” Marcia highlighted the deep pool of strength and devotion that lives here. In a challenge it is exactly what keeps our community family strong..

Company-wide, we are staying healthy. Currently we have no residents with COVID-19. One staff member at Montage Ridge (Denver) and one at Paradise Village Parkview (San Diego) tested positive for COVID-19. However, it has been 17 days since the last shift worked at Montage Ridge and eleven since the last shift at Parkview. Both are under self-quarantine. Residents and fellow staff had limited exposure and are all doing well.

The following are some other actions and updates we think you may be interested in.

  • This has allowed us to lay out an initial response strategy, to be done with thoroughness and care, in the event of potential exposure on campus, which includes immediately investigating facts; meeting with leadership to ensure accurate information and consistency of response; meeting individually with 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 have expanded our defined potential symptoms for screening and monitoring to be anything remotely associated with COVID-19, such as eye redness, chills, muscle pain/aches, or loss of taste/smell.
  • Though not needed for symptoms, we have added the universal use of facemasks for all staff and visitors, principally for peace of mind, using primarily cloth masks, daily laundered, and asking essential visitors to provide their own where at all possible. We are inviting volunteers with sewing skills to support this inventory. Anyone interested is welcome to reach out to volunteer@generationsllc.com.
  • We are assigning duties to limit staff to specific areas of the community (“cohorting”) to reduce levels of campus-wide interaction.
  • We are preparing for the potential of sheltering staff who wish it, to limit potential of their being exposed to coronavirus in public, off-duty, or at home.
  • We have been actively hiring staff and maintaining staffing ratios to ensure we have a good pool of 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, strategizing childcare, 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.

The following are some continued and ongoing actions:

  • We remain in communication with health officials to ensure we stay in alignment.
  • We continue with recommended and best practice infection control procedures and owe special recognition to the tireless efforts of Environmental Services.
  • Our Clinical team, under our Clinical Director’s guidance, continues to nimbly evolve our approach as CDC or health department recommendations develop.
  • We continue to screen all professionals, visitors, vendors, and staff before entry.
  • We continue to monitor residents in care daily, keeping a sharp and educated eye out for all symptoms and changes in behavior or condition.
  • We continue to not permit visitors at this time* and invite engagement with loved ones via phone, text, facetime, etc. Our team is happy to assist.
  • We are so far maintaining important critical emergency supplies and are working with various vendors and local public health departments to sustain them.
  • Our Vitality teams continue to focus on engaging our residents to limit physical contact, encouraging engagement from within resident apartments. As social distancing policy continues, group activities remain suspended, but hallway activities from doorways continue. Memory care teams focus on lots of one on one time.
  • Our Culinary teams continue to provide meals tray service/delivery. For those residents who require observation we adopt social distancing as much as possible.
  • We continue to manage drop off locations for online orders/delivery, using the main campus entrance address and ensuring internal transfer to residents.

We will continue to keep you informed both as needed and for general updates. Thank you for standing with us.

All my best,

Melody Gabriel, CEO

 

*Exceptions are made, conditionally, for end-of-life situations. Anyone with symptoms, regrettably, cannot be permitted. We are required to limit visitors to two at once. Visitors must wear a mask, follow staff instruction, and restrict the visit to the resident’s room.


Why are we are asking ALL employees and essential visitors to wear a mask?

Asking all employees and essential visitors to wear face masks even while we do not have any teammates or residents on campus exhibiting symptoms related to the novel coronavirus may seem unnecessary and overly cautious.  However, please know that we cherish our employees and our residents, and see them as our family, and we want to ensure their well-being, and this is a piece of that in action.

This just-in-case protection feels like a smart move for a few reasons. First, many beloved individuals call this community home and staff are the best resident defense against this coronavirus. Secondly, some or our cherished employees work at other communities who may have a different level of exposure. Also, some are not able to do as much self-isolation after hours as others. A preemptive use of masks, partnered with social distancing, is an excellent way to protect communities as a whole. Lastly, a cloth mask helps safeguard our isolation/surgical masks, and any N95 respirators, for a time when they are needed against symptoms.

Thank you for keeping our communities safe and healthy, for standing together to help defend our home and protect those in it.  Service to seniors is a calling and a cause those who choose it are driven to, but in moments like this it is not easy.

Sincerely,

Therese Achatz, VP of Operations


Steps We will Take In the Event of Suspected COVID-19

Many of you have asked what our course of action would be in the event of a suspected or confirmed case of COVID-19 at our community. We are committed to keeping you updated and being transparent as we navigate this together, so wanted to reach out to lay out our process.

 Our response strategy, done with thoroughness and care, would be as follows:

  1. Immediately investigate detail of the suspected exposure or infection, ensuring we are working from facts and are asking all the right questions.
  2. Meet with the leadership team to share what is happening and talking points to ensure accurate information, consistency of response, and to protect the privacy of our individuals as appropriate.
  3. Meet individually with staff and residents who may have been exposed and ensuring that appropriate actions and support, as may be uniquely appropriate, are taken and to put appropriate monitoring in place.
  4. Meet with our entire staff family, including our medical director, clinical consultants, and Generations Clinical Director, Susan Ritty, to share what is happening, answer questions, reinforce the infection control protocol measures that are currently in place, and any additional measures that may be taken to ensure the health and safety of our community.
  5. Communicate with our entire resident family and their families to share what is happening, how they can participate in any new measures to ensure the health and safety of our community, and to invite questions.

The following are some of our ongoing specific actions:

  • We are in very close communication with local and state health officials to ensure we are taking all appropriate steps.
  • We continue with recommended and best practice infection control procedures. Our staff and residents are following the recommended infection control actions.
  • We continue to screen all necessary/critical professionals and vendors and our staff for exposure risk. Those with any symptoms or known exposure risk are escorted off campus.
  • We continue to monitor all residents daily, keeping a sharp and educated eye out for all symptoms and changes in behavior or condition.
  • We continue to not permit visitors at this time* and invite residents to engage with loved ones via phone, text, facetime, etc. Our team is happy to assist.
  • We are maintaining important critical emergency supplies and are working with various vendors and local public health departments to sustain them.
  • We are assigning duties to limit staff to specific areas of the community, reducing high levels of campus-wide interaction.
  • We are preparing for the potential of sheltering staff who wish it, to limit the potential of their being exposed to coronavirus while in public, off-duty, or from home environments.
  • Our Vitality teams continue to focus on engaging our residents to limit physical contact, limiting transportation to necessary medical appointments, enriching lives in creative ways to encourage engagement from within resident apartments. Social distancing is community policy. Our residents have been asked to continue to self-isolate within their apartments.
  • Our Culinary teams continue to provide meals tray service/delivery, as our dining rooms continue to be closed. For those residents who require observation we are adopting this requirement as creatively as possible.
  • We have drop off locations for online orders/food delivery, and/or family care packages you may wish to deliver or send. Please use the main campus entrance address to route all deliveries to the proper entry points. We will ensure internal delivery to residents.

We cherish those who live and work in our communities and plan to care for our people with every resource and best practice in our toolkit. We will continue to keep you informed about our response to this novel coronavirus. Thank you for standing with us.

All my best,

Melody Gabriel, CEO

 

*Exceptions are be made, conditionally, for end-of-life situations. Those with symptoms (fever, cough, shortness of breath, eye redness) to our regret, will not be permitted. We are required to limit visitors to two at once. Those permitted must wear a mask, follow staff instruction, and restrict visit to the resident’s room.


Generations and Social Distancing

It’s not natural.   We love to hug, hold hands and touch each other.  It’s one of the ways we communicate, show we care and as humans connect.  We are charged with a unique situation in our history where limiting physical contact can truly save a life.   Adhering to social distancing is one of the weapons we can use to defeat this silent enemy.    Join us in all efforts to support and protect each other by standing 6 feet apart!   We can do this Generations!

See some great stories, videos and photos showing how our communities are practicing  social distancing by visiting the local community Facebook pages or by visiting our Generations YouTube page:

 

www.facebook.com/generationsllc

www.facebook.com/carmelvillageclovis

www.facebook.com/liveatparadise 

www.facebook.com/CherryWoodVillage

www.facebook.com/wheatlandvillage

www.facebook.com/fairfieldvillagelayton

www.facebook.com/montageheights

www.facebook.com/montagecreek

www.facebook.com/montageridge

www.facebook.com/montagehills

 

Social Distancing 101

 

 


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