Flu and COVID-19 Prevention Efforts

Company Update – Friday, April 3 4:00PM EST

At Commonwealth Senior Living, we have what we call our Noble Selling Purpose. It is the “Why” we do what we do. For us that purpose is, “We Improve the Lives of Seniors, Their Families, and Each Other.” We Listen, We Love, We Care, We Serve. It is amazing to see how our teams are living up to every day. Despite personal challenges, child care issues, fears about their own families and many other things, they are showing up every day to fulfill our purpose, and care for “Their Residents”.

We are so proud of the efforts of every one of our team members, and hope that you feel the same way. We are often asked; how can I help show my appreciation. First and foremost, please send emails to the community, send cards of appreciation, share positive social media feedback, and simply say Thank You when you speak to members of the team. If you are interested, and able, I would also encourage you to consider making a donation of any size to Commonwealth Cares. Commonwealth Cares is a 501 (c3) not for profit foundation that we established to help our associates in times of unplanned financial needs. The majority of the fundraising comes from an annual golf tournament and payroll deductions that many associates participate in. We do not normally solicit funds from family members unless it is through a local fundraising event that is held at the community. Knowing that our foundation is likely to be receiving an increased number of requests, I wanted to share the information with you. No one will know who does or doesn’t contribute, but again, if you have the ability and are interested, it will go a good cause, helping those who help others. www.CommonwealthCares.net.

Our communities continue to follow all CDC recommended skilled nursing home protocols, limiting all visitors to essential healthcare providers and/or compassionate care/end of life circumstances, curtailed communal dining, and canceled large group activities and programs within the community. This hasn’t been easy, but a look at our community Facebook pages will show you how resilient and creative our residents, families, and associates can be and the bar continues to be raised as I see the new posts and videos daily.

If you have specific questions, please reach out to your individual community Executive Director and/or leadership teams. If you have additional questions, or challenges getting a response from the community, we have established a 24/7 toll free CSL Hotline that is personally staffed by representatives from our home office. If they can’t answer your question immediately, they will take ownership, get the answer, and get back to you. That number is (866) 504-1053.

Sincerely,


Earl Parker
President and Chief Operating Officer

 

Company Update – Friday, March 27 4:00 PM EST

As I have written previously, our primary focus at Commonwealth Senior Living (CSL) is on improving the lives of seniors, their families and each other. As of this writing, there continues to be no known cases of Coronavirus in any CSL community. We have had several residents and associates tested, and to date all results that we have received have been negative. While we are happy to report that we have no known cases, we are also fully prepared to respond appropriately if they should develop. Each of our communities has received very specific protocols on how to handle this if should arise, and we continue to have daily communication with our community associates and provide them with ongoing and updated training.

I am certain that most of you have heard about the shortage of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE). We too face challenges in this area, although we have a team that has been working tirelessly, 7 days a week, to locate, purchase, and distribute these supplies to our communities. Our team has found there are many scams, and false hopes out there, and as you can imagine the supply/demand imbalance for PPE has doubled and tripled pricing in many cases. We have been able to obtain a base level supply for each community and additional supplies that we can rapidly deploy to specific communities as the needs change.

We continue to follow CDC recommended skilled nursing home protocols, limiting all visitors to essential healthcare providers and/or compassionate care/end of life circumstances, curtailed communal dining, and canceled large group activities and programs within the community. This hasn’t been easy, but a look at our community Facebook pages will show you how resilient and creative our residents, families, and associates can be and the bar continues to be raised as I see the new posts and videos daily.

I want to thank you all for your continued support of our visiting restrictions and steps to help limit any chances for exposure. It is vitally important that we all do our part to help “Flatten the Curve” and work towards getting back to some sense of normalcy as soon as possible.

To all of our associates, THANK YOU! We continue to appreciate your dedication and commitment to fulfilling the service promise that we have with our residents and families and we are here to support you. If you have specific questions, please reach out to your individual community Executive Director and/or leadership teams. If you have additional questions, or challenges getting a response from the community, we have established a 24/7 toll free CSL Hotline that is personally staffed by representatives from our home office. If they can’t answer your question immediately, they will take ownership, get the answer, and get back to you. That number is (866) 504-1053.

Sincerely,


Earl Parker

President and Chief Operating Officer

 

Company Update – Friday, March 20 5:00 PM EST

As you know, our primary focus at Commonwealth Senior Living (CSL) is on improving the lives of seniors, their families and each other. As of this writing, there continues to be no known cases of Coronavirus in any CSL community. While we are happy to report that we have no known cases, we are also fully prepared to respond appropriately if they should develop. Each of our communities has received very specific protocols on how to handle this if should arise, and we continue to have daily communication with our community associates.

As you are aware, starting March 16, 2020 we are implemented the CDC recommended skilled nursing home protocols, limiting all visitors to essential healthcare providers and/or compassionate care/end of life circumstances, curtailed communal dining, except in cases where assistance is required and in some memory care environments and canceled large group activities and programs within the community. This hasn’t been easy, but a look at our community Facebook pages will show you how resilient and creative our residents, families, and associates can be. From hallway bingo, to window visits, FaceTime, SMILE, and just sharing whiteboard messages to families on Facebook, it looks like our folks are still having Fun.

One challenge that we continue to face is some families insisting on taking residents out of the community. This is not a safe or recommended practice. Every such interaction is adding an unnecessary risk of exposure to every one of our residents and associates. I am asking you to please refrain from this unless it is for an essential medical appointment, such as dialysis, chemotherapy, etc. We really appreciate your continued support and patience to help all of us get through this safely.

To all of our associates, THANK YOU! We continue to appreciate your dedication and commitment to fulfilling the service promise that we have with our residents and families and we are here to support you. If you have specific questions, please reach out to your individual community Executive Director and/or leadership teams. If you have additional questions, or challenges getting a response from the community, we have established a 24/7 toll free CSL Hotline that is personally staffed by representatives from our home office. If they can’t answer your question immediately, they will take ownership, get the answer, and get back to you. That number is (866) 504-1053.

Sincerely,


Earl Parker
President and Chief Operating Officer

Company Update – Monday, March 16th 5:00 PM EST

As you know, our primary focus at Commonwealth Senior Living (CSL) is on improving the lives of seniors, their families and each other. As of this writing, there continues to be no known cases of Coronavirus in any CSL community.

Our CSL taskforce has been discussing our interventions and protocols and seeking further advice and guidance from state and local government agencies. On the advice of these agencies, as of 5:00 pm today, March 16, 2020 we are implementing the CDC recommended skilled nursing home protocols, limiting all visitors to essential healthcare providers and/or compassionate care/end of life circumstances. We will also be curtailing communal dining, except in cases where assistance is required and in some memory care environments. Additionally, we will be canceling all
group activities and programs within the community.

These are not decisions that we have made lightly. We know the positive impact of socialization, visitors, dining and effective programming has on our residents, but with the further guidance that we received today from the government, we believe that this is the best course of action at this time.

As I have previously shared, while the spread of Coronavirus is a major global concern, infection control is nothing new for us here at CSL. If you live in, work in, or visit one of our communities, you know that we fully grasp the risk that cold and flu season poses to our residents and associates every year and we have a keen focus on minimizing any negative impacts.

This situation is fluid, and we will continue to update our families on the steps we are taking, while balancing the need to maintain important family contact and our desire to create a happy and engaging home for all residents. Our community teams have access to alternative methods to support communication and virtual visits via SMILE, FaceTime, and Skype and we encourage families to reach out and engage with these options.

To all of our associates, THANK YOU! We appreciate your dedication and commitment to fulfilling the service promise that we have with our residents and families and we are here to support you. If you have specific questions, please reach out to your individual community Executive Director and/or leadership teams.

 

Company Update – Thursday, March 12th 5:00 PM EST

Currently, there are no known instances of COVID-19 at any Commonwealth Senior Living (CSL) community. In addition to the strong infection control and emergency preparedness programs we already have in place, and based on guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and other health and government officials, CSL continues to follow extra precautions to help prevent the spread of the virus.

Pursuant to our previous update regarding our COVID-19 prevention efforts, we wanted to make you aware of additional steps we are taking in adherence with all state and local Executive Orders and official guidelines throughout the states in which we manage communities. The CDC, healthcare associations and local health departments have now updated their guidance to encourage the public to avoid long-term care facilities, referencing the increased risk presented to older adults from COVID-19.

Commonwealth Senior Living (CSL) is taking the prudent step to limit community visitors to only those individuals who need entry at this time. Please know that we are working to maintain normalcy for our residents and families despite this change. Our current actions include:

  • Discouraging routine social visits while working one-on-one with families who may have critical needs to visit their loved ones at this time.
  • Encouraging our residents and families to utilize alternative methods of communication such as SMILE, FaceTime, and Skype. (our associates will provide assistance)
  • Requiring visits to occur in the resident’s suite and limiting time in public areas of our community. Upon entering the community, everyone will be asked to wash their hands, signed in, and screened. Screening will include confirmation of a body temperature of less than 100.4 degrees.
  • Collaborating with medical providers and others who serve our residents (e.g., hospice providers) to make alternative arrangements if necessary, while following our strict screening protocols for anyone who still needs to enter our community.
  • Reinforcing our strong resident programming, with an enhanced activities calendar focused on in-house activities and small group gatherings.
  • Enhanced Screening:
  • Residents: All residents are being screened daily to ensure they are in good health.
  • Visitors: All visitors, including vendors, family members, and external medical providers, must check in and be screened for illness and recent travel. Signage to this effect has been posted in visitor entry areas. Should you choose to visit our community, please anticipate being asked questions upon check-in.
  • Associates: All associates are being screened at the beginning of each shift concerning possible illness and to review their recent travel history and whom they have come into contact with who may have been exposed to COVID-19.

Gatherings – Per the CDC’s recommendation, CSL intends to limit large gatherings (defined as 10 or more people) to help protect the health and safety of residents and team members. This impacts events that are happening within the community with attendees from outside as well as resident outings.

  • Communities will postpone large family events at this time.
  • As communities limit resident outings, we are encouraging residents to participate in diverse in-house programming to help ensure our residents are happy and engaged.

Training – We are continuing in-service training at all our locations to reinforce and practice evidence-based infection control protocols, including proper handwashing and cleaning processes.
As always, should there be signs of an outbreak at a community, we will follow the recommended health department protocols, including immediately contacting the local health department, communicating with families and working together to help protect the safety of our residents and team members.

 

Company Update – Wednesday, March 4th

Dear Commonwealth Residents, Families, and Associates:

As we continue to improve the lives of seniors, their families, and each other, we are taking precautions to protect our residents and associates from Coronavirus Virus Disease 2019 (COVID-19). The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports that there have been more than 100 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the US. As you may have heard, the CDC has advised that more cases in the US are likely including person-to-person spread. We are ensuring that our communities are appropriately prepared. At this point the disease continues to present and spread similar to seasonal influenza, and therefore the preventative measures are the same as what is used normally this time of year.

We have had no cases of COVID-19 in our communities, and resident health and safety remains our top priority. We are following all guidelines from the CDC and our health departments, which include appropriate handwashing and disinfection practices. As always, we are assisting any resident who has signs and/or symptoms of respiratory illness (cough, fever, malaise) to stay in his/her apartment, and seek immediate medical attention while continuing to practice standard, droplet, and contact precautions as appropriate. We are ensuring our communities have appropriate supplies on hand to respond to respiratory illness outbreaks and reminding everyone to cover the mouth/nose when coughing or sneezing, wash hands frequently, and stay home if feeling ill. In addition, we have an established communication plan and our associates receive ongoing information and training on respiratory illness, including infection control practices, and monitoring for signs and symptoms.

We are reminding our associates, residents, and visitors to always follow these recommendations from the CDC to prevent the spread of respiratory illnesses:
• Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
• Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
• Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
• Stay home when you are sick.
• Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.
• Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.

There is a wealth of additional information available on the CDC website:
https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/index.html

Please notify the Executive Director of your community if it has been less than 14 days since you have traveled outside of the US or if you have future travel outside of the US. Please also reach out to the Executive Director at your community if you have any questions or concerns.

Kindest Regards,


Giovanni Montague-Sneed, MS, RN, CDAL, C-AL
Senior Vice President of Resident Care