I wanted to take this time to express my sincere gratitude for all your patience and understanding these last eleven weeks. Where I wish I could assure you the end is in sight, I cannot. What I can do is assure you that Elkader Care Center & Kingston Court Assisted living staff have been tirelessly working to keep your loved ones healthy. With guidance from organizations such as the Centers for Disease Control, Iowa Department of Public Health, Department of Inspections & Appeals, The Department of Human Services as well as our county health departments; we continue monitoring and adapting our processes to meet their strict regulations. Although the state may be lifting some restrictions, guidance now is to continue with our restricted visitation.
The day to day operations within the facility may be altered with COVID-19 but we have been finding many interesting ways to adapt to the new and changing guidelines. Although unable to have our traditional dining experiences, residents are offered in room dining or dining in the dining area that is set up for ten. Activities had been limited to one on one activities or in room activities. We did get word today that we will be allowed to resume some small group activities with groups no larger than ten! Residents can come out of their rooms to walk; they are offered a mask if that makes them more comfortable. We have had so many family members utilize the Facebook messenger or facetime apps and this has truly benefited our residents and tenants. Residents & Tenants have enjoyed the window visits, although not ideal this is still a way for families to connect. We are anxiously awaiting more of the warm days as the fresh air does everyone good!
Staff are screened when arriving for their shifts, when they leave the building and reenter and when they have completed their shifts. They are trained to understand the signs of sickness and are to report anyone’s symptoms immediately. Any staff reporting illness is removed from the schedule for 10 days and not able to return until symptom free for a minimum of 72 hours. The facility must track and report illnesses to the Iowa Department of Public Health. Staff uniforms in the past weeks have now included a face mask as well as goggles for those working directly with the residents and tenants. Staff have been trained on PPE, Infection control and most recently have been assigned even more COVID-19 computer training, ensuring continued safety for not only the residents but themselves as well.
Residents are screened twice daily. Our highly competent nursing staff are trained to recognize any sign or symptom. Communication with families has remained the same. Calls made to families occur when there has been a change to their loved one’s condition.
Elkader Care Center & Kingston Court Assisted Living encourage families to call with any questions or concerns at any time. We also encourage window visits, video chats and other creative means of communication with your loved ones. However, these must be within the guidelines we are required to follow. If you are unsure the best thing to do is, ask.
I will continue to update as guidance changes to relax some restrictions. Until then stay strong and know your loved ones are being well cared for,