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CORONAVIRUS (COVID-19) UPDATE 4/1/20:

To Families and Friends,

While every day brings new developments around the Coronavirus, at our Communities, spirits remain high as we try to create a diversity of options to keep our residents engaged and entertained each day. We have added hallway entertainment programs to give them a sense of being together - enjoying music, games and other activities with doors open.

We are launching a program to keep residents connected through video to family and friends. The Family Connections Program will be led by local high school technology specialists.  We are looking forward to the opportunity to provide comfort and joy to both families and residents. Each specialist will facilitate the family connections sessions using ZOOM and Sign-Up Genius. Virtual checkers anyone?

We can focus on resident engagement and health because of the dedicated staff that continue to come to work each day, despite the realities around them. They are our heroes and we have been working hard to take care of them as they take care of others.

New Restrictions Per the Department of Health Services "Safer at Home" Guidance:

The Department of Health Services and the CDC issue new protocols and guidance daily. Our Corporate Response Team reviews each update, participates in CDC Clinical and DHS conference calls and then revises our policies and procedures based on new guidance.

  • All communal dining and group activities have been canceled. Each Community has purchased television tray tables and are preparing meals for in-room dining.
  • Each Community continues to proactively work to implement maximum safety protocols and act assertively should anyone in the Community become symptomatic.
  • All essential staff continue to enter the Community at a single point of entry. Staff are screened at the beginning of their shift for fever and respiratory symptoms.
  • If employees develop signs and symptoms of a respiratory infection while on the job they are required to:
  • Immediately stop work, put on a face mask, and self-isolate at home.
  • Inform their supervisor - who informs the Corporate Response Team.
  • The Corporate Response Team provides guidance for any necessary additional steps necessary to protect the staff member and the Community.
  • All previously communicated polices remain in effect.

The following items were communicated on Monday, March 20, 2020.

The COVID-19 pandemic is top of mind for all of us. We know that it is an anxious and uncertain time for everyone as we navigate the current major obstacles that the world is facing.

At our communities, our highest priority is the well-being of our residents, staff, health care partners, and loved ones.

Right now, our primary focus is prevention. As a result, we have implemented the following at our communities per the guidance of the CDC and Wisconsin Department of Health Services:

Modified Visitor & Access Policy Changes

This virus is most dangerous for our seniors and restricting visitors is a necessary step toward the effort of preventing the introduction of COVID-19 into our communities. rWe have limited entry to only those individuals who are essential to the care and welfare of our residents including community staff, home health teams, physicians, physical therapists, and hospice staff. These individuals will be granted access to the community once they have successfully passed our entry screening procedures. We are conducting these health screenings at a designated point of entry to each building. 

Residents are required to remain at the community, except for essential medical care. Upon returning and as a precaution, residents will be screened and asked to wash and disinfect their hands. Our team will sanitize their wheelchair and walkers. 

Deliveries, mail and packages will be made outside of the buildings and a staff member will accept them. 

Communication Updates to Changes of Life at the Community

A member of our response team called each primary family contact last week and shared important information and answered questions. Our goal is to communicate new information to the primary family contact as it becomes available. At this time, we will update you with changes to life at the community by email (or by letter for those without email).

Communication Concerning Your Loved One

During this challenging time, we will do our sincere best to communicate with you quickly and thoroughly regarding your loved one. A member of our team will reach out by phone to update you directly if there are any important changes in condition regarding your loved one.

We are focused on providing care and monitoring the health of our residents. We would greatly appreciate it if family members would try to limit incoming calls to the community to those concerning an urgent situation. 

Please continue to feel free to contact your loved one directly by phone. Your reassurance will be comforting to your loved one. 

For residents without phones, we are working on a plan to provide the opportunity to communicate face-to-face (virtually) with family members. This will require one-on-one assistance and we are working with a dedicated communications assistant to help coordinate these calls. Stayed tuned for further announcements regarding virtual communications. 

Final Note on Precautionary Measures

The communities have implemented these precautionary measures with guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and state and local health departments. Our lead response team participates in conference calls every Friday morning at 7:00 am with the Wisconsin Department of Health and Family Services (DHS) for interactive discussion and additional guidance specific to assisted living in our state.

The COVID-19 pandemic is an ever-evolving situation. We will release restrictions when it is safe which will be based on recommendations from agencies such as the CDC and DHS.

Thank you for your patience and continued support.

We look forward to welcoming you back to our treasured communities.

 

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