April 2, 2020

Dear Agemark Family Member,

Thank you for your continued trust in our community to provide care and a safe environment for your loved one. Because the incidences of COVID-19 continue to increase across the United States, new recommendations have been released by The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) and adopted by National Council of Assisted Living and the American Health Care Association. This letter will inform you of the changes we’ve made in response to these updated recommendations.

Beginning 4/1/2020, we are asking all residents to stay in their rooms as much as possible. This means all meals will be served to residents in their rooms. For anyone with a need that supersedes this policy (assistance with eating or is at risk for choking, etc.), allowances will be made to meet those needs. For those who are unable to understand or follow the recommendation to stay in their room for meals, we will work on an individual basis to maintain the recommended 6-foot space between each person.

We have also discontinued all group activities and bus rides, but have increased one-on-one activities with residents. Lastly, staff will wear masks at all times in the building.

We’re grateful for the fabric masks that have been donated and would welcome more. If you or someone you know can sew, please visit agemark.com/covid-19 for directions. Our goal is for every employee to have 2 masks each. Also, please let us know if you have one or more TV tray/tables that we may borrow for residents who don’t have a table in their room, just until regular dining can resume.

We continue to encourage regular contact with families through video or phone. Please call the building to schedule a “virtual visit” with your loved one. Cards and letters will be sanitized before delivery. You may also visit your loved one through a window, though we ask that you maintain the recommended 6 feet of space between individuals, and please use a phone rather than opening the window to speak.

We will continue to monitor residents for cough, fever and shortness of breath, will provide prompt treatment if any of these symptoms are present. Additionally, we are monitoring our staff before they enter the building and have updated our screening tool, based on CDC recommendations, to identify and prevent entry by anyone who may have been exposed to COVID-19 through travel or other contact.

Thank you again for your support and understanding. If you have any questions or concerns, please reach out to the director of your community. You may also call our wellness hotline at 1-800-449-5526 between 9am and 6pm CST, Monday through Friday, or email wellness@agemark.com.

Unless the situation changes, current precautions will remain in effect until 5/3/20. Please provide your email address if you haven’t already, along with any additional contact information, to your community. we’d like to have as many ways as possible to quickly contact you regarding important updates.

 

Respectfully,

 

 

Martin Hug                                           Terri Jo Goldsmith RN-BC, CRRN, CDP

COO, Agemark                                      Corporate Nurse, Agemark