Gimmie a V!
Vaccinate, For You, For Us, For All
American Senior Communities is committed to the safety and health of our team members, residents and families we serve. In accordance with our mission to compassionately serve every resident with quality care and excellence, we firmly believe that vaccinating employees is essential for our customers’ safety and health. As such, we will follow and support any federal, state and local vaccination mandates. All residents and staff have been offered the life-saving vaccine and have been provided extensive education about its effectiveness. Any staff members who are not yet vaccinated are tested routinely and are required to be masked at all times. Employees with special circumstances have been asked to request an exemption which will be reviewed.
We are in awe by this year’s stories of recovery, teamwork, strength, and resilience. The residents and families we serve are very important to us and we will continue to be in close contact with local, state and federal health authorities, following their guidance, mandates and reporting requirements as we move forward with compassion, and an over-abundance of caution and quality care.
Continuing with our efforts to proactively communicate with residents and their families, we are pleased to share a letter written to them about the vaccination from ASC Medical Director, Jose Pinon M.D. and Donna Kelsey, CEO.
Dear Resident/Family Members,
By now you have probably learned that COVID-19 vaccines will soon be approved and ready for distribution to the public. We have long awaited this exciting news, and expect that our health care staff and residents will be among the first to receive these vaccines.
We understand that some of you may be concerned about the safety of these new vaccines, as they have been developed and tested far more quickly than those in the past. We want to assure you that the speed with which these vaccines were developed is not due to skipping important safety steps, but rather the result of focused, collaborative work performed by experts across the globe. Vaccines approved for use by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration have undergone the same level of rigorous testing for safety and efficacy as other vaccines, and have been tested in tens of thousands of people, including older adults. Two independent advisory committees of experts from academic institutions also monitor vaccines to ensure their safety.
Most of the COVID-19 vaccines require two separate doses given about three or four weeks apart, depending on the vaccine. Participants of clinical trials have reported experiencing short-term side effects after being vaccinated, with more pronounced discomfort after the second dose. These possible side effects include headache, muscle pains, fatigue, chills, fever and pain at the injection site. Sometimes there is misunderstanding about the cause of these reactions, as you may have heard someone say a vaccine has “made them sick” or given them the disease that the vaccine was intended to prevent. We want to be clear that this is not the case. The COVID-19 vaccine cannot you give you a COVID-19 infections of disease. The vaccine works by helping the body create antibodies to fight off the virus. Feeling discomfort after getting the vaccine means that the vaccine is doing its job and your body is making antibodies.
We, along with thousands of other senior care communities, are participating in a program with the Centers for Disease Control to help us most efficiently distribute these vaccines to our residents free of charge once they are available. We will keep you informed of this process as we move forward. Our staff will also have the opportunity to get vaccinated through this program, if they have not been vaccinated previously.
I encourage you to reach out to us if you have any questions about the COVID-19 vaccine, its possible side effects, and what to expect after you or a loved one receives it. As we have been saying over the course of this difficult year, we are all in this together. Please know that the safety and wellbeing of our staff and residents have been and remain our top priority. We are confident that the worldwide, unprecedented scientific achievement of these COVID-19 vaccines will eventually enable to us enjoy life with our loved ones again. We look forward to doing our part in this effort by getting the COVID-19 vaccine, and hope you will join us.
Dr. Jose Pinon, Senior V.P. Medical Affairs
Donna Kelsey, Chief Executive Officer
Unfortunately, social media can be full of misinformation. Please refer to The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) website for Frequently Asked Questions about COVID-19 Vaccination.
At American Senior Communities, connections matter. We are prioritizing the important connections our residents have with family and friends.
Visitation guidelines in our communities may vary depending on several factors, such as county positivity rates, positive cases within the community, and guidance from the CDC and Indiana State Department of Health. Outdoor visitation is available at all times, excluding weather related events which may pose a hazard. We also honor Compassionate Visitation and Essential Family Caregivers so that even if there are temporary visitor limitations, family members meeting certain criteria are still able to support and visit their loved ones.
The Kentucky Cabinet for Health and Family Services (CHFS) has recommended a variety of steps that we are implementing to reduce the potential for the virus to enter our building. We ask for your cooperation and understanding as we implement those preventative measures for COVID-19.
Effective June 29th, families are being reunited under new guidance released by The Kentucky Cabinet for Health and Family Services (CHFS) for visitation. We understand that residents and families are anxious to connect; thus we are utilizing policies and protocols based on this new guidance to keep our residents and employees safe while reintroducing visitation with loved ones.
Visitors must have an appointment and will be screened. They will also be asked to sign-in, wear a face mask and adhere to proper social distancing, along with other criteria. Residents must also wear a face mask and meet additional criteria during the visit.
Families are encouraged to review the testing and visitation criteria provided by Kentucky Association of Health Care Facilities/Kentucky Center for Assisted Living (KAHCF/KCAL) which can be found here and/or call Forest Hill Commons at (502) 499-5533 should they have additional questions.
We rigorously screen those who do enter, are important strategies to minimizing the exposure to COVID-19.
Screening includes a questionnaire about COVID-19 symptoms and a temperature reading. Any employee, visitor or medical provider that triggers screening concerns, is not permitted to work, visit or provide service that day. Employees, visitors and medical providers are expected to wear personal protective equipment such as a mask, eye protection, gloves, gowns, etc. and follow facility infection control policies and procedures while in the community.
ASC offers a dedicated admissions team that works side by side with families and hospital personnel to ensure a smooth transition for residents as they acclimate to their new setting.
Due to COVID-19 restrictions, ASC offers prospective families a variety of virtual tour options including face time and can answer questions via phone, email, text or video conference. Treatment consents can be signed electronically and shared via email for convenience. Directors of Admissions can also arrange off-site meetings with families if preferred.
To ensure the safety of our residents, each new resident is screened for COVID-19 symptoms, history of COVID-19 infection, and vaccination status prior to admission.
At American Senior Communities, we believe that caring for others means personally knowing and valuing each individual as a person. We believe that each customer deserves to be known, recognized, understood and cared for as much emotionally as they do physically. Upon admission, each resident is paired with a CARE Companion. While residents are cared for by the full team, a CARE Companion is someone who goes above and beyond to identify mutual interests that typically lead to a deeper connection and friendship. These companions provide a variety of updates to families as well as solicit preferences and help arrange visiting options. For more information about CARE Companions, click here.
Moving Forward Rehabilitation is designed for those striving to return home following a hospital stay but who could benefit from continued skilled nursing care, physical, occupational and/or speech therapy to restore self-care abilities and confidence. Programs are tailored to the individual; therefore, our programs are well positioned for modifications due to COVID-19 restrictions.
Upon admission, initial assessments and road to recovery goal setting meetings are held in the resident’s room. Therapy sessions may take place in the room or in the gym utilizing strict guidelines such as private therapy sessions and enhanced cleaning protocols before and after the session. As conditions allow, our therapy team is eager to get patients in the therapy gyms and using our state-of-the-art equipment as soon as possible.
Equipment is sanitized before and after each therapy session and between treating each patient. Therapists and patients wear masks and perform hand hygiene per guidelines, including throughout therapy sessions and between treating each patient.
Respiratory therapy services have been added to many communities to assist with respiratory issues related to COVID-19.
Where outpatient therapy services are available, those therapy sessions have resumed utilizing state and local guidance.
Therapy is essential to the well-being, care and recovery of our patients. Our team remains focused on each patient’s health, safety and satisfaction.
One of the most important ways to limit the spread of the COVID-19 virus is thorough and frequent cleaning of surfaces.
American Senior Communities has implemented enhanced housekeeping procedures to ensure a clean and sanitized environment. All housekeeping personnel are educated on infection control practices and cleaning strategies specific to COVID-19. Each housekeeper uses specialized, CDC approved disinfectant to kill the virus on surfaces. High touch areas such as light switches, doorknobs and call lights are sanitized multiple times per day by several team members. A Quality Assurance tool is used to validate that enhanced housekeeping procedures are being followed for every room and common area.
Because infection control is of the utmost importance, ASC is implementing a high-tech electrostatic spraying system in each community. These state-of-the-art tools, already in use in major hotels, will only enhance our already rigorous approach to sanitization. Our fine mist sprayers will aid in the disinfection of high touch areas, including fabrics such as couches, chairs, etc. ASC has also installed Needlepoint Bipolar Ionization devices in the common area and corridor air handling units to help combat airborne pathogens including COVID-19.
We understand that connecting our residents with their loved one is incredibly important during COVID-19 visitor restrictions. We offer access to communication devices and extra support to families who desire a visit with their loved ones through alternative methods such as telephone, email, text, video chat or social media during this challenging public health concern.
American Senior Communities began educating staff regarding COVID-19 from the onset of this situation. All employees are educated on infection control measures as well as how COVID-19 is transmitted. Educational posters are hung throughout the community for reference.
As more is learned about this disease, our staff is educated on new CDC guidance, infection prevention and best practices in infection control. Additionally, each community employs an Infection Preventionist who is dedicated to daily surveillance and monitoring of both residents and staff for potential symptoms or exposure. The Infection Preventionist also educates and reinforces infection control measures such as cleaning/ disinfecting, hand hygiene practices, respiratory etiquette as well as PPE use to ensure the well being of our residents and staff.
For Indiana communities visit https://www.in.gov/
For Kentucky communities visit http://www.locate-a-ombudsman.com/KentuckyOmbudsman.html
Coronavirus (COVID-19) is an illness caused by a virus that can spread from person to person. COVID-19 symptoms can range from mild (or even no symptoms) to severe illness.
People with COVID-19 have had a wide range of symptoms reported – ranging from mild symptoms to severe illness. Symptoms may appear 2-14 days after exposure to the virus. People with these symptoms may have COVID-19:
This list does not include all possible symptoms. CDC will continue to update this list as they learn more about COVID-19.
COVID-19 is thought to spread mainly from person-to-person.
You can keep up to date on the symptoms and prevention of COVID-19 on the CDC website.