Franklin Park's Response to Coronavirus (COVID-19) Concerns

Posted by Franklin Park on Mar 20, 2020 8:00:00 AM | 13 minute read

As news and concerns increase surrounding the Coronavirus (COVID-19), Franklin Park Senior Living is striving to keep our residents, employees, family members, and guests up-to-date.

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MARCH 20, 2020 - Community Program Updates

Dear Franklin Park Residents, Friends, & Employees:

The health and well-being of Franklin Park residents and employees remain our top priority. We’re closely monitoring the current COVID-19/Coronavirus situation and, per the CDC and other health agencies, and taking appropriate steps to protect our residents and staff. The Texas Department of Health & Human Services has sent an instructional letter to assisted living communities with recommendations for several additional steps that our communities will implement.

Dining Program Updates

The Texas Department of Health and Human Services has recommended that all assisted living communities close dining rooms to communal dining and provide room service to residents in their individual apartments. Franklin Park will take this step no later than Monday, March 23rd, and will be closing all dining room venues in both assisted living and independent living communities. Due to the specific needs of memory care residents, the memory care dining rooms will remain open with continued use of social distancing and an enhanced sanitizing.

Temporary changes to the dining program occurring no later than March 23rd:

  • All assisted living and independent living dining venues will be closed no later than Monday, March 23rd.
  • Assisted living residents needing dining assistance will be assessed for need and a plan implemented to meet those needs. This may include small group dining practicing social distancing.
  • All meal delivery charges will be waived during this period. • Menus may be modified to accommodate delivery service.
  • Memory care will spread residents out by utilizing auxiliary common areas for dining purposes, and residents will be assisted with proper handwashing & hygiene.
  • For communities or levels of care that include less than three meals per day in the base rent, a discounted meal plan will be offered for those residents wishing to receive all three meals daily. Please see the front desk for details regarding the program.

Beauty/Barber Shop Update

The beauty/barber shops in all communities will remain closed until further notice.

  • Residents needing assistance with hair washing should contact the Concierge for guidance.

Life Enrichment Program Update

To maximize the effectiveness of social distancing, Franklin Park will cancel all group activities in the assisted living and independent living communities. Memory Care will continue to host events due to the specific needs of memory care residents.

Temporary changes to the life enrichment program occurring immediately:

  • All assisted living and independent living group activities are canceled.
  • Staff will make a concerted effort to spend social time with residents that are not venturing out of their apartment. These activities may include conversations, games, assisting a resident to video chat with family or friends, & creating One Day videos to send out to family or friends.
  • Residents MAY venture out of their apartments if they are not exhibiting signs of illness.
  • Informal resident groups must be limited to 10 or fewer residents.
  • Community transportation to medically necessary appointments must be approved by management for all care levels, including independent living.
  • All residents at all communities should remain in the community other than for medically necessary appointments.
  • Residents needing supplies should contact the concierge for assistance with online ordering if needed. HEB, Walmart, Amazon, and many others deliver direct to the community, so there is no need to venture out shopping.

These changes are hard ones for all, but very necessary to help prevent the spread of COVID19/Coronavirus throughout our communities and the country in general. Patience is the word of the season…we will get through this!

Thank you,

Kevin Wilbur
Chief Operating Officer



MARCH 19, 2020 - Safety Measures in Place at Franklin Park

Dear Franklin Park Residents, Friends & Employees:

The health and well-being of Franklin Park residents and employees remain our top priority. We’re closely monitoring the current situation and, per the CDC, along with national, state & local healthcare authorities, taking appropriate steps to protect our residents and staff. Along with other measures outlined below, we are modifying the dining programs in Assisted Living, Independent Living, and Memory Care Communities.  

In this first stage of dining program modification, the dining rooms will remain open and available for resident use.  Memory Care provides some unique challenges, but we will work to spread the residents out, allowing for social distancing as much as possible.

These changes will take place no later than March 23 and will remain in effect until the threat of COVID-19 has been mitigated. 

In the second phase of modification, the dining rooms in Assisted Living and Independent Living will be closed and meals delivered to the residents’ individual apartments. Due to the specific needs of memory care residents, the memory care dining rooms will remain open with continued use of social distancing and an enhanced sanitizing. 

The trigger for the second dining phase to occur will be when federal, state, or local health care authorities recommend this course of action for assisted/independent living communities.   

Temporary changes to the dining program occurring no later than March 23:

  • The meal delivery charge will be waived for residents in Assisted Living and Independent Living that prefer to dine in their own apartment.
  • Residents are being reminded about the need to wash hands, the concept of social distancing, and the need to stay in their apartment if feeling anything less than 100% healthy. 
  • Staff has been trained to continuously monitor residents for indications of illness. 
  • Only residents will be allowed to eat in the dining room
  • The menu may be modified to accommodate delivery service 
  • Memory care will spread residents out by utilizing auxiliary common areas for dining purposes.
  • For communities or levels of care that include less than three meals per day in the base rent, a discounted meal plan will be offered for those residents wishing to receive all three meals daily. Please see the front desk for details regarding the program.

Access to our communities is restricted to only those essential visitors.

Essential visitors include:

  • Any family member of a resident who is in end-of-life situations. Access in these cases will also be restricted to resident apartments only.
  • Any family member of a resident who is providing an essential service for the resident, or functioning in a similar role as a private duty aide.
  • Any vendor who provides an essential service (providing pharmacy, food, supplies, maintenance, movers and healthcare providers who provide hospice and physical therapy).
  • Individual private duty aides/companions.

Non-essential visitors include:

  • Any family member of residents who does not have an essential need for visiting
  • Entertainers
  • Volunteers 

Screening requirements will be expanded to include temperature checks for essential visitors as of Friday, 03/20/2020. Those visitors exhibiting a forehead scan temperature of more than 100.4 degrees will not be allowed to enter the community regardless of their essential function.

All essential visitors must be able to answer “no” to the community screening statements:

  • You have been diagnosed with or exposed to anyone diagnosed with COVID-19/coronavirus.
  • You have reason to believe that you, or someone in your household or someone who you have been in close contact with, has been exposed to COVID-19/coronavirus.
  • You or anyone in your household has traveled abroad in the last 14 days.
  • You have experienced any cold or flu-like symptoms in the previous 14 days (to include a fever of 100.4 F without the use of fever-reducing medications such as Advil or Tylenol, cough, sore throat, respiratory illness, difficulty breathing).
  • Is your visit today considered non-essential to the residents or operations of the community?

Please reach out to your Executive Director with questions or concerns regarding essential and non-essential visits.

As we continue to monitor new developments and evaluate our safety measures daily, please be assured that we will continue to take all necessary precautions with the health and safety of our residents and employees in mind.

We will provide regular updates to Franklin Park residents and family members via email, social media, or by phone; however, if you have an urgent question, please reach out to the community’s Executive Director at any time.  

As the situation continues to evolve, we are taking more significant preventative measures. In addition to our increased cleaning protocols and canceling/postponing community events, we are limiting entrance into our communities.

We appreciate your cooperation with these new protocols and will continue to update you regularly.

The following protocols also are in effect:

  • Reduced community transportation services. Transportation will be provided for essential medical appointments only. All other excursions or trips, including scenic drives, have been canceled until further notice.
  • We strongly recommend that residents postpone non-essential appointments or other trips outside of the community.
  • Employees are undergoing screening requirements upon arriving for each shift.
  • Inventories of personal protective equipment such as masks, gloves, and gowns have been increased where possible. This will remain an ongoing effort for the unforeseen future.
  • Essential visitors must enter the building through the main entrance and present themselves for screening at the front desk.
  • All essential visitors must have a name tag showing they have been screened and allowed entry.
  • Vendors delivering packages or supplies at the front entrance must leave items for community personnel to deliver to destinations within the building.
  • Front desk personnel will direct all essential visitors to wash their hands or utilize available hand sanitizer whenever they enter or exit the community.
  • All resident self-service dining functions are suspended, including hospitality stations, salad bars, and buffets.
  • All resident activities will be capped to 10 residents or less with no outside entertainers coming into the community.
  • Staff will make a concerted effort to spend social time with residents that are not venturing out of their apartment. These activities may include conversations, games, assisting a resident to video chat with family or friends & creating One Day videos to send out to family or friends.
  • All community events where external visitors were invited have postponed or canceled.
  • We strongly recommend that residents postpone all upcoming travel, including cruises and all flights. Residents returning to the community following travel will be subject to a 14-day quarantine upon return.
  • We strongly recommend that residents do not leave the community under any non -essential circumstance, including visits to private family homes, restaurants, or public gathering spaces (grocery stores, theaters, religious services, casinos, etc.).
  • Residents who are returning from the hospital will be required to submit negative test results for COVID-19 or a note from their physician stating they are infection-free. If a resident is not able to supply a letter or negative test result and doesn’t pose a risk to other residents; otherwise they will be subject to a 14-day quarantine or until their physician can clear them.

Increased cleaning protocols include:

  • Frequently sanitizing high-touch areas like doorknobs, elevator buttons, faucets and handrails
  • Increased cleaning of high-traffic common areas such as dining rooms and activity spaces
  • Increased cleaning of all resident transport vehicles and providing hand sanitizer in the vehicle for use during transport to & from destination
  • Reinforcing handwashing and infection control training for all Franklin Park employees
  • Providing personal protective equipment as necessary for the situation

Franklin Park utilizes R-Water’s state of the art technology to sanitize all the spaces in the community and the vehicles. R-Water is a highly effective healthcare grade sanitizer that is very safe for both our employees and residents. 

 

Below are a couple of links to information about R-Water if you want to know more:

R-Water Technology: One-Step Disinfectant Press Release: Austin Charges Ahead  of Coronavirus with R-Water

 


MARCH 13, 2020 - Precautionary Measures

Dear Franklin Park Residents, Friends, & Employees,

We are all concerned about the Coronavirus virus and I want you to know that Franklin Park is following the CDC recommendations and will be in contact with our local governmental health agencies should an outbreak occur.

Franklin Park will continue to observe our normal Flu season protocols until the potential crisis is resolved.  Employees showing signs of acute respiratory illness will not be allowed to work and will be sent home until they are fever free for at least 24 hours without the use of fever reducing drugs such as Ibuprofen.  Visitors will be limited to those with essential reasons for visiting and those showing signs of acute respiratory illness will not be allowed to enter the community in order to prevent the spread of a virus.

Many other measures have been or will be implemented within the next few days, here is a partial listing of them:

  • Resident outings are limited to scenic drives in the area with no stops.
  • No outside entertainment will be brought into the communities.
  • Visitors are limited to those with essential reasons for visiting only.
  • Sanitizing protocols have been enhanced for the community and vehicles.
  • Residents are being asked curtail trips outside the community if possible.
  • All self-service food venues have been replaced with servers to serve the food.

Franklin Park utilizes R-Water’s state of the art technology to sanitize the all the spaces in the community and the vehicles.  R-Water is a highly effective health-care grade sanitizer that is very safe for both our employees and residents.

Below are a couple of links to information about R-Water if you want to know more:

R-Water Technology: One-Step Disinfectant Press Release: Austin Charges Ahead  of Coronavirus with R-Water

We will continue to keep you informed regarding any news that may arise regarding the virus and our communities.


Thank you,

Kevin Wilbur
Chief Operating Officer



MARCH 2, 2020 - Be Proactive 

Dear Franklin Park Residents, Friends, & Employees,

We are all concerned about the Coronavirus virus and I want you to know that Franklin Park is following the CDC recommendations and will be in contact with our local governmental health agencies should an outbreak occur.

Franklin Park will continue to observe our normal Flu season protocols until the potential crisis is resolved. Employees showing signs of acute respiratory illness will not be allowed to work and will be sent home until they are fever free for at least 24 hours without the use of fever reducing drugs such as Ibuprofen. Visitors showing signs of acute respiratory illness will not be allowed to enter the community in order to prevent the spread of a virus.

Please contact your physician if you also have acute respiratory illness with a fever. If you have these symptoms, to prevent spreading a virus it is best if you stay in your home until fever free for at least 24 hours without the use of fever reducing drugs such as Ibuprofen.

In addition to all the normal things you do to stay healthy, the preventive measures are the same as for the flu or other viruses, according to CDC:

  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after going to the bathroom; before eating; and after blowing your nose, coughing or sneezing. If soap and water aren't available, use an alcohol-based sanitizer that is at least 60% alcohol.
  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth.
  • Stay home when you are sick.
  • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces using a regular household cleaning spray or wipe.
We will continue to keep you informed regarding any news that may arise regarding the virus and our communities.


Thank you,

Kevin Wilbur
Chief Operating Officer

 

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