May 7, 2020
A letter to our Consumers & Families
In this time of unprecedented pandemic, we have taken steps to protect our staff and consumers. As our surrounding communities begin to open up, we will remain vigilant in our efforts to reduce the risk of the virus entering our buildings and consumer homes, including restricting visiting and non-essential personnel. Below you will find what we will continue to have in place to prevent and manage the COVID-19 risk.
First, rest assured we are following the recommendations provided by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Centers for Medicare and Medicaid (CMS) and our State and Local Health Departments. While we are doing everything possible, you or your loved one may come in contact with someone who is unknowingly contagious. The CDC has stated that individuals without symptoms may spread the virus. As a precaution ALL of our staff and anyone entering our buildings and consumer homes to conduct essential services for our consumers are required to complete a screening regarding their travels and, potential encounters with anyone who has been diagnosed with the virus, and they have their temperature taken. ALL individuals who enter are required to wear a mask covering their nose and mouth, perform hand hygiene and are required to notify us if they later develop symptoms consistent with the virus.
We are doing everything possible to reduce the risk of the virus entering our buildings and consumer homes; however, nothing is guaranteed. Some people who have the virus do not have any symptoms and can still spread the virus. We are doing our best with the tools we have, and we will make it through this pandemic apart but together.
Here is a brief description of what we will continue to do to reduce the risk of exposure to coronavirus in our buildings and consumer homes even as the surrounding community begins to open up:
- Entry to the buildings and consumer homes is restricted to staff and essential personnel only.
- Every consumer has their temperature taken and reviewed by a licensed nurse every day.
- Medical providers (Doctors, Nurse Practitioners, Physician Assistants) are encouraged to conduct visits using telehealth technology so Consumers do not have to leave our facility and risk exposure to the virus.
- Consumers who leave our buildings and consumer homes and risk exposure in the community are restricted to their room for a period of time afterwards to monitor for the development of symptoms.
- Isolation precautions are initiated for any Consumer who develops symptoms. They are restricted to their rooms and staff wear protective equipment when providing their care.
- Communal dining and activities have been suspended. Activities are provided in-room or home. Dining occurs in small groups where social distancing can be maintained.
- Deliveries are made without entry of vendors into the buildings and consumer homes. Staff bring our deliveries into the buildings and consumer homes.
- Every staff member has their temperature taken every day and are screened for symptoms, travel and contacts which may place them at risk for exposure to the virus. Staff members who are sick or meet any of the exposure criteria are restricted from working in the buildings and consumer homes.
- All staff and essential personnel wear masks while in the buildings and consumer homes.
What can families and friends do to help?
- Write letters or send cards to your loved one, and ask your friends and relatives to do the same.
- Have family and friends make pictures and mail them to your loved one.
- Make copies of photos and mail them in a letter to your loved one.
- Send blank cards and envelope sets so your loved one can write to family and friends.
- Hang a bird feeder outside your loved one’s window, and refill it every time you visit. Ask your loved one about the birds that come to eat.
- Bring chairs to sit outside the window and visit at the window on pleasant days.
- Send gifts such as hand lotion, cologne, candy, books, puzzles, etc. A surprise gift is always welcome.
- Print a copy of the hometown newspaper and mail it to your loved one. News from the childhood home of your loved one is welcomed and keeps them connected.
- We have technology which allows consumers to visit loved ones via video chat technology such as Facetime, Google Hangouts or Zoom. Please make an appointment, as our staff can help consumers utilize the technology.
- Send a note to our staff too; let them know you appreciate their hard work.
Remember, these restrictions will not last forever, but until they are no longer recommended, we will continue to do what we can every day to reduce the risk of the spread of this virus to our Consumers and your loved ones. We love you like our own family and we will get through this together but apart.