Letter from Executive Director

 

5/15/2020 Update to Families Regarding Admissions and Medicaid

5/15/2020

To Our Residents and Families:

The Welsh Home has no confirmed COVID-19 case for residents and staff members. While we are happy to report that, we also continue to prepare for when we do have a resident or staff member test positive. We continue to increase our PAR levels of PPE, as it becomes available, and stress infection control in all areas of the building. As more research becomes available, we continue to modify our COVID isolation unit on C-Hall to have the best practices in place to mitigate the spread of COVID-19.

 

The Welsh Home is keeping up with guidance regarding testing, infection control and new recommendations from the CDC, Ohio Department of Health and OHCA. We are also evaluating when will be the appropriate time to start accepting COVID negative admissions from the hospital into our quarantine unit. We have cared for 4 of our residents on the quarantine unit from when they have returned from a hospital stay or doctors’ appointment. The Cleveland Clinic has put a policy in place to test all patients being discharged from the hospital to a skilled nursing facility. As we know more regarding admissions, we will keep you posted.

 

Residents who receive Medicaid should have received a $1,200 stimulus check from the government. We have learned that this money does not affect their Medicaid eligibility because it is not categorized as income but will need to be spent within 12 months and must be spent on the resident. We would advise you to keep track of any receipts for purchases.

 

Thank you for your continued support and encouraging words.

 

Sincerely,

Sarah Koch

Sarah Koch, LNHA

Executive Director


5/1/2020 Update to Families Regarding Quaratine Unit and Mother's Day

5/1/2020

To Our Residents and Families:

The Welsh Home continues to have no positive cases of COVID-19 in our facility. To continue to be transparent with our residents and family members, we do now have 2 residents on our quarantine unit. These residents are Welsh Home residents who had a hospital stay and returned from that stay. Following our policy, these residents must remain on the quarantine unit for 14 days. This is to protect other residents from being exposed to COVID-19. Neither of these residents are currently showing symptoms of COVID-19. 

 

Monday, CMS issued new guidance regarding doctor appointments and hospital stays. Moving forward, any resident who leaves the building for a doctor’s appointment, procedure or hospital stay will be required to be placed on the quarantine unit for 14 days upon arrival back at the facility. We are asking that, when at all possible, the residents be visited by the doctors via telehealth appointments. Telehealth appointments will allow the residents to not have potential exposure to COVID-19 in the community and prevent a quarantine stay. Residents in quarantine are placed on isolation precautions and limited to their room.

 

On a lighter note, May 10th is Mother’s Day! We have opened slots on our signup genius for Door Dates on Mother’s Day. We will monitor the sign up and assess if more spots are needed based on sign ups. To sign up for a Door Date, Skype or FaceTime for Mother’s Day, click here: https://www.signupgenius.com/go/9040848aea72fa1ff2-facetimeskype.

 

Thank you for your continued support. We truly appreciate all the cards, encouraging words and patience you have all had during these times. We will continue to keep you up to date on updates and happenings at The Welsh Home.

 

Sincerely,

Sarah Koch

Sarah Koch, LNHA

Executive Director


4/17/2020 Update Regarding Communication Plans 

4/17/2020

To Our Residents and Families:

I hope you had a chance to read the communication that came out on Monday. (Copies of all past communications can be found at http://welshhome.com/cp/Letter-to-the-families)

Our goal through this whole process, from the first family meeting, has been to be transparent. I watch the news closely and my heart goes out to facilities that have experienced issues and families that don’t feel as if they were communicated with by the facility. We pledge to remain communicative to you, and we need help from you. Please develop a communication plan amongst your family that shares any of our updates to your extended family. We will be sending information out via the email addresses you have provided us, and calling, when appropriate, the person listed as emergency contact #1 for each resident.

Communication on a lighter note! We have had 154 door dates and 120 Video Calls on Skype or Facetime between our residents and their loved ones in the last month. We continue to offer these services. To sign up, please use sign-up genius (https://www.signupgenius.com/go/9040848aea72fa1ff2-facetimeskype), or if you need assistance signing up for a slot, please call Mandi at 440-331-0420 so we can sign you up for a time.

Thank you for your support and your efforts to develop your family’s communication plan so we can assure everyone receives updates and important information as soon as possible.

 

Sincerely,

Sarah Koch

Sarah Koch, LNHA

Executive Director


4/13/2020 Update Regarding Governor DeWine Orders

4/13/2020

To Our Residents and Family Members:

As of today, The Welsh Home continues to have zero confirmed cases of COVID-19. From the beginning of this pandemic, we have committed to being as transparent as possible regarding all aspects of COVID-19 and The Welsh Home, while maintaining our resident’s and employee’s privacy. As we have heard of new orders, or new processes, we have kept families up to date with regular communication. 


Today, Governor DeWine issued an order to compel nursing homes and long-term care facilities to notify families and caregivers of all residents when an employee or resident tests positive for COVID-19.  This notification must be completed within 24 hours. The state will also start releasing the names of all long-term care facilities and nursing homes that have a minimum of one resident or employee case of COVID-19. 


The Governor must be taking tips from The Welsh Home’s COVID-19 standards. We hope you take comfort knowing, before this order was delivered, it has always been our goal and promise to notify our families and residents if we have a resident or staff member test positive of COVID-19. If we have a resident or employee test positive for COVID-19, we want you to hear from us, The Welsh Home, first. We will not be releasing names, units or shifts to maintain the privacy of the resident or employee affected. As stated before, any resident who would test positive would be moved to our isolation unit on C-Hall to minimize exposure to other residents. 
We appreciate your continued support as we move through these uncharted waters and we will continue to be as transparent and genuine in our communication, while maintaining appropriate privacy. 

 

Sincerely,


Sarah Koch


Sarah Koch, LNHA
Executive Director

 


4/9/2020 Weekly Update to Families

4/9/2020

To Our Residents and Family Members:

The Welsh Home would like to with our residents, families and friends a very Happy Easter. I’m sure it will be a different Easter in your homes as it will be in ours. We are planning some fun activities for all to enjoy. I spotted the Easter Bunny scoping out the place for his upcoming visit.  

We continue to monitor all our residents and staff to minimize the threat of COVID and sincerely appreciate all the kind words and support as we move through these challenging times. The TEAM is to be commended and your continued support of them is much appreciated. We’ve been trying to extend our gratitude, and any letters that we receive are posted at the entrance as staff members get screened in. If you would like to send a note of encouragement or gratitude, we will gladly add it to that area.

Reminder! If you want your loved one to receive something you drop off for Easter, this must be done by the end of tomorrow, Friday April 10th. We continue to hold all incoming packages for 3 days before distributing to the floor or resident.

Wishing you and your family a safe and healthy holiday weekend.

Sincerely,

Sarah Koch

Sarah Koch, LNHA

Executive Director


4/3/2020 Weekly Update to Families

4/3/2020

To Our Residents and Families:

We are pleased to report that we continue to not have a positive COVID-19 case. I cannot promise that we will not in the future. This week we rereviewed the education, actions, policy review and revisions, as a few examples of the measures we have taken to minimize the potential for someone to contract or spread COVID-19. I want to reassure you that the team here has everyone’s best interest at heart and continues to react to new guidance and implement policy and educate, educate, and educate again on our expectations.

In keeping up with the news about issues at local nursing home, families with loved ones in those facilities have expressed concern about a lack of communication. I sincerely hope you feel that our communication has been transparent and if any concerns have arrived, they’re been addressed promptly. To continue my transparent communication, I want to explain our processes and preparedness. If we have a patient that develops symptoms, they will be tested for a diagnosis to explains the symptoms, and during that time will be treated by our staff with isolation precautions. If the patient is deemed positive of COVID-19, they will be either be transferred to the hospital (today the hospital is saying they will accept COVID-19 positive) or will be moved to our isolation unit on C-Hall if the hospital is at capacity.

This week, we have also moved residents around on our West Unit, so we can have a quarantine unit. The purpose of the quarantine unit is to provide a 14-day quarantine for people who have recovered from COVID-19 from our own isolation unit, or if any of our residents go to the hospital and return. If during the hospital surge, we take admissions from the hospital, or are ordered by the Governor to take non-COVID-19 patients from the hospital to relieve hospitals beds for COVID-19 patients, these non-COVID-19 patients would be quarantined in a closed-off unit on our West Unit for 14 days, isolated away from our current residents. At this point, we are not accepting patients from the hospital to the quarantine unit, but in the event we do, we want to be prepared and ensure we first have our residents protected.  

If we have a patient test positive for COVID-19, we will be notifying the emergency contact listed as #1 to share this fact and provide an update on the plan of action going forward. We will continue to be as transparent during this crisis as we can. If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact us at questions@welshhome.com. Thank you for your continued support.

 

Sincerely,

Sarah Koch

Sarah Koch, LNHA

Executive Director


3/23/2020 Update to Delivery Process for Residents 

3/23/2020

To Our Residents and Family Members:

To continue to minimize the exposure of COVID-19, we will be holding all items dropped off by families for 3 days before the items are delivered to the resident. CDC has provided guidelines on how long the virus may stay alive on different types of surfaces and materials, and for that reason, we are implementing the 3-day hold policy on items entering the facility. Please DO NOT drop off perishable food or plants.

Where it is possible, we will be implementing the same process for external deliveries of goods.

These efforts are to minimize the potential for exposure. We recognize that we will most likely have to treat residents that contract COVID-19 but want to ensure we have taken all precautions to continue to keep the safety and well-being of the residents and team members as our number one priority.

If you have any questions, please contact us at questions@welshhome.com. Thank you for your continued support and understanding of the changing policies as information is available.

Sincerely,

Sarah Koch

Sarah Koch, LNHA

Executive Director

 


 

3/18/2020 Welsh Home COVID-19 Testing Update

3/18/2020

To Our Residents and Family Members:

The Welsh Home has a strong professional relationship with both The Cleveland Clinic and University Hospitals. Due to these partnerships, we are now able to test for COVID-19 at The Welsh Home.

Residents who will be tested will be exhibiting symptoms, meeting screening criteria, and meet the hospitals testing protocols.  Families will be notified if your loved one has met these protocols and will be tested for COVID-19.

In a press briefing this week, World Health Organization Chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said, “You cannot fight a fire blindfolded.”

We are pleased to report that due to this testing capability, we will not have to fight this virus blindfolded. We have been taking many precautions to prepare for a COVID-19 in the building:

  • Increased PAR levels of all medical PPE, cleaning supplies, sanitation supplies, and food supplies.
  • Restricted all visitation.
  • Staff education on all infection control policies, including, but not limited to handwashing, housekeeping and medications related to treating viral infections.
  • Relocated all residents off C-Hall to create a contained unit for anyone who tests positive for COVID-19
  • We are prepared to assign specific staff to address the needs of any resident who is moved to C-Hall for isolation. These staff will be provided extra education on infection control and COVID-19.
  • Practicing social distancing and discontinued group dining and group activities.

We have been taking these measures for weeks knowing this was a probability and expected The Welsh Home would experience concern and potentially have positive cases of COVID-19.

The Welsh Home continues to be committed to the safety and well-being of all our residents and we appreciate your support through this situation. Please see our preparedness measures at http://www.welshhome.com/cp/welsh-home-preparedness. If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to email us at questions@welshhome.com.

 

Sincerely,

Sarah Koch

Sarah Koch, LNHA

Executive Director

 


3/17/2020 Welsh Home Updated on Social Distancing and Preparedness

3/17/2020

To Our Residents and Family Members:

 

Additional guidance from CDC has come out to discontinue all group activities and communal dining. Over the weekend, we started purposefully practicing social distancing. In general, this means keeping residents 6 feet away from each other, minimizing communal dining and breaking activities into smaller groups where distances can be safely kept. To comply with the CDC’s Social Distancing guidelines, while still maintaining the highest quality of life of our residents, we have taken the following measures:

  • Interviewed all residents, or in certain cases, family members, informing them of the CDC recommendations and being given the choice to have meals in their rooms or go to the dining room. Residents who choose to go to the dining room for meals will be seated 6 feet away from another individual.
  • Starting Tuesday, we will be implementing an activities schedule that is more focused on 1:1 effort and, what we’re calling hallway parties! Examples of these activities are, exercise or stretching classes, learn a new dance, a form of bowling, maybe even a dodgeball like event… we’re trying to get creative.

The Welsh Home does not currently have any cases of COVID-19. In the event we would, we are being told that we may be able to transfer them to the hospital but depending on the situation, we may have to care for these patients in house. The Welsh Home is attempting to be as proactive as possible during these tumultuous times and as part of that process we must anticipate worst case scenarios. We are in the process of moving Residents from “C-Hall,” rooms 31-38, to other rooms in the facility to be able to have a contained unit available if it is needed. I want to reassure you that this is a preemptive strategy to ensure that in the event we have to care for someone with COVID-19, we are providing them and our current residents, the most secure and contained environment to minimize the opportunity for it to spread.

As we know, Governor Mike DeWine has been very proactive in his stance and actions to protect us as citizens and at The Welsh Home, we will continue to follow the regulatory and governmental guidance and continue our diligent practices in every effort to minimize the contraction or spread of COVID-19, the Flu, and all communicable diseases.

Please continue to follow our social media platforms (website, Facebook and Twitter) for continual updates and information on ways to connect with your family members. If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact us at questions@welshhome.com and we can direct your questions to the appropriate team member.

 

Sincerely,

Sarah Koch

Sarah Koch, LNHA

Executive Director

 


3/11/2020 The Welsh Home Updated Visitation Policy Effective 3/12/2020

 

To Our Residents and Family Members:

 

In the letter dated 3/9, The Welsh Home informed you that we had received guidance that we needed to further restrict visitation to restrict all non-essential visit. Now that there are Coronavirus cases confirmed in Cuyahoga County, CMS, The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid, has further defined visitation as needing to LIMIT visitation. CMS defines limiting as:

 

 Limiting means the individual should not be allowed to come into the facility, except for certain situations, such as end-of-life situations or when a visitor is essential for the resident’s emotional well-being and care.

 

CMS provided an example of Limiting Visitation:

Limiting: For facilities that are in counties, or counties adjacent to other counties where a COVID-19 case has occurred, we recommend limiting visitation (except in certain situations as indicated above). For example, a daughter who visits her mother every Monday, would cease these visits, and limit her visits to only those situations when her mom has a significant issue. Also, during the visit, the daughter would limit her contact with her mother and only meet with her in her room or a place the facility has specifically dedicated for visits.

 

 

At this time, under the guidance of CMS, The Welsh Home is limiting all visitors. We understand that connecting with family members is incredibly important, and there are a variety of other ways you might consider doing that. These may include telephone, email, text, or through FaceTime, Skype or Facebook. The Welsh Home has set up two iPads for residents to use, with help from staff members, to connect with their family members. For our assistance in organizing a time for this communication please email us at questions@welshhome.com.

 

The Welsh Home is committed to keeping families updated and communicated with during each step of this process. Please continue to monitor our website, www.welshhome.com, our Facebook page, The Welsh Home and our twitter account, @thewelshhome.

 

Thank you for your support as we do our best to ensure the safety and health of your loved one.

 

Sincerely,

Sarah Koch

Sarah Koch

Executive Director

 


 

3/9/2020

 

To Our Residents and Family Members:

 

We know some of you may be concerned about the spread of COVID-19 (Coronavirus) being reported in the media and how it may impact us here at The Welsh Home. Ensuring residents are cared for in a professional, safe and healthy environment is our greatest concern, as always. 

 

As healthcare professionals, we are diligent in being proactive in our approach to all healthcare concerns.  We do not act out of fear or panic, we responsibly use the skills and training to carry out the responsibilities that we gladly shoulder providing care and services to those under our care.  At this time, we are asking that due diligence and good proper hygiene etiquette be followed by everyone including ourselves, families, friends and visitors.  Ask yourself is this an essential visit? We just received guidance (5:45pm 3/9/2020) that we need to further restrict visitation to restrict all non-essential visits.

 

Also, refrain from visiting under any circumstance if any of the following criteria have been met:  

1. You have traveled out of the country in the last 14 days;

2. You have symptoms of respiratory infection such as cough, sore throat and/or fever; or

3. Have had contact with someone with or under investigation for COVID-19.

We understand that connecting with family members is incredibly important, and there are a variety of other ways you might consider doing that. These may include telephone, email, text, or through Skype or Facebook. For our assistance in organizing a time for this communication please email us at questions@welshhome.com.

 

We are monitoring CDC, Ohio Department of Health, Ohio Department of Aging and American Healthcare Association for updates daily. In addition, we are maintaining close correspondence and partnership with the Cleveland Clinic to remain current with any new developments, as they arise.  At The Welsh Home, we have reviewed our Emergency Preparedness Policies and Procedures, implemented increased infectious disease protocols, as well as, provided additional education and training to staff regarding proper sanitation and precaution. 

 

If you have any questions about the steps we have taken to provide the safest environment for your family and loved one. We will be keeping our website updated (www.welshhome.com) with any new pertinent information or guidance in our processes to prevent and/or minimize our residents and staff’s exposure to COVID-19. Should you have any questions, please feel free to contact me at: skoch@welshhome.com.

 

Sincerely,

Sarah Koch

Sarah Koch, LNHA

Executive Director

 

 

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