March 21st, 2020
Updates to Community Activity as we “Self Isolate” and use “Social Distancing”
Our communities continue to make us proud. Adapting to this mutual challenge is not easy – our residents face the work of staying engaged and our staff face the work of staying smartly ahead of the curve. In the face of all of it, extraordinary things are happening, and it reminds me of why this family has been in the service of senior living for 77 years. It is because the staff that are drawn to it have servant hearts and a personal drive to make a difference, and the residents who choose it are the ones who prioritize themselves. Our campuses are full of people I love and admire and, in times like this, I feel it the most.
The following are some actions and updates we think you may be interested in.
Our Vitality teams are our engagement champions, spearheading efforts to ward off the stir crazy and to prove that whole person well-being can happen. Our staff are focusing on daily face-to-face check-ins and, at our larger communities, are enlisting internal departments to reach all our Independent Living (IL) residents too. Face to face contact, using social distancing, and the delivery of various Vitality materials and newsletters and hallway activities, that allow social distancing, are helping to keep us connected. Resources for virtual/online experiences, entertainment, and fitness opportunities are being implemented, shared, and/or explored. Most importantly, especially as our campuses must be closed to visitors, teams are also working to ensure and/or facilitate communication between residents and loved ones, both by mail and electronically. Anyone looking for assistance is encouraged to contact Vitality staff.
On the staffing front, we are beefing up with active and careful hiring; doing round the clock training to maintain hand hygiene, infection control, and personal protective equipment (PPE) wearing protocols; and maintaining channels for clear communication as procedures are modified or enhanced. Our clinical teams working with our residents in assisted living and memory care and have sharp eyes on the look out to identify any changes in condition, every shift. Our Vitality teams are preparing to distribute personal “wellness logs” to our IL residents to encourage both tracking and communicating how they are feeling. While we are happy to have no COVID-19 cases at any community, we are nonetheless prepared, staffed, and trained.
Supplies are a hot topic in the world of health care. Right now, we have adequate supplies. Though there is strain on supply chains, we are doing what we can to mitigate, anticipate, and conserve. Imagining all possible scenarios, we have pulled together resources for the remote event of needing to make masks. Anyone with sewing skills who may be interested in volunteering services, wants to learn more, or may have materials to donate for this is invited to reach out to our lovely coordinator, Angela, at email@example.com. We have directions, video instructions, and some supplies, such as elastic needed for ear loops, that we might be able to provide. Anything we collect that we end up not needing will be donated to those with challenged immune systems.
Lastly, please do check out community Facebook pages. We welcome specific questions to firstname.lastname@example.org. Our dedicated hotline number (971-804-3989) continues to have a greeting message with the latest updates and is a great place to leave voicemail or send text messages for questions when you are looking for specific information about our COVID-19 preparations, updates, or procedures. Other fun community postings and video can be found on our Generations Universe YouTube channel
Melody Gabriel, CEO
March 17th, 2020
RE: Updates to Our Community Protocols – Social Distancing and Self-Isolation
While our mission is Enhancing Lives and Celebrating the Excitement of Living! and our first two values are Cherishing Our Residents and Cherishing Our Employees, in these extraordinary times we are adapting what this looks like. Not a single piece of guidance we have asked of our communities was done so without a great deal of thought. We know that sacrifices come with these requests. It comes down to the question of how do we more fundamentally cherish our people than by trying to put every potential safeguard in place to provide them a safe and healthy environment? Our strategy continues to evolve and today we ask our residents and staff to act again in defense of our community.
We are asking our residents to practice social distancing and to self-isolate. By this we ask that our residents become consummate role models in the fight against this novel coronavirus. This includes avoiding going out in public, limiting face-to-face interaction to 6 feet of distance, and staying home. This involves relying on online services for supplies and utilizing Vitality and Concierge staff to support whatever errands may be needed.
Our Vitality teams are here to make this request bearable! The concern and ingenuity that has poured out of this dedicated crew is something to behold. These teams love their residents and know our mission. Their passion has unleashed a flurry of cross-campus activity to find ways to make the best of this time. For our residents who require close observation or have very special needs that make self-isolation simply unreasonable, especially for our memory care residents, we are adapting as creatively as possible best practice protocols.
We are also asking our staff to also practice social distancing when appropriate and when off-campus to self-isolate as much as possible so that they can come to our campuses as healthy and risk-free as possible. This likewise includes avoiding public places and working with our leaders regarding any needs there may be that we can support.
We will be adding a voluntary staff survey in order to ascertain how we might be able to support staff needs currently and as things evolve. We know that each of us has many roles and we want to support the whole you of our staff, as best we can.
Thank you, everyone, for the role you play in our community. From those who care for and serve our residents with excellence, to the residents who are the colorful collection of personality, community, and culture that bring this campus alive, to the families who entrust us to be the home-like environment in which loved ones can thrive, we appreciate you greatly, perhaps now more than ever. My favorite stories are those of ordinary people doing extraordinary things – when people decide to take action in the face of uncommon challenge because they care too much to sit back and let the moment to make a difference pass by. Thank you for helping us do the extraordinary. We, like you, care too much to sit by.
Please check out community Facebook pages to see our teams in action. We welcome specific questions to email@example.com. By end of day today a dedicated number (971-804-3989) will be available for communication by voicemail and text messages.
Please take care of yourself, each other, and your family.
Melody Gabriel, CEO
March 14th, 2020
Update from our CEO, Melody Gabriel
RE: Our Adopting of New Centers for Medicare and Medicaid (CMS) Guidelines
We are dedicated to keeping you informed of measures we are actively taking to protect and cherish the members of our community and we will be providing regular updates. Ensuring our residents and staff have a safe and healthy environment is our greatest concern.
We have been advised by CMS to restrict all visitors and non-essential health care personnel, with some exceptions.**
We are here notifying you to please defer any visitations and in person interactions until further notice. If you know of anyone we may not have reached through this letter, through our entryway/onsite signage, and/or our online updates, we request that you please share with your loved ones this update. We invited residents to engage with loved ones via phone, text, facetime, etc. Our team is happy to assist.
In addition, we would like you to know some ongoing and/or further measures we are taking:
- We continue with recommended and best practice infection prevention procedures and maintaining important critical emergency supplies.
- We continue to screen all necessary/critical professionals and vendors and our staff for exposure risk. Those with any respiratory symptoms and/or known exposure risk are escorted off campus.
- We are monitoring our staff and residents for fever and respiratory symptoms throughout the day.
- While we are screening and verifying the absence of symptoms, we also ask for self-monitoring and reporting. Any person who enters our community is asked to monitor for signs and symptoms of respiratory infection, for at least 14 days after exiting the community. If symptoms occur, please self-isolate at home, contact your healthcare provider, and immediately notify us.
- We are cancelling all group activities. Our Vitality teams are focusing on engaging residents in ways to limit physical contact, limiting transportation to necessary medical appointments, and are enriching lives in creative ways, such as through the distribution of Vitality kits to encourage engagement from within resident apartments. Social distancing is community policy. We are reminding residents to perform frequent hand hygiene.
- We are canceling all communal dining. Our Culinary teams are providing meal tray service/delivery options. For those residents who require observation we are adopting this requirement as creatively as possible.
- We are facilitating 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.
It is our honor, intention, and responsibility to provide a community environment that cherishes those who live and work in it. Having this purpose close to heart makes the difficult decisions easier, because we know who we love and serve. We plan to care for our people with every resource and best practice in our toolkit. We face these unusual times together and wish to thank you for standing with us. Together we are strong and ready.
Please take care of yourself, each other, and your family.
Melody Gabriel, CEO
** Exceptions may be made, conditionally, for certain compassionate care situations, such as an end-of-life situations. Decisions about visitation during an end of life situation will be made on a case by case basis, which will include careful screenings of the visitor (including clergy, bereavement counselors, etc.) for fever or respiratory symptoms. Those with symptoms of a respiratory infection (fever, cough, shortness of breath, or sore throat) will, much to our regret, not be permitted to enter the community, regardless of an end-of-life situations. We are required to limit visitors to two (2) at one time. Those visitors that are permitted, must wear a facemask while in the building, follow staff instruction on PPE, and restrict their visit to the resident’s room or other designated location. Those visitors will be reminded to frequently perform hand hygiene. We have been advised by CMS to tell visitors to refrain from physical contact and to practice social distances with no hand-shaking or hugging, remaining six feet apart.
March 14th, 2020
COVID-19 Update from Generations
As we continue to act with an abundance of caution and to hold the wellness of our residents and employees as our top priority, we have put in place some additional efforts to continue to keep our residents and staff safe and healthy. At this time, we will implement these additional protocols:
- No visitors, including family, will be allowed into the community. Exceptions will of course be made for essential visits*. We ask that you engage with your loved ones via phone, text, facetime, etc. Our team is happy to assist.
- We are continuing to follow recommendations from the CDC which includes social distancing. The safest place for your loved one is at home in our community with limited interaction.
- Dining areas will close or will implement a program where residents will be at least 6’ apart. We will bring meals directly to resident apartments as needed and ensure everyone stays hydrated and has the nutrition they want and need throughout the day.
- In addition to closely monitoring all residents for signs of illness, we are checking their temperatures as needed. We are also screening all staff members and anyone who enters the community for what has been deemed an essential visit.
- Our Vitality team will be providing in-room activities and will continue to bring enrichment to our residents each day, and Vitality programs will be limited to 10 or less people.
- Operational leadership will be on hand all weekend, so please reach out if we can assist or answer questions.
- We are grateful to report as of today, none of our communities have any confirmed cases of coronavirus.
March 12th, 2020
Letter From Our CEO
Because our cherished residents are our first priority and older adults are the most vulnerable to COVID-19, and because the dynamics and timeline of transmission are still being understood, we are acting out of a great abundance of caution to keep our community healthy and well. We want to continue to keep you informed of measures we are actively taking. A happy, healthy community takes a village!
- We are limiting visitors to those defined as essential.* Visiting hours are between 8:00am and 5:00pm. We ask that you engage with your loved ones via phone, text, facetime, etc. Our team is happy to assist.
- All essential visitors, visiting professionals, and vendors are being directed to specific community entrances where they will be screened for exposure risk. Anyone with an symptoms of respiratory illness, international travel in the last 14 days, or any exposure to those with known or suspect COVID-19 or suspect respiratory illness are being deterred. All visitors are being directed to handwashing stations before proceeding on campus.
- Our Sales Associates are doing preemptive screening of any potential move-ins should any of those persons have possible exposure risk or symptoms.
- Our staff are being screened for exposure risk or symptoms daily before their shift start.
- Our Vitality teams are reorganizing our programming. We will not host outside guests or big groups and have limited transportation to scenic drives and medical appointments.
- We continue with recommended and best practice infection prevention procedures, refreshing related staff trainings, and maintaining important critical emergency supplies.
- We have steps in place for execution in the event of various scenarios, including if there is a case on campus.
- We will reach out to you with further updates and will continue to post general updates on our community’s facebook page.
- We have been tracking updated Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommendations, specifically those focused on protecting seniors.
Essential individual includes:
- Community staff;
- Outside medical personnel;
- Necessary vendors;
- Adult protective services staff;
- Licensing and survey staff;
- Long Term Care Ombudsman and Deputies (not volunteers);
- Friends or family members visiting during end-of-life stages;
- Friends or family who are essential for the individual’s emotional well-being and care.
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