May 29, 2020: UPDATES Shared with Residents and Families

This is our 13th message to you with updates. I know what you are thinking, and I can’t believe it has been this long either. We are going to keep you informed as long as we are fighting this battle.

Wear a Face Mask in Common Areas We couldn't agree more! Wearing a face mask is not comfortable or  convenient. And, no matter the pattern, it really isn’t a fashion accessory. BUT, it does help stop the spread of COVID-19. We are reminding everyone—staff, residents, and clients: please wear a mask when you are in common areas. Let’s continue to stay healthy and look out for each other!

Essential Visits By limiting the number of places you visit and the number of people you come in to contact with in the community, you decrease the chance of contracting the COVID-19 virus. The threat of the virus is still real. Please consider limiting your visits away from the Valley VNA campus to those that are essential.

U.S. Census We have received a few inquiries regarding the status of the Census. The 2020 Census has been completed and submitted for all residents in both our Assisted Living and Apartments. No additional action is necessary.

A few things we are working on Long-term care facilities such as Valley VNA are operating under the guidance of the Centers for Disease Control,  Department of Public Health, and Bureau of Assisted Living. The safety and  operating recommendations have not changed even though the State of  Wisconsin may be starting to reopen many businesses.

You may be aware that there are several facilities in the area that have reported positive  cases of COVID-19 for staff or residents. These are well-run    organizations which demonstrates how difficult it is to keep residents and staff safe. The reopening of many businesses in the state and local communities makes the risk of spread even greater. That being said, we are looking at areas that may be possible to implement in the near future:

Hair Salon We are currently discussing having Michelle return to the hair salon. We are looking at what that process and timeline might look like.

Outside Visits for Residents and Families We know that residents and their families are anxious to spend time together. We are working on a process that would allow for family visits outdoors while practicing social  distancing. The guiding agencies do not have a formal position on this either way but urge the need for social  distancing and masking if determined to proceed.

Please know that while it is our intent to get these processes underway, we recognize that circumstances may change, and therefore plans are subject to change. Again, thank you for your patience, support, and understanding. We are still in this together.

Theresa Pichelmeyer, President and CEO

 

 

 

May 21, 2020: UPDATES Shared with Residents and Families

The grass is green. Flowers are in bloom. Businesses are opening, and people are out and about. It may seem like we are getting back to normal, but we must acknowledge what science tells us: that COVID-19 still remains a threat—especially to you, our residents and clients. Because of this, we will continue to follow the policies and procedures currently in place. You are our top priority, and each decision made is to ensure safety and well-being our residents, clients,  and staff.

We know you want to get outdoors, spend time with family and friends, and we are looking at safe ways for you to visit with your loved ones. As soon as we have this process in place, we will share that information with you.

Thank you for your patience, support, and understanding. We are still in this together.

Theresa Pichelmeyer, President and CEO

 

 

 

May 14, 2020: UPDATES Shared with Residents and Families

Last year at this time we were planning picnics, scheduling rickshaw rides, and prepping the soil in flower boxes. While we are excited about getting outdoors, and spending time with family and friends, we are still taking precautions to keep everyone safe and healthy.

On May 13, the Safer at Home restrictions were loosened, and people are now moving around more freely in the community. And, many are not wearing masks. We must remember that the threat of COVID-19 is still real and the responsibility to care for, and protect our residents and  clients remains our top priority. At this time our policy  remains the same. We are looking at conditions and  recommendations closely and will communicate any  changes.

Our staff is committed to continue the necessary precautions to protect residents and clients, themselves, and their family.

We are still in this together.

Thank you for your patience, support, and understanding.

Theresa Pichelmeyer, President and CEO

 

 

May 8, 2020: UPDATES Shared with Residents and Families

We said Happy Spring in our last letter, and, just like that we have a chill in the air. So, I will say it again: Happy Spring!  This week we honored our nurses for National Nurses Week (May 6-12). We can’t thank them—and all nurses—enough for the work they do. Especially now.

As in our last letter, there are no significant changes in how we are observing the Governor’s Safer at Home order and recommendations from the Department of Health Services.

Nutrition Reminder  If you are an independent  resident on the Pick Meal Plan, please remember to let us know what meals you would like. If you are going to be gone during meal time and would like us to place your meal in your refrigerator, please let us know. Or, if you are going to be gone and would like to cancel your meal, please give us a 24-hour notice or you will still be charged.

Thank you for your patience, support, and understanding.

And, for the moms, Happy Mother’s Day!

 

Theresa Pichelmeyer, President and CEO

 

 

May 4, 2020: UPDATES Shared with Residents and Families

There have been no big changes here in how we are observing the  Governor’s Safer at Home order and reco

mmendations from the Department of Health Services. We are watching closely, as all of you are, to learn about the careful and slow roll out of the reopening of the state. Because of our vulnerable population, I don't anticipate major changes in the near future. Staff continue to engage with our residents as allowed, and with the warmer weather we will be taking  residents into the courtyards and outside for walks when possible. Thank you for your patience and understanding during these stressful and challenging times!

From the Office of Governor Tony Evers Governor Evers  announced on  April 29, 2020 that dozens of organizations, which collectively represent more than one million Wisconsinites, voiced their support for the extension of Safer at Home in briefs filed with the Wisconsin Supreme Court on April 21, 2020. In addition, Wisconsin healthcare organizations representing healthcare providers and professionals throughout the state wrote in strong support of  extending Safer at Home.

Before the Safer at Home order, the number of people testing positive for COVID-19 was doubling  every 3.4 days, a rate similar to Italy and Spain, which have been devastated by COVID-19. With Safer at Home in place, the number of people testing positive for COVID-19 has doubled every 12.4 days. This “bending of the curve” has prevented Wisconsin hospitals from becoming overrun, and the first three weeks of Safer at Home is estimated to have saved at least 300 lives and perhaps as many as 1,400 lives in the fight against COVID-19. Continued adherence to science and advice of health  professionals has the potential to save thousands more in Wisconsin alone.

 

Mother’s Day Family members are invited to schedule a virtual Mother’s Day visit. With the Safer at Home order, and visitation still restricted, we want to assist family members who would like to schedule a time to visit.

Contact Joelin Mueller in Life Enrichment to set up a time to share via Facetime, Skype, Google Duo, or Facebook Messenger.

Joelin Mueller, Life Enrichment Coordinator

920-727-5544 ext. 1060

joelinm@valleyvna.org

If you plan on bringing a gift for a resident, please bring it to the front entrance by the afternoon of Friday, May 8. We do not have staff available to check the front entrance on Sunday. As the weather continues to improve we are hopeful that we will be able to accommodate outside visits. Our team is working on a plan that will safe for everyone.

We would like to wish all the wonderful mothers in our community a Happy Mother’s Day. Again, thank you for all the support for our staff, we are grateful and  appreciate all that you do for us and your loved ones!

 

Theresa Pichelmeyer, President and CEO

 

 

 

April 24, 2020: UPDATES Shared with Residents and Families

 

Governor Tony Evers has extended the Safer at Home Order through Tuesday, May 26, 2020, and Valley VNA will continue to follow the protocols currently in place. We are doing our very best to keep our clients, residents, and staff safe during this time. We know that you, too, are doing everything you can to stay healthy. We will continue to keep you posted as we work through this together.  This order does not mean we can’t encourage our residents to get outside when the  weather cooperates, and walk around the gardens or outside the building.  We have plenty of staff who are eager to assist with these outdoor excursions.

Thank you for wearing a mask! We are now extending mask wearing to our Alex residents whenever outside of their room or leaving the building. Sapphire residents who leave the court to visit with others, or take walks in the center building, are also asked to wear the cloth mask we provide or one of your own.


Independent Residents
If you experience a sudden cough, fever (above 100.4) and/or shortness of breath, please call your doctor!  Your doctor will provide guidance       regarding whether you need to be seen in the office, tested for COVID-19, or quarantine at home.  Please contact the Valley VNA staff if you are receiving meals, and we will make a plan to deliver them while keeping you and the staff safe. Even if not receiving meals, we do take the temperature of everyone in the morning, so we would appreciate knowing if you have experienced the above symptoms and are quarantining at home.

 

Neenah Bus Trip While practicing social distancing, our Life Enrichment team coordinated two bus trips around Neenah. The excursion included a ride through Riverside Park, down Main Street, and then a stop at Culver's drive thru for an ice cream!  During one of the trips, a resident asked if they could drive by their old house off of Oakridge Road, so they did. They loved it! Residents were thankful to go out and get some fresh air.  One resident kept saying "it's just so nice to be able to get out."

 

Again, thank you for supporting our efforts to care for your family member and loved one. I would like to give a “shout out” first to our staff who are doing a fantastic job to keep residents physically safe and cared for as well as addressing their emotional and psychological needs.  I also want to give a sincere and humble Thank You to all of you family and friends of residents at Valley VNA, for the masks, PPE, food and treats that you have provided. We appreciate all that you do for us more than you can ever know!

And, thank you to Image 360 for helping us to recognize our heroes!

Theresa Pichelmeyer, President and CEO

 

 

April 17, 2020: UPDATES Shared with Residents and Families

 

Governor Tony Evers has extended the Safer at Home Order through Tuesday, May 26, 2020, and Valley VNA will continue to follow the protocols currently in place. We are doing our very best to keep our clients, residents, and staff safe during this time. We know that you, too, are doing everything you can to stay healthy. We will continue to keep you posted as we work through this together.

 

Cloth Masks The recommendation for wearing cloth masks is another way to keep distance between individuals. When caring for our residents we are in close proximity and wearing masks is another line of defense. The purpose is for the wearer to not spread droplets. It is important to note that cloth masks do NOT prevent the wearer from possibly contracting COVID-19, because the virus particles are extremely small.

 

Masks for Residents We are now extending mask wearing to our Alex residents whenever outside of their room or leaving the building. Sapphire residents who leave the court to visit with others, or take walks in the center building, are also asked to wear the cloth mask we provide or one of your own.

 

Independent Residents If you experience a sudden cough, fever (above 100.4) and/or shortness of breath, please call your doctor!  Your doctor will provide guidance regarding whether you need to be seen in the office, tested for COVID-19, or quarantine at home.  Please contact the Valley VNA staff if you are receiving meals, and we will make a plan to deliver them while keeping you and the staff safe. Even if not receiving  meals, we do take the temperature of everyone in the morning, so we would appreciate knowing if you have experienced the above symptoms and are quarantining at home.

 

We strongly recommend that you do not leave Valley VNA aside from walks or relaxing outside of the building. We are happy to help with any groceries or supplies you need through ordering and delivery.

 

We continue to receive an outpouring of thoughtful messages filled with gratitude and love from our community. THANK YOU  for supporting our residents and our dedicated staff. Below are the donations recently  received:

  • Jimmy John's delivery—thanks Susan R.
  • Pizza delivery—thanks Olivia's dad
  • Coffee from Primrose Retirement Community
  • Face mask extension bands—The Brigade; Cre8Lab
  • And the many masks made by savvy seamstresses like: Lois, Jo Anne, Dianne, Joy, Lenore and Karen

Again, thank you for supporting our efforts to care for your family member and loved one. We appreciate all that you do for us.

Theresa Pichelmeyer, President and CEO

 

April 10, 2020: UPDATES Shared with Residents and Families

While this isn't how we may have envisioned celebrating Easter, and it may be a big change for families, we need to remember we are on the right course to get through this so that you may all be together again soon. Our staff continues to work hard to keep you connected

Here area few updates since our last communication: You may notice that Valley VNA staff members are wearing cloth masks. The recommendation for wearing cloth masks is another way to keep      distance between individuals. When caring for our residents we are in close proximity and wearing masks is another line of defense. The purpose is for the wearer to not spread droplets. It is important to note that cloth masks do NOT prevent the wearer from possibly contracting COVID-19, because the virus particles are extremely small. You may ask why staff are not wearing surgical masks. For a couple of reasons: Surgical masks are necessary when there is a need for isolation or an active case in the facility. And, personal protective equipment (PPE) supplies are not plentiful, so we want to make sure we use our supplies prudently and effectively.

For Independent and Residential Care Apartment Complex (RCAC) residents, we will be distributing masks for use if you are leaving the building for an appointment or other essential need. We also ask that you wear a mask when outside of your apartment if you are experiencing: runny nose, congestion, cough, or frequent sneezing.

Speaking of masks, we can't thank the people enough who have been making and

Many of you are helping support our staff in other ways as you will see below. Your thoughtfulness and generosity is amazing and so appreciated. Thank you for thinking of Valley VNA staff who are working hard to keep our residents safe and cared for.sending us masks! We have been able to give our staff at least two to use while they are working, and will be able to give one to our residents. We couldn't have done this without the generosity of the community!

We LOVE this Community! This is truly a community that cares for one another—and we couldn’t do it without you. Thank you.

  • Dilly Bars donated for residents and staff
  • Donated Easter gifts for residents
  • Chicken Dinner delivery for staff
  • Surprise Baby Shower
  • Toilet tissue and Depend donation: from Kimberly-Clark and distributed by United Way
  • Pick 'n Save donation of bags for Meals on Wheels
  • Cloths masks made by Caregivers Rock
  • Donations by Valley VNA board members, community members, business associates, and the many savvy seamstresses!

Window Visits I also want to remind everyone about window visits (Although, this may not be so inviting with our pending weather on  Easter). There are many residents who may not benefit from this type of contact with family. They may be confused about why they can't be in physical contact with their family, and sometimes have increased anxiety after a visit. While some may benefit, we don't encourage it. However, if you are at the window—don’t open it. Please talk by phone. It’s best to contact the caregivers and talk about the ways to connect.

A few of the challenges we face are: If we don't know you are coming to Valley VNA, the resident may not be in the room or may not be able to get to the window without help. And, there may not be a caregiver available at that time. Hang in there with us so that we can all get through this soon!

Again, thank you for supporting our efforts to care for you family member and loved one.  We appreciate all that you do for us.  Have a blessed Easter.

For the most up-to-date date information on COVID-19, visit the CDC website at http://www.cdc.gov/covid19

Sincerely,

Theresa Pichelmeyer, President and CEO

 

April 3, 2020: UPDATES Shared with Residents and Families

We have had a few updates since our last communication. The most notable being our changes in dining arrangements for Sapphire and Alex residents. Based on recommendations from Centers for Disease Control, Public Health, and Department of Health Services, communal dining is discouraged and should be eliminated if possible.

Our new dining procedure is to serve meals in a resident’s room. Meals will be delivered to residents by our staff. We know that dining is a great social activity, and communal dining will be missed. However, to continue on our path to provide the best protection for all, we have made this change.

As the weather gets nicer, everyone is looking forward to getting out to enjoy the sun and warmer weather. We ask that you do not come to visit your family, even though your visit would be outside. We have had inquiries from some families asking if they could take their family member for a walk, or visit outside if they observed six foot distancing. While this doesn't seem like a big deal on an individual basis, we have over 90 residents, so if it happens for one, it could quickly spread and become unmanageable. (And, this would not be in the spirit of the Governor’s Safer at Home and social distancing policy). Our staff will be helping residents get out and enjoy the warmer weather. The Life Enrichment team will be accompanying residents on short walks and rides in the van to check out our community.

We will continue to work hard to keep you connected with your family member through Skype, FaceTime, or other social media methods! The residents really enjoy the contact!

Thank you for being patient, and understanding all the changes we make to comply with recommendations—all with the intention of keeping our residents and staff safe.  If you have questions, don't hesitate to contact me or Angela Franz, Administrator.

For the most up-to-date date information on COVID-19, visit the CDC website at http://www.cdc.gov/covid19

Sincerely,

Theresa Pichelmeyer, President and CEO

 

March 27, 2020: UPDATED Guidelines Shared with Residents and Families

As we navigate our way during these uncertain times, and circumstances seem to change on a daily basis, we will continue to provide updates every Friday.

We do not have any cases at Valley VNA, and we are working diligently on preventing the spread of this illness in our facility. Valley VNA is doing our best to follow the recommendations of the CDC, Public Health Department, and Governor Tony Evers. Please note that there have been, and may continue to be, changes to these recommendations based on current conditions within the state and nation. We understand the hardship this places on both the residents and family members.

In addition to the item listed below, we continue to follow the guidelines from March 20:

  • We are looking at ways to implement a no communal dining recommendation by the Department of Health Services and changes may occur in the coming days.

We will help to facilitate any communication you would like to have through the use of technology for example: Skype, FaceTime, email, or phone calls. If you would like to bring items for your family member, you may drop them off at the front desk and we will be sure to deliver to the resident.

If you have any questions, please contact Angela Franz, Administrator or   Theresa Pichelmeyer, President and CEO.

For the most up-to-date date information on COVID-19, visit the CDC website at http://www.cdc.gov/covid19

Thank you for your patience and understanding.

Sincerely,

Theresa Pichelmeyer, President and CEO

 

March 20, 2020: UPDATED Guidelines Shared with Residents and Families

Valley VNA Senior Care is concerned for the ongoing welfare, safety, and health of our residents. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is monitoring the outbreak due to a new virus, COVID-19. The people that are most likely to become severely ill from COVID-19 are older adults and those with underlying medical conditions.  Governor Tony Evers has declared a public health emergency due to COVID-19. The World Health Organization (WHO) has declared this a pandemic.

We do not have any cases at Valley VNA and we are working diligently on preventing the spread of this illness in our facility. Valley VNA is doing our best to follow the recommendations of the CDC, Public Health Department, and Governor Tony Evers. Please note that there have been, and may continue to be, changes to these recommendations based on current conditions in the state and nation. We understand the hardship this places on both the residents and family members. Please know our residents are doing well as we try to keep routines as normal and possible. They are being well cared for and keep up your phone calls, cards, letters, Skype, and FaceTime!

These are the guidelines shared with residents:

  • We will continue with the “no visitor” policy at this time.
  • There may be extenuating circumstances for visits, but they would address compassionate care , end-of-life care, or visits for the safety and well-being of a resident. Each case must be approved by Administration.
  • We request that residents not leave the building unless medically necessary. However, residents may go outside to get fresh air--keeping social distancing (six feet apart from another person) in mind.
  • We encourage the use of technology like Skype and FaceTime, or phone calls to connect with residents.
  • If a resident does not have someone to do shopping and drop off items at the front entrance, connect with Angela who will assist with online ordering.
  • Social distancing will be practiced during meals and activities. At all meals only two residents will sit at a table across from each other. We ask that residents continue to practice good hand hygiene and wash their hands before and after each meal.
  • Staff will be coming to each apartment daily to take your temperature in the morning. If you have a temperature of 100.4 or higher you will need to stay in your room. We will encourage you to call your doctor and update them if you have a temperature and any other symptoms of illness. You will need to stay in your apartment until you are fever free for 24 hours. Symptoms of elevated temperature, productive cough, sore throat, body aches and congestion may be indicators of  COVID-19. We recognize that these are also symptoms of influenza and other maladies. If you exhibit any of these symptoms, Valley VNA may require you stay in your apartment and call your doctor for further direction.

We will help to facilitate any communication you would like to have through the use of technology for example: Skype, FaceTime, email, or phone calls. If you would like to bring items for your family member, you may drop them off at the front desk and we will be sure to deliver to the resident.

Each of our staff members continue to follow the CDC’s recommendations to reduce the risk of spreading COVID-19. These include strict hand washing procedures, and in many circumstances, wearing a face mask, gown, and gloves when interacting with residents who are sick.

We will continue to monitor the CDC and Department of Health Services and their recommendations. If there are changes we will provide updates, so check our website frequently.

If you have any questions, please contact Angela Franz, Administrator or Theresa Pichelmeyer, President and CEO.

For the most up-to-date date information on COVID-19, visit the CDC website at http://www.cdc.gov/covid19

Thank you for your patience and understanding.

Sincerely,

Theresa Pichelmeyer, President and CEO

 

March 17, 2020: Meals on Wheels
The Meals on Wheels program is continuing service as scheduled.
Meals are delivered during the noon hour from Monday-Friday.
The cost is $5.25. Call Valley VNA Senior Care at 920.727.5555 for more information.
We will continue to post updates as this information may change.

 

March 16, 2020: Cancellation Update

  • Memory Care Respite Partners-Neenah: Cancelled through April 13, 2020
  • Memory Care Respite Partners-Oshkosh: Cancelled through March 24, 2020

We will continue to post updates as these dates may change.

 

March 15, 2020: UPDATE - No Visiting Guidelines

Current guidelines from the Department of Health Services and CDC for Long Term Care facilities recommend NO VISITING except for times of end of life support and visits essential for the emotional well-being of residents. It is also strongly recommended that residents do not leave the facility unless it is a medical emergency or necessity.

Effective March 16, 2020 Valley VNA will be following these guidelines. Decisions for visit exceptions will be made on an individual basis based on the recommendations.

We understand the value of family visits both for the family and the residents and did not make this decision lightly. We will help to facilitate any communication you would like to have through the use of technology, for example: Skype, FaceTime, email, or phone calls. If you would like to bring items for your family member, you may drop them off at the front desk and we will be sure to deliver to the resident.

Each of our staff members continue to follow the CDC’s recommendations to reduce the risk of spreading COVID-19. These include strict hand washing procedures, and in many circumstances, wearing a face mask, gown, and gloves when interacting with residents who are sick.

We will continue to monitor the CDC and Department of Health Services and their recommendations.  If there are changes we will provide updates, so check our website frequently.

If you have any questions, please contact Angela Franz, Administrator or Theresa Pichelmeyer, President and CEO.

For the most up to date information on this topic, please visit the CDC website at http://www.cdc.gov/covid19

Thank you for your understanding and patience.

Sincerely,

Theresa Pichelmeyer, President and CEO

 

March 15, 2020: Cancellations

For the health and safety of our residents, staff--and everyone--the following programs and events have been cancelled.

  • Job Fair: March 17
  • Lyrics and Laughter: Cancelled until further notice
  • Volunteer Program activities cancelled until further notice
  • Foot Care Clinics at Valley VNA: Cancelled until further notice                                                                                                                                                  

Thank you for understanding.

 

Information for Valley VNA Visitors

Valley VNA Senior Care is concerned for the ongoing welfare, safety, and health of our residents. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is monitoring the outbreak due to a new virus, COVID-19. The people that are most likely to become severely ill from COVID-19 are older adults and those with underlying medical conditions. Governor Tony Evers has declared a public health emergency due to COVID-19. The World Health Organization (WHO) has declared this a pandemic.

We do not have any cases locally and are diligently working on preventing the spread of this illness in our facility.

To reduce the potential introduction of this virus into our facility, we are limiting visitation and actively monitoring admissions and all staff entering the facility.

If you will be visiting please follow these guidelines effective March 14, 2020:

  • Monday through Friday: All visitors will need to enter the building at the Main Entrance on Lyon Drive from 8:00am until 6:00pm
  • Saturday and Sunday: All visitors must arrive between 9:00am and 1:00pm at the Main Entrance.
  • You will be asked to sign in, respond to several questions, and have your temperature taken.
  • Once you have been screened during the hours listed you may visit as long as you like.
  • We request that only immediate family visit and no more than two at a time.
  • No one under 18 years may visit.
  • No pets are allowed.
  • We are recommending that visitors not wear masks.
  • Consider if your visit is essential. Visit frequency should be limited to reduce possible introduction of COVID-19.
  • We request that residents not leave the building unless medically necessary.
  • We encourage the use of technology like Skype and FaceTime, or phone calls to connect with residents.
  • Key fobs of residents will remain active and all others will be deactivated until further notice.

We want to ensure that you are kept well-informed of this situation. For your information, we have enclosed a fact sheet from the CDC. For the most up-to-date information on this topic, please visit the CDC website  at https://www.cdc.gov/covid19

- Valley VNA Staff

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