Dear Residents, Families, Friends and Visitors,
In March of this year we were asked to spend two weeks flattening the curve of this pandemic. Each Medicalodges, Inc. community accepted that challenge and the obligation to protect our residents and clients as best we could while knowing very little about this virus. We could not have anticipated that as we headed into the fall and Labor Day weekend, we would still be in a state of restriction and mitigation in a world that looks nothing like it did before March.
Like most all organizations across the country, Medicalodges, Inc. communities have not been left untouched by COVID-19. We have had several communities experience residents and/or employees who have tested positive for the virus and the cascade of mitigation efforts that ensue in order to prevent as much as possible further spread. We have experienced challenges and have had to be creative in sourcing and maintaining our protective equipment, supplies and sometimes even certain food items. We have had great support from our contractors and vendors in making sure we have all we need to continue to care for our residents and clients with little to no noticeable impact on them.
This has certainly been a difficult time. We are grateful for the ongoing patience of our residents, clients and family members as we navigate the ever changing guidance, recommendations, requirements and reopening processes of all our governing agencies and health authorities. The most recent change in guidance will require us to conduct routine testing on all employees of our skilled nursing facilities, sometimes as frequently as twice weekly depending on the rates of COVID positive cases in the surrounding county. This new level of testing will certainly have an impact on our reopening processes and we are currently making arrangements to comply with the testing requirement. We are also seeing local health authorities extending or implementing new restrictions on visiting in long term care and assisted living facilities, preventing us from moving forward with reopening as we would like. In the communities where we can, we are moving forward with reopening, but also acknowledge that circumstances can and do change rapidly within the facility and greater community forcing us to adapt even the best laid plans.
We know the limitations on visiting have been the single most challenging aspect of this pandemic for our residents, clients, families and even our employees. We ask that you please adhere to our visiting protocols and restrictions as these are in place for the purpose of protecting all residents and clients entrusted to our care. Even a single breach in our protocols can have a devastating effect in our community. All locations can accommodate compassionate care visits. Compassionate care visits are for the purpose of visiting under special circumstances, and may be arranged by calling the community directly. Compassionate care visits will not be arranged for the purposes of routine visiting, are entirely at the discretion of the community leadership team and will be based on the specific needs of the resident or client. We have also secured additional technology in the form of tablet devices through funds made available from our state agencies. We are working now to distribute a limited number of these devices to our locations to further facilitate virtual visiting until such time as we are able to allow unrestricted visiting.
We are also so very grateful for our employees who continue to dedicate their service to our residents and clients despite such challenging circumstances encountered on a daily basis. We were recently able to provide a significant Hero Bonus to our employees to show our deepest appreciation for their continued dedication and we are hopeful we can provide another Hero Bonus in the near future. Our employees remain our single greatest asset and no amount of appreciation expressed will ever be enough to fully acknowledge their efforts.
Additional updates will be posted to our Medicalodges Inc. website at www.medicalodges.com. You can also find updates regarding specific Medicalodges communities at their individual websites. We will all get through this together and will be stronger as a result. Please keep our residents, clients and employees in your thoughts and prayers as we do the same. Until next time.
Shannon Lager, RN, BSN
Vice President & Chief Operations Officer
Dear Clients & Families,
As our surrounding communities and businesses begin to return to normal and open up we want to take the opportunity to thank everyone for their ongoing support. This has certainly not been easy for anyone. We also want to provide information on how our Community Care Connections locations will be impacted.
Many areas continue to see positive cases of COVID-19 and community transmission. As businesses begin to reopen, travel restrictions and gathering restrictions eased and eliminated, we can expect to see continued new cases in our communities. The individuals we care for remain at extremely high risk for illness, hospitalization and even death due to COVID-19. It is estimated that 40% of the deaths caused by COVID-19 have been in those who reside in long term care facilities and other congregate living communities. For these reasons, our Community Care Connections agencies will continue with our current processes to prevent as much as possible the introduction of the virus into our client homes. These efforts include, among other things:
- Health screening of our clients completed by our staff on each visit
- Enhanced cleaning/disinfecting procedures in our clients homes
- Strict adherence to hand hygiene, cough etiquette and use of face masks for employees who enter client homes
- Monitoring of employees for symptoms of COVID-19, including temperature, restricted work for
any employee with a temperature or other symptoms of COVID-19, travel restrictions or potential exposure
We are currently developing reopening plans as an organization, keeping in line with the guidance provided by the CDC, CMS, state and local health departments and our state survey agencies. As these plans are finalized, they will be shared with you. The health and safety of our clients and employees is of the utmost importance to us during this transition period.
You are encouraged to continue connecting with your loved ones through a variety of means, including letters, cards and notes, window visits, phone calls and video chat via google hangouts, Zoom and Facetime and Facebook chat. Our employees are available and happy to assist with arranging the use of technology devices for phone calls and video chats.
And a sincere thank you for your encouraging words sent through a variety of means to our employees. We know they are the heroes in all of this, and it is so meaningful when they hear it from you too. Should you have any questions, please feel free to call your local Community Care Connections office.
Clients & Families,
We thank you for your ongoing support and understanding as we continue caring for you and your loved ones during this very difficult time. We know this pandemic has affected everyone in the community and our home care clients.
We want you to know we are doing our part to protect our clients and employees. Community Care Connections employees are wearing face masks during visits and are screened each day they provide services. Employees who have symptoms are restricted from working. Our employees are also screening clients for symptoms of COVID-19 during each visit.
We will keep you informed about the status of COVID-19 and what we are doing to prevent its transmission as much as possible in our communities and amongst our employees, and will be providing updates on our website at www.medicalodgescommunitycare.com.
We will continue to monitor and adhere to the CDC recommendations and maintain communication with our state and local health authorities as the communities around us start the re-opening process. We know you may have questions so feel free to contact us at your local Community Care Connections office any time. Your patience, thoughts and prayers are very much appreciated until this pandemic subsides.