Information on this page will be updated as we learn more about the COVID-19 virus and new suggestions from Federal and medical institutions.

 

July 21, 2020

Dear Residents and Families:

We are writing to inform you of a phased reopening of Village life during the Covid-19 pandemic.

As you know, we implemented several infection control practices earlier this year – including closing our doors to visitors – as Covid-19 spread rapidly throughout the world. These practices – plus the actions of our state government, our rural location and some good fortune – have kept the Cedar Hill campus COVID -19 free to date. 

Last month, the Vermont Department of Health, the Vermont Department of Disabilities, Aging and Independent Living, and Vt. Governor Phil Scott announced new guidelines that allowed us to have limited outside visitation for our residents and families. This has significantly helped to ease the isolation and loneliness that comes from being quarantined for such a long period of time. We are now entering another phase in re-opening our community to a more normal life experience.

Last week, Governor Scott released guidelines for long-term care communities to reopen to more activities. These guidelines give each community control over when and how much they reopen.

Below is a summary of how we plan to introduce this at the Village assisted living. We have considered what we have heard are priorities from our residents and their families. Please keep in mind that Vermont’s success at keeping the infection rate from Covid-19 relatively low is because of our strong infection control measures. 

On Wednesday, July 22nd, we will hold two resident council sessions to inform our residents and allow for any questions and comments they have.

Many of our current infection control protocols will not change. Everyone must still wear a mask on our campus, as well as continue to social distance, use hand sanitizer and wash their hands frequently. 

We will continue to screen all staff, residents and essential visitors each day.

We must still limit who enters our buildings to help control the spread of the virus, and we must limit our outings.

Our plan is to gradually begin activities over several weeks. Our residents have asked to begin communal dining first, so that is where we plan to start. State guidance, and common sense, means that communal dining must include six-foot distancing and always eating with the same group of people for each meal (this is known as co-horting.)

Communal dining:  Begin breakfast for all Assisted Living residents in the Tuscany Dining room on Friday, July 24.

Begin noon meal communal dining in the Ascutney and Tuscany Dining Rooms on Tuesday, July 28th.

Begin evening meal in Tuscany and Ascutney Dining Rooms on Tuesday, August 4th.

Salon Services: The Vermont guidelines allow us to reopen hair salon services on a limited basis. Our hairdresser will return Monday, August 17th   and Friday, August 21st to provide services and then move to every other week. As in the past, you can make appointments through Barbara Greer, the administrative assistant.

Group Activities: We now offer activities with up to five residents with social distancing and masks. On Tuesday, September 1st, we plan to increase the size of group activities, indoors and outdoors, to 10 as long as the space allows six-foot distancing and all participants use masks.  

Group Outings: We are not planning group activities off campus as this time.

Medical Appointments: If a resident is able to drive and drives their own car, they can now drive themselves to their appointments. Because cars do not allow social distancing, we are still not allowing families to drive residents to appointments. 

Car Rides: Because cars do not allow for social distancing, and are considered an indoor space, we do not allow families or friends to take residents out without a 14-day quarantine when they return.

Outdoor Visitation: We plan to increase outdoor visitation to up to four visitors on Monday, September 21st.

Indoor Visitation: We do not currently have any plans to begin indoor visitation. 

End-of-Life Visitation: State guidelines allow for up to two people for an indoor visitation in an end-of-life situation. Please talk to us in these situations. 

We are caught in unusual and difficult times. There are no easy situations or rules during this pandemic and this causes a lot of anxiety for all. Please reach out to us and talk through difficult situations with us. 

We continue to communicate with the Vermont Department of Health and our other regulators frequently regarding our progress in re-opening. 

We will keep you informed of our progress along the way to improving the quality of life for our residents and do not hesitate to reach out to one of us.

Sincerely yours,

 

JoAnne Blanchard, Executive Director

Patricia Horn, Community Executive Director

COVID-19 Information For Families and Friends

It’s important to recognize that the novel coronavirus, or COVID-19, poses a serious threat to older adults (particularly those 80 years of age or older) and those who have underlying health conditions.

For these reasons, we are following federal, state, and global guidelines and restricting visitors to our assisted living community. We are able to make exceptions for extenuating circumstances and end-of-life circumstances. 

We recognize that these measures may be uncomfortable for you, your family, and your loved ones who are staying here with us. There are still ways you can stay in contact with your senior loved ones through this period of uncertainty:

  • Utilize phone and video call services. Our staff can help facilitate these calls.
  • Make sure we have your updated emergency contact information. You can update us through our contact forms.
  • If you have to visit our community, please alert the Cedar Hill staff ahead of time. 
    • We may ask you a series of questions before your arrival. This is to help screen you for symptoms or ailments that could affect our residents.
    • If you are not allowed to enter the building, please understand that this is for the best for your loved ones.
    • If you are allowed into our campus, please be diligent about washing and sanitizing your hands upon entering and throughout your visit.

While we have canceled many events, we are still ensuring that our residents can enjoy the social time and sense of community that they’ve grown to know and enjoy. We are working with staff to set up dining arrangements that place residents at a safe, six-foot distance from each other.

COVID-19 For Residents

We understand that the uncertainty that surrounds the COVID-19 virus might leave you feeling confused, anxious, and scared. Know that we are doing everything possible to keep you safe and comfortable during this period.

In order to keep you healthy and safe, we are following guidelines from the government. This means that visitors like friends and family may not be able to visit during this time. However, we still want you to stay connected.

  • Ask a staff member or healthcare provider about setting up a phone or video call with your friends and family.

To help keep yourself and others safe, here are a few things you can do right now:

  • Wash your hands and use hand sanitizer throughout the day.
  • Cover your coughs and sneezes with your elbow or a handkerchief.
  • Avoid handshakes, hugs, and kisses with others. 
  • Remind others to wash their hands regularly.
  • If you begin to experience a sore throat, coughing, sneezing, or a fever, tell a staff member immediately.

We Are Proactively Responding to the COVID-19 Virus

To better serve our residents and their families, we have assigned each resident one staff person as a main contact and personal representative for non-emergency health situations. This is our way of updating you with information as it comes available, and to ensure that your loved one is being well cared for. If a representative has not reached out to you yet, please contact us immediately.

We will continue to monitor the situation and update this page, our blog, and emails as information becomes available.