Family Update

Wednesday, April 22, 2020

in 2020 visitor updates

Dear residents and families,

I hope this email finds you all healthy and content. We know this was a particularly difficult time for many families, as it is also emotional for us to be away from our own families at a time when we usually gather together. We appreciate you all very much. Thank you for all the acts of kindness you have shown to staff and residents alike – email, cards, social media comments, lunch for staff, face masks, art, signs – all your acts of love have brought us joy and has refreshed our spirit. 

Please sign up to receive these updates by email
We urge all family members to sign up to receive email so we can keep you informed. In order to keep everyone up to date in the fastest, more comprehensive, eco-friendly and cost-effective way we will now only communicate these updates by email and by posting them to our web site, available at jenningsohio.org/coronavirus . Family members who have not signed up for email will get an automated call to alert them that there is a new post. Please encourage your family member to sign up at jenningsohio.org/families .

Current precautions
Keeping everyone healthy and safe is a priority for Jennings. As a reminder, we have been taking precautions since early March to do all we can to prevent COVID-19 in our residences.To minimize risk, we continue to restrict all visiting, staff members stopped traveling between buildings, and we identified staff members who are not involved in direct care and now work remotely instead. We have eliminated non-essential outgoing doctor appointments, and physicians do not come to our buildings; instead we arrange telehealth appointments. For residents and staff alike, we continually educate about the importance of handwashing, keeping hands away from your face, and other precautions from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC). The environmental services team has been cleaning and sanitizing, giving extra attention to high touch areas several times each day, and sanitizing deliveries that come to Jennings.

We screen staff members each day for signs and symptoms; staff may not enter the building with any symptoms (i.e., fever 100 or higher, cough, etc.) or risks such as close exposure to someone with symptoms or positive test for COVID-19. All staff members wear face masks, and we maintain safe physical distance with the exception of necessary close proximity for direct care. 

As you know, residents in assisted living and long-term care remain mostly in their suites engaged in private activities with small exceptions such as certain hallway activities where they can be socially connected but 10 feet or more apart — exercising, playing Pokeno or creating art — as well as those needing assistance to eat. Residents may choose to wear face masks, particularly during times when they are not alone in their suites. You are welcome to provide homemade masks with a cheerful fabric pattern for your loved one. We take their temperatures twice each day, and we evaluate each resident in our health care settings daily for symptoms. Those individuals living independently have been asked to eliminate their visitors, reduce their activities to only essential trips and cease non-essential visits from providers such as home health care who travel among multiple buildings.

Critical Plans
Please know that all three Jennings healthcare campuses have had plans in place should we have a resident who shows signs or symptoms of COVID-19 or tests positive. Jennings continues to follow the protocols outlined by the respective county health departments,CDC, Ohio Department of Health (ODH) and Centers for Medicare and Medicaid (CMS). We have been working with our medical director and also have COVID-19 test kits on site for any person who is indicated. Any individual living independently in apartments and villa or cottage homes who has symptoms should follow guidelines of living at home, beginning with self-isolation. 

As we have communicated previously, we have a supply of personal protective equipment (PPE) that includes additional masks, goggles, face shields, caps, booties and gowns in addition to important equipment such as disposable thermometers and hand sanitizer that would be necessary in the event of caring for someone who has symptoms of COVID-19. The graphic below shows the types of PPE necessary for three stages of direct care. 

source: Ohio Department of Health, coronavirus.ohio.gov

You can count on us to communicate to family members if we know there is a Jennings staff member or resident who tests positive where your loved one lives. If you have any questions or a particular concern about your loved one, please feel free to contact us by phone or email. A list of common extensions is available on our web site at jenningsohio.org/phones .  

Independent living residents
We have urged residents who are living independently in Jennings’ apartments, villa homes and cottages to continue taking precautions outlined by Governor Mike DeWine and the CDC to help prevent COVID-19. We encourage them to discontinue any non-essential home care professionals, who are typically moving between many area buildings, to prevent the spread of illness even by those who show no symptoms. We also encourage the use of alternate shopping and support methods. Instead of going to the store for supplies, it is likely safer to use new pick-up and delivery services such as InstaCart. These services can minimize the risk of exposure to illness. Jennings staff can help with the technology to have essential items delivered.

A few reminders

  • Schedule a video chat with residents in long-term care or assisted living. We know how important it is to see your family member, and we look forward to connecting you by FaceTime or Skype. Visit jenningsohio.org/video-chats for instructions and tips.
  • Follow our stories in social media! You can find us at JenningsOhio and NDVillageOhio on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter where we post photos and videos.
  • Jennings continues to connect residents to Mass; although they cannot physically attend, they can watch it on televisions.
  • Gift Shoppe purchases for residents at the Garfield Heights campus or Jennings at Brecksville:
    Certain greetings and gifts, as well as some daily necessities, may be purchased online for delivery to a resident. All item costs include delivery to the resident suite; items are available while supplies last. Jennings can accept online orders 24 hours a day. Orders placed by 5pm will be delivered the next Gift Shoppe day: Tuesday through Saturday. Visit jenningsohio.org/gifts for details.

Thank you for all your wonderful gifts and gestures! Please click through the gallery to see some of these gifts.

Be well,

Allison Q. Salopeck
President and CEO, Jennings

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