A Message for our Families
(Updated October 20, 2021)
(Updated October 20, 2021)
During these unprecedented times, please know that there is nothing more important to us than the health and safety of your loved ones in our care.
We are doing everything in our control to provide our residents a safe and comfortable environment. We have implemented daily cleanings, restricted visitors to our centers, are monitoring residents at every shift, and our staff is engaged in aggressive infection prevention strategies.
As states move forward with re-opening phases and policies, we remain committed to helping families stay connected with their loved ones. We continue to follow all guidance from the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC), Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), and state Departments of Public Health, Indoor visits are now possible, following the guidance and directives of CMS and our state DPH. Please contact the center and we will assist in scheduling a visit. We also encourage you to visit the center’s Facebook page or the news section of the website for additional updates.
We know this is a difficult time. We care deeply about our residents and staff, and appreciate your understanding. Please contact us with any questions or concerns. We know we can get through this – together.
As you know, public health officials, in the states our centers are located in, had restricted nursing home visitors from March through late September. Although we are now able to offer indoor visits following the guidance of CMS and state DPH, our staff is committed to ensuring families can continue to connect with their loved one in our homes both virtually and with social distancing, outside visits. Please contact the appropriate center and we will make sure you are able to speak with your family member in our care. This is a priority for us.
We are pleased to welcome our families and friends back into our centers after a long pause due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Weather permitting, outside visitation remains an option, as well as our always available virtual visitation through tablet devices.
Please see our reminders about visitation:
To protect all residents, staff, and others in our communities from the known and substantial risks of COVID-19, Athena Health Care Systems and its managed centers have strongly advocated and educated our staff, residents and their families to become vaccinated. We also strongly advocate for the vaccination of all health care personnel. COVID-19 vaccines protect health care personnel when working both in health care facilities and in the community. They provide strong protection against workers unintentionally carrying the disease to work and spreading it to patients and co-workers.
As required by state and federal mandates, all nursing home employees, volunteers, and contractors are now required to be vaccinated against COVID-19 or meet
Two types of employee exemptions can be implemented: medical and religious exemptions. As of October, our facilities must ensure that all personnel (including non-direct care staff) are fully vaccinated against COVID-19 unless:
Employees may not otherwise decline the vaccine.
As a reminder – if your loved one is not yet vaccinated, please contact their center to schedule a vaccine. Booster shots are currently being administered to our residents.
We take cleanliness and ensuring a safe environment for our residents very seriously, and our policies and the practices at our centers reflect that. Every center is frequently and thoroughly cleaned by professional staff. We have aggressive infection prevention strategies which are exercised by all of our staff. Due to the Coronavirus pandemic, our infection prevention efforts are at an even more heightened level. We have stepped up our typical cleaning and disinfecting schedule that would be in place during the regular flu season, requiring more frequent surface cleaning on high contact areas and other strategies.
These efforts are enhancements to guidelines and recommendations set by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention for institutions like ours. At the start of the Coronavirus pandemic, we initiated a series of protections aimed at mitigating the threat of the pandemic at our centers. These included:
We continue to follow the guidance of the state regulators and have taken additional steps to protect our residents. The Coronavirus pandemic is a rapidly evolving situation. Please consult the CDC Coronavirus website, or your state’s Department of Public Health. These are the authorities with the most up-to-date information.
We understand this is a difficult time for our residents and their families, but there is no greater priority for us than their health and safety of our residents and staff. We are doing everything in our control to provide our residents a safe and comfortable environment.
Our staff is committed to making sure families are able to connect with their loved one in our homes. Please contact us and we will make sure you are able to speak with your family member in our care.
Director of Marketing & Communications
Athena Health Care Systems