August 7, 2020 Letter
Dear Residents, Employees, Family Members, Legal Representatives and Health Care Providers:
Two weeks have passed since our last update letter and not much has changed. We continue to be grateful to report that as of today’s date, we are not aware of any COVID cases among our residents. We have one COVID positive staff member from one of our Indiana facilities currently in quarantine. When we have an employee that tests positive for COVID, we notify the residents, the resident representatives and staff members of the facility where the employee works.
The second round of focused infection control surveys have begun in Indiana. Our facility in Rushville, Indiana, Flatrock River Lodge, received no citations. We are proud of our team for this accomplishment.
In the past weeks, I have heard from some family members regarding visitation. They also asked what we are doing to help our residents deal with depression and loneliness resulting from the isolation requirements triggered by this pandemic. I would like to take this opportunity to lay out several of our strategies we use to deal with these situations:
- Skype, FaceTime and window visits continue at all of our communities. You can call the facility to arrange a date/time for these visits.
- The Indiana facilities have been doing outdoor visitation for a full month now. Our Montana and Wisconsin facilities are hoping to begin outdoor visitation on August 17th, if they receive the green light from their local public health department. Our outdoor visitation areas are set-up and we are very excited to be able to start this process.
- Throughout this pandemic, we have followed regulations regarding allowing “compassionate care” and “end-of-life” visitation opportunities for families. Each of these visits are defined, per policy, as follows:
- End-of life visits: For a resident considered, based on the clinical impression, to be at imminent risk of dying (i.e. life expectancy 24-72 hours), an immediate family member(s), resident representative and/or clergy will have the opportunity to have a quality interaction with the resident.
- Compassionate care visits: Compassionate care situations may extend past end-of-life situations. For example, for a resident who was living with family before recently being admitted to a nursing home, the change in their environment and sudden lack of family can be a traumatic experience. Allowing a visit from a family member in this situation would be consistent with the intent of the term “compassionate care situations.” Again, the goal is to allow immediate family member(s), resident representative and/or clergy the opportunity to have a quality interaction with the resident.
- All of our homes have developed individualized care plans for residents to ensure they have one-on-one visits, hobby materials, communication with families and friends (to the extent they are able) and participation in facility activity programming and special events.
- Our facility staff members have been excellent at carrying out activities that have created moments of joy for our residents. I’ve included one of my favorite resident photos during this pandemic below. In fact, our resident’s son wrote a beautiful article about our facility, Plum City Care Center in Plum City, Wisconsin. The link is shared here if you would like to read it.
As always, if you do have any questions, comments or concerns, please feel free to contact the facility administrator or myself at firstname.lastname@example.org.
We appreciate hearing from you!
Dr. Shellie M. Sonnentag, DNP, AGPCNP-C, CD
Vice President of Clinical Services
Real Property Health Facilities Corp.
435 Village Walk Lane Suite B
Johnson Creek, WI 53038
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