Message to ActivCare Families – 4-3-20
ActivCare is committed to the continuing effort to protect the residents and the crucial team members who have bravely remained dedicated throughout this pandemic. As we continue to monitor and implement best practices from Federal, State and Local health agencies, we also recognize that even with all the protocols and safeguards in place, the COVID-19 (coronavirus) is proving to be very pervasive and difficult to eliminate. ActivCare communities have readied safety protocols and quarantine plans should there be a case at an ActivCare community.
Effective April 1, 2020, we began the process of providing surgical type masks to all employees along with the training for proper fit and use. All team members will wear the masks while working in the community. Although the CDC has not mandated this practice, we believe this preventative measure as well as the suspension of new resident admissions will further serve to reduce risk factors.
As the spread of the COVID-19 continues throughout the world, we understand that there is a scarcity of personal protective equipment (PPE). New protocols have been adopted and all staff have been trained to carefully use the limited resource of masks available. While we have adequate inventories at our communities today, the duration of the coronavirus is not certain, so we must prepare for the future.
Many of you have asked if there is anything that you can do to help. The news reports of PPE shortages are accurate and true. Even with our regular medical supply providers and an early start on ordering and creating back stock, we have an inadequate supply for a sustained period of use. We are reaching out to family members who may have relationships with non-essential services and businesses that use face masks to see if we can secure more inventory. Nail salons, dentist offices, hair salons and veterinarian offices that may not be open due to the pandemic could have available, non-committed supplies. If you successfully obtain surgical/prep masks or you have located a resource for us, please reach out and let us know by emailing us at [email protected].
We encourage you to continue to utilize the alternative visiting methods and channels we have established over the last few weeks to stay in touch with your loved ones. There have been some fantastic photos, Grand Grams, and personal notes that have been delivered directly into the hands of residents this week and they were thrilled.
We thank you for entrusting us with the care for your loved one. We remain committed to keeping the residents comfortable and engaged in a safe environment. Together we will get through this crisis.
Todd A. Shetter
Chief Operating Officer
Message to ActivCare Families – 3/30/20
Due to the continued growth and increase of confirmed COVID-19 cases in the surrounding areas near our communities, local and state regulations have increased restrictions on visitations and admissions/readmissions to the communities. To protect residents and team members, the most prudent and responsible action is to implement these new policies.
Visitors – The State of California, the County of San Diego, and other counties are now restricting family visitation to only those residents who are considered in the ‘End of Life” stage. All essential visitors will be required to wear face masks while in the communities.
Returning Residents – Residents who have been discharged to hospitals and will be returning to the community will be screened for COVID-19 symptoms and will be on isolation protocol within the community for 14 days upon their return.
New Move-ins – We have suspended our new resident move-ins to each community until further notice.
We understand the challenges and impact of isolating residents from family members. It is important to keep open lines of communication between family members and loved ones in a safe and responsible way. As alternatives to in-person visits, you are invited to keep in contact with loved ones using the following:
- GrandGrams: A new program is being introduced for families to send messages to residents at the communities through our website. You can use this link to gain access to the GrandGram Complete the form—you can even include a photo—and your message will go to the community to be printed and delivered to the resident like a telegram.
- Video Chat: Please contact the community’s marketing director to schedule an online video chat with a resident.
- Cards and Letters: The US Mail service is a great way to deliver a heartfelt message to residents. These notes will be posted in the residents’ rooms.
- Phone Calls: A phone conversation can be reassuring and familiar for residents. Contact the community’s marketing director to schedule.
We are monitoring and reacting to new state and county guidelines daily in this ever-changing situation. As new information becomes available, we will continue to keep you informed.
Chief Operating Officer
Message to ActivCare Families – 3/23/20
The COVID-19 (coronavirus) outbreak is having a dramatic impact on our world and our lives. A lot has happened in a week and we wanted to bring you up to date on how ActivCare is reacting to increased directives by the federal and state governments.
In accordance with new guidelines from the Governor, visitors to the community are still limited to essential medical and health care personnel. Only family members of those who are receiving end-of-life care are permitted to visit. These visits are generally limited to one hour and are restricted to a designated area in the community. Each visitor, in addition to all of our staff members, is asked screening questions, has a temperature check, and washes hands prior to entering the residential areas.
We understand that this is a difficult restriction and we appreciate your support. While a visit in person may be delayed, we invite families who wish to video chat or visit by phone with a resident to contact the community to schedule a call.
Families are encouraged to share a message via the U.S. mail. Cards, notes, letters or an illustration from a grandchild will be shared with residents and placed in their room as a continuous reminder of you. These tidings can go a long way to improve the spirit of the residents. Be sure to include the resident’s full name on the envelope.
We wish to thank our diligent team members for their unwavering commitment to compassionate care. These dedicated women and men, with families of their own, are essential to meeting the needs of your loved one. They continue to arrive daily and deliver loving care to residents.
We have created a web page for families during the COVID-19 (coronavirus) outbreak. This page will provide updates from ActivCare and information for families. You can bookmark this page: https://activcareliving.com/covid-19-coronavirus-response/
Should you have questions or need additional information, please reach out to the executive director at your community. Together, we will get through this outbreak.
Message to ActivCare Families – 3/16/20
Since the COVID-19 (coronavirus) pandemic has now been declared a National Emergency, we wanted to let you know the steps that have been taken to protect the safety of your loved one here at ActivCare:
- All medical support personnel and contractors for essential services entering the building will receive the same COVID-19 (coronavirus) screening questions and body temperature checks, utilizing our Accushield kiosks at the front reception area, prior to entering the community.
- Before entering the community, all visitors must comply with our hand washing procedures. Handwashing education and awareness will continue to be communicated and stressed to all team members, visiting medical personnel, and family members while in the community.
- Every ActivCare community has instituted body temperature checks, hand washing, and COVID-19 (coronavirus) screening questions for every ActivCare team member prior to each shift and before entering the resident areas.
- Family member visits are now restricted to allow only visits to residents on Hospice or those in end of life care in the resident’s room. One hour per visit during the modified visiting hours for those approved visitors. Ask the community for the updated hours.
- The frequency and scope of cleaning with hospital-grade disinfectants has been expanded to all tables, hard surfaces and touchpoints in the community during each shift.
Our goal is to ensure that our valued residents receive uninterrupted care from our compassionate team members. After the recent school closures, we have implemented flexible policies and creative solutions to ensure that our dependable workforce can continue to fulfill their ActivCare duties, while still meeting their own familial obligations.
Our dining and activity programs have been modified to meet the updated State of California Community Care Licensing recommendations, while still continuing to engage and involve the residents. We will monitor the Centers for Disease and Prevention (CDC) for updated recommendations and new information.
Our focus is on protecting our vulnerable resident population and our valuable team members. We appreciate your continued support as we navigate through this unprecedented national health crisis. We appreciate you entrusting your loved one to our care, and we are committed to continuing to keep you informed of policy updates and progress.
Todd A. Shetter
ActivCare Living, Inc.