If there’s one thing I’ve learned from working in senior care for 30+ years, adaptability is key. The past seven months have tested that theory time and time again. Over the past few weeks, family visits for both Edelweiss Village and German Centre residents moved indoors. Along the way, we encountered a couple of hiccups and made a few tweaks to procedures and locations. By the end of this week, however, we seem to be getting our stride. Again, adaptability reigns supreme.
Ongoing testing of German Centre staff continues monthly per DPH regulations. Three weeks ago, 50% of our staff was tested – all with no positive results. Testing began again last week for the remaining 50% of German Centre staff. Out of an abundance of caution, Senior Place and Edelweiss Village staff are also tested regularly.
In recent weeks, Senior Place day program has experienced a renewed vigor. Community seniors are clamoring for support, engagement and companionship after months of solitude. The phones have been ringing steadily with both current and prospective clients requesting services. Due to strict social distancing guidelines, the number of daily participants is limited. But, we are making every attempt to accommodate those who reach out.
While entertainers are still prohibited from entering Senior Place, we have been fortunate to enjoy live Zoom concerts with Jim Honahan on Wednesday afternoon courtesy of our affiliate, Chelsea Jewish Lifecare. The concerts have been a great addition to our programming.
Online scheduling of family visits has arrived! Family and friends wishing to schedule visits now may log on to our website to select their preferred date and time for visits.
We’ve held several flu clinics for residents over the past month. Approximately 95% of our residents have been vaccinated.
For more than a month, our dining room has been open for socially-distanced lunches. In the near future we will also offer a dinner seating as well. While social distancing makes mealtime conversation challenging, many residents find it a welcome respite from dining alone in their apartments.
Every year at this time, flu vaccines are a priority for us. This year, this is doubly critical given the co-occurrence of influenza and coronavirus. I’m happy to report that all of our residents have been vaccinated for influenza.
October is National Physical Therapy Month. I’d like to thank our Physical Therapy team for their passion and dedication. The rehab staff, as a whole, work seven days a week to enhance the recovery of short-term patients in addition to meeting the needs of our long-term residents to maintain mobility.
Although online scheduling of family visits is up and running at Edelweiss Village, German Centre has not yet launched its online scheduling portal. Families and friends should stay tuned for more news on this very soon.
A Final Thought
As I mentioned above, the “twindemic” of flu and coronavirus has health officials strongly urging the public to get a flu shot this year. Influenza shares symptoms with COVID-19: fever, headache, cough, sore throat, muscle aches and fatigue. Doctors fear the flu can leave patients vulnerable to a harsher attack of COVID-19. I strongly encourage you to speak with your healthcare provider about getting a flu shot.
Stay safe and be well,
Michael B. Lincoln
Download the UPDATE: October 23 UPDATE