Just about the only thing that has been consistent about this year is the unexpected changes. There is no denying the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic has changed the landscape of our world in 2020. Everything from the way we work, dine, socialize, spend time together, do business, and learn has drastically changed. If there’s a silver lining it’s in the way businesses and individuals have adapted to the changes and recommendations in order to keep everyone as safe as possible. 

Senior facilities have been extremely affected by the pandemic because these facilities hold the most valuable and immune-compromised population. At Greenbrier Village, we closely follow any regulations and guidelines established by the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) as well as state & local health officials to keep our residents safe. We also monitor the Center for Disease Control for new information concerning the pandemic. So what information is included in these guidelines?

Education & Precautions

The first steps in approaching a pandemic with a community approach is making sure that staff, residents, and families are all informed. The information and processes are likely to change as we learn more about the pandemic. Following Greenbrier Village on social media will keep you up-to-date with any changes, and calling ahead to ask about what’s the current process for visiting loved ones will ensure you’re following what’s best for everyone. To keep everyone informed and safe, we aim to: 

  • Provide information about COVID-19 (including information about signs and symptoms) and strategies for managing stress and anxiety.
  • Regularly review the CMS guidelines and state/local guidelines about COVID-19 for current information and ensure staff and residents are updated when this guidance changes.
  • Educate and train Health Care Professionals (HCP).
  • Reinforce sick leave policies, and remind HCP not to report to work when ill.
  • Reinforce adherence to standard infection protection and control (IPC) measures including hand hygiene and selection and correct use of personal protective equipment (PPE). Have HCP demonstrate competency by putting on and removing PPE and monitor adherence by observing their resident care activities.
  • Educate HCP about any new policies or procedures.
  • Educate residents and families on topics including information about COVID-19, actions the facility is taking to protect them and/or their loved ones, any visitor restrictions that are in place, and actions residents and families should take to protect themselves in the facility, emphasizing the importance of hand hygiene and source control.
  • Have a plan and mechanism to regularly communicate with residents, families and HCP, including if cases of COVID-19 are identified among residents or HCP.

  • Implement Source Control Measures

    When it comes to safety, simple controls like a facemask can go a long way in keeping those who may be vulnerable or high-risk safer. Our staff takes it one step further and wears a facemask & face shield at all times while they are in the facility. Residents wear a cloth face covering or facemask (if tolerated) whenever they leave their room, including for procedures outside the facility. Any changes from the CMS or state health officials will be followed closed by everyone at Greenbrier Village. 

    Visitors, Restrictions, and Alternative Methods of Visiting

    We want to ensure the safety of our residents and staff while giving the opportunity for families and friends to stay connected. Greenbrier Village does not currently allow visitors into the facilities, and instead supports and encourages alternative methods for visitation (e.g., window visits, video conferencing) and communication with the resident.

    While it’s important to address all the safety precautions and measures we are taking for our residents and visitors, it’s equally important to note one thing that has NOT changed during the pandemic, and that’s our compassion. This is a simple promise that the staff at Greenbrier Village has shared since they first opened their doors. It's a promise to be compassionate and kind, understanding and respectful; a promise to become extended family to the seniors entrusted in their care and to the retirees and Veterans who have chosen us as their new home. Visit us online, call us 580-233-0121, and ‘like’ us on Facebook today! 

    sources:

    https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/hcp/long-term-care.html
    https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/hcp/infection-control.html