"Week 13 - From the inside"
No Visitation Yet
Hello friends and family! Thank you for continuing to endure this trying time with us and for understanding that we are not yet able to allow visitors into the Care Center. We are also not permitted to have a resident leave the building yet for outside non-emergent appointments, such as dental visits, vision exams, barber or beauty shop, etc.
I have an ongoing list for those who are waiting to schedule these types of appointments. I will get those appointments set up as soon as we move to AHCC's next phase of re-opening. Physicians have been permitted to come into the building to see their patients for regularly scheduled rounds as well as some acute visits when needed.
We Are Taking Precautions
Each and every employee who enters the facility still must complete a questionnaire, have a temperature check, sanitize their hands and mask up.
We have been very fortunate to keep the virus out of our facility.
Struggles Due to COVID-19
Honestly, it has been hard to put life on hold for these folks for 13 weeks now. Some of our residents are really starting to struggle with feeling disconnected from the world and not being able to resume doing things that bring them joy. It is tough for us as staff, to explain that the rest of our state is starting to ease up and loosen restrictions, but we are not yet able to do so in long-term care.
It is equally as hard to keep telling family members who are anxious to visit their loved one that they will still have to wait.
We Are Missing Small Joys
The more alert and oriented residents, especially those who are social and like to get out, are getting frustrated. Many of them say they would love to be able to go on a bus ride up the mountain to see the wildflowers. They miss hugging their visitors, seeing little ones running around, and getting to hold babies. Another resident told me how much she misses being able to simply gather up at her regular table in the large dining room with her friends and just all talk and all be sitting together. It is the little things that many of us take for granted that these folks are really missing.
Family Travel Plans
I know many of us live for summer. It is the ideal time to make travel plans to come out to Wyoming for visit. I have been contacted by family members who live out of state, who are hoping to make arrangements to come to see a family member here. I wish I had the ability to predict what the rest of the summer will look like, and could let you know it is safe to move forward with your plans. Unfortunately, I do not have the answers and I am not confident we will be able to allow normal visiting in the near future.
What I have been telling people is that so far, we have been very fortunate to keep the virus out of our facility. However, that could all change overnight if we discover a positive case in the Care Center.
With the upcoming plan to mass test all employees and residents, we likely could get a positive test result after testing that many people.
Other facilities have had experienced this once they started testing everyone. However, on a possible bright side, there may be a vaccine made and available soon and this would help open things back up much more quickly.
Hope for Safe Visits
There is some talk of trying to find a safe way for residents to be outside on a nice day and visit with a friend or family member (6 feet apart) or be separated by some type of barrier. More to come on this next week, I hope!
I definitely have seen our residents outdoors with the staff more now that it has warmed up and the sun is shining. They planted flowers and had fun playing in the dirt last week. Our chickens have returned in the little chicken coop out back. They are very popular amongst the residents. The chickens are entertaining for them to watch and talk about.
Residents Supporting Local Businesses
We are not yet allowed to start up our annual Thursday picnic/BBQ lunch on the patio. I heard the residents are doing something new to help business at our local restaurants. Periodically the residents will choose a place they would like to eat at, and the activities department will call in a group order for pick up. I believe Dash Inn won the first vote. Residents may choose to participate in this, but of course, it is optional if they do not want to spend any extra money.
I will try my best to stay consistent with posting my blog until this is over, even if there is nothing new and exciting to relay. Many family members from all over have contacted me and let me know you are reading and they enjoy these updates.
Thank you for reading and thank you for keeping us in your thoughts and prayers. As always, please reach out if you have questions or suggestions.