Update: Friday, July 3, 2020
To our Americare Families:
Our communities recently shared their plans to open visitation for residents and their loved ones. Some communities have already started and others are set to start.
As you know, the states in which we operate are experiencing a surge in COVID-19 cases. This is prompting states and counties to issue additional guidelines on when senior living communities can start guest visits (outside or inside).
We ask that you contact your community directly prior to your scheduled visit to determine if visits have been temporarily placed on hold. We still welcome window visits (providing windows remain closed).
We too want to reunite our residents and their families. Doing so in a responsible manner will help keep our residents and employees safe. We appreciate your continued support during these challenging times.
Americare Senior Living
UPDATE: Friday, June 19, 2020
To our assisted living families in the State of Missouri:
On June 15th Randal Williams with the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services (DHSS) issued a memorandum outlining guidelines to allow nursing homes and other long-term care facilities (like our assisted living and Arbors communities) to offer outdoor visitation for our families and residents. We are pleased to be given the greenlight by DHSS but we want our families to clearly understand the conditions placed on these visitation opportunities. Each of our communities will need to meet those conditions individually.
As stated in Governor Parson’s order on June 11, Local (government) officials will still have the ability to put further measures or regulations in place, but from a statewide stance, all restrictions will be lifted." – Governor Michael L. Parson, June 11, 2020
We anticipate several of our communities being ready to start implementing visitation plans by next week. However due to high rates of infection the following Missouri counties have not given their clear permission for visits to begin:
Jasper County – Carthage specifically
St. Charles County
St. Louis County
You will receive an email when your community is ready to schedule visits and with instructions on how to do so.
We thought it would be helpful for you to understand the conditions of DHSS and the guidelines Americare is putting in place to open up outside visit opportunities yet remain vigilant in keeping our residents safe:
- DHSS directs that for communities to offer outside visits there have been no new COVID-19 cases in residents or staff members in the previous 28 days.
- DHSS is limiting each visit to two visitors with proper social distancing and proper hand hygiene prior to and after the visit
- DHSS is requiring both the visitor and the resident to wear a mask. If the resident is unable to wear a mask an alternate options of a plastic partition may be used.
- DHSS is requiring a screening upon arrival of each visitor and allowing only those visitors that meet the screening criteria to visit. Components of the screening will determine whether the visitor has ever been diagnosed with COVID-19 and are they currently showing signs and symptoms. Additionally visitors must be able to demonstrate proper use of infection control techniques to visit
- DHSS is expecting communities to keep visitor logs noting the names of visitors, who they visited, staff that assisted the visit, dates of visit, and contact information in the event of subsequent positive COVID-19 cases among staff or residents.
- DHSS is directing communities to sanitize any outdoor areas, including tables, chairs and partitions between each and every visit using an EPA approved disinfectant in accordance with instructions for dilution and contact times.
In response to the conditions of DHSS, Americare will implement the following processes at each of our communities:
- Americare will set up outdoor visitation stations at each location. These shaded locations will have social distancing measures in place for residents and visitors to follow and maintain 6 foot distancing. Designated areas will be established for the resident closest to the community.
- Americare will require each visitor to sign in and provide needed information on the visitation sign in sheet and to complete a wellness screening. This screening tool will require a temperature check and questionnaire to be completed. Anyone not meeting the requirements of the screening will be required to reschedule the visit.
- Americare will provide hand sanitizer on site to allow for hand hygiene prior to and after the visit.
- Americare requests that visitors provide their own face mask, but if one is not available a mask will be provided. Masks MUST be worn at all times during the visit.
- Americare will require an appointment for each visit. These visits will be coordinated based on staff availability, meal times and weather conditions. We are working on establishing a simple system to help our staff provide easy scheduling for our families. However currently we will be using a manual system. No visits will be allowed that are not prescheduled with the community staff.
- Please call your community directly to inquire about visit availability.
- To allow everyone the opportunity to schedule an initial visit with their loved one we are not allowing “standing visits” to be scheduled at this time.
- Within the next two weeks we hope to have a more automated system in place for self-scheduling.
- Americare will allow 2 visitors (including babies and children) at a time per resident in a 30-minute increment. Each visitor must be able to demonstrate proper infection control practices. If infection control practices are not followed then the visit will need to end. Additionally, the resident will be placed on a 14 day in room quarantine for the safety of other residents.
- While children are always welcome – they too must be able to wear PPE and practice proper infection control and social distancing.
- Americare staff will disinfect the visitation station between each resident’s scheduled visit.
Please note inside visits have not been approved by DHSS. We ask that you continue to abide by our no-visitors policy inside the building. Window visits of course are still encouraged with a closed window to prevent transmission and can be done without an appointment.
For the health and safety of our residents please use good judgement with regard to outdoor temperatures before having your loved one join you for an outdoor visit. If a heat index warning has been issued we will ask that you do a window visit instead.
Thank you for your continued support during these challenging times. We too want to reunite our residents with their loved ones. Doing so in a responsible way will help ensure everyone’s safety. If you have a specific question regarding your loved one or your community’s visit processes, please contact your administrator or director of nursing.
Mary Eaves Michael Hammond
Senior Vice President Senior Vice President
Heartland Division Gateway Division