January 22, 2021
We are in the midst of scheduling and planning COVID-19 vaccination clinics at Elegance communities across the country. We understand that some may be concerned about the safety of the new vaccines. We want to assure our residents, employees and their families that no steps were skipped in the safety evaluations of the vaccines. The vaccine is the result of focused, collaborative work performed by experts across the globe. Vaccines approved for use by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration have undergone the same level of rigorous testing for safety and efficacy as other vaccines, and have been tested in tens of thousands of people, including older adults.
Two independent advisory committees of experts from academic institutions also monitor vaccines to ensure their safety. We continue to encourage all residents and employees to take advantage of the opportunity to get the vaccine so that we can keep each other and our families safe. For more information on the vaccine, refer to the CDC’s website.
Most of the COVID-19 vaccines require two separate doses given 21-28 days apart, depending on the vaccine. Residents and employees who do not receive the vaccine at clinic one will have a second opportunity to get the vaccine on Clinic Two. The Third clinic will only provide the 2nd shot to residents and employees who’ve already received the first shot.
We continue to follow state recommendations regarding visitation. If the state allows indoor visitation, it is held in a designated common area within the community. Mask usage and social distancing are required. The visitor screening tool is also required prior to visitation.
Regardless if a guest has or has not received a COVID-19 vaccine, they will still need to follow these protocols as these are state recommendations. Currently, states are not allowing in-room visits. There will be future communication regarding visitation in resident rooms once regulations allow for these. If there is a positive case of COVID-19 within an Elegance community, we will be closing visitation until the department of health allows us to open visitation.
As we have been saying over the course of this difficult year, we are all in this together. The safety and wellbeing of our staff and residents have been and remain our top priority.
Vaccination Planning: Priority Access
As we move into the colder months and given the impact this novel virus has on older people, senior living communities will likely be one of the last industries to lighten or remove restrictions. As the virus continues to surge, we can expect continued restrictions, which we know will be especially tough during the holidays. But it is important to be extra diligent as we prepare for vaccinations for our community to ensure everyone's safety.
We are working in partnership with Walgreen's and CVS to take proactive measures to deliver the first doses of COVID-19 Vaccine as soon as they become available. As these vaccines are authorized, long-term care communities will be among the first offered the opportunity to receive the vaccine. Per the CDC, as of November 24th, phase 3 trials are in progress and there is expectation that Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) is expected in the next few weeks.
To prepare for the vaccine, we are collaborating efforts with Walgreen's and CVS to plan 3 onsite clinics. The COVID-19 vaccination will be delivered in 2 doses between 21-28 days apart. Three separate clinics are planned to ensure that participants choosing to receive the vaccine can be protected by the COVID-19 vaccine. We strongly recommend all residents and staff to participate in this long-awaited vaccine.
How You Can Help
Everyone on our team is working hard to keep residents connected and engaged. Join in by posting your favorite holiday photo and story and we will share these stories with residents and staff. Together let us bring joy and safety to the holidays so that we can look forward to a healthy new year!
As the CDC and the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices provide more information, we will continue to keep you updated.
Empower, Connect, Engage with LifeLoop
LifeLoop utilizes technology to connect our residents with their families and the staff who care for them. Our residents love viewing photos and videos shared by family members - and how they can, in turn, share with their friends and staff at the community.
We have established a system for care package drop-offs that is safe and does not require entry into our communities. Care packages may include items such as photographs, cards, drawings, snacks, and entertainment (such as books, magazines, and puzzles).
Even with residents who are not tech-savvy, our team has smartphones and tablets that we safely share to be able to FaceTime, Skype, Zoom, and more.
We are aggressively monitoring the COVID-19 situation and updating our practices and precautions based on the evolving guidance of the CDCP, CMS, NCAL, AHCA and various state and local health agencies. Please feel free to reach out to community leadership with any questions.
The health and well-being of residents and employees is our first priority; therefore, we are implementing the following additional measures at all communities:
- We are continuing visitor restrictions to only essential personnel (as defined by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and family members of residents who are receiving end of life care.
- In addition to screening and obtaining temperatures on all visitors and team members entering our community, we have also implemented universal mask usage. Visitors will apply a mask upon entering our community. Team members will apply their mask at the front desk upon completing the screening process.
- We have begun utilization of paper products for dining services.
- We will be keeping new or returning residents in a modified droplet precaution room to further prevent the possible spread of COVID-19.
- We are asking all residents to remain in their apartments to better protect themselves.
- Additional activities that can be done in the room are being offered as well as providing additional ways to connect with loved ones.
- We continue to educate staff on enhanced infection prevention practices.
- We are following the CDC guidelines for laundering clothing and are requesting that family members allow our communities to complete our residents laundering.
- We are holding all mail and items brought in by families for 24 hours. We have learned from other senior living organizations that they believe this process, in addition to the clothes laundering, assisted them with preventing further spread of the virus.
Recognizing that memory support environments present unique challenges to routine pandemic response procedures, in order to better serve our residents, we are following the recommendation of the Alzheimer’s Association in addition to state and federal guidelines. While we understand asking residents to remain in their apartments may not be realistic in all circumstances, we are encouraging those who can remain in their apartment to do so. We are continuing to practice social distancing and enhancing environmental cleaning and infection prevention processes. We have reinforced training of our personnel to recognize signs and symptoms that may differ slightly in residents with cognitive impairment. We understand that your loved one’s mental health is of great concern at this time so we are offering to schedule FaceTime calls between residents and their families to help them stay connected during this difficult time. Contact us directly if you’d like to speak to one of our residents via FaceTime.
We continue to monitor new developments and evaluate our precautions as new information becomes available. We’re committed to protecting our residents and staff during this time, and we will continue to take all necessary precautions with their health and safety in mind.
We are regularly updating our residents and family members via email, on social media and over the phone, but if you have an urgent question, as always, please reach out to our Executive Director at any time. For media inquiries, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.