WITH THE FEAR OF PANDEMIC, We see senior living as what it truly is…living!
Never has it been truer that “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure”. Renew Saddle Rock Memory Care has continuously demonstrated its leadership and innovation in the delivery of senior care and quality of life to its residents. We want our families and staff to be assured that we have systematically and deliberately created a comprehensive response plan to this virus in an effort to keep everyone safe (copies are available from the wellness department). We are not waiting for this health crisis to visit us, we have created a solid plan using the most informed sources to target stopping this virus in its tracks.
As the Coronavirus continues to spread across the globe, scientists are learning more about its effects on people. Not all patients with COVID-19 will require medical supportive care. According to recent findings the CDC reports that 80% of the people who become infected with the virus will only experience mild to moderately ill effects and can safely be treated as you would from the flu or influenza by staying at home, getting plenty of rest and pushing fluids. Approximately 15% will become severely ill and while still able to remain isolated at home may experience more significant symptoms such as shortage of breath while the virus runs its course. The remaining 5% of the victims can become critically ill and will require hospitalization and may develop pneumonia in both lungs, experience multi-organ failure, and in some cases death. Clinical management for hospitalized patients with COVID-19 is focused on supportive care of complications, including advanced organ support for respiratory failure, septic shock, and multi-organ failure. While most people recover from this virus, the fatality rate is now estimated at between 2.8 – 3.4 percent for the overall population but rises to 8% in patients between the ages of 70-79 and 14.8% in patients over 80.
The available data is currently insufficient to identify risk factors for severe clinical outcomes. From the limited data that is available for COVID-19 infected patients, and for data from related coronaviruses such as SARS-CoV and MERS-CoV, it is possible that older adults, and persons who have underlying chronic medical conditions, such as immunocompromising conditions, may be at risk for more severe outcomes.
Given the highly transmissible nature of the coronavirus and the limited treatment options available in severe cases, prevention will be our senior living community’s first line of defense. While we cannot guarantee that COVID-19 will not enter the community, planning for a potential emerging infectious disease pandemic, like COVID-19, is critical to protecting the health and welfare of our residents who are most vulnerable to the effects it can cause. Renew has taken a leadership role in creating innovative barriers to protect our residents and staff from this risk. Our communicable disease response plan was designed with the involvement of public health officials, our medical director and nursing clinicians to apply educational, clinical, operational and preventive measures to assure the safety of our residents and the staff who serve them to the highest clinical certainty possible. Our comprehensive plan was also adapted from HHS Pandemic Influenza Planning resources, recommendations of the Center for Disease control for healthcare facilities and the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and
The Renew plan is specific to our assisted living and memory care buildings and identifies preventative activities that we can do now to prepare for, respond to and be resilient in the face of COVID-19. We have incorporated elements to assure continuation of essential services such as pharmacy, food services, maintenance, housekeeping and wellness. We have determined likely resource shortages and identified relevant vendors, cache and options for managing shortages. We have already contacted vendors to determine their emergency plans for inventory acquisition, substitutes and delivery.
The Renew plan outlines specific steps that we are talking to educate our staff and families, creating communication protocols and involving public health officials in the event of an outbreak within our buildings. We have also developed plans for implementing building security and controlled access (which may be phased) during peak pandemic weeks to assure controlled ingress and egress and monitoring. We also have a plan in the event public health officials close schools and what impact this may have on our staffing. We are concurrently evaluating the list of applicants that we do have and creating a process for rapid credentialing for them and non-facility staff to supplement our health care staff. We have also developed as part of our response plan procedures for reporting resident/staff who are symptomatic to our physicians and the hospital. We have also designated a point of contact for health officials. Employees who have symptoms will seek medical care and be allowed to return to work only with a note stating that they are able to work and they are not contagious.
Education and training of staff, residents, visitors, and volunteers is essential. We have organized a plan for providing just-in-time staff education via electronic and other non-classroom means including information about COVID-19, transmission, infection prevention measures, usual clinical symptoms and course, risk factors, and complications. Among the topics discussed, and best practices implemented, are: Hand hygiene (frequent washing, use of gloves, and use of hand sanitizers); respiratory hygiene / cough and sneeze etiquette (use of disposable tissues, or elbow when tissues unavailable, use of facemasks); environmental cleaning (wiping down surfaces with antibacterial / virucide cleansers; monitoring waste disposal best practices (e.g. touchless, lined wastebaskets). All points of entry for our buildings have been equipped with mandatory sanitation resources for staff and visitors to utilize upon each entry.
Trainings of staff and volunteers are covering the following: sources of exposure, prevention, recognition of symptoms, response when an outbreak has been identified, communication protocols, education of residents and visitors about prevention practices, response, and precautions which have been implemented at the community. As the virus may spread we may also consider implementing protocols for staff travel (leisure or work-related), including international travel to countries with confirmed cases of the coronavirus.
In addition to our COVID-19 response plan, Renew Saddle Rock Memory Care routinely exercises precautions against the spread of infectious diseases that are rigorously observed, even if there is no suspicion of the coronavirus being present. For example, employees who are not feeling well are instructed to stay at home and not potentially expose residents and coworkers to infection. Similarly, some of our residents contract with hospice and home health providers for private duty aid assistance, our plan includes inquiring about the precautions and protocols that these agencies have regarding vetting individuals for contamination and education on self-assessing and reporting symptoms.
At this point, there is no reliable way to distinguish coronavirus symptoms from symptoms caused by the common flu, as both diseases can cause fever, coughs, and pneumonia. One of the greatest difficulties with this disease is that an individual may have been exposed to it and not exhibit any outward symptoms for a period of up to approximately 2 weeks. It therefore is difficult to identify a person who may be a carrier of the coronavirus by mere observation alone, so prevention is the best medicine. The CDC has advised us again yesterday that the overall risk to Americans to contracting this disease remains low and we should take care to not over-attribute symptoms shared with the flu to the coronavirus with at least 15 million flu cases reported this season that are unrelated to the COVID-19 strain.
Should you have any questions or would like to come in and take a tour,
please contact us at (720) 664-4949 or visit us at www.renewsenior.com.
WELL, WE’RE NOT BUYING IT. We see senior living as what it truly is…living!
It’s why we fill every day with unique, meaningful experiences.
The kind that get your heart beating, That inspire imagination for both the young and young at heart, And get you sitting on the edge of your seat (even if it has wheels).
Come redefine what senior living can be and live beyond the expected.