On Thursday, February 25th, we held our first German Centre Resident and Family Town Hall meeting. We were pleased to see great attendance as over 30 residents and families joined us via Zoom. The purpose of the meeting is to provide a place for you to hear directly from us any major updates and ask questions regarding what is going on in the residence.
Please share your feedback with us by completing a short survey: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/PK979W5
We have also included a summary of the key points below:
Introductions and Welcome
- Town Hall was hosted by Michael Lincoln, Executive Director, and Austin Azeta, Director of Nursing
- Purpose of town hall is to provide residents and families updates about various topics including new leaders, status and impact of COVID-19, new policies/protocols at German Centre and answer questions
- Town Halls will be held monthly for 45 minutes
- Austin introduced the nursing leadership team including Assistant Director of Nursing/Staff Development Coordinator Tyeshea Hall, Unit Managers Eniola Azeez, Sarita Nepal, and Karen Saenz, and Evening Supervisor Pam Thibodeau
Clinical Communication to Families about Residents
- To improve our communication with families about their loved one’s clinical condition, unit managers will proactively call families with updates on a regular basis
- If you prefer to call, please ask for the Unit Manager between 10:00 am to 4:00 pm or the Evening Supervisor after 5:00 pm to receive updates
- Staffing levels in all departments continue to be higher than average
- Shared recent successes in recruiting and hiring new staff at German Centre and in avoiding the use of temporary staffing for the past 6 months. German Centre prefers to use our own staff since they have established relationships with our residents and are most familiar with our protocols.
- Continue to regularly test employees and residents in compliance with CDC and DPH regulations
- Saw a few employees and residents test positive during the fall and early winter. All were asymptomatic and recovered after spending time in quarantine
- As of today, there are no positive COVID cases at German Centre.
- German Centre completed its third and final vaccination clinic
- 98% of residents and 82% of full time staff were vaccinated
- Attributed the success of the clinics to the educational campaign we conducted
- Vaccines believed to be a key step in moving forward out of pandemic
Restrictions on Activities and Visitation
- Decisions regarding restrictions on activities and visitation are based on the guidelines set forth by DPH, CMS, and CDC and the status of COVID-19 in our residence
- DPH, CMS and CDC have not made any changes yet to account for vaccination status
- We are in the process of planning for gradually opening up communal dining, selected group activities, and the hair salon while adhering to infection control protocols
Affiliation with Legacy Lifecare
- Introduced Betsy Mullen, RN, Chief Operating Officer and Karen Petruccelli, RN, VP of Clinical Quality of Legacy Lifecare
- Legacy Lifecare is here to support and provide additional management resources to the leaders of German Centre in areas like clinical expertise, HR, Finance, and IT
Resident and Family Questions
When will quarterly care plan meetings with family members resume?
Quarterly care plan meetings have continued, though we know that it has been difficult for family members to participate. We are working on providing families with greater flexibility in scheduling and attending these meetings virtually via Zoom or phone. We will share more information in the coming weeks.
When will family members be able to visit residents in their own room?
Restrictions on visitation are based on the guidelines by DPH, CMS, and CDC. These guidelines have not changed, and we are therefore unable to allow visitors in a resident’s room unless it is for a compassionate care visit. If you feel that your loved one qualifies for a compassionate care visit, requests can be sent to the Social Worker or Unit Manager.
When will residents be allowed to leave German Centre?
Residents are currently allowed to leave German Centre for medical appointments with family members. We may ask family members to be tested onsite in order to ensure that they are COVID-free. Due to the high prevalence of COVID-19 cases in the community, DPH still strongly discourages residents leaving for non-medical reasons.
What is German Centre doing to reduce resident isolation and increase human contact?
German Centre staff has been working hard to facilitate as many in-person and virtual visits with families for our residents, over 400 each month. We have also had Resident Life staff conduct 1 and 1 visits with residents and are planning to start group activities like Bingo, Trivia, and Current Events that can be done safely.
If residents were not able to get a vaccine, will there be an opportunity to do so in the future?
Yes, based on new DPH guidance, we are in active conversations with our pharmacy to understand how to offer vaccines on site to eligible residents. We will provide more information as soon as it is available.
For those of you who missed the Town Hall, you can access the recording here.
Next Town Hall is scheduled for Thursday, March 25, 2021 from 5:30 to 6:15 pm.