Live Update to Residents-September 22, 2020
Live updates to residents on our in-house TV970 keep us informed and connected on Tuesdays and Thursdays at 3 p.m. Today we shared news about changes coming on Monday, September 28. The update featured John Burns, President and CEO; Will Blackwell, Vice President Health Services; Kendra Spencer, Recreation Therapist; and Vanessa Perry, Pastoral Care Administrator.
The following updates were shared during the briefing.
The Gables and Monticello continue to be in quarantine until Saturday, September 26. Two residents tested positive for COVID-19 and moved to our COVID-19 positive unit. Both residents are asymptomatic and doing well. All other test results have returned negative.
Two staff members who tested positive continue to recover in quarantine.
Last Thursday, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) released new guidance on nursing home visitation during the COVID-19 Public Health Emergency. Westminster Canterbury has been working through the details and making preparations to implement this guidance in a safe way. This new CMS final rule allows visitation in Mary Morton Parsons Health Center with certain conditions.
Westminster Canterbury Richmond is implementing new visitation for the entire campus on Monday, September 28.
As we prepare for this visitation, we must continue to adhere to screening protocols for all who enter, practice hand hygiene, wear face coverings or masks and maintain social distancing. Westminster Canterbury staff must wear appropriate PPE, clean and disinfect high touch surfaces and areas, maintain the ability to cohort COVID positive residents in our COVID-19 positive unit and comply with CMS regulations for staff and resident testing.
Beginning Monday, September 28, visitation will be allowed daily between 10 a.m. and 9 p.m. Nearly all visitation will be during these hours unless prearranged in coordination with Westminster Canterbury. All visitors will be screened at the Avalon Entrance, receive a wristband and be directed to parking near the area they are visiting. Visitors are not allowed in dining rooms or other commons areas and should go directly to the location of their visit.
Because of this change, the last day for Friday deliveries from family and friends will be Friday, September 25.
Full written details and instructions will be shared later this week.
Parsons Health Center Visitation Update
Last Thursday, CMS issued new guidance for visitation in nursing homes to provide reasonable ways to safely facilitate visitation and to address the psychosocial needs of the residents. The full memo can be found here.
CMS says that visitation should be person-centered, consider the resident’s physical, mental and psychosocial well-being and support quality of life. Visitation can be conducted through different means based on a facility’s structure and residents’ needs, such as in resident rooms, dedicated visitation spaces, outdoors and for circumstances beyond compassionate care situations. The Core Principles of COVID-19 Infection Prevention consistent with Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) guidance should be adhered to at all times.
When visiting, you will see reminders of the Core Principles of COVID-19 Infection Prevention posted around campus. We must continue to adhere to screening protocols for all who enter. You will not be permitted to enter if you have signs or symptoms of COVID-19. We must practice hand hygiene, wear face coverings or masks and maintain social distancing. Westminster Canterbury staff must wear appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE), clean and disinfect high touch surfaces and areas, create cohorting of COVID positive residents and comply with CMS regulations for staff and resident testing.
In addition, CMS outlines directions for nursing homes to alert visitors as they maneuver through the community, including instructional signage and visitor education on COVID-19, infection control and nursing home policies. You will see signage to help you find the way to the closest entrances and paths to your destination.
Following a person-centered approach and adhering to CDC guidance, nursing homes can now accommodate visitors.
CMS states that outdoor visitation is preferred because there is reduced risk of transmission with increased space and airflow. However, there are hindrances to outdoor visits that a nursing homes must consider including weather conditions, temperature, air quality and the individual resident’s health status. We are looking to create accessible and safe outdoor spaces for visitation. CMS states the organization should have a process to limit the number and size of simultaneous visits as well as the number of individuals visiting, all while adhering to safe infection prevention actions.
Nursing homes should accommodate and support indoor visitation based on specific guidelines CMS outlined. First, the nursing home should have NO new onset COVID-19 cases in the last 14 days and not be currently conducting outbreak testing. Second, CMS reiterates that visitors MUST comply with and adhere to the core principles of infection control and staff will need to monitor for any visitor having difficulty adhering. Third, an organization should limit the number of visitors per resident as well as the number of visitors in the building based on size and physical space. Ideas to help limit could be scheduling visits at certain times and days and limiting the length of time to visit. Lastly, organizations must limit the movement of visitors in the facility. A visitor should not walk on neighborhoods or units where they will not be visiting a resident. This is where signage will help visitors move throughout the building.
Visitation will begin Monday, September 28, 2020, from 10 a.m.-9 p.m. Parsons Health Center visitation will be limited to one person visiting in a room at a time to ensure social distancing. Groups of two or more can be scheduled in the Rice Assembly or outdoors. We will share details on how to schedule these visits later this week.
Assisted Living Visitation Update
Assisted Living – Avalon, The Gables and Monticello – has been coordinating safe, structured visits since July. With this new plan, families will no longer need to schedule visits. Additional guidelines for visitation are under development and will be shared later this week.
Parsons Health Center Recreation
Kendra Spencer, Lori Capers and Hailey Kastetter are recreation therapists who have served our residents for over 34 years at Westminster Canterbury.
Kendra shared updates on recreation.
Our love for our residents has not changed. In fact, it continues to deepen with each passing day.
Birthdays, hallway activities and FaceTime calls continue to occur. Bingo is still very popular and has been enjoyed by residents on First and Third Floors. On Thursdays, it is very common to hear, “Oh it must be Thursday,” in response to a knock on the door and Lori walking in with a freshly baked chocolate chip cookie. Lori has been providing this very simple but meaningful activity every Thursday for our First Floor residents for over a year. They truly enjoy the cookies and the quick one-on-one check-in that Lori provides. Several residents on Third Floor get special attention from Hailey when she paints their nails. This gives the residents a chance to be pampered and to socialize, which makes such a big difference for them.
Thanks to gifts to Westminster Canterbury Foundation, we have several iPads to access Linked Senior, a software app that provides mental stimulation activities that residents enjoy. Residents also use Linked Senior to play Bingo. On Second Floor we use Apple TV to livestream several of our musicians who previously visited perform on a weekly to monthly basis. Music is so meaningful to our residents for a plethora of reasons. To see them engage with the music and see a familiar face is truly remarkable and wonderful. We also enjoy playing a fun game of Pool Noodle Balloon Hockey. One resident who typically declines invitations to activities participated in this game. We later learned she was a very competitive person in her early years. That competitive spirit of hers came out, and that, too, was wonderful to see!
Residents get outside. One gentleman from Second Floor was taken out to the porch on his hall. As soon as he stepped across the threshold, he took a deep breath in, let it out and said, “I love this.” He had a huge smile on his face.
The biggest accomplishment and the most therapeutic intervention that we continue to offer has been Facetime, Zoom and Skype calls. Among the three Recreation Therapists, we conduct more than 330 calls per week. We hear all the time from family members how much they appreciate being able to connect to their loved one. It has been their lifeline throughout COVID-19.
I have to agree with Sara Merchant, Assisted Living recreation coordinator who presented last week, when she said that our residents inspire us as well. During this time, our residents have truly been amazing. They have handled this disruption to the normalcy of their lives with such strength and grace. Families have inspired me as well. You all have been so patient. Your strength and support really come through on each call. You are so uplifting, loving and caring. Just yesterday I heard a wife say to her husband, “I love to see you laugh.” The husband replied, “Thank you for making me laugh.” The love between our married couples is so inspiring. Another uplifting call I get to experience weekly is between a husband and wife who pray together during the call. This is so meaningful to them as a couple, and during this call they can still fulfill their religious needs together. I can go on and on about the connections we see daily as we witness these calls. Please know that you all inspire us every day with the love you show towards your loved ones near and far.
We connect residents with loved ones throughout the United States, and in Argentina, Hawaii, London and Prague. We’ve gone global!
On a simpler note, I want to assure you that while residents are in their rooms or when they request activities such as drawing, painting, crossword puzzles, planting and more, we are able to provide these items to the residents. Thank you to everyone who supports our efforts.
Please know that the three of us are grateful to our residents and their families for letting us truly become part of your lives. You help make us feel like we are all in this together and that our community really is a family. Sometimes it can be challenging, but we always come out of it better and more determined. Look at me after 16 years of working here. I love my work, my colleagues and my residents!
Next week, September 28 – October 2, is Alzheimer’s Week. We are showing a different movie a day at 12:30 p.m. We will not be hosting our walk this year, but if it is a nice day, feel free to go walk the beautiful grounds of Westminster Canterbury. Please see The Tales for more information.
Pastoral Care Updates
Join us for worship Thursday, September 24, at 10:30 a.m. on TV970. Leigh Anne Ring, Pastoral Care intern, will preach. The Rev. Dr. Lynn McClintock will assist. The pianist will be Susie Frazer.
The Spiritual Center will open to residents and staff on the afternoon of Monday, September 28. Pastoral Care staff will be available to answer any questions. Please wear a mask and maintain social distancing.
Prayer – For the Hope of Tomorrow
Now, I lay me down to rest, I thank the Lord; my life is blessed. I have my family and my home and freedom, should I choose to roam. My days are filled with skies of blue, my nights are filled with sweet dreams, too. I’ve no reason to beg or plead. I have been given all I need. Beneath the subtle moonlit glow I thank the Lord, so He will know how grateful I am for my life in times of glory and of strife.
The times of glory give me hope, the times of strife teach me to cope. Thus, I am much stronger in turn, yet grounded, still, with much to learn. Now, I lay me down to rest. I thank the Lord; I’ve passed the test of yet another day on earth, grateful for its abundant worth. This day has been a special dream from morning ‘til the last moonbeam. Yet, should the coming dawn bring sorrow, I’ll rise, thankful I’ve reached tomorrow.