October 30, 2020: UPDATES Shared with Residents and Families

Our community, and our state, continues to rank among the highest in the nation for positive COVID-19 cases. Until recently we have been able to keep it out of our facility. We do have residents who have tested positive and we are doing our best to support them through this illness. We also had staff who have tested positive and most have gone through their isolation and have returned to work. This week we have retested any residents who have not tested positive previously and we are doing the same with staff. We hope to have the results over the weekend.

On Monday, November 2 and Tuesday, November 3 we will be testing any of our Alex (Independent and Residential Care Apartment Complex) residents who have agreed to be test for coronavirus. For Independent residents who are not getting tested at Valley VNA, please contact one of our Registered Nurses to let them know, if and when, you have been tested. This is critical so we may  follow proper procedures of isolation while waiting for test results.

As we approach the holidays we are hearing more in the media about the impact of social isolation on the elderly. We have had questions from family members asking about our isolation procedures and what is being done to keep our residents from failing due to emotional and physical isolation. In our current environment we first have to address any clinical needs such as a positive COVID-19 diagnosis and manage the symptoms. This results in what we call individual isolation precautions: the resident must stay in their room (if possible), and all staff wear full PPE when entering the room and remove the PPE before leaving. If you hear that a “court is in isolation” that means there are more individuals who require isolation and we limit any unnecessary activity and travel through the court. Staff are in full PPE at all times in this scenario.

More one-on-one time is being scheduled to meet the emotional needs of our residents. Some activities that we can do on an   individual basis include: visiting with the resident, sitting with them, Namaste in their room, reading to those who enjoy this activity, making sure they have access to any music they may enjoy, and assisting them with prayer. We are not able to bring residents together for group activities at this time, and we are eager for when that will once again be possible, as well as getting back to scheduled visits indoors. We know it’s not the same as a hug, but our Life Enrichment team will help you connect with your loved one by Zoom and FaceTime. 

Contact Joelin Mueller, Life Enrichment Coordinator at 920.727.5544 ext. 1060 or joelinm@valleyvna.org.

We will continue as we have been doing with the following:

  • Suspending all visits except for compassionate care
  • Limiting activities
  • Staggering meals for greater social distancing for those residents who need to eat outside their apartment
  • Limiting social contact: Only those who share an apartment should sit together at a table
  • Masks: Masks must be worn whenever outside your apartment

We strongly recommend that you reconsider and reschedule any outings other than necessary medical appointments and think of what is best for everyone as you plan your holidays.

Any questions, please be sure to contact us.

Theresa Pichelmeyer, President and CEO

 

 

August 21, 2020: UPDATES Shared with Residents and Families

As we begin to wrap up the lazy days of summer and prepare for autumn, we should keep in mind that this winter we will  have to contend with COVID-19 as well as the flu virus. As in previous years, we will be offering flu vaccinations for each resident. We anticipate the vaccine will be available to us around October—and we will keep you posted. I highly recommend that everyone receive a flu shot this year.

 A Few Things We Are Working On

  •  Visits: With the weather changing we are looking at ways to continue visits with family and friends while following Centers for Disease Control (CDC) guidelines to keep everyone safe.
  • Dining: We will continue to follow CDC guidelines for safety and not offer communal dining at this time.
  •  Evening Rickshaw Rides: Julie Roh, Volunteer Coordinator, is working with volunteers and staff to coordinate rides in the early evening hours.
  • Reminder: If you are using Valley VNA services to go to and from appointments, please notify us as soon as you can so staff are able to make these arrangements.

I know there have been many changes over the last several months and just when you get used to something one way, it might change again. We are so grateful for your patience and understanding as we navigate these uncharted waters.

Sincerely,

Theresa Pichelmeyer, President and CEO

 

August 14, 2020: UPDATES Shared with Residents and Families

Caring for Generations

You may have heard me talk about the capital campaign or the campus upgrade project. The name of the campaign is Caring for Generations. And, in a nutshell, the campaign will raise money for improvements, which are:
 Additions to residential and common areas, which include new apartments to meet increased demand
 Renovations to existing areas for increased visibility and safety
 Adapting spaces to changing care needs

The campaign has been years in the making and we have done our homework with a feasibility study, market analysis, and consultations with professionals in transforming senior living communities.

This is a major undertaking and we have assembled a team of eight (volunteers who are VVNA board members, and community members) to help us achieve these goals. The team has been working behind-the-scenes to lay the groundwork, and in the coming weeks there will be a public phase rolled out and will include social media and email.

If you have questions please contact me or Wendy Lloyd, Director of Marketing and Development, who is coordinating the team and the campaign.

  • Theresa Pichelmeyer
    theresap@valleyvna.org
    920.727.5555 ext. 2201
  • Wendy Lloyd
    wendyl@valleyvna.org
    920.727.5555 ext. 3002

To learn more about the campaign, watch the Caring for Generations video.

The safety, well-being, and quality of life for our residents are the heart of Valley VNA. We are excited about the possibilities ahead of us and hope that your are, too!

Sincerely,

Theresa Pichelmeyer
President and CEO

 

August 6, 2020: UPDATES Shared with Residents and Families

Residents and rickshaws are rolling! Thank you to Julie Roh, our volunteer pilots, and   everyone who worked together to make this happen. The process is working and we are hearing some good things from residents and families. Thank you!

You might see our rickshaws out and about—even without our residents. We are offering the use of them to our community partners: Fox Valley Memory Project, and Memory Care Respite Partners in both Neenah and Oshkosh. We hope more people will be able to take advantage and enjoy the outdoors.

When Picking Up Your Family Member

Please remember to mask up when you arrive at Valley VNA. All staff, residents, and anyone entering the building must wear a mask.

As a reminder, Governor Evers announced on July 30, 2020 the executive order:

“…mandating face coverings indoors or in enclosed spaces, other than when at home. We know that face coverings are an effective tool in fighting COVID-19, and we encourage you to do your part in protecting the health and safety of your fellow Wisconsinites by wearing a face covering and encouraging others to do so.”

“Staying home, limiting interactions, practicing physical distancing, and washing your hands thoroughly are still the most effective ways to stop the spread,” said Dr. Ryan Westergaard, Wisconsin’s Chief Medical Officer and the State Epidemiologist for Communicable Diseases. “But we learn something new about this virus every day. A growing number of scientific studies tell us that face coverings, when used correctly and consistently by a large percentage of the community, are extremely effective for preventing the spread of COVID-19 through respiratory droplets.”

Thank you for working with us to create a safe and healthy environment for everyone.

Theresa Pichelmeyer, President and CEO

 

July 31, 2020: UPDATES Shared with Residents and Families

We are happy to announce the Cycling Without Age program hits the road the week of August 3!

Julie Roh, volunteer coordinator, has spent time with some of our pilots this past week to ensure that everyone is up to speed on additional safety measures to ensure a safe ride for both our residents and volunteer pilots. Overall, the process followed in years past is the same with a few minor changes. One of the changes: the pilot will not have direct contact with our residents, so staff will need to be sure the resident is secure in the rickshaw and ready to go. We have added a clear plexiglass barrier between the pilot and rider, and the pilot will remain seated on the bike while the Resident Assistant assists the resident on and off the rickshaw. We are very excited to get this program rolling so residents can spend more time enjoying the outdoors!

You may have already heard about the recent mandate from Governor Evers. If you would like to read more, the full press release is available at evers.wi.gov.

Governor issues new executive order

July 30, 2020 Today Governor Evers announced a new executive order mandating face coverings indoors or in enclosed spaces, other than when at home. We know that face coverings are an effective tool in fighting COVID-19, and we encourage you to do your part in protecting the health and safety of your fellow Wisconsinites by wearing a face covering and encouraging others to do so.

Over the last month, Wisconsin has seen a surge in cases. This increase in cases cuts across the entire state with a significant majority of counties at high COVID-19 activity levels. Statewide action is necessary to protect the health and well-being of Wisconsinites.

Please know we continue to take the necessary precautions against COVID-19 to keep all of us safe and healthy at  Valley VNA.

Thank you for patience, support, and understanding.

Theresa Pichelmeyer, President and CEO

 

July 24, 2020: UPDATES Shared with Residents and Families

We have been trying our best to keep you informed on updates and changes in our county and state regarding COVID-19. It’s a lot of information to take in and it seems to be a moving target. If you can, I encourage you to follow the updates on the Winnebago County Health Department and the Centers for Disease Control web sites so you can stay up-to-date.

On Friday, July 24, Wisconsin Health News reported:

Evers considering mask mandate

Gov. Tony Evers told reporters Thursday that the recent record increases in daily COVID-19 case counts “have accelerated our consideration” of a statewide mask requirement. “The Supreme Court left this a very messy state and created chaos,” Evers said, referring to the court’s action to knock down his reopening plan in May. “Frankly, folks can, right now, put on a mask.”

Five CEO leaders of health systems that are part of AboutHealth – Aspirus, Bellin Health, Gundersen Health System, ProHealth Care and ThedaCare – sent a letter to Evers Wednesday asking for the mandate.

“There is overwhelming scientific proof that wearing face masks reduces the spread of this virus,” they wrote. “To do this most effectively, however, we must all do our part.”

The takeaway from this: We all should continue to wear a mask and take precautionary measures.

A few updates for you:

Rickshaws  We have had several inquiries about Rickshaw rides and when we will be up-and-running. Julie Roh has been working on a process that will provide safety measures for riders as well as our volunteer pilots. For the most part, the Rickshaws are ready to roll and have recently been tuned-up by the pedal pros at Cranked Bike Studio in Neenah! We will keep you posted.

Outdoor Visits  Just to clarify: We have been calling these “family” visits, however, the visits are for family and friends! Some have asked why the visits are 45 minutes. The reasoning behind this is, if all went well with Outdoor Visits, we could schedule another 45 minute visit in the morning and afternoon. We will keep you posted on this as well. Also, a gentle reminder: At this time, pets are not allowed during Outdoor Visits.

As always, thank you for your patience, support, and understanding.

Theresa Pichelmeyer, President and CEO

 

July 17, 2020: UPDATES Shared with Residents and Families

I need to share with all of you the direction that Wisconsin is taking with COVID-19. We are at a critical stage and EVERYONE needs to do their part so we can turn this around. Please read below:

WISCONSIN HEALTH NEWS

July 15: State officials, health experts say Wisconsin at critical point in fight against COVID-19

Wisconsin officials and health experts warned Tuesday that the state is facing a critical juncture in its fight in COVID-19, asking the public to double down on behaviors like staying at home, social distancing and wearing face masks.

Department of Health Services Secretary-designee Andrea Palm told reporters there’s “significant community spread” of the virus in the state. She said Wisconsin has a “window of opportunity” to avoid the surges seen in other states that are straining healthcare systems. “If we wait until we are in that situation, we will have waited too long,” she said. “Now really is the time to double down on our work together.”

Please continue to protect yourself—and others—when you are in public. Think twice about the activities you are participating in and if it is worth the risk. I want all of you to be safe and healthy—for yourself, your family, our residents, and all of us who are here together at Valley VNA every day.

Quality Visits As we continue to schedule outdoor visits, and look for ways to add additional visiting times, please consider what time is best to visit with your loved one. Is the morning or afternoon a more appropriate time to have a quality visit? If you’re not sure, our staff can help you determine what might be best.

This has been a long road and we still have a journey ahead of us. It has been an incredible learning experience and we will continue to do our best to provide a safe and healthy home for our residents, and a safe work environment for our staff.

As always, thank you for your patience, support, and understanding.

Theresa Pichelmeyer, President and CEO

 

July 17, 2020: UPDATES Shared with Residents and Families

I need to share with all of you the direction that Wisconsin is taking with COVID-19. We are at a critical stage and EVERYONE needs to do their part so we can turn this around. Please read below:

WISCONSIN HEALTH NEWS

July 15: State officials, health experts say Wisconsin at critical point in fight against COVID-19

Wisconsin officials and health experts warned Tuesday that the state is facing a critical juncture in its fight in COVID-19, asking the public to double down on behaviors like staying at home, social distancing and wearing face masks.

Department of Health Services Secretary-designee Andrea Palm told reporters there’s “significant community spread” of the virus in the state. She said Wisconsin has a “window of opportunity” to avoid the surges seen in other states that are straining healthcare systems. “If we wait until we are in that situation, we will have waited too long,” she said. “Now really is the time to double down on our work together.”

Please continue to protect yourself—and others—when you are in public. Think twice about the activities you are participating in and if it is worth the risk. I want all of you to be safe and healthy—for yourself, your family, our residents, and all of us who are here together at Valley VNA every day.

Quality Visits As we continue to schedule outdoor visits, and look for ways to add additional visiting times, please consider what time is best to visit with your loved one. Is the morning or afternoon a more appropriate time to have a quality visit? If you’re not sure, our staff can help you determine what might be best.

This has been a long road and we still have a journey ahead of us. It has been an incredible learning experience and we will continue to do our best to provide a safe and healthy home for our residents, and a safe work environment for our staff.

As always, thank you for your patience, support, and understanding.

Theresa Pichelmeyer, President and CEO

 

July 10, 2020: UPDATES Shared with Residents and Families

Thank you to all who participated in Outdoor Family Visits this week! We scheduled 32 visits from Monday through Friday and hope to have the calendar filled in the weeks ahead. We have received a few inquiries about expanding times to include evenings and weekends—and we would love to do this. However, at this time, our staffing does not support    evening and weekend visits. We will continue with the current schedule and consider additional times if possible. Please remember to take precautions against the heat and humidity before and during your visits by staying hydrated, wearing appropriate clothing, and using sunscreen.

As a reminder, below is information on how to schedule your visit:

Julie Roh, Volunteer Coordinator, is helping to schedule and you may contact her with questions at:

julieroh@valleyvna.org or 920.624.6087.

Visits will be Monday-Friday morning from 10:00–10:45 am and afternoon from 1:30–2:15 pm.

Process for scheduled Outdoor Family Visits:

CBRF Residents: Your first contact will receive an email detailing the visitation process and a direct link to the Sign Up Genius calendar. NOTE: We must have an email address on file for the first contact so we can send the sign up link.

Independent Residents: You are responsible to share the information with your family as we do not have primary contacts for everyone. If you want us to send an email out, you will need to provide that information to Marian at the front desk.

  • Two guests (age 16+) will be allowed at each visit.
  • Each guest will need to be screened and temperature recorded before start of visit
  • Each guest is required to wear a face mask the entire visit and maintain 6 foot social distancing during their visit. We have placed a bright green X with tape on the ground with the chairs in place, seating needs to be kept like this to ensure social distancing. Residents should wear a face mask as well.

As always, thank you for your patience, support, and understanding.

Theresa Pichelmeyer, President and CEO

 

July 2, 2020: UPDATES Shared with Residents and Families

Happy Fourth of July weekend!  We are a few days away from beginning outdoor visiting and, again, sharing the process for scheduling. We can’t stress enough the importance of following the procedure for safe visits and we are counting on everyone involved for the success of the program.

Julie Roh, Volunteer Coordinator, is helping to schedule and you may contact her with questions at:

julieroh@valleyvna.org or 920.624.6087.

Outdoor Family Visits will begin July 7

  • Visits will be Monday-Friday morning from 10:00–10:45 am and afternoon from 1:30–2:15 pm.

Process for scheduling Outdoor Family Visits:

CBRF Residents: Your first contact will receive an email detailing the visitation process and a direct link to the Sign Up Genius calendar. NOTE: We must have an email address on file for the first contact so we can send the sign up link.

Independent Residents: You are responsible to share the information with your family as we do not have primary contacts for everyone. If you want us to send an email out, you will need to provide that information to Marian at the front desk.

  • Two guests (age 16+) will be allowed at each visit.
  • Each guest will need to be screened and temperature recorded before start of visit
  • Each guest is required to wear a face mask the entire visit and maintain 6 foot social distancing during their visit. We have placed a bright green X with tape on the ground with the chairs in place, seating needs to be kept like this to ensure social distancing. Residents should wear a face mask as well.

As always, thank you for your patience, support, and understanding.

Theresa Pichelmeyer, President and CEO

 

June 26, 2020: UPDATES Shared with Residents and Families

The Department of Health Services (DHS) on Thursday released their Visitation Guidance for Assisted Living Communities. We continue to be guided by their expertise and are now ready to move forward and implement Outdoor Family Visits. We have included the DHS  Safer Visits  recommendations in the program and its success is dependent upon the compliance of all participants: visitors, residents, and staff.

Outdoor Family Visits will begin July 7.

Visits will be Monday-Friday morning from 10:00 am – 10:45 am and afternoon from 1:30 pm – 2:15 pm.

Process for scheduled Outdoor Family Visits:

CBRF Residents: Your first contact will receive an email detailing the visitation process and a direct link to the Sign Up Genius calendar. NOTE: We must have an email address on file for the first contact so we can send the sign up link.

Independent Residents: You are responsible to share the information with your family as we do not have primary contacts for everyone. If you want us to send an email out, you will need to provide that information to Marian at the front desk.

  • Each court has its own calendar to help eliminate confusion and keep visits separate per court:

Coral Court visits will be held outside Door 7 (Coral Entrance).

Emerald visits will be held outside Door 5 (Emerald Door).

Amber visits will be held outside Door 3 (Amber Entrance).

Sapphire visits will be held on the patio to the left of the front entrance (outside Angela’s office).

Alex will have two family visit areas in the Alex Courtyard by the statue of St. Frances.

  • Two guests (age 16+) will be allowed at each visit.
  • Each guest will need to be screened and temperature recorded before start of visit
  • Each guest is required to wear a face mask the entire visit and maintain 6 foot social distancing during their visit. We have placed a bright green X with tape on the ground with the chairs in place, seating needs to be kept like this to ensure social distancing. Residents should wear a face mask as well.

Julie Roh, Volunteer Coordinator, is helping to coordinate Outdoor Family Visits. You may contact her at  julieroh@valleyvna.org or 920.624.6087.

Visits are based on several criteria: the prevalence of the virus in the community, Valley VNA continues virus free, the weather, and that all visitors and residents follow the guidelines for safe distancing and wearing of masks. We reserve the right to cancel scheduled visits if it is in the best interest for the health and safety of residents and staff. 

As always, thank you for your patience, support, and understanding.

Theresa Pichelmeyer, President and CEO

 

June 18, 2020: UPDATES Shared with Residents and Families

As we have shared in previous communications, we have developed a process for outdoor visits, while keeping the safety of residents, staff, and visitors in mind. We understand the frustration of not being able to spend time with family and friends and want to implement this as soon as it is safe to do so. However, with the rise in

positive cases of COVID-19 in Winnebago County, and the risk of spreading the virus within our Valley VNA community, we are going to keep the start of outdoor visits on hold.  As we have said, we need to be vigilant for the safety of residents and staff. This isn’t a decision that was made lightly. The Valley VNA Executive Team had a lengthy discussion with the bottom line being: safety.

Valley VNA continues to follow guidelines from the Department of Health Services (DHS) for health and safety. DHS is currently reviewing the guidelines for outdoor visits and we are waiting (quite anxiously) to hear their recommendations. We struggle with knowing the pain that all of this is having on our residents, family, and friends. Please know that we are listening and hear your concerns. As soon as we are able, we will begin scheduling outdoor visits.

This is Father’s Day weekend and a time for family and friends to spend time with one another. I know it’s not the same as a hug, but please consider contacting our Life Enrichment team, they are here to help you connect using FaceTime, Skype, email, or even a phone call.

We have staff who can help make the connection.

Contact:  Joelin Mueller, Life Enrichment Coordinator

920-727-5544 ext 1060

joelinm@valleyvna.org

Thank you for your patience, support, and understanding.

Theresa Pichelmeyer, President and CEO

 

 

June 12, 2020: UPDATES Shared with Residents and Families

As we have shared recently, we are working on a process to support outside visits with residents and family. We understand the anxiety and frustration that both our residents and family members are experiencing for not being able to have the same level of communication and closeness with each other before the shut down. The process we are working on depends on two things: the weather (since the visits are outside only), and the cooperation of the resident and visitors to follow the  process. We will have designated spaces for outside visits that adhere to: the six-foot social distancing guidelines; the requirement to wear, at minimum, a cloth masks during the visit;  and not sharing items such as food or drinks. We feel confident that if these processes are followed, we will reduce the risk to our residents.

Our intent is to share the process with you next week with the goal of starting visits the week of June 22nd. Whether families are picking up residents for appointments, rides, etc.,  please wear a mask along with the resident to provide a additional level of safety and protection. We are aware there have been some family visits on the weekends and evenings which are currently outside of our Centers for Disease Control and Department of Public Health guidelines. We are asking for your patience and to please follow our guidelines and restrictions. There has been a recent increase in COVID-19 cases in Winnebago County and we are watching this closely. And, depending on what occurs in the next week may or may not alter our goal. Safety of our residents (and staff) is our number one priority.

You have entrusted us—and we take your safety and care very seriously.

Michelle will be back in the hair salon starting Monday, June 15.  Salon visits with Michelle will be a bit different from how she used to operate before COVID-19:

  • Michelle will screened, have her temperature taken daily, and will wear a cloth mask like all staff members.
  • Michelle will be making appointment and share her weekly schedule with shift managers, and managers will share daily salon schedule at shift report.
  • Staff will assist residents to and from salon if they need help, as Michelle will not be leaving the salon.
  • Michelle will have a walkie-talkie in the salon to notify staff when a resident is ready to be helped back to their room, if necessary.
  • Michelle will use the Emerald salon for our residents in the back courts.

As always, thank you for your patience, support, and understanding.

Theresa Pichelmeyer, President and CEO

 

June 5, 2020: UPDATES Shared with Residents and Families

One of our constants throughout the last several months has been the variety of ways that the Life Enrichment team has kept residents busy and engaged. Staying active—physically and mentally, and staying connected with family and friends helps to keep everyone in a healthier place. In fact, staying  connected just got a little easier thanks to a generous donation to purchase iPads!

We have staff who can help make the connection.

Contact:  Joelin Mueller, Life Enrichment Coordinator

920-727-5544 ext 1060

joelinm@valleyvna.org

Each week a calendar of upcoming activities is available so everyone knows what to expect and residents can participate if they wish. The calendar is also available on the Valley VNA website.

From the Eagle’s Nest It’s true, from my office I have a bird’s-eye view of the parking lot and can see those of you who are driving far too fast. For the   safety of everyone, please, please, please slow down!

We mentioned last week that we were working on opening the hair salon as well as looking at ways to accommodate outside visits.

This is where we are at:

Hair Salon We anticipate Michelle returning to the salon in the coming weeks and we encourage residents to use our salon instead on going off-site. Each time someone leaves the Valley VNA campus for outside appointments it  increases the chances of bringing COVID-19 in the building. Michelle will be making the appointments herself, and the exact process for residents and staff will be communicated to you.

Outdoor Visits There will be designated Visiting Areas in each of the courts. Scheduling of visits will be similar to the way that Rickshaw rides are scheduled. Julie Roh will create an online calendar where visitors can sign up for a visiting time. Visits will be scheduled Monday-Friday. Visitors will be screened, need to wear a mask, and only two adult visitors will be allowed per visit. We will share the process with you when we have it finalized.

As we have said, these plans are subject to change.

Again, thank you for your patience and support.

Theresa Pichelmeyer, President and CEO

 

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