Update from Administrator – May 10, 2021
May 9, 2021
This week, we celebrate National Skilled Nursing Care Week (formerly National Nursing Home Week). This year’s theme is “Together Through the Seasons.” NSNCW began on Sunday, May 9, Mother’s Day and runs through May 15. The theme will honor the collaborative commitment of our staff in providing compassionate care to your loved ones during this unprecedented time.
Over the past year, despite the challenges of the pandemic, our team has shown an incredible and steadfast commitment to providing quality care and ensuring the safety of their residents. Throughout the week, our team has many activities and special meals planned for our residents. Please look on our Facebook or contact our recreation team to learn more.
Throughout the week, our team has many activities and special meals planned for our residents. Please look on our Facebook or contact our recreation team to learn more.
Some updates for you:
- Revised guidelines from the federal CMS continue to be released. As the Department of Public Health interprets them and provides guidance for nursing homes to implement, we will do so and communicate them with you.
- We continue to explore ways to increase our visitation calendar, especially for outside visitations, which remains the preferred choice of visitation by CMS and our state DPH.
- A reminder, even outside visitations still require a mask, currently. As mentioned, the CMS, CDC, and state continue to update their guidance for nursing homes – and we’ll keep you up to date on any changes. If you are unfamiliar with our protocols, please ask us.
- We always offer visitations using our technology (iPads, tablets, calls, etc.) and when we can, window visits and outside visits.
- For visitation appointments, please contact Lisa Hirle, Director of Recreation at (413) 258-4731.
- Outdoor visitation is not affected by an internal outbreak on a unit, while we await the results of the initial round of testing.
- When an outbreak is detected among residents or staff, all visitations must be suspended except for compassionate care visits, until at least one round of facility-wide testing is completed.
Recreation / Activities:
- We are delighted to hold small, socially distanced group activities.
- Outdoor activities are always encouraged and preferred by the CDC and CMS, however indoor events are once again taking place following the outbreak guidance.
- We are excited to safely welcome back in our volunteers and vendors including entertainment, clergy, artists, and instructors.
- A reminder to everyone that we do have various tablet devices for your loved one to utilize to access games, various communication tools, games, news, and more. We have done some tutoring and training of the tablets so that residents are more comfortable with them. The feedback from residents on the availability of the tablets has been fantastic!
- Following guidance from the CDC and CMS, we are again serving meals in our dining rooms, allowing for additional opportunities for socialization among our residents.
- A reminder on bringing food to the center for your loved one. Please keep in mind any dietary restrictions for your loved one. We will ensure that your loved one enjoys the meal, treat, etc. once the visit is complete.
- As we have said before, although not mandatory, we continue to encourage any employee who has not been vaccinated to obtain one. Currently, they may obtain one at a community clinic. We are also working with our state to do “catch-up” clinics to assist our team and new residents in obtaining the vaccine right here in our center.
- Fully vaccinated staff are no longer required to be tested each week, unless an outbreak is detected, or the local county’s positivity number is very high.
- Unvaccinated staff still must be tested weekly.
- Regional hospitals are working on plans to offer the first dose of a COVID vaccine to their patients being discharged to nursing homes.
We hope you have a great week and look forward to seeing you!!
Greg Dempsey, LNHA