COVID-19 Update.

by | April 13, 2020

Dear Friends of Resthaven,

In this edition of the Caring Connection we will update you on the changes we have made in each department to adjust to the new guidelines put in place to slow the spread of COVID-19. I am aware, however, that it is not just Resthaven that has had to adapt. Each of you have had to as well – in personal and professional lives, and especially in your interactions with your loved one. We are grateful for your willingness to support us as we implement the restrictions put in place. We know this is hard and has taken its toll on everyone. Thank you for your patience and grace as we navigate these unique times! We care about you and are concerned about the health and wellbeing of each resident and staff member. We miss your presence in our buildings. This is not the way that Resthaven would choose to provide care, but we are committed to following every precaution to keep your loved ones safe from the novel COVID-19 and other health risks.

We are following the restrictions put in place by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and Center for Medicaid and Medicare Services (CMS). While we adapt our practices to these, we are also guided by our mission statement which reminds us that we are here to glorify God by providing a continuum of quality care and services that demonstrates the love and compassion of Jesus Christ.

Our leadership team is participating in virtual meetings with other human service organizations, non profit organizations, health care organization, and senior living organizations in order to stay up-to-date and learn together.

I am so grateful for the extra efforts our team is taking to keep their coworkers, the elders/residents, and themselves healthy and safe. I have seen the Resthaven team rise above and beyond their normal tasks to make sure that we are providing the same standard of excellent care at this time. Thank you for your prayers and support.

Deedre Vriesman

How Resthaven is adapting to COVID-19

Dining: Dining restrictions have led us to temporarily close our dining rooms. Our amazing dining staff are delivering meals directly to resident’s doors. We are grateful that we haven’t needed to change our meal plans so residents are still served the same food they are used to.

Social Work: We have adjusted care conferences to be virtual. During these care conferences, we are talking about how to stay connected with loved ones when families are not able to come into the building. We are aware that the restrictions of visitors and the limitation of activities and group dining, which was all recommended by CDC and CMS, will have an impact on the elders that are in our care. We updated resident care plans to reflect the potential psychosocial well-being changes. To these care plans we added personalized interventions for the staff to assist in mitigating the potential negative changes, and help the elder’s stay connected with their loved ones during this time. Our Recreational Therapy Director and Life Enrichment staff are playing a significant role in the implementation of the interventions, such as FaceTime, sending mail and emails to loved ones, and talking on the phone with loved ones and friends.

Admissions: We are still admitting people, but we are pre-screening as always. We normally welcome 3-4 tours a week from families who are interested in our care, but are not allowing visitors in the building at this time. We are doing individualized outdoor tours where families can look inside and see the setting.

Life Enrichment: Our life enrichment team is working diligently to be able to provide quality programs given our restrictions. We downloaded video messaging onto iPads so that families and residents can still feel connected even though they can’t visit. Family members are also encouraged to send photos and video messages to their loved ones. No group activities that involve more than 10 people are able to meet. Because of this, at both the Care Center and Maple Woods, we have changed our calendars to reflect the same activity happening multiple times so that everyone who wants to attend, can. For example, instead of holding one large Bible study, we are hosting two consecutive sessions. We are also using activity carts to go room-to-room to make sure everyone has the personalized supplies they need. We are meeting with many residents one-on-one to provide additional socialization, support, and leisure engagement during this time.

Housekeeping and Maintenance: Due to visitor restrictions, our housekeeping and maintenance team are stepping up to ensure the environment in our buildings is equipped for current challenges. Some residents bring in helpers to clean, but during the visitor restrictions, our team is cleaning each room to better protect the health of our residents. We are experiencing shortages in hand sanitizer, personal protection equipment, masks, and gloves, just like hospitals and other medical offices. We are working with community partners and the state to ensure we have access to these supplies.

Fund Development: April is normally a big month for us with our Faithfully Caring Luncheon. We are postponing this in order follow guidelines and protect our community. We are letting our donors know through letters and other communications.

Nursing: We are limiting the visitors into our building to only essential medical personnel and staff in order to prevent the spread of this disease. Our care quality remains the same, just adapting to the current restrictions.

Human Resources: We know that the additional precautionary measures and the state “Stay Home, Stay Safe” orders have put strain on our staff. We are supporting staff by adapting to unique needs such as childcare support and by hiring temporary non-clinical staff.

Volunteers: We are feeling the importance of volunteers more than ever now that they are not able to be in our buildings. Normally our wonderful volunteers give 250 hours a week helping with activities, one-on-one visits, office tasks, and more. Much of our short term staffing is to help cover the absence of volunteers. Volunteers are helping from home right now by writing letters or sending video messages to residents. Our volunteers and residents have close relationships and it is difficult for them not to be able to spend time together. Volunteer appreciation, previously scheduled for April 23, will be postponed to a later date. We miss our volunteers greatly and can’t wait until visitor restrictions are lifted.