Thursday, March 26, 2020 Family Conference Call
Mike Perrotta, Vice President & Administrator of the Friendly Home, Dr. Scott Schabel, the Home’s Medical Director and Glen Cooper, President & CEO of Friendly Senior Living, hosted a family conference call this morning to provide updates and information, and answer questions received via the email@example.com email. Here is a summary of the topics discussed on the call.
As you’ve seen in the news, COVID-19 is on the rise in the country, the state and in Monroe County. Several long-term care facilities in our area already have positive cases, and many more tests are pending. At the Friendly Home, there are currently no positive cases; however, two Members are undergoing testing. If your loved one is being tested for COVID, you will know about it. Extra precautions are being implemented accordingly. These include staff wearing gowns, goggles and masks for all Member interactions. Staff training and monitoring for proper use is constant.
We are receiving updates on an ongoing basis from the DOH and the CDC. Downstate, which is a few days to a week ahead of us, there are many, many cases of COVID in nursing homes. The DOH has advised that if a resident of a skilled nursing facility has signs and symptoms, they are to be treated as having the virus, without being tested first. The latest estimate is that the peak in cases is 2 to 4 weeks out.
At the direction of the DOH, we are ready to care for our existing Members who test positive for COVID at the Friendly Home in order to help relieve the shortage of hospital beds. We are also directed to accept new Members, even if they have COVID. These individuals will spend their first 14 days in a section of the Transitional Care Center before moving into a neighborhood if not showing any symptoms.
The Friendly Home is ready for this; we’ve been preparing for weeks. The staff is well trained and plans are in place to treat our Members. I work with many long-term care facilities in the area, and the Friendly Home is leading the pack in education and preparation.
First, I’d like to thank families for their notes and expressions of support. They really mean a lot to all of us. I’d also like to give you an update on the staff member who tested positive for COVID a couple of weeks ago. That individual is doing well, and is scheduled to come off quarantine today, as are her four co-workers. These employees will continue to work from home during this situation.
As COVID escalates in the community, we know that we will have more employees and Members being tested, and there will most likely be positive cases. Please know that our management team members are on-site at all hours every day to round on every neighborhood and check in with Members and staff, address any questions or concerns, and ensure things are running as smoothly as possible. I am so thankful to the entire Friendly Home team who are taking their health care roles and responsibilities seriously. They are doing a great job.
We appreciate your participation on these calls, and hope that you find them to be a useful and helpful way to share information. Here are the latest updates in important areas, and questions and answers from our firstname.lastname@example.org email.
The Friendly Home continues to be sufficiently staffed in important areas such as Nursing, Dining Services, Environmental Services, Life Enrichment and Social Work. We are making progress on the staffing strategies we discussed on our last call and continue to build up our pool of people. We’ve hired 13 new employees, including RNs, LPNs, CNAs, Member Care Assistants and Dining Services Associates. Several more are scheduled for orientation, screening and interviews. We continue to intentionally overstaff and that is working well. We’ve also reached to retired Friendly Home employees, and at least one LPN has agreed to come back and help during this time.
We also wanted to let you know that University of Rochester Geriatrics has temporarily reassigned their physician staff to better serve their nursing home customers. As such, Dr. Dahake has been temporarily re-assigned to another facility. Dr. Dallas Nelson has assumed Dr. Dahake’s case load at Friendly Home and is following Dr. Dahake’s patients.
Inventory & Supplies:
We continue to be all set with most of the supplies we need, including items like gowns and gloves, cleaning supplies and food/beverages. We are ordering many of these items daily to ensure that we are well supplied in the days and weeks to come.
We’ve been receiving many deliveries of food items from families for our Members. We understand that care packages are a way to feel connected to your loved one. However, we must ask that you limit any deliveries to those that are absolutely essential, so that our staff can remain focused on providing care and services for Members and keeping everything running as smoothly as possible. Thank you in advance for understanding.
We received a question from a family about having food delivered to staff to show their appreciation. Thank you very much for thinking of our staff. They are really doing a great job. If you would like to show appreciation, the best thing to do at this time is to make a donation to our Staff Appreciation Fund. The link to the donation page on our website is https://www.friendlyseniorliving.org/donate/. Follow the instructions to have your gift processed. We will be sure to notify the staff members who are recognized in this way.
You can also e-mail us notes, pictures, messages of encouragement, etc. via this email: email@example.com, and we will happily share with staff.
Thank you for joining today’s call; we appreciate your time. Have a good day, and again, thank you for partnering with us on this challenging journey. We will be in touch soon.
March 20, 2020 Family Conference Call
Mike Perrotta, Vice President & Administrator of the Friendly Home, Dr. Scott Schabel, the Home’s Medical Director and Glen Cooper, President & CEO of Friendly Senior Living, hosted a family conference call this morning to provide updates and information, and answer questions received via the firstname.lastname@example.org email. We apologize to callers who received a busy signal and weren’t able to hear the call. Phone circuits across the country are much busier than usual, and we will be offering multiple call-in numbers for families for future calls to address this issue. We have also resolved the issue of callers entering and leaving the call being announced. Thank you for your patience as we work out technology bugs; we know these calls are an important way to stay connected during this time.
Below please find a summary of the topics discussed on the call.
General Update from Dr. Schabel
As of now, there are no suspected cases of COVID-19 at the Friendly Home; however, the number of cases in our area continues to rise. Everyone is urged to continue taking all measures to prevent the spread of COVID-19, including proper and frequent handwashing and social distancing. These are critically important.
Right now, the Friendly Home is sufficiently staffed in all areas. Recognizing that this is an ever-changing situation, we have been working diligently and developing strategies to ensure that adequate staffing levels are maintained. These include:
- Working with our recruitment agency to aggressively recruit and hire additional staff.
- Reaching out to people who have been laid off in certain industries to supplement our staff; for example, Roberts Wesleyan College is closed so we are reaching out to their culinary team to provide assistance to our Dining Services team.
- Temporary pay increases have been instituted for nursing staff.
- We are intentionally overstaffing in areas like Dining Services, Environmental Services and Nursing to ensure that staff are here to serve our Members.
Inventory & Supplies:
As of now, we are all set with most of the supplies we need, including items like gowns and gloves, cleaning supplies and food/beverages. We are ordering supplies daily to ensure that we have everything we need on hand in the days and weeks to come.
As for masks, the state has been making deliveries of masks every 2 days and we are working with every vendor/avenue possible to get more.
- We unfortunately have had to close the beauty shop. We are sorry to have to take this step, but we need to follow the guidance and direction of government and health authorities as in all other matters. Please be assured that staff is continuing to be sure Members are well-groomed and well cared for in this area.
- Mike Perrotta and other members of the Friendly Home’s leadership team will be at the Friendly Home throughout the weekend. We are rounding on every neighborhood to check in with Members and staff, address any questions or concerns, and ensure things are running as smoothly as possible.
March 16, 2020 Update
This morning, Mike Perrotta, the Friendly Home’s Vice President and Administrator, spoke with families via a conference call to provide updates and information. Here is a summary of topics covered on the call for all Friendly Home families.
Thank you to everyone who participated in this morning’s conference call. We shared a lot of information and were able to answer many of your questions. We understand that this is a concerning situation in the community, the country and the world, and we will make every effort to stay connected with you through the coming days, weeks and months. As always, please send your questions to email@example.com and we will address them as quickly as possible.
I wanted to update you with some developments since the call. First, staffing levels continue to be sufficient to meet Members’ needs for nursing, dining, life enrichment, social work, and environmental services. We are impressed and heartened by our team’s level of dedication as we navigate these trying times together.
Second, at the time of the call, we didn’t have any staff or Members being tested for COVID-19. However, employees who called in sick today as well as those who did not make it past our screening process were referred to their primary care physicians. In some of these cases, their doctor recommended that they be tested for COVID-19. We will keep you updated if and when any of those test results come back positive.
In what is quickly becoming the “new normal” and as testing becomes more widely available in our area, COVID-19 testing is going to become more and more commonplace throughout the community. Again, we will keep you updated in this very fluid situation. Please know that we are continuing to take every action to minimize the risk for your loved ones, following the direction of the Department of Health and other government and health agencies, while serving them with care and compassion.
We can’t express enough how much we appreciate your support during these unprecedented circumstances. Thank you.
March 12, 2020 Update
This afternoon, Mike Perrotta, the Friendly Home’s Vice President and Administrator, spoke with families via a conference call to provide updates and information. Here is a summary of topics covered on the call for all Friendly Home families.
We understand that this is a very challenging situation for you and your loved ones. COVID-19 is especially dangerous for older adults. Please know that our team will continue to do everything we can to minimize the risk to our Members.
First, because there is a confirmed case of COVID-19 in Monroe County, federal regulations required that the Friendly Home stop all visitation except for extreme circumstances such as an end-of-life situation. If you feel you have an urgent need to visit your loved one, please call our Director of Social Work & Admissions, Shireen Haynes, at 585-789-3102.
Next, we ask that you limit deliveries of any items to your loved ones. As of today, the Friendly Home will be doing the laundry for all Members, including those whose families normally do it.
If you must deliver something to the Friendly Home, please call our reception desk at 381-1600 to let them know. When you arrive at the Friendly Home, our front doors will be locked. Call the receptionist from the vestibule to let her know you are leaving something for your Member, and someone will get the item and deliver it. Again, due to federal regulations, you will not be able to enter the building. It is best to limit non-essential deliveries as much as possible.
Members’ medical appointments both inside and outside of the Friendly Home:
- Medical providers who routinely visit the Home to provide necessary care will continue to do so – the dentist, podiatrist, and psychology and psychiatry clinicians. These individuals will be screened before entering the Home.
- For Members’ medical appointments outside of the Home – these should be cancelled if they are non-essential. For essential appointments, please contact your social worker and we will help with transportation arrangements.
Other important news regarding what will and will not be happening at the Friendly Home during this time:
- All Member outings away from the Friendly Home are cancelled.
- Activities will be limited to groups of 15 Members or less.
- This afternoon, we had our usual Thursday cocktail hour on each neighborhood.
- The beauty shop will remain open, as we know how important this service is to Members.
- As mentioned earlier, the gift shop and café will remain open with modified hours, staffed by a Friendly Home employee. We know how much some of our Members enjoy visiting the shop.
- Our Life Enrichment, nursing and social work teams will be doing everything we can to keep Members engaged and involved during this time.
- We are screening every employee every day as they come to work. This includes 1) taking their temperatures and 2) having them complete a questionnaire about COVID-19 risk factors, including showing signs of respiratory illness, travel, and potential exposure to anyone with COVID-19. No one will be allowed to enter the building if they have a fever. If other risk factors apply, the employee will be further evaluated by a nursing supervisor.
- We will continue to follow the same infection prevention and control procedures as usual, just as we do throughout the year and especially during flu season. This includes handwashing and wearing gloves and other personal protective equipment. We are continuously reinforcing these procedures with our staff.
- You should know that we have plenty of all of the necessary supplies on hand here at the Friendly Home, including food and beverages for Members.
- We are proactively working with our vendors to ensure that the Friendly Home is a priority for ordering and deliveries. To reinforce, delivery vendors will not be allowed into the building unless they are screened and cleared, and in most instances, they will leave deliveries on our loading dock to be picked up by staff.
- Our disinfectant and cleaning processes continue as usual, with special attention to commonly touched areas such as door knobs, light switches, elevator buttons and the like.
- Hand sanitizers have been installed in every Member room and throughout the building in common areas.
- We continue to take every precaution to minimize the risk to our Members and staff.
- The best way to stay connected to your loved one is by phone. As always, you and your Member may call one another at any time.
- We are arranging video chats through an app called Zoom Meeting. Again, that app is called Zoom Meeting. Download the app from the App Store on your iPhone or Google Play on your Android.
- You may begin scheduling your video chats on Monday, March 16.
- Here’s how it will work:
- Please call your social worker to schedule a time to video chat with your loved one.
- Video chats can be scheduled Monday through Friday, between 9:00am and 4:00pm.
- Staff assistance will be provided for your loved one for your video chat.
Because we are receiving information at such a rapid pace and the COVID-19 situation is very fluid, we will be using email and our website as the main sources for providing you with updates, vs. sending out letters as is our usual method of communication. By the time you receive a letter from us in the mail, it is likely that the situation will have changed.
If you have a loved one or another family member to add to our email distribution, please let your social worker know.
We have also established a COVID-19 hotline. That number is: 585-789-3500. Please note that this hotline will let callers know the status of visitation at the Friendly Home, which we do not anticipate changing in the near future. You will be able to press 0 for the receptionist from this number; however, you will not be able to leave a message. Again, please check your email and our website for updates.
Finally, I know that you must have many questions. This is an unprecedented situation for you and for the Friendly Home, and we will do everything we can to keep you up to date and informed, and most importantly, minimize the risk of COVID-19 to Members. We have set up an email address to which you can send your questions: firstname.lastname@example.org. These will be reviewed and sent to the appropriate staff person for response.
We will continue to keep you up to date as we receive new information, and appreciate your support during this time. Thank you.
Frequently Asked Questions: COVID-19
Updated: March 26, 2020
Member Patient Letter
March 29, 2020
Dear Friendly Home Families, Members and Patients,
I am writing to share with you that we were informed today that a member of the nursing staff at the Friendly Home has tested positive for COVID-19. This employee was tested on March 26, and last worked on March 24. The individual is at home in quarantine for 14 days and will not return to work until cleared by the Department of Health (DOH). There will be increased monitoring of Members with whom the employee had contact.
The Friendly Home continues to be vigilant in our infection control practices throughout the building to minimize the risk of COVID-19 exposure. We take our responsibility to the health and well-being of our Members and staff very seriously, and are continuing to take every action to mitigate the spread of COVID-19. With on-going infection control training, the mandatory wearing of masks, rigorous screening processes and the practice of social distancing, our goal is to minimize the risk of Members and staff contracting COVID-19, while recognizing it is widespread in the community. All Members and patients will continue to be monitored following the latest guidance of the NYS DOH and the CDC, and the Friendly Home continues to provide daily status updates to the NYS DOH.
Your support and partnership continue to be highly valued and appreciated, now more than ever. We empathize with you during this challenging and unprecedented situation, and will continue to keep you updated.
VP & Administrator
March 15, 2020
Dear Friendly Home Families, Members and Patients,
I am writing to share with you the news that a Friendly Home employee tested positive for COVID-19. You should know that this employee is not on the medical team at the Friendly Home and does not provide direct care to our Members. The individual recently traveled to Miami, Florida, and immediately upon showing symptoms, sought medical care, and is currently isolated at home. The Home’s leadership team sent home all four co-workers who had been in direct contact with said employee. None of these employees perform clinical services, and all will not return to work until cleared by the Department of Health. At this time, there are no other suspected cases of COVID-19 among our staff, Members, residents or patients.
We understand this is unsettling news for our Members, their loved ones, our staff and the greater community. Please know we are working tirelessly to mitigate the spread of COVID-19 in our communities and care deeply about the well-being and health of our Members and employees above all. This continues to be our top priority in the days, weeks and months ahead.
In addition to the measures already in place, only essential employees are permitted to come to work. They will continue to be screened before working, including having their temperature taken and completing a questionnaire about COVID-19 risk factors, such as potential exposure and signs of respiratory illness. Further, all employees are required to wear masks while within 6 feet of Members. All Members are being screened daily by Nursing for signs/symptoms of COVID-19, and we are providing the Department of Health (DOH) with status updates on a daily basis. Following the direction of the DOH and other government and health agencies, the Friendly Home is taking every necessary, mandated and precautionary action to mitigate the spread of COVID-19 and minimize the risk to our Members.
Glen Cooper, President & CEO of Friendly Senior Living, and Mike Perrotta, the Friendly Home’s Administrator & VP, will be hosting a conference call with families today. We will be sending out the call-in information by email shortly. Please email your questions in advance to email@example.com.
Again, we understand that this is a very challenging time for all of us in the Friendly Home family. Your loved ones are continuing to be served with care and compassion, and we will keep you apprised of information as it develops throughout this rapidly evolving situation. Thank you.
VP & Administrator