Remaining safe as businesses open, weather improves, and quarantine fatigue sets in – May 18, 2020
Today, Governor Baker announced Massachusetts has entered phase 1 of his administration’s 4-phased plan for reopening the state, permitting some of our local establishments to provide services at a reduced capacity. (See link below).
This is good news for some businesses, but we want to remind you that Decatur House remains extremely vulnerable to the virus. As an essential business, we have been “open” all along, carefully following myriad precautions and practices developed and mandated by state, regional, and federal authorities. This is how we’ve kept our residents and staff safe.
So as businesses open up, better weather beckons, and quarantine fatigue invites socialization, we want to remind you that as the Governor said today, “the virus is still out there” and we must all look out for one another by continuing to limit our activities outside our homes.
We ask that, during this transitional time, our residents, families and staff continue to be vigilant about social distancing, maintaining good hand hygiene, wearing face masks, and following ALL established safety precautions per the policies of Decatur House.
Those policies include:
- Decatur House buildings are closed to ALL visitors, except for essential healthcare and service providers.
- Window visits, Zoom, FaceTime, or Ava calls with residents are the only visits permitted (no patio visits or outdoor walks, etc.) Email [email protected] to schedule a Zoom visit; call (800) 881-8039 or text “Ava” to (800) 881-8039 to schedule a virtual visit via Ava the iRobot.
- Residents who are able to go out, should do so only for essential business such as healthcare appointments.
Our New Normal is Keeping up Safe – May 5, 2020
We are happy to report that, to date, all of our residents and staff are healthy. This is in large part due to our residents, their families, and our staff’s commitment to practicing extreme diligence in hygiene awareness, social distancing, utilizing face masks, and limiting exposure to non-essential interactions and activities.
Every day, we are recording all residents’ and staff members’ temperatures and oxygen levels. Employees who can work from home, are, and those who do come to work wear a mask. We continue to offer modified in-house activities to residents and are facilitating more and more virtual visits with families and friends.
From the beginning, we have been following and adhering to all the latest guidelines from the CDC as well as the Executive Office of Elder Affairs, Barnstable County Department of Public Health, and Governor Baker’s daily COVID-19 updates. In a recent update he shared that although Massachusetts is not out of the woods by any means, the numbers of new cases of the virus in our state appears to be leveling off. This update provides a sliver of hope that we are on the right track.
The state’s planned May 18 date for re-opening some non-essential businesses is dependent on proof that our state’s numbers have more than just leveled off—that they have actually been dropping, significantly, for an extended period of time. Furthermore, at Decatur House, we understand that assisted living facilities may not be included on the list of those first allowed to begin to reinstate normalcy as our population is extraordinarily vulnerable to the virus and requires extra safety precautions.And that’s okay; we will wait until we have the go-ahead from the experts that it’s safe for us to begin to return to the “old normal.” And when we do, we will likely do it in phases, and with many of the current precautions remaining in effect beyond the immediate crisis. Our residents health and safety is what’s most important to us and we will want to apply what we’ve learned from this pandemic to our overall ways of ensuring their well-being.
So we wait for more good news in the coming weeks and months. But rest-assured, in the meantime, our new normal, though lacking hugs and outings, is working to keep us safe.
This is an unprecedented time and we at Decatur House are grateful for our little community. Every day, our residents bring us tremendous joy and connection, keeping us sane, engaged, and happy to come to work.
We look forward to seeing our families and friends again and hope you are also finding joy and staying connected during this challenging time.
Just Checking In – April 22, 2020
It’s been a challenging spring but we are all fine, and hope you are too.
This week we posted an article on our blog about how we are adapting to the historic pandemic and created a Virtual Tour:
We hope you will enjoy—and share them both!
Please stay safe and stay in touch. We hope to see you again soon!
We’re Sharing Love, Not Germs – April 9, 2020
Staying Responsive Day-to-Day
We’re updating our precautionary measures and strategies to prevent the spread of the virus as mandates and recommendations evolve. The video above was shot before staff was required to wear masks during their shifts. Rest assured, we are wearing them now!
Read updates and find links to informational videos on how to deal with stress, social-distancing tips for young people, ways to self-quarantine and more on our website.
New Family Resource Number Available – April 7, 2020
The Baker-Polito Administration announced the launch of a new Nursing Home Family Resource Line, a dedicated telephone line that will connect family members of nursing home, assisted living, and rest home residents with the information and resources they need. This resource was created so that family and community members have one central contact that they can reach out to if they have questions or concerns about the care their loved one is receiving during the COVID-19 outbreak.
The line is staffed from 9 AM – 5 PM, seven days a week. Staff will coordinate across state agencies to help callers find answers to their questions.
Families and community members can call the line at (617) 660-5399.
Staying Informed Saves Lives – April 7, 2020
We will get through this pandemic safely by being informed ourselves, and sharing information with others. Please view these informational videos from the Massachusetts Emergency Management Agency and share with your friends and family.
Note to our Residents, Staff, Families and Friends – March 31, 2020
To protect the health and safety of our residents and staff we continue to stay on top of federal, state, local, and global updates on COVID-19 and to adjust our prevention strategies accordingly. Visit www.decaturhouse.com for all the updates on precautions and our response to the virus threat.
Decatur House remains virus-free thanks in large part to the flexibility and diligence of our residents, staff, and families. By following all the posted restrictions and recommendations you are helping us keep the house safe. Thank you.
We regret we can’t allow face-to-face visits with families for the time being. However, we are happy to assist families and residents with virtual visits via computer video. Family members can email [email protected] to schedule a virtual visit with a resident.
Coronavirus UPDATE – March 17, 2020
According to the CDC, the coronavirus is spread largely between people who are in close contact with another (within 6 feet) by respiratory droplets produced when someone who has the virus sneezes or coughs.Those considered at “high risk” to contract the virus include people who are over the age of 60 and anyone with underlying health conditions or a weakened immune system.
To protect our vulnerable residents and our dedicated staff, Decatur House is responding vigorously to the health experts’ latest guidelines for increased social distancing and have adopted the most recent actions mandated by the Commonwealth of MA Executive Office of Elders Affairs. Those actions include:
- Decatur House is closed to ALL visitors, except for certain, approved and screened compassionate care providers
- Residents dine apart from one another; Trays are being delivered to their apartments three times a day;
- All group activities are canceled. A staff member will provide individual one-on-one interaction whenever possible;
- Our concierge service has been suspended. Family members who choose to shop for their loved one, must please contact us before leaving any purchased items in the front vestibule;
- Essential staff (caregivers, leadership) only will be in-house, with non-essential staff staying home.
As always, to check on the status of your loved one, please call our CNA number, 774-205-0184. We are happy to assist residents with Facetime or Skype visits with their families.
Health screenings of all employees continue. Any employee who has a cough, fever, shortness of breath, or has had close contact with someone who exhibits any CoVid-19 symptoms may not come to work.
We continue to follow the progression of the outbreak closely and to regularly share with you any further updates via email, our social media pages, and on our website.
Thank you for helping us keep our residents and staff safe during this outbreak. Please stay safe yourselves.
— Decatur House Management
Mass.Gov Coronavirus website
How to Wash Your Hands Effectively
CDC coronavirus informational videos
Center for Disease Control Coronavirus website
Listen to WGBH’s interview with Sarah Tribuzio, Decatur House Vice President
Coronavirus UPDATE – March 15th, 2020
On Saturday, March 14, the first case of coronavirus on Cape Cod was confirmed. The infected man is a resident of Sandwich. He is being treated for CoVid-19 by Cape Cod Healthcare and will remain there until he is stable and can go home to conclude his recovery. His spouse is also being tested.
Read more about the Sandwich CoVid-10 case here.
Given this very local news we are increasing our precautions against the virus to ensure it doesn’t affect our residents and staff. Starting immediately:
- Decatur House is CLOSED to all non-medical visitors until further notice.
- Family members may come and take residents to unavoidable medical appointments but must be screened by Decatur House staff before entering the building.
- To check on the status of your loved one, please call 774-205-0184. We will be happy to assist residents with facetime or skype visits with their families. Please call 774-205-0184 to set that up.
- All outings, including scenic drives, are cancelled.
- We will adhere to the CDC’s recommended social distancing recommendations during all meals and activities.
- Health screenings of all employees at beginning of their shifts continue. We are requiring any employee who has a cough, fever, shortness of breath, or has had close contact with someone who exhibits any CoVid-19 symptoms not come to work.
- Vendors and delivery service providers must leave items on the front porch. If a signature is needed please knock on the door or call one of the numbers below* and we will assist you.
Going forward, we will be watching the progression of the outbreak closely and will share with you any further updates via email, our social media pages, and on our website.
Thank you for helping us keep our residents and staff safe during this health crisis. Please stay safe yourselves.
*If you need to contact us during regular business hours (Monday to Friday, 9-5), call 508-888-6404. Non-business hours, call 774-205-0184. You can also email [email protected] or visit our coronavirus updates webpage at any time.
— Decatur House Management
How to Wash Your Hands Effectively
CDC coronavirus informational videos and updates can be found at:
— Decatur House Management