January 2021 Village Assisted Living Updates

Jan. 29, 2021

On Monday I shared with you the testing schedule for this week, and today I wish to share with you the results of those tests.

Associates were tested both on Monday and Thursday using PCR (laboratory tests).  All results from Monday were negative.  The results from Thursday show one direct care Memory Care 3 associate tested positive.  The associate was tested on Monday with a negative result and last worked on Thursday.

Residents in Assisted Living and all Memory Care neighborhoods were tested using a rapid test on Tuesday. All results were negative!

Due to the positive associate case on Memory Care 3, our team in that neighborhood will wear level three surgical masks with a face shield or goggles.  The residents will have their vitals checked four times per day and will be tested on Feb. 1, Feb. 4., and Feb. 11.  We will encourage residents to remain in their apartment as much as tolerated.

Our second COVID-19 vaccination clinic is on Feb. 8, and those of us receiving our booster shot are roughly three weeks out from having reached the highest level of immunization.  It can’t some quickly enough.

Elsewhere in the Village

Village Care Center. I am happy to report that there have not been any new COVID+ test results for resident and associates in the past week!  They are now four weeks from their last COVID+ residents and eight days since their last COVID+ associate result. The VCC’s second vaccine clinic is Wednesday, Feb. 3.  As of right now, more than 160 associates and 140 residents are registered to receive their vaccine, which is terrific news.

Independent Living. One resident has passed away in the past week. It is so hard to watch this kind of loss shift from one part of the Village to another, I am so sorry for all those involved. Additionally, one resident was confirmed as positive on Jan. 23. On a more positive note, today was Day 5 of their five-day vaccination clinic—during which more than 900 independent living residents received their first dose of the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine! This was an incredible effort that included associates from all across the Village, and I have heard nothing but good things about what a streamlined operation it was.

All parts of the Village have now had the opportunity to receive their first shot.  What a great feeling!


Please keep yourselves safe and healthy so that someday soon we can resume face-to-face visits. Won’t you consider watching the Super Bowl at your home this year? This is no time to let down your guard!


Jan. 27, 2021

Today I wish to update you on the results of the testing performed on Monday and Tuesday.

On Monday, Jan. 25 we tested all associates (over 100), using PCR (laboratory) tests. One non-direct care Assisted Living associate tested positive.  This associate was asymptomatic, last worked Monday, used appropriate PPE, and had very little interaction with residents.  This interaction does not rise to the level of an exposure and does not require additional testing.  We will continue with our twice a week testing of associates.

On Tuesday, Jan. 26 we tested all assisted living and memory care residents (about 120) using rapid tests.  All resident results were negative.  We will continue with our weekly testing of residents.

We will test associates again tomorrow, Jan. 28.  I will keep you apprised of those results as I know them.


Jan. 25, 2021

How about those CHIEFS!  I am so thrilled the Chiefs are going to be playing in the Super Bowl on February 7!

Today I wish to focus on the testing that will be performed this week, and later in the week I will share details of the renovation to the 100, 200, and 300 common areas.  For now, here is what is happening:

  • All associates were tested today using PCR tests.  Results should be in over the next 24-hours.  The next day of testing will be on Thursday, Jan. 28.
  • As a proactive measure, and not due to an exposure, all residents will be tested Tuesday, January 26 using a rapid test.  Residents will continue to be tested each Tuesday at least until February 16.
  • Beginning today, we will only communicate the result of your loved one’s COVID-19 test if the result is positive.  We will continue to notify you via email of all associates that test positive for COVID-19 as well as phone you if your loved one may have been in contact with an individual who tested positive.

Look for more communication from me as the week progresses regarding results of the testing as well as details to the renovation plans.


Jan. 21, 2021

I want to give you an update since my last letter on Wednesday, Jan. 13.

Testing

  • Jan. 14 and 15 we tested associates and residents, respectively, using PCR tests.  I am happy to share that all results, which were over 200, were all negative.
  • Jan. 18 we tested associates using PCR tests.  I am happy to share all 100+ results were negative.
  • Jan. 19 we tested Assisted Living residents using PCR tests due to a potential exposure on Jan. 7, All of these results were negative.
  • Jan. 20, we tested Memory Care 2 residents due to a potential exposure on Jan. 12.  All results were negative.

Introductions

Please help me to welcome Charity Hammer to the team!

On December 1, 2020, Charity Hammer joined the crew as a clinical supervisor for Assisted Living.  She comes to us with many years of experience as a nurse in various settings, including long-term care, clinic, and surgery. Charity is very excited to be here and looks forward to spending the rest of her career with the Village.

Charity finished orientation last week and is responsible for the clinical oversight of roughly half of the assisted living residents – apartments 105 – 140; 180 – 195; 401 – 425.  (Jackie Byers has the same responsibility for the other half of Assisted Living residents and Samantha Gladney for all Memory Care neighborhoods.)  For residents under her supervision, she will reach out to families as any need arises to introduce herself to you.

Charity can be reached at chammer@jkv.org or 816.347.2724.

Activity Professionals’ Week: Jan. 17 – 23, 2021

Village Assisted Living has the best Activity Professionals there are – Kristin, Treva, and Christina!  Kristin creates, organizes, and carries out the activities for our three memory care neighborhoods, and Treva and Christina do just the same for our assisted living neighborhood.

These ladies have had their creativity stretched to the limits in 2020.  Never could I have imagined that our residents would be limited on group activities, have doorway activities, and have video calls on a regular basis.  The past 10 months have catapulted these ladies into a new super-hero level of activity professional!  I couldn’t be more grateful for their spirit during this time, and their unwavering commitment to keeping FUN and CONNECTEDNESS in the lives of our residents.

Please help me this week in recognizing Kristin, Treva, and Christina for all they do to keep our residents smiling.

Village Care Center

I am pleased to report that the VCC went 13 days in a row with NO new resident OR associate COVID+ cases!  Also, it has been 15 days since the VCC’s first vaccination clinic. I am told that all residents and associates appear to be doing well, and that no one had a serious adverse reaction.

Independent Living
Two more Independent Living residents tested positive, as well as four associates who work in different parts of the Village. Next week CVS will return to campus to run a five-day clinic to vaccinate 930 independent living residents who have registered for the inoculation. Five days! What an enormous, and important, undertaking.

Outlook

We are nearly four weeks away from being fully immunized with the COVID-19 vaccination.  These new few weeks are critical for us to finish this battle strong, which we are fully committed to carrying out.  Thank you for your constant encouragement along the way.  It has meant more to us than you ever can imagine.


Jan. 13, 2021

I am writing to share some very exciting news with you!

Back in May 2020, plans for several campus redevelopment projects were shared with Village residents in our monthly magazine, the Village Voice. (See www.JKVLife.org Click “Guest Access”) Renovations to Village Assisted Living 100, 200 and 300 wing common areas were part of that plan.  Then the COVID-19 pandemic arrived and thwarted those plans – for much longer than anyone could have imagined.  Today, I am happy to share that, now that all residents have had their first COVID-19 vaccination, we have revived the plans and renovation work will begin on Monday, February 1, 2021!

Our goal is to give our residents in the original assisted living building a more beautiful environment that blends nicely with our other, newer, care neighborhoods. The project will be extensive, but so worth it! It will include renovations to all Assisted Living common areas, including 100, 200, and 300 wing laundry rooms and restrooms. There will be new paint on walls and ceilings, lighting, carpet, handrails, baseboards, artwork – even new wayfinding signs – as well as a complete overhaul for the nurses’ stations, the activity room and the Ambassador Room.  The project cost is $1.3 million, and while the original timeline was six months, we are exploring ways to renovate multiple areas simultaneously to reduce the overall time needed.

You may be wondering about having additional people in the building. Let me put your mind to rest by saying:

  • Even with the vaccination process underway, out of an abundance of caution, our staff and residents will continue all of the same infection control safeguards that we have been using. And we will continue to do so even after everyone gets their second vaccine. There is much that is still not known about the vaccines’ ability to protect people, and we would rather be safe than sorry.
  • Harmon Construction will be the general contractor for the project.  At this time, we expect only about 10 workers per day to be on site Monday through Friday, during business hours.  Each of these individuals will be included in our two times per week testing, and they will follow all infection control guidelines that our staff are expected to follow.

For many reasons, we feel this renovation is so important to move forward on as soon as we are able.

  • First, we have been planning this renovation since 2018, but various obstacles prevented the project from moving forward.
  • Second, Village Assisted Living has not had an update to its interior since 2010 when it received new carpet and paint, so it is time to turn over a new leaf.
  • Third, and most importantly, we know our residents have been wanting this for such a long time, and after 2020, we all need something new and pretty to look forward to – and that’s in addition to seeing and hugging our family in the near future!

Over the next two weeks I will continue to share specifics with you about the project.  Until that time, please let me know if you have any questions so I can answer them and possibly share them with the residents and families.


Jan. 10, 2021

Tomorrow is the big day, the day we have been waiting for!  I will have a recap of how the day went on Tuesday.  Until then, I have some information to share with you know.

In the late evening on Friday, Jan. 10, we learned a direct care associate on Memory Care 2 tested positive for COVID-19.  The associate was asymptomatic.  All families have been notified and we will test residents on Jan. 12, Jan. 15, and Jan. 20.

As a result of the positive associate, we will conduct doorway and one-on-one activities, have meals delivered to apartments, and the team will continue wearing N95 masks with face shield/goggles.  We will remain with our twice per week testing of associates.  Likewise, we will continue to remind the team of how vital it is to keep practicing the basics:  masks, handwashing, maintaining six feet distance from others, and avoiding crowds.

As I have said many times before, we are keeping the pedal to the metal through these last six weeks.  We will finish this strong!


Jan. 8. 2020

What a week! From testing residents and associates, to gearing up for the COVID-19 Primer Dose Vaccination Clinic on Monday, Jan. 11, we have been even busier than usual. Here’s a run-down on what you need to know.

Testing on Thursday, Jan. 7

  • We tested associates for our two times a week facility wide testing, and we learned that one direct care assisted living associate tested positive for COVID-19.  The associate was asymptomatic. All famiiles and residents were notified and residents will be tested on Tuesday, Jan. 12, Friday, Jan.15, and Tuesday, Jan. 29.
  • We tested all residents in Assisted Living, Memory Care 1 and Memory Care 3 due to potential exposures on Jan. 4 and Dec. 27. I am happy to report that all residents’ results were negative!  We will continue testing this group on Tuesday, Jan. 12 and Friday, Jan. 15.

Vaccine Clinic

I have told my team several times over the past two weeks that Monday, Jan. 11 will be the third best day of my life! (If you’re wondering, getting married and having my daugther are my other two best days!)  And with that giddy anticipation, we have been busy as bees putting all of the final pieces together for the COVID-19 Primer Dose Vaccination Clinic on Monday.  (Special kudos to the entire Admin Team for their efforts in putting this together in record time!)  Here’s where we stand right now, and it’s looking really good:

  • We have completed all of the CVS COVID Vaccine Intake Consent Forms, based on the verbal or e-mail authorization you have provided to a member of our team.
  • Today we finalized our immunization route with CVS, and it’s changed a bit from my original communication.  There will be two teams from CVS. One will be stationed in the Ambassador Room, and one will be mobile, traveling to our three memory care neighborhoods.
    • The mobile team will begin in Memory Care 3, move to Memory Care 2, and finish up on Memory Care 1.
    • The Assisted Living direct care and therapy teams will work with the CVS immunization team to get residents to the Ambassador Room in an organized, and physically distanced manner.  (I initally communicated that CVS would go room-to-room, but that is not the case now.)
  • CVS will arrive Monday at 9am, will need an hour for the vaccine to thaw, and we expect that they will begin immunizations around 10 a.m.
  • Residents will be monitored by a cliniican for at leat 15 minutes in the doorway of their apartments, and there will be EpiPens on hand, as well as an EMT and a nurse.

While this week has been crazy busy, it is a busy we are more than happy to have, because we know good things are on the horizon.  If you have questions about any of this, please let me know.


Jan. 5, 2021

It sure feels like it has been more than five days since 2021 began. Perhaps it’s because part of me wants to zoom right to February 22 when we have completed the immunization process. We’ll be there soon enough. Time to concentrate on today.

Here’s an update on what is going on right now.

I am very sorry to share that on Saturday, Jan. 2 we lost one of our residents due to complications from COVID-19.   We send our deepest condolences to grieving family and friends, and we hold this resident in our thoughts and prayers.

Testing

  • Monday, Jan. 4 we tested all residents in Assisted Living and Memory Care 1 using PCR tests.  I am very pleased to say these results came back negative.
  • Monday, Jan. 4 we also tested 100+ employees scheduled to work 1/4/21 – 1/10/21 using PCR tests.  (Those results take 24-48 hours to get from our laboratory.)  We had five associates test positive for the virus, and those associates have been taken off of the schedule.
  • 1 Assisted Living direct care associate
  • 2 Memory Care 1 associates
  • 1 Memory Care 3 associate
  • 1 Fireside associate

Please be assured that we never allow anyone to work with any reported COVID-19 symptom; our process is to obtain a rapid test swab and a PCR swab and take the associate off of the schedule until both results are in and symptoms have resolved.  All of the associates who were swabbed yesterday were asymptomatic, except one who was not working and reported symptoms at the time of screening.

As a result of the five positive associates, we will conduct doorway and one-on-one activities, have meals delivered to apartments, and the team will continue wearing N95 masks with face shield/goggles.  We will remain with our twice per week testing of associates.  Likewise, we will continue to remind the team of how vital it is to keep practicing the basics:  masks, handwashing, maintaining six feet distance from others, and avoiding crowds.

Vaccine Information – Associates

Some of you have asked about whether the vaccine is mandatory for associates.  After consulting with various professional groups, John Knox Village leaders have determined that, as with the flu and Hepatitis B vaccination, the COVID-19 vaccination is optional for Village associates and residents. The Village believes that every associate and resident has the right to make an informed decision based on medical need, religious belief and/or personal preference.

With that said, as with the other two previously mentioned vaccinations, if an associate elects to not receive the COVID-19 vaccination they will be required to wear the proper PPE for every shift they work.  We are not alone in this stance, I am aware of several hospital groups in the area that, like JKV, are not mandating the vaccine for its employees.

Vaccine Clinic – Residents

The January 11 COVID-19 primer vaccine clinic is just six days away.  We are busily putting the final pieces together for all of our residents.  Yep, you read that right – all residents in Assisted Living and in the Memory Care neighborhoods have elected to receive the vaccine. And for that, we are extremely excited!

As I have said many times before, we are keeping the pedal to the metal through these last seven weeks until we are fully inoculated and benefiting from the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine.  We will finish this strong!