April 1 Update
The nation continues to adjust as we deal with COVID-19 (coronavirus) and as an organization, we continue to layer on additional measures and implement additional steps in response to this pandemic.
As always, we continue to keep the health and safety of our residents as our highest priority.
We have continued to practice social distancing, visitor restrictions, routine health screens, good hand hygiene, travel restrictions, proper use of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE), and thorough housekeeping to ensure frequent disinfecting and sanitizing of our facilities. We continue to purchase additional PPE such as masks, gloves, gowns and protective eyewear in case they are needed in the weeks to come.
Also, we have relocated some residents to different areas within our facilities to improve the efficiency of our caregivers as well as to coordinate the facility in a way that is consistent with CDC and CMS recommendations during this pandemic. These moves are all precautionary in nature yet are believed to be critical steps for long term care facilities according to the Health Department, CMS and the CDC.
The nation’s ability to conduct COVID-19 testing is improving and the turn-around time for results appears to be quicker than they were a few weeks ago. Each of these advancements and improvements are reassuring to us all.
Life at our facilities looks a little different due to the reduced number of visitors, changes to our meal service, and adjustment to our life enrichment (activity) programming.
Despite those adjustments from the norm, we continue to receive pictures and stories from facilities that demonstrate the fun they are having.
While activities might look a little different, they are still occurring and it has provided us the opportunity to try a few new things. For example, many of our residents are becoming “movie stars” by visiting with friends and family using programs such as Skype and Zoom. Seeing their smiling faces while catching up with others is heart-warming!!
We have also seen letter-writing campaigns, serenades, outdoor bingo, “window visitors”, and many others! Check out some of the pictures on social media.
We have received a tremendous amount of support from our communities, family members, and friends. Your letters and gestures are sincerely appreciated by our staff and residents.
Our staff are being challenged in ways they’ve not experienced in the past and they are doing an amazing job in meeting that challenge. Please keep those words of encouragement coming!
We continue to provide updates and information on our company website and social media. We also want to reiterate our past requests that you provide your email address. Email is the fastest and most efficient way for us to keep you informed.
We hope you and your family are staying safe and healthy during these challenging times!! We’re certainly doing all that we can to keep our StoneBridge Family safe and healthy as well!!
March 24 Update
The COVID-19 (coronavirus) situation nationally and locally has certainly changed over the past week yet our focus here at StoneBridge Senior Living remains the same. We continue to keep the health and safety of our residents as our highest priority.
I will first start with just a few of the procedural changes and updates from the past week. We continue to follow the CDC and CMS guidance to ban visitors with only rare exceptions for situations such as end of life.
Many of our health care partners such as physicians and nurse practitioners are now utilizing Telehealth in place of bedside visits, when appropriate, to further reduce traffic in our facilities and we continue to look for ways to expand the use of that technology.
We purchased additional tablets (iPads) to improve our ability to coordinate video communication between residents and family members.
In order to meet our increased expectations around sanitizing and disinfecting we continue to add both products and personnel to our Plant Operations Team.
We continue to practice social distancing in the facility and have adjusted both meal service and life enrichment activities accordingly.
Additionally, we are maintaining our emphasis on the three key steps recommended by the CDC to prevent the spread of COVID-19 and we’re emphasizing that those steps be followed both inside our facilities as well as when our employees leave our facilities. Those three steps are good hand hygiene, social distancing, and limiting/avoiding travel.
These are certainly challenging times but often the best in people come out when times are tough. I encourage you to visit our social media sites as well as our website not only for procedural updates, etc. but also for inspiration.
Our staff have been incredibly creative in finding ways to maintain a positive mood in our facilities. Activities such as “hallway bingo” and learning how to use new technology like “Zoom” video conferencing to stay connected with friends and family are just a few examples of the fun that is still occurring in our facilities.
The positive spirit we see in our team members and our residents serves as inspiration for all. We still have work to do but I am reassured when I see the smiles on their faces and hear their laughter in the halls!!
We will continue to follow the recommendations handed down to us to ensure the safety and health of our residents but we will also continue to focus on the social well-being of those we serve and our facilities overall.
We sincerely appreciate your support and your understanding!
March 17 Update
March 17, 2020 – We have written to you over the past few weeks regarding COVID-19 (the new coronavirus) and have attempted to keep you updated as we adjust to this constantly evolving situation. Those communications were delivered via email, social media, and the company website. We will continue to distribute updates in that way but will supplement that with letters sent via the United States Postal Service (USPS) as well.
We will plan to distribute updates on a weekly basis going forward. USPS is obviously the slowest means of communication and we strongly recommend that you provide an email address to ensure you receive updates as quickly as possible.
As noted in our last letter, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) provided guidance to all long-term care facilities on March 13th instructing them to ban all visitors. The one exception to that would be compassionate care visits for end of life situations.
We know this is incredibly difficult for our residents, their friends and certainly their family. The Federal Government and in turn State Government have not provided any wiggle room with regard to visitors. In fact, the Department of Health sent representatives to long term care facilities to visually confirm that visitor bans are in place.
We recommend that you consider communicating with residents via FaceTime, Skype, telephone, text, etc. We know this is not the same as face to face meetings but unfortunately, these are our only options. Please be understanding of our staff as they enforce these policies. It was not their decision to prevent visitors from entering, they are being instructed by the Federal Government to do so in order to protect our residents.
Various Federal and State Agencies have stated that the elderly and immunocompromised are the most vulnerable to COVID-19 but they’ve also clearly stated that long term care facilities who are following their guidance are far less likely to experience a COVID-19 outbreak.
Our facilities are using EPA approved sanitizers, utilizing personal protective equipment, monitoring all residents for signs/symptoms consistent with COVID-19 and other viruses as well as conducting health screens and checking temperatures before permitting entry to all employees, physicians, etc.
In addition, consistent with the recommendation from the CDC, we’ve implemented a travel restriction for our staff. For any employee that travels to one of the CDC identified areas of the world that are of concern, noted on their website, they are to self- quarantine at their home for 14 days before returning to work and upon returning to work a health screen is conducted including a temperature check.
We are encouraging “social distancing” both at work and at home to the best of our ability which includes avoiding groups of 10 or greater as suggested by the Federal Government. For your own health and safety, we strongly encourage each of you to do the same. The CDC has repeatedly stated that handwashing, social distancing, and limiting/avoiding travel are the best and most effective ways to prevent the spread of COVID-19.
We continue to provide education, information, updates and helpful links on our company website. We encourage you to routinely check our social media platforms and website for the latest. Again, we strongly encourage you to subscribe to our COVID-19 updates by providing your contact information including email address.
March 14 Important Update: Visitor Restrictions
March 14, 2020 – We are sending a follow-up letter today to inform you of changes since our March 9th notice. At that time we were following the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) guidance to “restrict” and “strongly discourage” visitors to long term care facilities. They have since changed that guidance and are now recommending that only essential personnel be allowed access to long term care facilities. Below is the CMS guidance:
“Facilities should restrict visitation of all visitors and non-essential health care personnel, except for certain compassionate care situations, such as an end-of-life situation. In those cases, visitors will be limited to a specific room only. Facilities are expected to notify potential visitors to defer visitation until further notice.”
As a result of this new guidance, effective immediately only essential health care personnel will be allowed access to StoneBridge Senior Living facilities. The one exception, as noted above, are certain compassionate care situations, such as end of life situations. We will continue to monitor the situation and follow the guidance provided by the CDC, CMS, and both state and local health departments.
March 9: How StoneBridge is responding to the COVID-19 virus
March 9, 2020 – We know some of you may be concerned about the spread of COVID-19 (the new coronavirus) being reported in the media and how it may impact us here at StoneBridge Senior Living.
Ensuring our residents are cared for in a safe and healthy environment is our greatest concern. At this time, we do not have any confirmed cases of COVID-19 and the steps noted below are for precautionary purposes only.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) have recommended a variety of steps that we are implementing to help reduce the potential for the virus to enter our buildings. However, we need your help in battling COVID-19.
Below are some examples of how you can help protect our residents, as well as prevent the spread throughout the community. At this time, we request that you not visit the facility if you have any symptoms of respiratory illness. Those symptoms include: cough, fever, sore throat, runny nose, and/or shortness of breath.
We understand that connecting with family members is incredibly important, and there are a variety of other ways you might consider connecting with them. These may include telephone, email, text, or through Skype or Facebook.
Per the recommendation of several State Health Departments, the facilities are now screening employees and visitors upon entering the facility to determine if the symptoms above are present. We will be doing our very best to screen everyone upon arrival in an effort to prevent the spread of infection. We strongly discourage visiting the facility unless it is absolutely necessary. These steps are consistent with the guidance, QSO-20-14-NH dated March 4th of 2020, provided by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) to long term care facilities regarding visitors.
Our facilities are following the recommendations of the CDC on prevention steps, including following strict handwashing procedures, and in many circumstances, wearing gowns and gloves when interacting with residents who are sick. Also, they utilize Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) approved products to clean and disinfect the facility on a regular basis and we are staying up-to-date with the CDC recommendations as they are updated.
In addition, our facilities are in close contact with the local and state health departments and are following their guidance. We are posting signs in our facilities to notify visitors of the symptoms of COVID-19 and request that you not enter the building if you are experiencing these symptoms.
Below you will find several pieces of information that offer helpful tips to prevent the spread of infection. Should you have any questions, please feel free to contact the facility Administrator.
For additional information please visit the CDC’s coronavirus disease information page. You can continue to check this page of our website to find additional information and updates.
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