Village Assisted Living Updates
The following is communication sent via email to the families and loved ones of Village Assisted Living Memory Care residents. If you have a question, please contact Heather Scott, administrator, at email@example.com.
July 20, 2020
Today I have all sorts of good news to share!
DHSS Reopening: I mentioned in my weekly email on July 10 that the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services (DHSS) issued guidance on reopening Long-Term Care Facilities. John Knox Village is still in the process of reviewing this information. We are working closely with our regulators to see how we can safely conduct outdoor visitation with residents who are negative for COVID-19, are asymptomatic, and have not had a known exposure. We will continue to keep you informed as we move forward.
Podiatrist: The podiatrist has had to reschedule visits originally planned for the week of July 27. Patients will be seen in Assisted Living and Memory Care neighborhoods on the dates of August 12 – August 14. The podiatrist and assistant will be screened for COVID-19 via the standard questions, have temperature taken, and will follow all infection control requirements, including wearing masks.
Optometrist: The optometrist will be on site to see patients August 4. The optometrist also will be answer the COVID-19 screening questions, have temperature taken, and will follow all infection control requirements, including wearing masks.
We are taking careful and considered steps to reopen various services offered to our residents where we are able. On July 1 we opened the salons and on July 16 we began small group activities (with less than 10 people). We will continue to cautiously bring more services online, so stay tuned for more information.
July 1, 2020
I know you’ve been waiting since my letter Monday, June 29 to learn more about what’s happening regarding COVID-19 in our buildings. While I don’t have complete information at this point, I’m sharing what we do know now — as I don’t want to leave you wondering.
Because we had 1 associate who works in a direct care position at Village Assisted Living (memory care neighborhoods excluded) test positive last week, we began testing associates on June 25 who had contact with this individual, as well as residents who lived in the 100 and 300 wings.
This was the first positive case of COVID-19 at Village Assisted Living. The lab returned the results on the other tested residents and associates, and all were negative.
As an extra layer of information-gathering, the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services recommended a second round of testing on the same people. The re-testing has identified one resident, in assisted living, as COVID-19 positive, and one additional associate (in Memory Care I, day shift). The resident has been re-tested and we are patiently waiting for that result. The newly-diagnosed associate will be re-tested later this week. Because the lab processes them in batches, the results have come in sporadically, over a couple of days. Most results are back – we are currently waiting for 4 more associate results, plus the re-test of the resident.
As I mentioned previously, we have increased our infection control efforts by doubling the frequency of temperature checks to four times a day, and all our associates are wearing appropriate personal protective equipment. We are continuing to follow infection control protocols and procedures recommended by the local and state health departments and the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention, to protect our residents and associates. We also are following Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services guidance. These are the same protocols followed by the Village Care Center (which also must follow the guidance of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services). CMS recently re-visited the VCC to do a follow-up infection-control survey, and once again they received zero deficiencies, so we have a great deal of confidence in our procedures.
We had hoped to re-start the drive-by family parades, but I’m sorry to say that we have put them on hold again as we assess the current situation. The salons are still operating, but we have decided to continue just with meal delivery for Fireside dining, for the time being.
Our focus remains squarely on the health and well-being of our entire John Knox Village community. I am so proud of the way our residents and staff have worked together in being diligent with our procedures, while still finding ways to have meaningful and caring relationships with one another.
I understand that you may have questions, and we will share additional information, as appropriate, through our various communication tools. Please direct your questions to me at 816-347-2701 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
June 14, 2020
Dear Village Assisted Living Residents and Families,
I want to provide you with an update regarding the presence of the COVID-19 coronavirus at John Knox Village. The safety and wellbeing of our residents and associates are our top priority and we are doing all that we can to limit and contain any possible cases of COVID-19.
VILLAGE ASSISTED LIVING
There are no known COVID-19 positive residents or associates within Village Assisted Living. However, a non-JKV healthcare professional saw patients in the building Wednesday, Thursday and Friday, June 10-12.
This person volunteered to be tested about 2 weeks ago, when the Village was exploring a relationship with a new lab for larger group testing. At that time, the person’s test results were negative. Then, as part of the process of testing all people who work within the Village Care Center (see more on this below), this person was re-tested late last week and received a positive test result Saturday. For the protection of staff and residents, Village Assisted Living is proactively taking the following actions:
- We are beginning a methodical testing of residents and associates within 48 hours who may have had contact with the health care provider, so that we will have a clear picture of whether the COVID-19 coronavirus is present in our facility.
- We are immediately taking the following steps to increase our infection control efforts by:
- Requiring staff to wear surgical masks instead of fabric face covers.
- Doubling our daily screening of residents to taking vital signs four times a day.
- Placing a hold on resident activities for a few days, as we assess the current situation.
The testing lab we are using is the same one the Village Care Center is using for their larger group testing. They are a local company in Lee’s Summit and have proved to be very responsive. Results typically are submitted to us within 48 hours.
VILLAGE CARE CENTER
Because the Village Care Center recently identified two unrelated cases of COVID-19 in care center associates, they decided on Thursday to be proactive and begin testing all associates working in their building. They now have tested the majority of their associates, and have results from all of the samples sent to the lab Thursday and Friday. I want to be sure that you know they had 5 additional positive results. All of these associates have been asymptomatic, have passed their daily pre-shift screenings, and have not worked since they received their results.
These newest cases include associates with jobs in a variety of departments at the VCC, most of whom have not had ongoing contact with residents, or each other. Therefore we do not believe it is being spread within the building; rather it appears to show that our infection control procedures are doing their job. Because of these outcomes, they also are beginning to test their residents. We expect resident and associate test results to continue rolling in over the next several days. I will continue to keep you informed as we gain new information.
Here is a more detailed update regarding the prevalence of COVID-19 in the VCC since March 16:
As of June 14,
- _0_Residents and _9_associates have confirmed COVID-19 diagnoses.
- _40_ Residents and _261_ associates have tested negative for COVID-19.
- _N/A_Residents and _3_ associates have recovered from COVID-19.
- It has been _0_ days since we were notified that a resident or associate has tested positive.
There currently are no known cases at John Knox Village outside of the Village Care Center.
The Village Care Center is staying in very close communication with local, regional, county, and state authorities to ensure they are taking all of the appropriate steps under current circumstances. They also are following guidance from CMS and the CDC to reduce the impact of COVID-19.
- Daily screening of VCC residents, with vital signs taken 4 times a day
- Daily screening of VCC staff and essential visitors for symptoms
- Use of social distancing and other infection control procedures
- Enhanced infection control precautions
- Stopping all new admissions to the VCC for the next few days (except John Knox Village contract holders)
- Restricting visitation and entry of people into the building
- Carefully limiting communal activities
Unfortunately, government privacy requirements restrict us from divulging specific information about the individuals involved, unless they are your family member and you have the necessary permissions to receive such information. We will contact those people directly if your loved one is suspected or diagnosed with COVID-19.
Please know that the whole Village is working extremely hard to keep everyone who lives and works here safe and healthy. This is a responsibility that weighs heavily on us every day. Please contact Tressa Dickerson, Village Assisted Living director of nursing at 816-347-2706 or email@example.com and she will do her best to answer any questions.
June 1, 2020
I hope this message finds you well. I am pleased to say that another week has come and gone, and we continue to have no confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Village Assisted Living Memory Care or Village Assisted Living residents or employees.
On late Friday afternoon, the administrator of our Village Care Center, the director of nursing for Village Assisted Living, and I had a phone call with our Region 3 representatives from the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services (DHSS). The purpose of the call was to engage in dialogue about where DHSS is with its reopening plans for our facilities. The short answer is that they are still working on their plans. We did confirm that, in Missouri, all facilities such as ours are still in their Phase Zero.
We were able to ask specific questions about when the salons may begin to reopen, as well as the possibility of creating a visiting space in our memory care courtyards where residents and families could visit. Some immediate good news is that a work group has been set up by DHSS to evaluate our Village Care Center’s proposal for its residents and families to visit in its courtyards, using a Plexiglass setup. If approved for the Village Care Center, our memory care neighborhoods would quickly follow suit in implementing the approved visitation plan. DHSS has not yet determined which phase might include the salons opening, but we know everyone is looking forward to that one!
While the news of reopening in assisted living may not be happening like other places in Missouri and Kansas, I can assure you that everyone on the call was working towards getting back to a life that feels more normal, in the safest way possible.
I will continue to keep you updated on our phased reopening plans as quickly as I can. Until then, thank you for being on this journey with us and for entrusting us with the care of your loved one. If there is anything you may need, please do not hesitate to let me know.
April 27, 2020
I wanted to touch base and let you know how things are going in our memory care neighborhoods.
It seems the first question on everyone’s mind is are there any COVID cases? I am happy to say that we currently do not have any suspected or confirmed cases of COVID-19 associated with Village Assisted Living Memory Care or Village Assisted Living residents or staff.
While life has slowed down for the outside world, we are working hard to keep things moving forward for our residents. As such, I want to tell you about several new and exciting technologies that we are implementing. I believe both will help us with the limitations we are experiencing in this stage of the pandemic.
First, we began facilitating telehealth visits with Kansas City Medicine Partners on April 13. With our LPNs’ assistance, the group performs telehealth visits with various residents, as needed, on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays. This helps us to ensure there is as little foot traffic in the neighborhoods as possible. We are also assisting with telehealth visits for Saint Luke’s Health System, HCA, and other healthcare providers when requested.
Second, on Monday we began using a computer app called Linked Senior, which adds another layer to our activity program. The response to this application, which is rooted in dementia and geriatric research, has been great! Our goal with Linked Senior is to actively engage all residents with fun and interactive activities. The modules provide stimulation and meaningful interaction, linking residents’ personal experiences with activities such as games, brain fitness, music therapy, reminiscing and other therapeutic interventions, no matter the person’s current cognitive ability. Our residents love that it is person-centered, and it brings back great memories – including their favorite musical groups or places they have traveled!
Third, we are happy to help you stay in contact with your loved one by adding more time slots for FaceTime visits. Please reach out to our memory care activity coordinator, Kristin firstname.lastname@example.org or our clinical supervisor, Samantha email@example.com to schedule your time to FaceTime. Please work with either Kristin or Samantha to streamline the process.
Finally, you are receiving this email via a distribution group we created based on the people listed in our files as having financial responsibility for each resident. If there are others you wish to have receive this email, please forward to them. If there are others who would like to be added, please let me know their email address so I can add them to my distribution list.