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CORONAVIRUS (COVID-19) UPDATES

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The global spread of COVID-19 virus affects all of us. Each person. Every day. We are in the business of caring for vulnerable seniors as we join the world to stop the spread of the virus all together. Because that is what it will take. All of us. In the midst of our work to put safety first for the residents, employees and families, our deeply experienced staff is committed to keep residents thriving. Through our partnerships with local authorities and guidance from the CDC, we will strive to protect our residents and bring them joy during this unprecedented situation.  


LATEST CORONAVIRUS UPDATE 6/27/20

While our efforts are ongoing to keep all residents and staff safe, overnight a staff member has tested positive for coronavirus. Our staff member is recovering at home and will return to work when she is fully cleared. As a new employee to the community, she came into contact with three residents and one co-worker on Tuesday morning.  The co-worker has not been back to the community since Tuesday and will only return when she is cleared.

We have already been in communication with each of the families and residents affected. We contacted each care staff overnight and we will be reaching out directly to all other families in the next couple of days.

We have been in communication with the local health department and are following CDC guidance and enhanced infection control protocols.

We have increased our daily wellness and temperature checks to three times daily and added oxygen saturation levels.

  • As is our standard practice, if any resident exhibits symptoms or other signs of illness, we will quickly get them the medical attention they need. 
  • We will maintain community-wide quarantine and strictly limit non-essential visits. 
  • We continue with hallway life enrichment activities to doorway exercise classes.
  • We have provided additional PPE supplies and resources for our team at the community.
  • Staff will be donning full PPE while working with residents who interacted with our staff member.
  • We are asking residents to remain in their rooms and to wear a mask each time they leave their studio room.

It is a great privilege to serve our residents.  We are fortunate to have a dedicated team that is committed to being onsite each day to provide residents with the compassionate care and attention.

Reopening

As the State of Wisconsin is moving forward with a phased-in reopening program, we are facing the new challenges that arise. We are deeply committed to our residents and continue to strive to keep our residents safe from the virus.

We are continuing to move slowly with plans to create an outdoor visiting space for family and friend visits with protocols for their safety. We will be taking a pause for at least two weeks before beginning outdoor visits to confirm there are no cases of coronavirus.

Thank you for your support as we actively work to protect our residents and staff. If you have questions or need more information, please do not hesitate to reach out.


COMMUNITY UPDATE 6/22/20

Summer is here and we know that you are anxious to spend face-to-face time with your loved ones.

The state is slowly "opening up" county by county. As the rest of the state is lifting restrictions, the risk remains the same or has increased for our older adults.

New Visitation Guidelines from DHS Coming Soon

The Department of Health Services will be providing revised guidance for each senior living community to consider in the coming weeks. We are reviewing options, safety protocols and will await the guidance from DHS prior to proceeding. We will keep you posted as soon as we are ready to begin the program.

Please, continue to follow our protocols as we continue to restrict visitors and allow only essential workers inside the buildings.

Older people have weaker immune systems and more have underlying respiratory and cardiovascular conditions that appear to exacerbate the illness. We are aware that almost 2/3 of the people who suffer the most due to COVID are over 75 years of age.

The risk climbs especially for people over 80. Americans over 85 are at the highest risk of serious illness and 16.8 times as like to have complications than people 45-55. We cannot prevent COVID from happening, but we can continue to commit to practical and reasonable approaches to minimize the risk of it entering the building. We appreciate your understanding and support.


CORONAVIRUS (COVID-19) UPDATE 5/1/20

Thank you for your ongoing help in keeping your loved one safe during the coronavirus public health emergency. To protect residents, the Wisconsin Department of Health Services continues to direct all assisted living communities to restrict visitation. There are exceptions for compassionate care visits.

We know it is important to stay connected with your loved one during this challenging time. Some alternatives to an in-person visit might include:

  • FAMILY CONNECTIONS PROGRAM: An assisted ZOOM visit is available at some of our larger communities. These visits are arranged to include as many family members as desire to join in on the calls from anywhere in the state, or even the country.
  • TABLETS: Tablets with curated content including TED talks, music, concerts, and more are available at our boutique communities and are often used to connect residents to their loved ones using Facetime or other programs.
  • CARDS: Sending extra cards, notes, postcards, being sure to keep your message short and positive.
  • PHONE: Phoning your loved one often.

CLOSED WINDOW VISITS (Visual visits only): Window visits are possible only if visitors are limited to immediate family. Protocols are in keeping with guidance from the Department of Health and Family Services:

  • Limit the number of visitors and include immediate family only.
  • Wear a mask.
  • Social distance from any other visitors.
  • The screens must remain in place and no items can be passed through the windows.

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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