Last updated: 8.12.2020
Rivertown Ridge & Franciscan Advisory Services Take Precautionary Measures In Response to the Coronavirus (COVID-19)
The health of our employees, residents and their families is our number one priority at Rivertown Ridge. As the coronavirus (COVID-19) becomes more widespread, we acknowledge the importance in addressing concerns and questions as well as communicate actions that our organization is actively taking.
A Message from our Judy Amiano, President & CEO of Franciscan Advisory Services – 3.24.2020
Dear Family Members and Care Givers,
In our ongoing efforts to be proactive during the COVID-19 (coronavirus) spread throughout the United States, we are doing everything we can to keep the residents at our communities safe.
As of today, we do not have any confirmed cases of the virus in our communities or any of our associates. We remain highly vigilant in our efforts to keep everyone safe. Our frontline healthcare workers are really the unsung heroes of this crisis. Please go out of your way to send a good thought, kind gesture or intention to the myriad of healthcare workers that are out there working hard every day to provide care and services to our residents and clients. From the nurses, nursing assistants, other clinical team members, housekeepers, culinary staff, life enrichment, plant services, marketing and administration at each of our communities, we are THANKFUL. Your loved ones are receiving exceptional care because each of our dedicated team members is working very hard while navigating their own circumstances of closed daycares, closed schools, extended family with needs and a whole bunch of other trying circumstances. We are grateful for their dedication.
Today, Gretchen Whitmer announced a “Stay At Home” order for all Michigan citizens that goes into effect today, March 24, 2020. This will have NO impact on our ability to provide care and services at our community, as we are EXEMPT from this order. The work we do in our communities is considered “essential” and as such, all of our workforce is exempt from the rule. We do anticipate that other States will be enacting similar rules and the same exemption will apply at all of our communities. Fundamentally, we will continue to operate the same as we have been during this entire crisis.
Please know that we are getting very creative with trying to keep residents engaged during this time of social isolation. Hats off to the Life Enrichment teams and the Mission/Pastoral Care staff that are coming up with lots of fun things to help residents stay engaged.
Rest assured, we continue to follow all the guidance of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Service (CMS), and state health departments recommendations to prevent the spread of the virus. Here are some of the preventative measures we continue to take:
At the direction of CMS and state health officials we are restricting visitation by all visitors and non-essential health care personnel, except for certain compassionate care situations, such as an end-of-life situation. In those cases, visitors will be limited to a specific room only.
We are posting signs on our entryway doors to notify visitors of this policy and actively screening individuals, including staff, who need to enter our buildings. Individuals authorized to enter will need to be free of respiratory symptoms, such as fever, sore throat, cough and new shortness of breath; not have a history within the last 14 days of travel to areas, including here in the United States, where a COVID-19 outbreak has been confirmed; and not have worked in another healthcare setting with a confirmed coronavirus exposure. Anyone entering the buildings will need to wash their hands or use alcohol-based hand sanitizing gel and frequently wash their hands while in the building. Everyone entering the building is being screened.
We understand that connecting with loved ones is incredibly important, and there are a variety of other ways you might consider communicating with them during this time. Alternative communication methods include telephone, email, text message, video chat or social media.
Group Activities and Resident Outings:
Because the COVID-19 virus is spread through close contact, reducing its spread requires social distancing. Due to this need for social distancing, we have cancelled all group activities and communal dining over the last two weeks. Keeping our residents engaged and active socially is extremely important to their well-being. We will instead be implementing individually focused activities.
Thank you for placing your trust in us for the care of your loved one. Please know we are working around the clock to keep everyone safe. This crisis shall pass, and we will all be stronger for it. My admiration and gratitude is extended to our caregivers – we owe them a lot.
President & CEO
Franciscan Advisory Services
A Message from our VP, Clinical Services- 3.20.2020
As you are aware, the coronavirus known as COVID-19 has affected the elderly and, in particular, a nursing facility in Washington state. At Rivertown Ridge, we have taken a number of steps to monitor residents and staff for any symptoms that may indicate a potential infection from coronavirus or possibly some other virus or bacteria.
These measures include temperature checks of residents in Skilled Nursing and monitoring of residents in Assisted Living and Skilled Nursing for any respiratory symptoms daily. We are asking our residents in Independent Living locations to monitor their health for signs of illness, including: fever, new or worsening cough, sore throat or shortness of breath. If they should experience symptoms we can assist in arranging medical evaluation. In addition, we are monitoring handwashing and encouraging it be done frequently not only by staff but by residents as well. Additional alcohol-based hand sanitizers have been placed in each community as well.
Visitation is being restricted according to the recommendations of the federal, state and local experts in the health departments. The restrictions apply to all congregate living sites, which include Independent Living, Assisted Living, Memory Support and Skilled Nursing. While this can make for anxiety for families and isolation for residents, it is one of the most important ways for us to arrest the further transmission of this virus and not place our residents and staff at risk for contracting it from someone visiting and bringing it in even though they may be asymptomatic.
In compliance with CDC recommendations we have suspended group activities and we are providing 1:1 activities as well as encouraging greater use of virtual events. We remain committed to meeting the psycho-social and spiritual needs of our residents through the use of creative approaches. Our marketing events have been canceled or postponed and will be rescheduled at a more appropriate time when the risk of spreading of the virus is stopped or at least under control.
Currently we have a stock of adequate supplies and equipment that we could need if a case is identified. To date we have not had any positive cases identified in any of our communities in any state. We strongly encourage that residents and families continue to remain in contact and talk frequently via phone, FACE Time or Skype. The community will make available to residents iPads or tablets for such communication if the resident does not have their own device.
There is a great deal of anxiety about this virus. However, coronaviruses have been around since the 1960’s but the difference is that this one is a newer strain of the virus previously not experienced. Nevertheless, even with the things that are unknown, there is much that we do know. The treatment is really not any different than what is recommended for the annual Influenza season: cover your mouth when coughing, capture sneezes in a tissue or sneeze into your sleeve, wash hands very frequently, monitor for a fever.
Rivertown Ridge is following the lead and recommendations of the Infectious Disease experts but as you can tell from the media, the recommendations can change rapidly and continuously. We will continue to do our best to keep you informed of changes we are making but it is important to realize that in this fast-paced and often changing situation there may be a bit of lag time communication.
We assure you that we will do our very best to keep that lag time to a minimum and keep you informed with the understanding that our most important responsibility is to our residents.
Should you have any questions or concerns, you may contact the local community at any time. Members of the media can contact Patrick Schuerer, VP of Communications and Brand Strategy at 331.318.5130 for further information.
VP, Clinical Services
Franciscan Advisory Services
Important COVID-19 Resources
Being in the middle of allergy and flu season, it can be tough to tell the difference between COVID-19 and seasonal sicknesses. Stay up to date on the symptoms of COVID-19 with this helpful guide from the CDC.
Whether you are a resident, visitor, volunteer or staff member, everyone has the power to help stop the spread of germs and lower the risk of COVID-19 spreading. Explore this informative guide from the CDC that has easy tips and advice that anyone can follow. Click here to read more.
Protecting the health of residents, clients, patients and staff is one of our top priorities. For COVID-19, that means implementing a new policy for visiting our communities. Take a look at our updated visitor form that is helping us screen visitors and volunteers before they enter Franciscan communities. Thank you for your patience and understanding.
For Situation Summary, click here.
Strategies to Prevent the Spread of COVID-19 in Long-Term Care Facilities (LTCF), click here.
CDC Recommendations to Protect Yourself, click here.5