COVID-19 VIRUS UPDATES

As the novel Coronavirus continues to have an increased impact on our country, we feel it is very important to provide updates to the family, friends, and support network of our Residents. We realize that the past few months have been challenging for so many reasons, and we want to thank all of you for your help and continued support. As of December 14, 2020, the Wisconsin Department of Health Services has officially activated the federal government’s pharmacy distribution program for COVID-19 vaccine to skilled nursing facilities. The second phase of this program will provide vaccine to staff and residents in assisted living facilities. This portion of the program will likely be initiated sometime in January, based on vaccine availability.
Please click below to learn more about this vaccine announcement.

COVID-19 Vaccine Announcement

At the recommendation of health officials, the Home Again visitor restrictions that we have in place will remain in effect until further notice. To receive the most up-to-date information join our email list.

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SEE HOW WE ARE KEEPING SPIRITS BRIGHT

Spreading the Comfort

One of our very our Waunakee team members, Macy Renee, has crocheted blankets for multiple residents. Here is Roscile Maier showing it off!  The smile on her face says it all.

Getting in the Holiday Spirit

Our Cambridge Community had some fun decorating trees dressed as reindeer!

Sharing the Goodies

A huge thank you to Sarah A. for always making creative desserts for the Columbus Residents.

COVID-19 VACCINES

We do understand that some people may be concerned about getting vaccinated. Home Again whole heartly has full faith in the CDC and government health officials to determine the safety of any approved vaccines. Below is some information about the vaccines. You can find more detailed materials on the CDC website and the Mayo Clinic website.

COVID-19 vaccines will not give you COVID-19

COVID-19 vaccines will not cause you to test positive on COVID-19 viral tests

People who have gotten sick with COVID-19 may still benefit from getting vaccinated

Getting vaccinated can help prevent getting sick with COVID-19

Receiving an mRNA vaccine will not alter your DNA

    1. The safety of COVID-19 vaccines is a top priority.

    2. Many vaccines are being developed and tested, but some might be ready before others—CDC is planning for many possibilities.

    3. At least at first, COVID-19 vaccines might be used under an Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

    4. There will be a limited supply of COVID-19 vaccines in December 2020, but supply will continually increase in the weeks and months that follow.

    5. Because of limited supply, some groups will be recommended to get a COVID-19 vaccine first.

    6. At first, COVID-19 vaccines may not be recommended for children.

    7. Cost will not be an obstacle to getting vaccinated against COVID-19.

    8. COVID-19 vaccine planning is being updated as new information becomes available.

COVID-19 vaccination will help keep you from getting COVID-19

      • COVID-19 vaccines are being carefully evaluated in clinical trials and will be authorized or approved only if they make it substantially less likely you’ll get COVID-19.
      • Based on what we know about vaccines for other diseases, experts believe that getting a COVID-19 vaccine may help keep you from getting seriously ill even if you do get COVID-19.
      • Getting vaccinated yourself may also protect people around you, particularly people at increased risk for severe illness from COVID-19.
      • Experts continue to conduct more studies about the effect of COVID-19 vaccination on severity of illness from COVID-19, as well as its ability to keep people from spreading the virus that causes COVID-19.

COVID-19 vaccination will be a safer way to help build protection

      • COVID-19 can have serious, life-threatening complications, and there is no way to know how COVID-19 will affect you. And if you get sick, you could spread the disease to friends, family, and others around you.
      • Clinical trials of COVID-19 vaccines must first show they are safe and effective before any vaccine can be authorized or approved for use. The known and potential benefits of a COVID-19 vaccine must outweigh the known and potential risks of the vaccine for use under what is known as an Emergency Use Authorization (EUA). Watch a video on what an EUA is.
      • Getting COVID-19 may offer some natural protection, known as immunity. But experts don’t know how long this protection lasts, and the risk of severe illness and death from COVID-19 far outweighs any benefits of natural immunity. COVID-19 vaccination will help protect you by creating an antibody response without having to experience sickness.
      • Both natural immunity and immunity produced by a vaccine are important aspects of COVID-19 that experts are trying to learn more about, and CDC will keep the public informed as new evidence becomes available.

COVID-19 vaccination will be a safer way to help build protection

      • Wearing masks and social distancing help reduce your chance of being exposed to the virus or spreading it to others, but these measures are not enough. Vaccines will work with your immune system so it will be ready to fight the virus if you are exposed.
      • The combination of getting vaccinated and following CDC’s recommendations to protect yourself and others will offer the best protection from COVID-19.
      • Stopping a pandemic requires using all the tools we have available. As experts learn more about how COVID-19 vaccination may help reduce spread of the disease in communities, CDC will continue to update the recommendations to protect communities using the latest science.

IMPORTANT GUIDELINES WE ARE FOLLOWING

The most important message we want to share is that we are taking this potential threat to our residents’ health very seriously and are enacting steps to prevent the spread of illness in our communities.  This is a continually changing situation and we anticipate our approach to continue to evolve as we are provided further regulatory guidance and make internal decisions in the best interest of our residents.

  • Full restriction on visitation of all visitors and non-essential health care personnel, except for certain compassionate care situations, such as an end-of-life situation or situational hospice visits.

  • Window visits are encouraged although we are asking that windows remain closed.

  • In person visit outside even while the weather is nice are still fully restricted.

  • We have implemented teleconferencing (Google Hangout, Facetime, etc.) to our Residents and families upon request and we have many other ways of provided communication such as phone, email, etc. If you would like your loved one to receive writing from you, please email info@homeagainliving.com and your words will be printed and provided to your loved one.

  • Home Again is doing everything in our power to currently keep our residents engaged and active. Please see our current efforts:

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  • To reduce the possible spread of illness in our buildings we are asking that all residents wear a face mask, using social distancing, and practicing good hand hygiene while they are outside of their individual apartment and using common areas both inside and outside of the buildings.

  • We ask that residents only leave our community when necessary for essential Health and Well-being needs. When residents have a need to leave we ask that they use as much precaution as they can, including wearing a face mask, using social distancing, and practicing good hand hygiene to reduce their risk of contracting illness.

  • Cancelled communal dining, residents are currently being served meals in their rooms.

  • Cancelled all group activities, such as internal and external group activities.

  • Cancelled routine visits of annual checkups of any kind during this time. Limiting unnecessary and potential exposure.

  • Residents are currently allowed to roam about the building as they wish, we encourage them to practice social distancing-6 feet and are not allowing more than a handful of Residents in one area at one time. This is subject to change as things progress.

  • Daily active screening of residents for fever and respiratory symptoms.

  • If a Resident exited the building for an emergency room visit and returned, such Resident is quarantined for 14 days to limit risk of potential spread if that Resident was potentially exposed in the hospital/clinic setting.

  • Per DHS Resident Rights, we are unable to tell a Resident they cannot leave the building, though at this time we are strongly encouraging Residents to stay within the property. We strongly discourage trips to the grocery store, pharmacy, etc.

    • Residents are encouraged to walk around exterior of buildings for exercise and fresh air.

  • Home Again is doing everything in our power to currently keep our residents engaged and active. Please see our current efforts:

  • Masks and face shields will be worn at all times.

  • Active screening of staff for fever and respiratory symptoms at the beginning of each shift worked.

  • Beginning 3/30/2020, staff will begin to acknowledge the following and sign in their agreement at the beginning of each of their shifts:

    • “I acknowledge that I am taking extra precautions in my personal life given the vulnerability of the Residents we serve. I am following all social distancing guidelines and I am avoiding group activities and gatherings.”

    • “I have no respiratory symptoms such as shortness of breath, new or change in cough, or sore throat.”

    • “I have not been around anyone that has a confirmed case or is currently pending a test result.”

  • Frequent cleaning and sanitization of common areas and high touch places throughout the community.

  • Continual and thorough hand washing completed by all individuals within the community.

  • Encouraging social distancing within the community when applicable.

We do understand that many people may have differing opinions on the necessity of the steps being taken across the country and we respect those opinions.  However, we ask that everyone please understand the need for us to use an abundance of caution to protect our residents and caregivers.  Please show our staff respect and understanding during this stressful time.

WHAT CAN YOU DO TO HELP?

COVID-19 requirements, restrictions and information are continually evolving. To help our communications with you, please identify ONE primary point of contact for your family, if more than one is preferred, please communicate that to your Community Director. Currently we are only notifying “first call” family members with reliance of them relaying the information to fellow family.

Thank you for your attention to these requests and patience during this time.  If you have any questions, please reach out to the management team at each location or you can email info@homeagainliving.com.

ADDITIONAL RESOURCES

Residents still have the right to access the Ombudsman Program with the Board on Aging and Long Term Care. Do not hesitate to contact DHS with questions or concerns. DHS can be reached by phone at 1-800-815-0015, via e-mail at BOALTC@wisconsin.gov or online at http://longtermcare.wi.gov/

For more information please visit:

Centers for Disease Control

Wisconsin Department of Health Services

PREVIOUS UPDATES

November 20th CMS Update
October 13th Update
July 14th Update
June 19th Update
June 5th Update
May 26th Update
May 16th Update
May 5th Update
April 24th Update
April 14th Update
April 8th Update
March 16th Update
March 11th Update
March 9th Update