July 2, 2020Resident Update

As I am sure, most of you are aware that tomorrow (7/3/20), Lebanon County will be going “green” under Governor Wolf’s re-opening plan for Pennsylvania.   That circumstance will allow Londonderry Village to proceed to “Level 2” of our own campus re-opening plan.  The purpose of this update is to inform you of the changes that will occur as we proceed to Level 2.  I am also intending (in this message) to let you know about the things that will not be relaxed as we head into Level 2.  The virus has not been eliminated, by any measure, and we still need to be vigilant.

Level 2 begins on Monday, July the 6th.  Here are the changes you need to know about:

  1. The Community Center Hair Care Salon will open for service on 7/6/20. Operator Nicole Orifino has been making appointments and preparing for the new restrictions (i.e., maximum of two clients at a time) that will accompany the salon re-opening. Customers must wear masks, and Nicole will be masked and wear a face shield.

 

  1. We will electronically unlock the entrances to the Snell Community Center and Wheaton entrances. This will simplify access for all residents to our buildings, but we are still discouraging unessential common space visitation.  The coffee bar and lobby furniture will not be restored in this phase.

 

  1. Independent living residents will be allowed to pass through the security checkpoint without any screenings. Staff, vendors, and visitors will still be screened. Staffing at the checkpoint will be reduced during ‘off hours’.

 

  1. There will be no limitations on visitors to independent living, either in the number of vehicle occupants or in the purposes for visiting. Masks still required!!

 

  1. We will slowly begin to introduce events and recreational activities for groups of up to 25, with strict occupancy limits for each size room.

 

  1. We will gradually re-open the JBT bank, the Pharmacy, Woodshop, and the Craft Room.

 

  1. We will gradually transition both the Café and the Convenience Store to a service where residents select their products ahead of time, and then come to a designated pick-up location. Delivery service may still be available, but there will likely be a charge for delivery.

 

  1. Per the Governor’s Order, visitation and volunteering restrictions will stay in place for nursing and personal care for 28 days after the County goes green.

 

9. Also per the Governor’s Order, masks will be required when individuals are out in public.

– Jeff Shireman, President

 

July 2, 2020 Community Update

As of today, there are still no positive resident or staff cases of Covid-19 at Londonderry Village.  We have had a few “near misses” in recent weeks, typically the result of an independent living resident or staff member who found out (afterwards) that someone they had socialized with (family member or friend) had tested positive.  So far, nobody (from Londonderry Village) involved in those scenarios has tested positive.

Lebanon County officially goes “green” tomorrow.  This will trigger another step in our re-opening plan, as Londonderry Village enters its “Level 2” status on Monday, July the 6th.   While there are a number of changes that occur in Level 2, there are three that will have the most impact.  First, the Community Center Hair Salon will re-open. Operator Nicole Orifino has been making appointments and preparing for the new restrictions (i.e., maximum of two clients at a time) that will accompany the salon re-opening.  Secondly, we will electronically unlock the entrances to the Snell Community Center and Wheaton entrances.  Thirdly, independent living residents will be allowed to pass through the security checkpoint without any screenings.

We have all heard of the skyrocketing number of positive cases in states that re-opened too soon and too aggressively. The number of cases has been rising in Pennsylvania, as well, as more people leave their homes to shop, socialize, and dine out.  If we are going to avoid the sad fate of states like Arizona, Florida and Texas, we must act decisively to curb the spread of the virus.  Even in our campus ‘Level 2’ state, there is still a requirement for universal mask wearing and social distancing when outside of your personal residence.  And while most of us would not take the risk of going to crowded bars at the beach, too many of us are dropping our guard (and our masks) when visiting with family members we haven’t seen in weeks or months.  Three of our most recent “near misses” have started with that exact set of conditions… a family member that nobody realized was positive.  We won’t be that lucky forever.  Please stay vigilant in your precautions.

Thanks for all that you are doing to support our staff, as we attempt to “save lives” by keeping our campus Covid-free.  Stay safe, everyone.

-Jeff Shireman, President

 

June 29, 2020 – Resident Update

CORONAVIRUS UPDATE           

Governor Wolf announced today that Lebanon County would be moving into the Green Phase as of Friday July the 3rd.  When this happens, it will allow Londonderry Village to transition to Level 2 of our re-opening plan.  Our re-opening plan is a little more conservative than the Governor’s.  We will be lifting several restrictions as we move into Level 2, but not all of them.  There is a tendency to think that the Green Phase is synonomous with “life as we knew it” before the pandemic, but that is certainly not the case.  Until there is a safe vaccine or effective treatment for the virus, staff and residents should count on wearing their masks and maintaining social distancing for the foreseeable future.

The most-anticipated change as we move into Level 2 will be the re-opening of the Hair Care Salon in the Community Center.  Stylist Nicole Orfino will be in next week to ready the shop, and to book appointments for the start of business on Monday, July the 6th.  There will be a maximum of 2 customers allowed in the shop at any given time.  Another significant change as we move to Level 2 will be the electronic “unlocking” of the apartment and common space entry doors.

I will be posting additional information on our Level 2 conditions next week.  As always, stay safe and keep your masks up over your nose!

-Jeff Shireman, President

June 26, 2020 – Community Update

CORONAVIRUS UPDATE           June 26, 2020

 As of today, there are still no positive resident or staff cases of Covid-19 at Londonderry Village.  This is no small achievement, given the rising number of cases in Lebanon County the past few weeks, and in many of the states that re-opened too quickly.   While we recognize that a case could pop up at any time, our success to date has been helped by extraordinary efforts by our staff, and also by our residents exercising caution and responsible behavior in their daily interactions.

It has come to my attention that some local churches are returning to indoor worship services, albeit at a somewhat reduced capacity.  Frankly, I personally find this very irresponsible and I strongly urge my residents, staff and family members not to attend in person.   Most churches have significant numbers of elderly members in their congregations, and those folks are at very high risk of serious illness and death if they become infected.  Worship services have been shown to be very risky for viral transmission because attendees often do not socially distance, do not wear masks, and the act of singing expels virus particles much farther into the air than does merely talking.

As the surges in virus cases in the South and West have shown, we are not done with the coronavirus, and it is not done with us.  A recent study states that the USA could save 33,000 lives by October 1st if everybody would just wear masks, but regrettably many refuse to do so.  Locally, we are seeing more of our residents and staff socializing with their extended families and friends, and not wearing masks or socially distancing while doing so.  This is ultimately a recipe for disaster.   As I have been saying for quite some time, the virus is still out there, it is still lethal to older adults, and we need to keep our guard (and our masks) up.  Stay safe, everyone.

-Jeff Shireman, President

June 19, 2020 – Community Update

CORONAVIRUS UPDATE           June 19, 2020

 As of today, there are still no positive resident or staff cases of Covid-19 at Londonderry Village.  Two weeks ago, the Cedar Haven Nursing Home in Lebanon was also virus-free; in the brief amount of time since then, that facility is reportedly now dealing with an outbreak of close to 50 resident and staff cases, including one death.  That is an example of how fast this virus spreads.

It was announced today that Lebanon County would remain in the “yellow phase” of the PA Governor’s Re-Opening Plan…the only one of Pennsylvania’s 67 counties staying in the yellow phase.  The County is still experiencing significant numbers of new cases.  Staying in the Yellow Phase will not allow Londonderry Village to drop down to our “Level 2” category of activity and visitor precautions…we will need to stay at “Level 3”.  In actual practice, that means sticking with our “2 persons per vehicle” limit for visitors, keeping our connected buildings on 100% lockdown status, maintaining the same checkpoint screening requirements for all campus entrants, and (regrettably) keeping our hair salon and retail pharmacy closed.

Last weekend, we experienced multiple significant issues in allowing the families of healthcare residents to experience window and “through-the-fence” visitations.  I won’t go into details of what went wrong, but the conditions that resulted were not safe for any of the parties.  We have revised our practices, since then, to be more controlled and provide infection control safety for all involved.  Families are encouraged to call at least 24 hours in advance, for visitation appointments; visits will be limited to 2 persons, for a period of 30 minutes.

As I have been saying for quite some time, the virus is still out there, it is still lethal to older adults, and we need to keep our guard (and our masks) up.  Stay safe, everyone.

-Jeff Shireman, President

 

June 18, 2020 – Community Update

Health Center Visitation Update

Effective Immediately

At Londonderry Village our role is to protect, nurture and sustain our elders in a loving and caring environment. We understand the need and desire to be with our loved ones during these uncertain times and have provided ways in which our elders can remain connected to their families. Due to some recent events, we find the need to change guidelines to our current visitation policy. Effective immediately the following guidelines are in place for our health center which includes our six Green Houses, Leffler Care and Personal Care areas.

  • Only window visits will be permitted. The window visit will occur at a closed window. The elder will remain on the inside of the home in the designated area and the visiting family will remain on the exterior of the building at the designated area as follows:
    • In the Green Houses elders will visit with their family members at the window in the den.
    • On Leffler elders will visit with their family members at the window in the dining room.
    • In Personal Care elders will visit with their family members at the window in the living room across from the nurse’s station.
  • Conversations between the elder and their family member will be achieved via the house/unit phone unless the resident has their own phone. If you are the visitor, please bring your cell phone with you so that you can chat through the closed window.
  • Families are required to wear masks while on campus. No exceptions.
  • Appointments for window visits must be made a day in advance with each house/unit.
  • Families can visit up to 30 minutes per visit.
  • Each house/unit can only have 1 visit of up to 2 people at a time since we are using one specific area only.
  • There will be set visiting hours. 1pm-4pm and 6pm-8pm daily.
  • Only urgent supplies and medical needs can be dropped off at the security check point. No outside food or other items can be dropped off at the units directly.

We understand that these times are difficult and we appreciate everyone’s continued efforts to keep our elders and staff members safe.

  • Jennifer Ginder, RN, NHA

Vice President of Health Services

 

June 13, 2020 – Community Update

CORONAVIRUS UPDATE           June 12, 2020

 As of today, there are still no positive resident or staff cases of Covid-19 at Londonderry Village.   Last week we were assisted by the PA National Guard, who did Covid-testing on close to 300 healthcare residents and staff members.  All of those tests came back negative!!  This week we are testing a small number of staff members who were not able to attend the National Guard testing; we should have those results shortly.  It should be noted that in the past few days the PA Department of Health has made it mandatory for all nursing home staff members in PA to be Covid tested by July 24th.  Additionally, as stated last week, the Health Department has also announced that visitation restrictions in nursing care and personal care homes will stay in place for 28 days after a county enters the “green” phase.

I am concerned that too many folks are starting to behave like the pandemic is over.  In over 20 states across the country, all of whom “re-opened” faster than PA, coronavirus cases are on the rise.  In Arizona, for example, the state has asked the hospitals to execute their emergency plans as the number of admissions to ICU units is close to exceeding their capacity.  Closer to home, the previously virus-free Cedar Haven Nursing Home in Lebanon now finds itself having to deal with several positive resident cases.   Though we are still virus-free here at Londonderry Village, our security records show that traffic entering and exiting the campus has more than doubled in recent weeks.   All of those resulting social interactions are creating more opportunities for the virus to be transmitted.   If we are to continue to stay safe, we cannot let our guard down!!  Wear your masks whenever in public, keep your social distance from other persons, and don’t attend large group gatherings.   Thank you!

  • Jeff Shireman, President

June 8, 2020 – Resident and Community Update

CORONAVIRUS UPDATE           June 5, 2020

 As of today, there are still no positive resident or staff cases of Covid-19 at Londonderry Village.   This past week we were assisted by the PA National Guard in conducting Covid-19 tests on close to 300 healthcare residents and staff members.  We anticipate receiving the results by early next week.  Our main concern would be whether or not we have folks on the campus who might be infected but are asymptomatic.

My staff and I have started to engage in planning for “opening up’ some of our regular services, activities and events, albeit in a socially-distanced and safe format.   Very likely we will still use our internal TV broadcasts on a regular basis, but we are also envisioning small group activities (both indoors and outdoors) that would be both safe and engaging.  These would be infrequently-scheduled and size-limited, to start; one of the characteristics of the post-pandemic “new normal” is that our housekeeping department needs time to properly disinfect gathering spaces in between uses.

We received notification in the past 24 hours from the Governor’s Office, via the Department of Health, that Pennsylvania will continue to limit in-person visitation to nursing homes and personal care homes for at least 28 days after the county of their origin goes ‘green’.   This is being done out of an overabundance of caution, given that a majority of the Covid-19 related deaths in PA have been residents of these types of facilities.  We have seen a number of families this week take advantage of our new ‘window’ and ‘through-the-fence’ visitation practices, to help counter the loneliness and isolation that our healthcare residents are experiencing.

Thanks to all who are keeping our staff and residents in their thoughts and prayers as we navigate our fourth month of the pandemic conditions.

  • Jeff Shireman, President

June 5, 2020 – Resident Update

What’s New With Jeff – in case you missed the June 4th What’s New With Jeff presentation on channel 4 and the web, here are the topics discussed in that meeting.

WHAT’S NEW WITH JEFF      JUNE 2020

Announcements:

  • Census: Nursing (72),  Personal Care (28), Independent Living (497).   Total = 597
  • Model Home – concrete slab poured, framing to start soon, completion in early Fall.
  • Nursing Administration Building – rough electrical & plumbing finished, drywall going on. Will house 14 offices for nursing department, the Main Laundry & medical supply storage .
  • Hosted Primary Election Voting on Tuesday…”dry run” for Chicken BBQ traffic plan
  • Received a $32,000 grant from Church of the Brethren…will use for Covid expenses
  • We were visited in late May by team from CDC, National Guard, and PEMA. CDC is under contract with PA Dept. of Health to review Infection Control practices.  The Guard is helping with training and testing (and in some cases staffing).  PEMA is coordinating and helping with acquisition of PPE.   We were first facility they contacted with zero cases!
  • National Guard medical teams here this week (Wednesday and Thursday) to conduct Covid testing on healthcare residents and staff. They do not have resources to test independent living residents and staff who do not work in healthcare.  Test results take 48 hours.  The State will use its own laboratory to process this first round of testing; any subsequent testing will be the responsibility of Londonderry Village.  We have received over $400,000 in federal funds for covid-related expenditures.
  • We have published the “Level 3” campus rules and restrictions. Reminder not to let your guard down!  Reminder that permitted socialization in lounge spaces still requires masking and 6-foot separations.  Enjoy conversation but not card games!!  Independent living may have visitors come onto the campus, but only 2 persons per vehicle.  Visitors may stay overnight in your residences…the Guest accommodations are still closed.  We are planning to re-open the Community Center Hair Salon when Lebanon County goes “green”!
  • Chicken BBQ will be held on July 25 with modifications. The Auction will be 100% “on-line,” and the BBQ will be “drive-thru”.  The Friday concert is off.  Chicken BBQ pre-orders have already started on our website.  There is also an “I Care” icon on the website for folks who want to make a (no-chicken!) contribution to Londonderry Village.
  • We have lost a few more residents in the past month, and I want to convey our sympathies and condolences to the family and friends of those individuals, particularly in this time when memorial services are not possible.

Why is COVID-19 So Deadly to Nursing Homes?

  1. Depending on whose statistics you use, somewhere between 60,000 and 153,000 residents of long term care facilities in the USA have contracted covid-19; of that total, some 26,000 residents have died from the virus.
  2. Some 34,000 staff members of long term care facilities have also become infected with Covid-19, and close to 500 of those workers have died. Staff are literally risking their own lives by coming to work each day.
  3. Both of those numbers will go up.
  4. The disease is particularly lethal to older adults, particularly those with additional underlying medical conditions; that is almost everybody in a nursing home.
  5. Top comorbidities include Weakened immune systems, diabetes, dementia, cardiac issues, and respiratory issues (like COPD).
  6. Nursing home residents live in confined spaces, and are often 2 or more per room.
  7. Workers necessarily move from room to room.
  8. Staff often work at more than one facility.
  9. Shortages of PPE (masks, gloves, gowns).
  10. Understaffing – both before and after pandemic. Gets worse when staff become sick or are forced to quarantine at home for 14 days.
  11. Asymptomatic spread makes this virus difficult to detect and contain.
  12. Lack of testing capability and lack of funding for testing.
  13. Some facilities have a record of poor infection control practices.
  14. Some states, like NY and NJ, have required nursing homes to admit Covid patients.
  15. Nursing homes have historically been the “stepchild” in the American health care system. When was the last time our staff was hailed in the media as “heroes on the front lines”?  Nursing homes have been underfunded, and the consequently the staff are not paid the same as in hospitals.
  16. Some facilities have been overwhelmed and also lack transparency.
  17. Families are understandably upset over the severe visitation restrictions.
  18. Presenteeism – coming to work when you are ill
  19. Social and emotional toll on residents of having no visitation

May 29, 2020 – Resident and Community Update

Please click on the link below regarding a very important announcement by our CEO. Please note that these new guidelines only go into affect on Monday, June 1. Residents in independent living will be receiving this letter within their newsletter today, May 29.

june-1-covid-prevention-update-letter-from-ceo

May 22, 2020 – Community Update

As of May the 22nd, there are still no resident or staff cases of Covid-19 at Londonderry Village. We are completing our tenth week of being in a lock-down mode, and it has served us well in terms of remaining virus-free to this point.   There are relatively few senior facilities in PA that have not had a positive case in either their resident or staff populations; this week the PA Department of Health released a list of nursing and personal care homes that have experienced covid cases.  The list showed the facility name and the number of resident cases, staff cases, and deaths; approximately 70% of the deaths in PA from the novel coronavirus have been residents of care facilities.

Today we were visited by a team of experts looking to help long term care communities with their covid-19 preparations and responses.  The team consisted of 3 epidemiologists from the CDC, 3 medical officers from the PA National Guard, and 2 representatives from the Pennsylvania Emergency Management Agency.  The team was very impressed with our infection control procedures, starting with the security checkpoint at our Main Entrance!  They were very complimentary about our staff efforts, our Green Houses, and our use of private rooms for all nursing residents.  The National Guard will be returning to help us with “fit testing” for our N-95 respirator masks, and with testing for Covid in our nursing center residents and staff.  If we do eventually have a positive case, they will also help us to secure extra PPE (masks, gloves and gowns).   We are very thankful for their assistance.

Best wishes to all for a safe Memorial Day Holiday.  I am told that we already have over 150 orders for our picnic-themed dinner on Monday, so it should be a delicious Holiday here at Londonderry Village!

-Jeff Shireman, President

May 14th, 2020.   Londonderry Village remains Covid-free as of today!

First of all, I cannot say it enough times how nice it is to work in a facility that has done so much to protect our campus and our residents from the Covid-19 infection.   Thanks to all of the Londonderry Village staff for their great efforts in keeping the virus at bay so far.

Which brings me to the second point.  The Pennsylvania Department of Health (under severe pressure from the media) intends to start releasing the names of individual facilities who have positive Covid-19 cases.  That could start as early as next week.  It will also intensify public and media scrutiny of those facilities who are “called-out” by the disclosures.   Obviously, Londonderry Village’s name will be absent from that disclosure.

 Point #3.  I think we are on the right track by grouping our nursing residents in small units, and in private rooms.   That same experience seems to be characteristic of the Green House model.  In a recent survey of 266 Green House homes, nationwide (including our 6 houses), there were only 4 positive resident cases and zero deaths.   That is an amazing track record during this pandemic.   That sample size is roughly equivalent to the long term care beds in Lancaster County, which to-date has recorded 578 resident cases and 159 facility-related deaths.

 Point #4.      Even if we do get a positive case in nursing, it should theoretically be much easier to isolate the affected resident(s) given our small units and all-private rooms.

 Point #5.      Facilities that have positive cases are not “bad” facilities.  We are collectively fighting a highly contagious enemy that we can’t see, with no known treatment or vaccine, with an extremely vulnerable population to protect, and with many facilities having a shortage of Personal Protective Equipment.  It is no wonder than long term care facilities are often in the middle of this storm.

Point #6.       If we do eventually have a positive test result on our campus, it is not a failure on our part.  Statistically, it is more likely that we will have positive cases than that we won’t.   If we do experience a positive case, we will do the “right thing” by isolating, testing and providing the necessary care and support.  It is what we do.  We care.

-Jeff Shireman, President

 

May 8, 2020 – Resident Update

What’s New with Jeff Announcements

Announcements:

  • Census: Nursing (77), Personal Care (31), Independent Living (494).   Total = 602
  • Our 5-star rating by CMS for Skilled Nursing was extended once again.
  • The new Nursing Administration Building is under roof and “closed-in”; should be done by early Fall. Nursing Administration staff will be temporarily housed in Tranquil Terrace.
  • All six Green Houses are now up and running! Leffler also open with a census of 19.
  • Thanks to all who turned out to cheer the parade of residents transferring to new Houses!
  • South Campus: Model Home starting construction at southwest corner of Grubb and Leon; Site plan review and approval will likely take longer than expected due to government shutdown; State of future housing market a concern.
  • Gareth Williams has joined us as our interim Food Service Director through June 30th.
  • Marketing tours still occurring: only in duplexes, cottages and 1st floor apartments with outside entrances; we unlock the door and allow prospects to tour without staff present.
  • Mother’s Day: Flower deliveries straight to duplexes and cottages; staff will intercept and deliver flowers to healthcare and apartment buildings. Checkpoint restrictions will be observed: one person per vehicle, and caregiver visits between 10 am and 2 pm. You can be picked up by a visitor for off-campus trip – please observe social distancing while gone!

COVID-19 Update:

  1. No positive cases in either resident or staff population as of this date!
  2. Not the time to ease up on our precautions. Many folks seem to be acting like the virus is no longer a factor. Lebanon County remains a “hotspot” in Pennsylvania with over 200 new cases (per 100,000 population) in the last 14 days. Most “re-opening” formulas call for less than 100 or less than 50 new cases per 14 day period.
  3. The most active coronavirus zip codes in Lebanon County are 17042 and 17046, which is where a significant number of our employees reside.
  4. 54% of the positive cases in PA have been in individuals over the age of 50; seniors also represent a majority of the individuals who need to be hospitalized for Covid-19.
  5. There have been 10 deaths in Lebanon County from the virus, and 5 of those deaths were related to either a nursing home or personal care home resident. In neighboring Lancaster County, 89 (or 80%) out of the county’s 112 total deaths are related to residents of long term care facilities. Over 25 Lancaster County facilities have experienced positive cases.
  6. A survey last week of 266 Green Houses nationwide (including ours!) revealed that there have only been 4 Covid-19 resident cases, and no deaths.   This is perhaps another indication that (small) size is a positive factor.
  7. We have been buying PPE whenever and wherever we can, and the government has also sent us a few shipments through FEMA/PEMA. Thanks to our mask sewers!
  8. The Board and staff are just beginning to have discussions about what Londonderry Village will “look like” when the pandemic subsides.

 

May 1, 2020 – Community Update

As of May the 1st, there are still no resident or staff cases of the Covid-19 at Londonderry Village.   It has now been a full seven weeks since the Londonderry Village campus was put on a “full lockdown” status, and we are fortunate that all of our efforts have kept us “virus-free” up to this point. Lebanon County is continuing to report numerous new cases each week, so we will keep up our vigilance as we head into May.

Staff executed a flawless series of resident moves this week as our two new Green Houses were occupied. On Wednesday (4/29) afternoon, a masked and socially-distanced crowd cheered and applauded a wheelchair processional of 20 residents being pushed up Green House Lane to their new homes. Simultaneously, a few remaining Tranquil Terrace residents were relocated to private rooms in Leffler Care. 100% of nursing care residents now occupy private rooms. Tranquil Terrace has been emptied and decertified as a nursing unit. Heartfelt thanks to the many staff members who were involved in this complicated set of transitions.

Jeff Shireman – President

April 28, 2020 – Community Update

As of April 28th, there are still no resident or staff cases of the Covid-19 at Londonderry Village.   According to the PA Department of Health, there are 3 long term care facilities in our County that have reported positive cases in their resident and/or staff populations. While the number of cases in Lebanon County may have peaked, there are still new cases being reported each day. Now is not the time to ease up on our security measures.

Plans are moving forward with our nursing care transition. By the end of the day tomorrow (Wednesday 4/29), both of our new Green Houses will be fully occupied, Tranquil Terrace will be shut down, and all of the remaining residents in Leffler Care will be in private rooms. My sincere thanks to the many staff members who are working so hard to seamlessly effect this move.

Staff are cautiously starting to discuss how and when to ‘re-open’ the campus when it is safe to do so. It will likely be a slow, gradual process, with appropriate “social distancing” practices built into our plans. It is still too early to know what the “new normal” will be like for American society and culture, but it is a fair bet that things will be different in our “post-coronavirus” lifestyles.

Jeff Shireman, President

Londonderry Village   Covid-19 “rules”

[This document was originally released in early April. By request, we are posting it to our website for family members and visitors to review]

Without a doubt, we have had to impose a cascading series of restrictions and protections to keep everybody safe from the coronavirus. So far, we have been successful. So, in no particular order of importance, here are the rules (as of April the 28th) for residents, staff and visitors:

Masks – wear a mask (scarf, bandana, etc.) whenever you are in our building corridors or common spaces, or in the presence of other people (inside or outside). You do not need a mask when taking a walk outside, as long as you keep 6-foot spacing between yourselves and others.

Stay-at-Home – the Governor has issued a stay-at-home order for all of PA. You should stay in your unit unless you need to get groceries or medications, provide care for a relative, or for a pet. You may also exercise outdoors as long as you maintain “social distancing”.

Checkpoint screening – all vehicles and persons entering the community must do so at the Wheaton entrance, where they will have a thermometer scan and a health screen. Visitors will be asked what their destination is on the campus. Anyone with a temp over 100 degrees, or a “yes” answer to the health screen questions, will be turned away. Visitors and delivery vehicles are restricted to one person per vehicle.   All entrants must wear a mask at the checkpoint.

Packages – delivery services are leaving packages at the checkpoint. The boxes are disinfected, stored, and delivered by our staff the next day. Refrigerated goods are delivered immediately.

Food Deliveries by outside Vendors – deliveries for apartment residents will be accepted by staff at the checkpoint, and delivered by staff. Deliveries to cottages and duplexes will be permitted, as long as the delivery persons pass the temperature and health screening requirements.

Visitation – visitation in Nursing and Personal Care is prohibited (by state and federal regulations) except in “end-of-life’ situations. In independent living, family visitation is allowed only for purposes of personal caregiving or with regard to delivery of groceries and/or medications. Family visitation is restricted to one visitor. All visitors must go through the security checkpoint. We ask that family caregiving visitation take place between 10 am and 2 pm each day.

General: No social gatherings in hallways, lounges or lobbies. Grocery deliveries can be accessed by calling x3653, and prepared food deliveries by calling x3612.   Please do not subvert the checkpoint protections by meeting your family members at alternate campus entrances. The Londonderry Village Board of Directors is reserving the option of imposing monetary fines on residents who willfully violate the rules.   This virus is deadly, and our collective safety is everyone’s responsibility.

April 22, 2020 – Community Update

CORONAVIRUS UPDATE           

As of April 22nd,  I am pleased to report that Londonderry Village has not had any Covid-19 cases in either its residents or its staff.  Our success to this point is likely related to our many preparations and precautions.  We have been very stringent about discouraging non-essential visitation to our campus, and very disciplined in screening all entrants at our Main Entrance checkpoint.  Masks are now required for all staff, residents and visitors while onsite.

Our original plans to move nursing residents into our two new Green Houses were put on ‘hold’ when the pandemic struck.  We are now moving forward with that transition, which will take place on April 28th and 29th.   Filling the new Green Houses, and relocating the remaining Tranquil residents to Leffler Care, will help to contain any Covid-19 outbreaks that might occur in nursing care; when the transition is complete, all nursing residents will be housed in private rooms, and within very small units.

As always, thank you for your support, and for your prayers.  Stay safe!

 

Jeff Shireman, President

 

April 16, 2020 Resident Update

April 16, 2020 – Community Update

Per the guidance from the PA Department of Health, effective Sunday, April 19th, all persons coming to campus under the current guidelines will be required to wear a mask. Persons attempting to enter without a mask will be turned away at the checkpoint.

April 1, 2020 – Resident Update

It has come to our attention that scam phone calls are coming in to some of our residents regarding the government stimulus checks. These scam phone callers claim that they represent banks and that they need your banking information along with your Social Security Number in order to process your government stimulus check into your bank.

These are scam phone calls. Do not give them any information. If you should receive a phone call like this, please hang up the phone immediately.

March 25, 2020 – Community Update

COVID-19 Update:     How Are Things Going at Londonderry Village?

Jeff Shireman, CEO

 

  1. Checkpoint Access Control is going well; we have had some mechanical issues with thermometers and with I/L residents who didn’t think the checkpoint restriction applied to them.

 

  1. Our COVID-19 efforts are being made more difficult by a rising number of regular flu cases in both the resident and staff population; community physicians are basically telling their patients to stay home and ride it out.

 

  1. We are starting to see some staff attrition due to self-isolation related to interactions outside of work; that takes the employee out of circulation for several days or even weeks.

 

  1. COVID-Testing sites are now in operation at both Hershey Medical Center and Good Samaritan Hospital; turnaround time (often 4 or more days) on the test results is still a problem.

 

  1. We feel we are still in the beginning stages of this outbreak; now is not the time to relax our restrictions on visitation or public gatherings. We need to prepare for an extensive period of restrictions on social gatherings. We still feel it is likely that a “shelter-in-place” proclamation will be declared in PA.

 

  1. Café meals for delivery: went from 15 orders on Monday to 30 orders on Tuesday. If numbers continue to climb, we may have to limit menu choices to make production easier. We may also have to shift to delivering meals for multiple days during a single delivery.

 

  1. Grocery delivery services are much appreciated by residents, and are increasing in number as well.

 

  1. Availability of masks is still a concern, though we have had some positive developments on this issue, of late. CDC is now recommending use of ‘homemade’ masks as better than no masks”. We have volunteers, church ladies, Board members and Auxiliary members sewing masks for us. Shopes Gardens, our renovation contractors, brought in 50 N-95 respirator masks that they had obtained at various Sherwin-Williams paint stores! Also, we are starting to receive shipments of colorful “neck gaithers” that can be pulled up over one’s nose and used as a mask.

 

  1. Health Center Visitation: only for “compassionate care” cases, and only one family member at a time. Restricted to spouses and adult children, only. This is both to prevent transmission of the virus, but also to conserve our limited supply of masks, gowns and gloves.

 

  • During this time of restricted visitation, our staff are prepared to assist healthcare residents with using computer tablets to do video chats (using Skype or Zoom) with their families and friends.

 

  • We extend our condolences to those residents and families who have recently experienced the passing of their spouse and/or parent. We also share in their grief over not being able to use our Worship Center for Memorial Services at this time.

 

  • All Elder Day Care centers are shut down by order of Governor Wolf

 

  • Construction is continuing on the Nursing Administration Building; that is allowable because of its relationship to “health care”.   It looks like Shopes Gardens may also be allowed to continue with renovation work because it is taking place in a “residential care facility for seniors.”

 

  • There are 146 nursing homes across the country that have reported a positive COVID-19 case in their buildings. We do not, yet.   Should one occur, the person testing positive will be quarantined in their room.

 

  • Please take this seriously. The virus is known to have a much higher mortality rate for people over the age of 70 (which is most of the folks on this campus); and it is highly communicable. Folks who are infected may have no or mild symptoms, but they can still pass it on to others.

 

Thank you for the many notes and e-mails that I have received from residents, expressing their appreciation for the way staff is serving them during this unusually stressful time. I am very proud of the my staff and their dedication to our Community.

March 23, 2020 – No other updates to provide at this time. Please continue to check in on this page for updates as they become available. If you have specific questions, please use this email to direct your questions: LVresponse@LondonderryVillage.org.

March 20, 2020 – Resident Update

Recent Developments in our Campus COVID-19 Responses:

 

  • There were 10 residents who ordered prepared food from our Café, today, and had it delivered to their door by staff members. That service can now be accessed, 7 days per week, by calling 838-5406 ext. 3612 between the hours of 9-11 am. Menus will be posted on our website, and on TV starting next week.

 

  • Similarly, there were 14 residents who placed grocery orders through our Convenience Store, and had the groceries delivered to their door by our staff. That service will be available Monday through Friday. Please place grocery orders between 8 and 11 am, by calling 838-5406 ext.3653.

 

  • Our controlled access program has been working well in its first 24 hours. All folks coming onto the campus are being asked to submit to a health screen and temperature check. The daily mail delivery by the Post Office will stay the same as it has been. Other delivery services are being allowed onto the campus as long as they submit to the screening.

 

  • Everything we have been doing in the past 2 weeks has been with the intention of deterring the entrance (and spread) of the coronavirus onto our campus. We are asking (as is the Governor and the President!) residents to isolate themselves as much as possible. This pertains to all living units, not just the ‘connected buildings’. This virus is deadly to older and frail adults. For your own benefit, as well as the health and safety of everyone on this campus, please do your best to minimize interactions with other people!

 

  • One last thing…this is not the time to have your grandchildren visit the Village, nor for you to be providing babysitting services. It is not safe for them or you.

 

Stay Safe!                      Jeff Shireman,   President

March 19, 2020 – Video Statement

As I noted in my letter posted yesterday (3/18) on our website, the coronavirus situation is constantly evolving, and new developments are taking place every hour.   Yesterday, it was reported that positive tests for COVID-19 were recorded for individuals in both Lebanon, Berks, York and Lancaster Counties. If there was any doubt that COVID-19 was coming to our communities, that doubt has now been erased.

We are anticipating that Governor Wolf will be issuing a “shelter-in-place” proclamation for Pennsylvania, possibly within the next 24-48 hours. That will likely shut down the few restaurants that are still open doing delivery and take-out services. Grocery stores and medical facilities would still be open under that type of proclamation. But the strategy is clear…keep people away from other people, so as to eventually choke out the disease by denying it new victims.

With the virus now literally “at our door”, it is time to close the door.   Starting at 4 pm today (3/19), I have instructed our security staff to barricade all but one of the entrance roads onto our campus. The Wheaton Entrance off of Grubb Road will be the sole access point into Londonderry Village. All of our residents, staff, vendors, etc. will be directed to come through that entrance, where they will all undergo a brief health screen before being granted access to the rest of the campus. We will then discontinue screenings at our Wheaton, Snell and Leffler entrances, as that would be redundant. The controlled access point will be staffed on a 24-hour basis.

In our efforts to remain “airtight” against the virus, we will also be closing the Convenience Store and the Café, effective 3/20.   We will be releasing information, very shortly, about how residents can phone in orders for both groceries and prepared food from the Café. Londonderry Village staff will deliver those orders to your residence.   If you have a single family member or friend coming to Londonderry Village to bring you food and/or medicine, they will only be allowed entrance to our “connected buildings” from 10 am to 6 pm (7 days per week).   If they are coming to a duplex or cottage, they may visit anytime, but they will be subjected to the health screening at our sole access point.

I am so grateful for the dedicated efforts of our staff during this time of crisis. I am also thankful for the cooperation and understanding of our residents and visitors as you willingly comply with the hardships caused by these many restrictions.   We are all in this together, and together we will get through this…but it won’t be easy, and it won’t be over anytime soon.   As always, your prayers for our staff and for our Community are very much desired and appreciated. Blessings.

 

Jeff Shireman,   President

March 18, 2020 – Community Update

If you have been watching the news, lately, then you are aware of the mounting issues related to the coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic. In our Health Center, alone, the federally proscribed guidance has gone from one of “discouraging visitation” to nursing homes to the present guidance of “restricted visitation.” Our physicians have advised us that Covid-19 is very likely already present in Lebanon County, but that no cases have been confirmed due to the lack of testing capabilities.

A week or so ago, the federal government was discouraging large group gatherings (1,000 or more) from taking place, which resulted in the cancellation of a lot of sporting and social events. The latest guidance is to prohibit gatherings of ten or more folks in one area. Additionally, Pennsylvania has followed the lead of other states in shutting down all non-essential businesses for the next 2 weeks. This is a serious situation.

Londonderry staff have been meeting frequently throughout this crisis to frame appropriate responses. In most cases we have acted proactively, taking steps that preceded the eventual government announcements.   We feel that we need to take additional steps at this time to prevent an infection from taking root on our campus. I am writing to inform you of these new developments.

Starting Wednesday 3/18, all entrance doors to our connected buildings will be locked down, with the exception of the Wheaton, Snell Community Center, and Leffler entrances. There will be stations at these 3 locations for staff to do a health screening (including a thermal scan) prior to them reporting for work; anyone with a fever of 100 degrees or more will be sent home. This screening requirement will also apply to paid caregivers that are coming in to assist our independent living residents in their homes.

Effective Thursday 3/19, a Visitation Restriction will be imposed for independent living. That restriction is already in place for nursing and personal care. Visitors to the campus for social purposes will be turned away at the entrance lobbies. We will allow a single family member to visit for “caregiving” purposes in terms of bringing food and/or medicines to a resident; in these cases, the single visitor will have to pass the same health screen process that employees are subjected to.

Effective 3/18, we will also be temporarily suspending the provision of outpatient therapy services and individual housecleaning services to independent living residents.

I thank you in advance for your cooperation with these temporary restrictions. For those of you who use our in-house TV system, please pay attention to Channel 4 for additional announcements and programming. We will also be periodically posting information on our Londonderry Village web site.

Jeff Shireman,   President

March 17, 2020 – No other updates to provide at this time. Please continue to check in on this page for updates as they become available. If you have specific questions, please use this email to direct your questions: LVresponse@LondonderryVillage.org.

March 16, 2020 – No other updates to provide at this time. Please continue to check in on this page for updates as they become available. If you have specific questions, please use this email to direct your questions: LVresponse@LondonderryVillage.org.

March 13, 2020 – Community Update

We are providing an update with what we, as a facility, are doing to keep our elders safe and healthy.

As per guidance from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services for Nursing Facilities, at this point, as of 3PM on Friday March 13, all visitation is Restricted.

This means that family, visitors, friends etc. are not permitted entry to any healthcare area.

There will be situational exceptions that must be approved by nursing administration. (Example would be a change of condition of a loved one.)

There will be only one entrance for the Personal Care, Tranquil Terrace and Leffler Care visitors. That entrance will be through the Leffler entrance. If you are permitted situational access, you will be screened upon entry for COVID-19. Those symptoms are: fever, cough and shortness of breath. Also, if there has in the last 14 days been contact with someone with a confirmed diagnosis of COVID-19, or contact with someone that is under investigation for COVID-19 or has traveled internationally or within the U.S. to any area were sustained community transmission has occurred, entry in to any healthcare area will be denied.

All non-essential travel through the Personal Care and Nursing Units will not be allowed until further notice.

Entrance to the Therapy Department will be through the Leffler Care entrance.

All activities in our healthcare areas will be postponed that involve outside entertainment. Our Therapeutic Recreation department will continue to do activities. Nursing and Personal Care Elders will be restricted from engaging in any Independent Living activities at this time.

IL resident activities are cancelled at this time and our dining venues for Independent Living will offer limited take-out bag lunches. Updates will be broadcast on channel 4 and the common area televisions. Visitors to Independent Living residents are discouraged; however, anyone visiting the campus should follow the guidelines of the Center for Disease for Control to protect the health and wellbeing of our residents.

Further updates will be posted on the Londonderry Village website: www.LondonderryVillage.org. Questions can be directed to LVresponse@LondonderryVillage.org.

 

March 13, 2020 – Community Update

To the Residents and Staff of Londonderry Village,

We are clearly living in unprecedented times.  The mounting concerns over the coronavirus (COVID-19) have now resulted in a travel ban, suspension of professional sporting events, closing of the Disney amusement parks, and widespread cancellations of college semesters and church services.

In the absence of a vaccine, there is only one way to defeat a viral outbreak: isolation.  Victims of the virus must be treated in strict isolation so that the virus cannot spread to others.  However, the more important strategy is to quarantine those of us who are currently virus-free.  If the virus is contained and not allowed to spread, it will eventually die out.

Please read the letter that accompanies this one.  It provides details on the specific steps that Londonderry Village will be taking to actively deter the transmission of the virus on our campus.   We will be doing all that we can to prevent a viral outbreak in the health center, where our most vulnerable residents live.  We have all read about the tragic outcomes in Kirkland, WA, when a COVID-19 outbreak took root in a nursing home.

Compliance with the isolation and quarantine precautions will require sacrifices.  There will need to be a drop-off in social activities;  events and communal dining will be restricted.  I am confident that we will see widespread support for our precautions, in the interests of protecting the overall health of all of our residents and staff.  We are privileged to serve “The Greatest Generation”, a cohort of residents who endured great sacrifices during World War II, and many thereafter.   I know that we can get through this successfully with everyone’s support and cooperation.  I thank you in advance for that support.

Sincerely,

Jeff Shireman

President

March 13, 2020 – Community Update

We are providing an update with what we, as a facility, are doing to keep our elders safe and healthy.

We have initiated screening of all visitors, staff and vendors that come into the health care areas for any flu or COVID -19 symptoms.  Those symptoms are: fever, cough, shortness of breath, sore throat or runny nose.  Also, if a visitor has in the last 14 days had contact with someone with a confirmed diagnosis of COVID-19, or contact with someone that is under investigation for COVID-19 or has traveled internationally or within the U.S. to any area were sustained community transmission has occurred, entry in to any healthcare area will be denied.

As per guidance from Center for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) for Nursing Facilities, at this point all visitation is DISCOURAGED. If you must visit, please be mindful of our community and do your due diligence to keep everyone healthy.

The current guidelines are:

  • Limit the surfaces you touch when visiting
  • Limit your movement throughout the facility
  • Limit physical contact with your loved one
  • Try to maintain social distances of 6 feet
  • Wash your hands
  • Do not visit if you have any respiratory symptoms.
  • Avoid large social gatherings

Our visiting hours at this point will be from 9am-7pm.  Please try and visit around these hours.  If you need to come outside of visiting hours, you will have to ring the door bell and wait for a staff member to answer. Visitation may change to limited or restricted, at the guidance of CMS, if a COVID-19 positive case is found within the geographic region surrounding Londonderry Village.

There will be only one entrance for the Personal Care, Tranquil Terrace and Leffler Care visitors.  That entrance will be through the Leffler entrance.  You will be screened upon entry. All non-essential travel through the Personal Care and Nursing Units will not be allowed until further notice.  Entrance to the Therapy Department will be through the Leffler exterior entrance.

All activities in our healthcare areas will be postponed that involve outside entertainment. Our Therapeutic Recreation department will continue to do activities. Nursing and Personal Care Elders will be restricted from engaging in any Independent Living activities at this time.

All large social gatherings of residents on our campus will be cancelled. Visitors to Independent Living residents are discouraged; however, anyone visiting the campus should follow the guidelines of the CDC to protect the health and wellbeing of our residents, staff and community.

Further updates will be posted on the Londonderry Village website:  www.LondonderryVillage.org.  Questions can be directed to LVresponse@LondonderryVillage.org.