We commemorated Veterans Day a bit differently this year. Typically, we hold a gathering of the community’s veterans and their families. The event has grown each year and we’ve been honored to host local dignitaries who wish play a role in thanking our veterans. This year, to commemorate the day, we created this video. To the veterans in our network of friends, thank you for your service.
The number of coronavirus cases in Massachusetts, and across the country, continues to rise. This past week, two Deutsches Altenheim employees tested positive for COVID-19 in our weekly surveillance testing. As a result, all German Centre residents will be tested and have been placed on precautions – full personal protective equipment (PPE) is used when interacting with residents. A few Edelweiss Village residents who came in contact with one of the test-positive individuals will also be tested. All staff across the Deutsches Altenheim campus will be tested weekly for a minimum of two weeks, depending upon the results.
Additionally, until the campus is clear of positive cases, all family visits will take place outdoors, weather permitting. Visitors are encouraged to remain diligent about following safety guidelines – mask wearing, hand washing, and social distancing – and are encouraged to get a COVID-19 test. Our primary goal is to keep residents and staff safe.
Resident Dorothy Appel received 15 minutes of fame this month! Dorothy, a talented and highly-regarded artist, was featured in Boston-area news outlets. You can read Dorothy’s story here.
The holidays are almost upon us. We have planned a memorable Thanksgiving Day for residents, including a delicious holiday meal. The Resident Life department will be airing movies, offering doorway bingo (at residents’ request), and providing Thanksgiving-themed activity bags to keep all entertained. A traveling coffee/tea cart will offer treats for residents. Of course, virtual family visits will be offered throughout the day.
Staff honored Edelweiss Village veterans by leaving balloons and thank you notes by their doors. We’ve got five veterans among our ranks. We thank them all for their contributions to our country.
Winter can be a difficult time for seniors, especially in the northeast where snow and ice pose physical danger. Edelweiss Village is currently offering a winter stay program where seniors can opt to stay with us to beat the winter blues. We’ll take care of it all: cooking, cleaning, laundry and recreation. As a bonus, if they opt to stay with us beyond the winter, we’ll give them their first month’s rent free! With winter – and a pandemic – to worry about, the senior in your life will be safe with us. Feel free to contact us for more details.
Interest continues to grow in our program. It’s wonderful to be able to offer community seniors a safe option to break the isolation of staying home all day.
Two of our regular participants, Dr. Owen Surman and William Sullivan, were featured in our Veterans Day video with Program Director Diane Dunning. Thank you both for your service.
A Final Thought
Traditionally a time of gatherings and celebration, this year’s holiday festivities should look starkly different. The US Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC) posted updated guidelines for holiday celebrations. The takeaway: In-person gatherings pose varying levels of risk.
The Massachusetts Dept. of Public Health (DPH) strongly advises families not to take their loved ones in assisted living and nursing residences home this year. We agree this is safest for our residents, and are strongly recommending that they do not travel home for the holiday. We have been taking extraordinary precautions to keep this vulnerable population safe and the probability of contracting the virus is well above average. For those who opt not to follow this recommendation, in order to protect other residents, we will be obligated to quarantine residents for 14 days upon their return.
While it’s natural to want to spend the holiday with your family member, we advise you to thoroughly consider the risks involved this year. None of the choices we make these days are easy, and managing feelings about skipping annual family Thanksgiving traditions can be hard.
Stay safe and be well,
Michael B. Lincoln
Download the UPDATE: November 20 UPDATE