Vibrant Life Senior Living is restricting all non-essential visitations due to the Corona Virus (COVID-19)

VIBRANT LIFE SENIOR LIVING
CORONAVIRUS MEMO #4

March 23, 2020

Dear Vibrant Life Families, Residents, and Friends,
This certainly is a challenging time for all of us, as we deal with the Coronavirus. As I write this memo, Governor Whitmer has issued Executive Order 2020-21, ordering all people to stay at home unless except for essential activities. This will be another challenge, but I am confident we will get through this, and we will get through this together.
I want to update you on what we are doing in all our Vibrant Life Communities, as things have been changing virtually by the day. But first, I want to thank our dedicated staff. They are on the front lines, and they are doing an incredible job. As I’ve told them, they are our present-day hero’s. They are like the first responders of 9-11. They are coming to work every day, caring for the people who live there, and spreading as much joy to them as possible, as they try and make each day as safe and vibrant as possible for everyone who lives and everyone who works at Vibrant Life.
Let me now explain to what we are doing at Vibrant Life to make each day safe and vibrant for everyone.

Virus Infection Control

In terms of the control of the virus itself, let me review what we have been doing for the past two weeks, and then I will discuss further elements we initiated this past week and will do so in the coming weeks;

  1. We have enforced a strict infection control protocol, which extends to washing hands and sanitizing throughout the day. We sanitize each surface with microbial disinfectant every day and wash our hands or sanitize after each interaction with every person.
  2. As you know we have enforced a strict no visitor rule, as mandated by the Federal and State government, with some exceptions of dire need. We know this has been very difficult for so many families and residents and our hearts go out to all of you. I will talk about this further below.
  3. We have prohibited any person from coming into our communities that visit other health facilities with the exception of doctors and nurse practitioners, and we are even limiting their access, except when absolutely necessary.
  4. We have eliminated, for the time being, all outside guests, performers, and non-essential health care workers, such as PT, OT and Speech Therapy. We have offered an exception to these therapy workers if they wanted to limit their work to our individual community only, however, they do work in other senior communities, so, unfortunately, we have had to prohibit them.
  5. We have instituted an entrance policy to any staff who enters the building at any time, which includes taking their temperature and asking them a series of seven questions about their health and whom they have come in contact with. If they answer positively to any of these questions, they are restricted from coming into the building.

These were just some of the Infection control protocols we have been following. Please refer to the Family Memo’s 1 through 3 for a more detailed list of what we have been doing up to this point. (available on our website, Vibrantlifeseniorliving.com).

Before I go through the details of the new protocols, I want to state, as I have in the past family memo’s, that as of this date, March 23, 2020, no resident or no staff at Vibrant Life has been tested and/or confirmed that they have the virus. However, there may be people who are asymptomatic out there who are carrying the virus, but they have not been tested. As you know, there has been a testing shortage in this country. It is a shame that every staff and resident has not been tested up to this point. But, hopefully, that will shortly change, as I will describe below. Nevertheless, I repeat, as of this time, we know of no one in our communities who has the Coronavirus, and we also have had very few instances of the flu, and in some locations, no flu at all. Either we have been lucky, or maybe it has to do with the great job our nurses and care staff are doing with our infection control protocols.

New Protocols

Here are some new protocols we have established in the past week.

  1. We have formalized a Vibrant Life Infection Control Executive Committee, which will process all the directives we receive from the State and Federal Government and make recommendations on new protocols for each community. This meets weekly. We have also created an All- Company Infection Control Committee which includes all Executive Directors, Nurses, and Resident care Directors, which also meets weekly to discuss the new protocols and any individual situation a community may have. This has proven to be an effective tool in organizing our virus communication.
  2. Each community and the Infection Executive committee now keeps a log of each person who has been diagnosed with the flu or the Coronavirus. , is being tested for them, or if any person has been in contact with a person who has the flu or Corona Virus.
  3. We have a new protocol where if someone has even been in contact with a person who has the flu or virus and is asymptomatic, they are, with some exceptions, restricted from entering the community for 72 hours.
  4. We have created a new system for deliveries which we will be implementing this week. Although each community may do it somewhat differently, the intent is the same. All deliveries of food or materials, are to be dropped off in a service or foyer area, away from any resident or staff. Once the item is dropped off, it is sanitized by a staff member, wearing gloves, and then the assembly or delivery materials are disposed of in a sanitary compartment.
  5. For family members who want to drop off to a Resident – based on the new directives set forth today by the governor, we are asking, FOR THE NEXT THREE WEEKS OF THE STAY AT HOME DIRECTIVE:
    PLEASE DO NOT DROP OFF FOOD TO RESIDENTS – we want to keep you off the road, AND we have to wipe everything down.
    PLEASE DO NOT DROP OFF LAUNDRY TO RESIDENTS – the same thing, and it is difficult to wipe down clothing.
  6. For other items, there will be bins placed in the foyer of your community. Please drop items off there. Please phone us and tell us you have dropped off the delivery. We will then sanitize whatever you bring in before it enters the building. Please also disinfect anything you bring in prior to you dropping it off.
  7. Testing. This coming week, we believe, will be the start of testing for some of our staff, and possibly our residents. We are due for the first batch of tests to come into our Superior location on Tuesday, and we will begin testing any staff with any symptoms at that time. Along with our local health departments, we will be formalizing our testing procedures starting this week. Our goal is to test every staff and every resident as soon as possible, so we can quarantine them as soon as possible. It has been frustrating that up to this point, there have been severe limitations on whom could be tested. We hope with more tests available, more and more people can be tested, so we know who has the virus and who doesn’t. Physical restrictions on contact and social distancing can only go so far. We have to know who has the virus and who does not and we are being as pro-active as we can to get those tests and get people tested.
  8. We have established a Company-wide system to track health care supplies and PPE (protective equipment) so all of our communities have the supplies they need to keep everyone safe.

Now I’d like to talk about the human element of this virus, and how it is affecting the people who work here, live here and you the families.

  1. We know how difficult the restriction on visitation has been for all the family members and residents. It is heart-wrenching. That is why last week we initiated our videoconferencing systems to enhance all of your contacts. Please see the videoconference memos that have circulated for your particular buildings. We are using a variety of Facetime, Facebook, Skype, and other systems to keep you connected. Just call your building and we can get you connected online. If you would like to install an easy, personal system right on your loved one’s TV in their room, let us know. There is a small cost to an outside vendor, but it would be a way for you to talk daily with your loved one. It requires no skills from the resident themselves.
  2. The community is coming together. We have had a few calls from local families who want to organize parades and other children’s events outside of resident’s windows to entertain them. We think this is wonderful. As tragic as it seems, many families are visiting their loved ones outside their window and them phoning them.
  3. As I’ve said before, if any of you are feeling really low, and feel difficult to maintain your own emotional stability, please let us know. We have professionals and para-professionals who would be happy to talk with you.
  4. Life Enrichment. We are doing everything we can do keep the people in our communities stimulated. All of our staff are pitching in with games, singing, dancing, discussion groups,
    and anything they can think of. All staff, not just Life Enrichment are chipping in. Again, if you have any creative ideas, please let us know.

We hope you all keep safe during this momentous time. We also hope you use this time at home to keep vibrant – foster new relationships (online), try new hobbies, learn a new language. We hope you get some comfort knowing that we at Vibrant Life are doing everything we can possibly do to keep your loved ones safe, comfortable and Vibrant. Remember to keep checking our website, Vibrant Life Senior Living.com for these weekly updates.

All the best,

Dean Solden, Founder and Co-owner, Vibrant Life Communities


Family Virus and Flu Notice #3

March 15th, 2020

Dear Vibrant Life Residents and Families,

These are certainly trying times for all of us in Michigan and this country. We are in the midst of this unprecedented COVID -19 pandemic, and each day brings a different way of life for us all, as well as guidelines from the governments as to how we care for your loved one. As you know, we are at the front lines of this crisis, as our seniors, especially over the age of 80 and/or with other health conditions, are very, very vulnerable.

We will get through this. I am extremely confident about that. I am confident because we have excellent management teams, dedicated staff, wonderful residents and loving families. All of us are in this together, and we will get through it. Together. I especially want to acknowledge our incredible staff. They have met the challenge of the last week, and I’m sure will meet the challenges we face in the coming weeks.

I also want you to know that we at Vibrant Life care about You, the families – spouses, children, and grandchildren – as well as our residents. We know this has to be extremely difficult for all of you, knowing your loved ones are in a situation where you cannot help, and you cannot be there to hug them, you cannot be there to reassure them. We understand. We are trying to be creative and find ways you can still connect with your loved ones, which I will be discussing below.

We want you to know that at Vibrant Life we are doing EVERYTHING to keep caring for our residents in a loving way, keeping their spirits up and creating as much joy as possible, while following the guidelines the State has given us to mitigate the transmission of the virus and keep our residents and staff safe.

NO RESIDENT HAS SHOWN SIGNS OF CONTRACTING THE ILLNESS, AND NO ONE HAS BEEN SENT TO THE HOSPITAL OR BEEN TESTED AS A RESULT OF THE VIRUS.

Up to this point, at all four of our Vibrant Life Communities, NO RESIDENT HAS SHOWN SIGNS OF CONTRACTING THE ILLNESS, AND NO ONE HAS BEEN SENT TO THE HOSPITAL OR BEEN TESTED AS A RESULT OF THE VIRUS. We also have had very few incidents of Influenza at our communities. We sincerely hope this continues but are realistic to know that probably will not be the case.

Last week, per government guidelines, we first instituted restrictive guidelines for visitors. Then, a few days later we instituted total visitor restrictions, except for extreme mitigating situations. This weekend, the State and federal government have imposed even further restrictions. Our goal has been to implement these guidelines while continuing our mission of helping people have as good a quality of care and life as possible.

There are FOUR MAIN AREAS we are going to focus on. They are:

  1. FOLLOWING STRICTER GUIDELINES FOR MONITORING THE HEALTH OF RESIDENTS AND STAFF.
    There are many guidelines and suggestions given to us, on virtually a daily basis, from State and National Agencies, such as the Governor’s office, CDC (Center for Disease Control), CMS (Center for Medicare and Medicaid) as well as NCAL and MCAL (National and Michigan Center’s for Assisted Living), our state trade association. This week we are implementing the following:
  • Taking the daily temperature of all residents and daily monitoring each person’s health;
  • Taking temperatures of each person, staff, or medical professional, who enters each Lodge;
  • Monitoring the health of our health care providers continually. At the first sign of any illness, they are sent home.
  • Monitoring whether any staff has people sick in their homes. If necessary, we ask them to stay home as well.
  • Our Company has provided for PTO and other provisions so that the people who work here can stay home when they are sick, and not have to worry about receiving their paycheck. The Federal Government is helping out with this as well.
  1. FURTHER MITIGATING THE SPREAD OF THE VIRUS BY FOLLOWING STRICTER MOVEMENTS OF STAFF, RESIDENT AND MEDICAL PROFESSIONALS IN THE BUILDINGS, REDUCING PERSONAL CONTACT;
  • We are following strict guidelines by the Governor, State, and National officials by not allowing any non-medical visitors into our buildings at any time, with a few exceptions for those dealing with end-of-life issues, and other absolutely necessary reasons.
  • This is now may include Executive Directors, HR, and reception staff, and other non-caregivers who will be working from home electronically. Each Executive Director will make those decisions of whom they deem absolutely necessary to keep our buildings running and residents safe.
  • Some of our activity programming has been provided by outside persons – performers, students, family members, persons from the community, all coming in to help us be a real community, not just an “old age home” from the past. We have had to eliminate all of these persons from now coming into our community. Instead, we are now re-upping the efforts of all of our team- our Life Enrichments staff, CareFriends, and all other staff to engage in stimulating activities to keep our residents engaged. (See more below).
  • Per guidelines and sometimes beyond, we give a series of questions to each person who enters each Lodge. These questions concern their health, who they have been in contact with, whether they have been traveling, and where. We also will be taking the temperature of each person who enters each building at any time.
  • We are further limiting the interactions of our staff with our residents; Staff is more contained in each of our Lodges. Residents and staff are not moving from Lodge to Lodge.
  • Per guidelines, we are further restricting communal dining. This will be very difficult. We do not want to isolate the people who live here from each other, as this is a crucial part of their well-being. We are currently working on a protocol for that. Most likely we will be having people eat at their own tables, further from each other, and possibly have a staggered meal schedule. We will be creative to continue making mealtime a pleasant experience. We’ll put music on and engage in lively conversation.
  • We are restricting Life Enrichment large group activities. We have been asked to restrict larger groups and communal activities. We will be having more individual and small group activities. And even during these activities, people will be at a distance from each other. We will be having many more one on one activities.

We are currently brainstorming different ways in which to keep our residents involved. Phone calls and video chats with families will be crucial. We will use our technology as best we can. If any of you have creative ideas on helping keep our residents active and connected, please let us know!

  1. DEALING WITH THE MENTAL HEALTH OF OUR RESIDENTS, STAFF, AND FAMILY, AS A RESULT OF THE INCREASE IN ISOLATION.

Despite these protocols and restrictions, we understand that everyone’s mental health is equally as important as physical health. We will be doing everything we possibly can to keep up everyone’s spirits! Some of these items are:

  • Educating the staff that mental health is as important as physical health
  • Having Carefriends and all staff be more involved with residents, understanding the importance of those relationships (while keeping six feet away!)
  • Lots of engaging activities
  • Lots of singing! And Music! And Stories!
  • Using technology for communication and entertainment. We will be using websites, webinars and other online communication tools to help keep our residents engaged.
  • If family members are feeling lonely or depressed, please call us. We have professionals who can talk with you as well. We can come up with solutions to help you stay as engaged as possible with your loved ones at Vibrant Life and others as well.
  1. INCREASING OUR COMPANY COMMUNICATIONS WITH OUR FAMILIES, AND INCREASING OUR VIDEO COMMUNICATIONS BETWEEN FAMILIES AND RESIDENTS. YOU CAN NOW VIDEO-CHAT WITH YOUR LOVED ONE.

We are using all our resources to increase our technology in our buildings to make it easier to video-chat between families and residents. iPhone users can Facetime now, and in some communities, this will be shown on the big-screen TVs. We are working on our Android video-chatting. We can also skype as well. At our Vibrant Life Superior campus, and soon on other campuses, we have a program called Independa, where families can chat on your laptop and residents can see you on a big screen TV. This is a wonderful program. Call us at your campus for details.

Further, for those interested, this program can also be put on each person’s individual TV. The resident needs no computer skills. There is just one simple button on a remote they would need to click. Contact us if you’d like us to set that up.

Phone calls and Video-chatting are excellent ways to keep connected to your loved one. PLEASE CALL US AT YOUR COMMUNITY AND WE WILL BE SETTING UP INDIVIDUAL APPOINTMENTS FOR VIDEO-CHATTING.

Finally, please self-quarantine as much as possible. We want to keep you healthy as well. I strongly urge all of you, especially over the age of 65 and/or with any medical conditions, to severely limit your social contact over the next few weeks. Bunker down at home and do some of those projects you’ve been wanting to do for years. Write some letters. Organize your photos. Please limit your social activities to only the most essential ones. We will be emailing, texting and calling you with updates. See our website for daily updates as we deal with this situation. Our goal is to keep you informed.

Again, thank you all for what you do. This may be one of the most challenging times in our lives. We know how difficult this must be for all of you. Our dedicated staff will do everything in our power to keep your loved ones safe, cared for and engaged. And remember, we also are here for you as well. We’ll get through this together.

Your Vibrant Life Senior Living Team


Family Virus and Flu Notice #2

Dear Families, Residents, and Staff,
At Vibrant Life Senior Living, as a direct care senior community responsible for our resident’s health and well-being, we are closely following the occurrence and frequent changing events of both Influenza in the area as well as the COVID-19 virus. Our main priority is the safety of everyone in and around our community. Therefore, as recommended by the American Healthcare Association and National Center for Assisted Living (AHA/NCAL), as well as the Veterans Administration, we are restricting all non-essential visitations. This includes family, except for approved visitation based on a unique situation. We are updating our videoconference capabilities to allow communication by video with your loved ones.
If you have questions, please reach out to our department heads for more information regarding community precautions. Avoid contacting Care Friends or other staff for community updates. The management is in contact with government enforcement agencies and meeting regularly in order to remain relevant to the situation. We will continue to communicate on a regular basis by text, email, and phone. Our website will also have the most current updates beginning March 12th, 2020. Please visit VibrantLifeSeniorLiving.com.

If you are looking for information updates about the virus, please view these resources:

  • https://www.ahcancal.org/facility_operations/disaster_planning/Pages/Coronavirus.aspx
  • https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-nCoV/index.htmlUntil the virus subsides, please observe the following for you and your family’s safety:
  1. Wash hands thoroughly often and throughout the day.
  2. Avoid large gatherings of people. In general, minimize your social contact
  3. Stay home from work or other situations if you get sick.
  4. Minimize airplane, foreign travel, or travel to highly contagious areas.

Also, please find attached a contact list of our department heads, as well as some basic information about COVID-19.

Thank you for your understanding during this time. We look forward to opening our doors for regular activity as soon as we are cleared to do so.

Sincerely,

Vibrant Life Administration


Family Virus and Flu Notice #1

Dear Families, Residents, and Staff,

At Vibrant Life Senior Living, as a direct care senior community responsible for our resident’s health and well-being, we are closely following the occurrence and frequent changing events of both Influenza in the area as well as the COVID-19 virus. Our main priority is the safety of everyone in and around our community.
Therefore, as recommended by the American Healthcare Association and National Center for Assisted Living (AHA/NCAL), as well as the Veterans Administration, we are restricting all non-essential visitations. This includes family, except for approved visitation based on a unique situation. We are updating our videoconference
capabilities to allow communication by video with your loved ones.

If you have questions, please reach out to our department heads for more information regarding community precautions. Avoid contacting Care Friends or other staff for community updates. The management is in contact with government enforcement agencies and meeting regularly in order to remain relevant to the situation. We will continue to communicate on a regular basis by text, email, and phone. Our website will also have the most current updates beginning March 12th, 2020. Please visit VibrantLifeSeniorLiving.com.

If you are looking for informative updates about the virus, please view these resources:

Until the virus subsides, please observe the following for you and your family’s safety:

  1. Wash hands thoroughly often and throughout the day
  2. Avoid large gatherings of people. In general, minimize your social contact
  3. Stay home from work or other situations if you get sick.
  4. Minimize airplane, foreign travel, or travel to highly contagious areas.

Also, please find attached a contact list of our department heads, as well as some basic information about COVID-19. Thank you for your understanding during this time. We look forward to opening our doors for regular activity as soon as we are cleared to do so.

Sincerely,

Vibrant Life Administration