As counties enter the Green Phase of Governor Wolf’s Process to Reopen Pennsylvania, facility restrictions remain in place for Intermediate Care Facilities (ICFs), Assisted Living Residences (ALRs), Personal Care Homes (PCHs), State Hospitals, Community Residential Rehabilitation (CRRs), Long Term Structured Residences (LTSRs), Residential Treatment Facility for Adults (RFTAs), State Centers, and Youth Development Centers and Youth Forestry Camps (YDCs/YFCs).
The Department is following the recommendations of the Department of Health for Skilled Nursing Care Facilities and choosing a longer waiting period after the counties in which the ICFs, ALRs, PCHs, State Hospitals, CRRs, LTSRs, RFTAs, State Centers, and YDCs/YFCs are located enter the Green Phase before relaxing restrictions in those facilities. Due to the nature of the vulnerable populations living in these facilities and programs, the Department will apply the restrictions put in place by the respective program office for at least 28 more days after the beginning of the Green Phase in that county.
The Department of Health is working to develop a well-informed, manageable plan that ensures a measured approach for the safe return to activities, visitation, and other events for residents in these facilities and programs. Once the Department of Health completes that process, the Department will issue updated guidance amending the restrictions currently in place.
While in-person visitation continues to be restricted, congregate care providers are responsible to facilitate ongoing communication between individuals, family members, friends, and anyone else the individual chooses to communicate with during the COVID-19 pandemic. Unless otherwise indicated by the individual, the expectation is that communication with family and friends is supported on a regular and routine basis for each individual. The provider should be creative in ways that assist the individual to remain in contact with family and friends and feel comfortable with the method of communication.
A few examples include:
Currently Allegheny County is in the Green Phase and we are following the 43-day process to reopen.
Community rallies to give Granville Class of 2020 a memorable send-off:
"With the help and cards provided by Granville’s “Just Write Fine Paper & Stationery,” a pen pal program is being initiated between GHS seniors and senior citizens at Middleton Senior Living."
"I just want to thank you again for the programs you put on once a month. Caregiving is challenging to say the least, but I've looked forward to every program you have done. The reason is that I always, ALWAYS learn something I can use. You present good speakers and you also allow the group to share ideas. It's been so very helpful. I can't wait for this sickness to let up enough that we can come to the meetings. I also appreciate the fact that, with this sickness, you've been nice enough to call and check on us, and to take the time with me when I need it. You give me good, useful advice. You truly are a blessing." Thelma T.
"I would very much like to commend all of you on how you have handled the COVID situation. I cannot express my gratitude enough as a healthcare provider, for your hard work to follow the strict guidelines. The severity of this virus is unbelievable, and you all have done an outstanding job in keeping the residents safe. I realize this is not an easy task, as most of the residents do not understand the full process. We are so blessed to have our loved ones at your facility. There are some in town, as I'm sure you're aware, that are NOT enforcing protocol. I cannot thank you enough for going the extra mile in keeping our family safe!!! Thank you from the bottom of my heart. Much love and appreciation." Leslie C. (RN)
"Thank you, Kim, for the picture of Mom. She looks great, which makes us all feel better. It is a great idea to send these as it brings some peace to families in these trying times. We know Mom is in good hands! Our gratitude to everyone at Park Place who are providing care to our loved ones! Please stay safe and healthy. Blessings to all and hugs to mom." Cheri B. & Family
"Thank you for keeping us so well informed and for the incredible job you and your staff are doing for our loved ones in this very difficult tie. I am beyond grateful that you allowed mom to be off quarantine today. She went to lunch in the dining room to see her friends and played bingo. When I spoke to her after, she sounded better than she has in two weeks. You are all in my prayers! Take care of yourselves, please, while you take care of everyone else." Ann S.
"Thanks so much for the update. But even more, thanks so much to you and your incredible staff for the heroic efforts you all are undertaking to take care of our loved ones and keep them safe. We couldn't be more grateful--THANK YOU! To all of you and yours: stay safe, be well and THANK YOU." Terry M.
"I know that this is a hard decision. We so appreciate all staff that is doing this and the sacrifice they are making! If there is anything that we can do to help, please let us know. Again, thank you for all you're doing to keep the residents well. God bless you all." Steve and Beth F.
"Staying on site is a great idea. Thanks for taking this step to keep our loved ones safe. Please pass along my thank you to your staff. I realize this is a sacrifice for them and their families. God bless." Mike F.
"We wish to thank you and every staff member for the 'courageous and gallant' efforts being made for our loved ones! There is no way to express our thankfulness. We are so blessed that Roger, my stepdad, is there at Middleton! Many thoughts and prayers for you and your staff." Sue and Roger A.
"Debbie, thanks for your leadership. We all certainly appreciate what staff must be going through. Please extend my thanks to all of the staff and let them know our thoughts are with them." Fred H.
"Thank you for what you are doing. The preparation and management you all have done so far could not have been better. I am blessed my mom is at your facility." Eric Y.
"Thank you and your staff for everything you are doing." Billie N.Z.
"Our prayers are with you all. We will be sending in treats for all of you and for Mom. We will call first and just leave them in the space between first two front doors. Bob and I are staying away from any facilities since we are considered elderly. We will use latex gloves when dropping stuff off. Thanks so much for all that you are doing to keep our loved ones safe! It is much appreciated. Loved the picture of Mom saying she's fine. Brought tears and a smile to my face." Debbie
"I think of you daily. I know the craziness of what is going on right now has some very real challenges for you and the rest of the Middleton staff. My thoughts and prayers go out to you. The quality of care at Middleton was a step above and I know you are all striving to maintain that in a very difficult situation. I consider myself very fortunate to not be agonizing over how my mom is doing during this time of crisis. It's so crazy that now when so many have lots of free time, we can't use it to aid all of you. Although my free time ended a week ago when the group I volunteer with (Turban Project) got slammed with requests for face masks from all over the country, as well as requests for our patterns and other resources. Best wishes for keeping your sanity and staying safe. I will keep you in my thoughts and prayers.
P.S. I still 'creep' on Middelton through Facebook...can't help myself. You and the entire Middleton staff are truly heroes!!! Thank you for going above and beyond to take care of your residents! What you do each and every day is truly amazing!!! There was never a doubt in my mind that you guys would do that...just another reason to love Middleton." Bet B.
"Dear Shay and Kelsie, what a lovely thing to do--you sweet ladies know how to brighten someone's day. Thank you for the delicious surprise! Your gift package includes two quarts of tomato bisque: my favorite soup (how could you know that?). I enjoyed ham sandwiches for supper and such a favorite choice of desserts--YUM. You have fixed me up for days. When I get cabin fever, I go for a drive, then have a cup of tea when I get home. And I can have one of your treats while I read a good book. I am well. My prayers and good wishes include the staff and residents at Highgrove. Be well, good friends, and I hope it is not very long before I can be there, too." Jackie
"Thanks for all you do, and most definitely praying for all of you and staff during this 'more' challenging time." Chadd B.
"My Dad and I certainly miss you and the wonderful staff. It is difficult not seeing my Mother, but we are so very grateful for ALL you are doing for her, and the other residents. When we have FaceTimed, she is well groomed and looks great. I appreciate the update when I call to check on her. Again, thank you!!! Please know we are lifting you in prayer every day. And all the staff and residents as well. This is a difficult time, but you are doing an excellent job in managing everything. Not an easy task. This too shall pass. With much gratitude and love." Debby F.
"All the glory to you and your staff for the exceptional care you're providing our loved ones!!!" Cindy C.
"Thank you for your great efforts to care for our loved ones in this very troubling time." Beth P.
"Thank you so much for the update. Thank you to everyone at Traditions for their professionalism and concern for our loved ones. This means so much. I'm certain I am not alone in saying we are SO VERY grateful. You are the best. God bless." Janet K.
"Thanks for all the efforts you guys are going through. I can only imagine what it must be like. You are appreciated." Craig C.
"Thank you for your diligence." Patty H.
"I have been meaning to send you this letter of thanks from the time my parents, Bill and Ramona L., moved into the independent living cottage at Traditions in Beavercreek in Sept/Oct of last year. I live Columbus, and my husband and I have visited as much as we can. We have been so impressed with the care you take with all your residents, and the kindness you give them. Because we live in Columbus, we can't visit as frequently as we would like to, but we are heartened by your care and extra help you provide residents (eg, the groceries in the Valley model home most recently), and that gives us so much peace of mind, especially during this troubling time with COVID-19. As a journalist, I write about health care issues, so I know you all are putting yourselves at risk every day, and that your energy and mental health are especially tasked at this time. Please know I am so very, very appreciative of and grateful for your love, attention and hard work. You are truly angels! Here is a virtual hug from a very grateful daughter and her husband." Lisa L.S.
"Thanks for the great job you folks are doing communicating with families." Jim S.
"I want to thank you. My father, Gilbert F., is a resident in your assisted living area. He has been sharing with me all that you and all of your staff and volunteers have been doing to ensure the safety of the residents there at Middleton. I cannot imagine the pressure you are all under. And the fact that staff and volunteers have volunteered to be quarantined there for safety of the residents is over and above the call of duty. I can't thank you enough for all that you are doing. I would have called, but I figured you are very busy. I just wanted you to know how much I appreciate you." Cindy R.
"Thank you for all you're doing to keep our loved ones safe!" Lisa K.
"Thank you so much for everything you're doing for all of our families." Taylor S.
"I am Ted and Sandy C's niece. I just want to extend my thanks and appreciation to the Traditions staff for taking such good care of my dear uncle and aunt and the other residents, especially during this critical time. I so miss seeing them, but I understand that keeping this population safe and healthy is of paramount importance. All of you are so critical to their well being. I am thankful and grateful for you. If you can, please commend everyone for the wonderful job they are doing. Stay safe and well." Denise C.
"Our father, Tom (almost 92), has been a resident of the Memory Care unit of Traditions for more than a year now. Happily so. We are writing today in appreciation for the care that our father has received and to 'name some names.' Lucia and Lorenzo in the Overlook Restaurant: job well done! These staffers are always chipper and show a level of care not often seen in service industries. Cheryl at the front desk: keeps cookies coming and knows how to work the remote control in the theater (as well as anyone can figure it out). Doni, Abigail, Beth, Miranda, Gail (Gayle?): Diligent caregivers who quite frankly do the work that many could not do, for any wage. They make it look easy and maintain a great attitude. They always greet us with smiles.
But the one shining star that deserves special mention is Megan Clark in Memory Care. She is one-in-a-million. She is always looking for ways to improve life and care for the residents of memory Care and is making a difference that way. She regularly engages with residents in one-on-one discussions in a manner that shows that residents are more than a 'to-do list item.' She is genuinely empathetic. She always looks for ways to constantly improve the 2nd floor environment. When she saw our family members toting apples or bananas up to our Dad in Memory Care, she took note. One day she told John, 'it would nice for us to have our own fruit bowl up here.' She has since made that happen. A small thing, really, but quite indicative of her manner. Sometimes the smallest of gestures truly resonate the most with the residents of Memory Care.
Even in these very unsettling times, Megan has continuously reached out to us about our father. An example of her most recent of several communications since the Coronavirus restriction on visitors states:
'Hi Mimi! I wanted you to know that Tom is doing well. This evening we listened to Frank Sinatra, played a reminiscing game, and he is currently eating a snack and listening to hymns with the other residents. I am trying to give him extra attention, and he is being very responsive. He is very talkative tonight: ) I don't mean to overkill with giving you updates, but I do want to reassure you that he is doing well! Please let me know if you have any questions, concerns or suggestions. Megan'
Most importantly, Megan leads by example as a servant-leader. She improves everyone around her. Job well done, Megan! Thank you for all that the staff named above, as well as others, do for our father and the other residents at Traditions at Solana." John, Mimi and Tom B.
"Thanks for all you and the staff are doing to keep mom safe." Rhonda N.
"Rain, sleet or snow couldn’t keep the root beer floats away! The staff went way above the call of duty to get the treats to us."
Thanks so much,
Terry and Jinny
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