As the entire country does its best to adjust to the wave of coronavirus-related restrictions, we are adjusting at Deutsches Altenheim, too. Social distancing has been in place for several weeks now. Though it is challenging for residents, we have been working to find creative ways to keep them busy. We are reaching out to residents one-on-one with activities that are meaningful to them. Some enjoy playing games, others enjoy music, while some just want to chat. A lockdown does not mean isolation.
Since we closed the campus to all but essential visitations over a week ago, many families are missing visits with their loved ones. We’ve established FaceTime or Skype contact for those who request it, and several family members have travelled to campus to visit through glass barriers. We can see the comfort that visual contact brings to our residents.
The community has been incredibly supportive during this time. An Edelweiss Village family made care packages of puzzle books, dry shampoo, lotion, and other goodies for each of the residents and supplied coffee and donuts for staff. Another family delivered pizza for residents. Local businesses, The Centerpiece Flower Shop and Roche Bros., each delivered flower arrangements to be enjoyed around the campus. These gestures mean so much to our residents and staff.
On a pragmatic level, we are taking every precaution for the safety of our residents and staff, including the use of personal protective equipment (PPE) as recommended. As is true for many healthcare organizations around the country, our supplies are woefully low. One of our nurses handmade a few dozen cloth masks for staff to use. We welcome donations of any of the following items: masks, gloves, protective gowns and hand sanitizer.
Out of an abundance of caution, we have tested residents who display symptoms as minor as a cough. To date, no residents have tested positive for the virus. Staff who may be symptomatic have been staying home and, if possible, working remotely pending test results. Again, we have had no positive results.
In times like these, it’s gratifying to see such acts of kindness in our community. We truly appreciate the support our campus has received. I must also express my gratitude for the selfless care and compassion of our staff, who have been working tirelessly to protect the well-being of our residents. We are truly a family here at Deutsches Altenheim.
Michael Lincoln, CEO
Download the update: March 27 Update