A message from ABHM President and CEO Jeff Hongslo
The last three months have been a very challenging time for the senior living industry. COVID-19 has changed the entire landscape of how we operate and how residents live their lives. It has also highlighted the terrific work our staff does every day and the resilience of residents and families.
At American Baptist Homes of the Midwest, the safety of the residents and staff will always be our number one priority and will we continue to follow the protocols put in place by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC). It is imperative we continue to operate in this manner until we receive guidance that we can safely loosen restrictions. In reality, it may still be a while until that happens in the nursing homes and assisted living communities.
The employees at ABHM have done amazing work and will continue to provide the safest environment possible for residents. It can be hard and tiring work, but every day they continue to find the energy to keep going and make the entire community proud.
I know families and residents are anxious for the opportunity to be together again. I am forever grateful for your patience and positive attitude during this time. Until the day comes when our communities can welcome visitors in person, we will continue to work with families to provide the best way possible way to interact with your loved ones in a safe environment.
It has been a difficult spring but we will eventually see light at the end of the tunnel. I want to thank everyone for helping ABHM fulfill our mission and provide support to our wonderful residents.
I continue to pray for the staff, residents and families to stay healthy and safe.
ABHM President and CEO
Covid-19 (Coronavirus) Questions & Answers:
American Baptist Homes of the Midwest (ABHM) understands the concern family members have for their loved ones. The COVID-19 outbreak only heightens that concern. Hopefully, the answers to the questions below give you peace of mind that ABHM is doing everything possible to keep your family member safe.
How is ABHM monitoring and keeping residents from being exposed to COVID-19?
- ABHM is in contact with our state Health Departments and Centers of Disease Control (CDC).
- Centers of Medicare and Medicaid (CMS) sends out communications and updated information.
- The Medical Director and Medical Team verify our current medical treatment plans are aligned with current clinical guidance and standards of practice.
- Transportation is only provided for essential doctor appointments.
- Social gatherings have been discontinued until further notice.
- Proper Hygiene and social distancing is being taught to and implemented by our members, residents, employees and vendors.
- Deep cleaning schedules have increased at all levels of care at ABHM Communities.
- All employees and essential visitors/vendors are screened prior to entering our Communities.
- Communal dining has been discontinued until further notice.
What are the signs and symptoms COVID-19 and will my loved one go to the hospital if diagnosed?
- The signs and symptoms are similar to the A/B Flu: difficulty breathing, cough, fever (100 degree F), a general feeling of being sick or having no energy, or an uncomfortable feeling that something is wrong (malaise).
- We will place the positive COVID-19 loved one (pending or positive test results) in isolation to prevent spreading it to other residents.
- ABHM will care for your loved one as long as their symptoms remain mild and their other medical conditions do not flare-up, which could complicate the recovery process.
- If symptoms do become severe and require more hours of nursing and medical team attention, the resident may be transferred to the hospital.
What happens if an ABHM employee gets COVID-19?
- ABHM is following all CDC recommendations related to employee and COVID-19.Unfortunately if one of our employee does become ill with COVID-19 that employee will need to be quarantined at home and recover under the care of their physician. Once recovered that employee will be screened prior to coming back to work to assure that he/she is ready to return to work per the CDC guidance and approval of their physician.
Is there COVID-19 test kits readily available at ABHM communities?
- At this time test kits are not available at ABHM communities. The local health department and the primary care physicians will decide who should be tested based on the symptoms of the resident.
- The health department will provided the test kits or instruct a private lab to deliver the test kit to the community.
Are there concerns with medical/cleaning, food supplies or deliveries?
- On a daily basis ABHM Teams consisting of the Administrator, Director of Nursing and Infection preventionist discuss and review food service, supplies and all other community needs to ensure we have ample supply to serve residents.
- There have been reported shortage of personnel protection wear (PPE). However at this time ABHM is experiencing routine deliveries and is in continuous contact with suppliers.
Does the CDC recommend the use of a facemask to prevent COVID-19?
- CDC does not recommend that people who are healthy wear a facemask to protect themselves from respiratory illnesses, including COVID-19.
- You should only wear a mask if a healthcare professional recommends it.
- A facemask should be used by people who have COVID-19 and are showing symptoms.
- The use of facemasks is crucial for health workers and other people caring for someone infected with COVID-19 in close settings.
Due to the increase in reported cases of influenza and the recent media attention given to the coronavirus (COVID-19), we are sharing recommendations from the Center for Disease Control (CDC) in an effort to keep people safe, healthy and prevent the spread of all communicable illnesses.
The CDC is recommending the following actions to prevent infection:
- Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands.
- Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
- Stay home when you are sick.
- Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then discard tissue in trash.
- Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.
- If you have traveled outside of the country, within the last 21 days, please avoid entering our building.
Our housekeeping staff have clear processes for cleaning and sanitizing our buildings. As part of our daily cleaning routine we use high-grade sanitizer for all areas of the Community and all resident rooms are cleaned at least once a day.
We will continue to monitor the situation and will follow up any additional sanitation protocols recommended by the CDC.
The COVID-19 situation is constantly evolving and changing. We understand there is uncertainty involved in this situation, and we plan to keep you informed as needed. For more information, we encourage you to contact us.
President and C.E.O.
American Baptist Homes of the Midwest