LATEST NEWS

Update from Administrator – May 6, 2021

May 6, 2021

Dear Families,

This week, we celebrate National Nurses Week, which begins on May 6th each year since 1974 and ends on May 12th, in honor of Florence Nightingale’s birthday.

Next week, we begin celebrating National Skilled Nursing Care Week (formerly National Nursing Home Week). This year’s theme is “Together Through the Seasons.” NSNCW begins 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.

Some updates for you:

Visitation

  • A revised guideline from CMS came out that we are now implementing.
    • Residents and visitors who are fully vaccinated may visit without social distancing and masks if alone in the resident’s room or alone in a designated area.
    • If the visitor is not vaccinated, they can visit with a fully vaccinated resident alone in the resident’s room without distancing while both are wearing well-fitting masks.
    • You are also now permitted to eat with your loved one IF you and your loved one are both fully vaccinated and in your loved one’s room alone or alone in a designated visiting area.
  • We continue to explore ways to increase our visitation calendar, especially for outside visitations.
  • A reminder, even outside visitations still require a mask, currently. The 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, 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 once again safely begin holding 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.
  • These events will 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!

Dining:

  • 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.
  • Update:
    • Communal dining and activities may occur without physical distancing and without source control masks if all residents are vaccinated. If any unvaccinated residents are participating in the dining experience or activity, everyone must practice social distancing and wear a mask when not eating.
    • A reminder on bringing food to the center for your loved one. Please keep in mind any dietary restrictions for your loved one. The most recent guidance notes that you and your loved are now permitted to eat together if you and your loved one are both fully vaccinated and in your loved one’s room alone or alone in a designated visiting area.
  • However, we will ensure that your loved one enjoys the meal, treat, etc. once the visit is complete.

Vaccination Update

  • 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

Berkshire Rehabilitation & Skilled Care Center

May 6, 2021