Our Response to COVID 19 - Visitation Restrictions Effective Immediately - The Selfhelp Home Chicago

UPDATED: Our Response to COVID 19 – Visitation Restrictions Effective Immediately

Originally Posted: Sunday, March 15, 2020
Updated: Thursday, June 25, 2020

Dear Family Members and Friends,

Please take the time to read this important update regarding our response to the COVID-19 virus and our work to keep our community safe.

As advised by the Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH), the Center for Disease Control (CDC) and the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), The Selfhelp Home is implementing the following measures:

These measures reflect the updated guidance released by CMS on March 13th.

Visitation is restricted to essential medical visitors. Restricting visitors is now mandatory for all long-term care facilities nationwide. Essential medical visitors include physicians, x-ray technicians, hospice workers and lab technicians. Special consideration will be given to end-of-life situations. Essential medical visitors are being screened for symptoms and having temperatures taken upon entering the building. No exceptions will be made.

Outdoor Visitation Guidelines (as of June 25, 2020): Starting on Monday, June 29 we will allow a limited number of daily outdoor visits. Our process has been developed based on the guidelines issued by the Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH). We ask for your cooperation and that you take the time to carefully review our guidelines to ensure we are all doing our part to keep our community safe. You can view the guidelines here.

Social distancing in effect: Starting on Monday, meals will be delivered to resident apartments/rooms instead of communal dining. Room service charges will be waived. All group activities have been cancelled throughout the house. We are working on alternative ways of engaging residents. The common areas of the building will remain open. Residents have the right to leave their apartments/rooms. Social distancing is encouraged. A modified Coffee Klatsch will continue – we will be bringing the snacks and beverages to the residents. Our Health & Rehabilitation Center will discontinue any group therapy sessions; individual therapy will continue.

We are HIGHLY encouraging residents not to go out into the community unless it is ABSOLUTELY necessary. We have ELEVATED our recommendation and ask cooperation from all family members for residents not to leave the building at this time. The risk for seniors contracting COVID-19 is very high, and keeping our entire community safe is our priority.

Delivering items for residents: Dropping off supplies, medication and/or food for residents is welcomed. If you are dropping off items, we ask that you pull up to the front door and drop any items at the Front Desk. Please do not linger in the lobby. Your cooperation is most appreciated at this time as we know how difficult it can be. If you are unable to shop for items for residents, our staff will get the items for them.

Daily health screenings are taking place amongst every employee and essential visitor. A Health Screener is stationed at the Front Desk to check temperature and for symptoms. Residents are being monitored regularly by our nursing staff. Residents that show any respiratory symptoms are to remain in their apartments/rooms and staff are to take appropriate precautions such as wearing a mask. In the event the resident needs to leave the apartment/room, the resident will be asked to wear a mask.

Communication to families. Important information and updates will be shared by email, text messaging, posted on our website and our Facebook page. Calls have also been made to families. If you have recently changed your email or phone number, please be sure to update us by sending an email to [email protected]fhelphome.org.

Text message communication. We have established a text and voice messaging communication system via CallingPost that allows us to quickly communicate with resident family and representatives. We will be sending an initial text message shortly. To ensure you receive future messages, please respond to the text with an “OK.” Once you respond with “OK”, you will begin to receive messages.

Resident wellness: We realize these changes may feel drastic for residents. We are taking steps to help them feel connected to the outside world and to each other. We are utilizing all staff we have and exploring different technologies to assist in this effort.

Keeping in touch with your family member: We are working on helping residents stay socially connected with face-to-face calls. Please let us know if this is something you are interested in. In addition, we are looking for donations of iPads or other tablets to help us facilitate this initiative. Please email Arielle Lewis for more information [email protected].

Our management team meets frequently throughout the day. We are working together to make sure we are doing everything we can to get through this challenging time. Whether it is conducting trainings or communicating with the staff and residents, we are fully focused on responding to the pandemic. We will keep you informed as things progress. Our priority is ensuring the health and safety of all residents and staff of The Selfhelp Home.

Please contact us if you would like more clarification on any of these policies by sending an email to [email protected]

Sheila Bogen
Executive Director

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