During these uncertain times, we at American Senior Communities are unwavering in our mission to compassionately serve our residents with quality care and excellence.
The health and wellness of our residents and employees remain our highest priorities. We continue to be in close contact with local, state and federal health authorities, following their guidance, mandates and reporting requirements.
We are energized 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 move forward with compassion, and an over-abundance of caution and quality care.
Visitation for Indiana Communities:
Families are being reunited under ongoing guidance released by the Indiana State Department of Health for indoor and/or outdoor visitation. We understand that residents and families are anxious to connect; American Senior Communities is utilizing policies and protocols based on this guidance to keep our residents and employees safe during these visits.
Only ASC communities that meet specific criteria can allow visitations to occur.
Visitors at approved communities 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. ASC families are encouraged to review the criteria provided by ISDH which can be found here.
Visitation guidance may change and is influenced by numerous factors which may include the spread of COVID-19 within the local community.
While there are some restrictions involved, we look forward to connecting families and loved ones.
Holiday Visiting Options:
With the holidays approaching, many are considering how to spend time with loved ones in a safe way. The Indiana State Department of Health, in conjunction with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) have given guidelines for how residents and families can spend time together as safely as possible this holiday season.
COVID 19 has impacted everyone, but we know that those residents who live in our long-term care settings are at a higher risk for severe illness from COVID 19. For this reason, both the CDC and Indiana State Department of Health strongly discourage families and loved ones from taking residents to their homes for holiday events. Although this can be disappointing to hear, there are other ways you can celebrate with your loved ones.
One way that families can more safely spend time with residents is through Outdoor Visitation. Outdoor visitation is allowed unless there is a new onset case of COVID 19 at the community or the weather prohibits comfortable and safe visitation. During outdoor visitation, all visitors are screened, physical distance is maintained as well as the use of face masks to decrease the risk of COVID 19 transmissions. You can schedule a time for outdoor visitation by calling the community to make arrangements.
Some communities are able to host visitation indoors. When community transmission rates are more controlled, there are not new COVID cases, and the local County permits it, indoor visitation can be an option for holiday visiting as well. Visits are physically distanced after screening and face masks or other personal protective equipment are used as well to decrease the risk of transmission. You can find out if your community offers indoor visitation by calling the Executive Director.
Another option for sharing the holiday is to bring in food for your loved one. You can share some of the meal that you’ve prepared then discuss the dishes via phone or Facetime. Favorite holiday foods can be a powerful way to connect and share an experience even though you’re not face to face. You can also spend time with your loved one in more non-traditional ways. Window visits and Facetime or Zoom calls can be great ways to see each other without the risks of person to person contact.
If you chose to take your loved one out for the holiday, please know that each resident will need to be quarantined for fourteen days after their return. This means that if the resident lives with a roommate, the resident will need to be moved to another room for the 14 days. Unfortunately, each community has a limited number of private rooms that can accommodate quarantine. For that reason, if you chose to take your loved one home, there may be a delay in when you can bring them back depending on the need for quarantined rooms. You should talk with your community’s Executive Director to determine specifics, should you chose to take your loved one home and you should make plans for your loved one to stay with you should unexpected circumstances arise. For the full Indiana State Department of Health guidelines, please visit their website here.
Visitation for Kentucky Communities:
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 criteria provided by The Kentucky Cabinet for Health and Family Services (CHFS) which can be found here and call Forest Hill Commons should they have additional questions. While there are some restrictions involved, this new guidance brings hope and we look forward to reuniting families.
Daily, residents and employees are assessed for signs and symptoms of COVID-19 and have their temperature taken. Employees exhibiting symptoms are immediately sent home until they meet the return to work guidelines outlined by the Center for Disease Control (CDC). Residents exhibiting symptoms are tested and placed in special precautions while they await their results.
Early detection of the virus is imperative to reducing the exposure risk to other residents and to staff. Each community is equipped with Point of Care (POC) testing machines that produce results within 15 minutes. Residents and employees are tested at a frequency in accordance to state and federal mandates which ranges from twice a week to monthly.
Additional protective precautions, assessments, monitoring and treatment protocols are put in place to serve residents who test positive.
Treatment and Recovery
Senior VP of Medical Affairs, Dr. Jose Pinon, along with the ASC COVID-19 taskforce, has been working closely with state and federal health authorities to ensure ASC protocols are in line with the most current care options available to fight this disease.
Symptoms of COVID-19 vary from mild (more like a common cold) to more severe symptoms such as respiratory distress. Just as symptoms vary, so do treatment options. ASC’s Director of Pharmacy coordinates efforts to maintain symptom control. This coordination engages each community’s Medical Directors and resident following physicians.
Data shows that most people diagnosed with COVID-19 do recover. However, the elderly population is most at risk for complications. ASC utilizes the CDC’s symptom-based strategy. Under this guidance, 10 days must pass after the first symptom(s) appear or 10 days from the first positive test for those that remain asymptomatic. Additionally, there must be 24 hours with no fever without use of fever-reducing medications, and improvement in symptoms. The time period used depends on the resident’s severity of illness and if they are severely immunocompromised, which may be extended up to 20 days and may need consultation with an infection control expert. Residents that are asymptomatic but have tested positive for COVID-19 must continue to be symptom free for 10 days before they would be considered recovered. Ongoing hydration and nutrition monitoring are key components of the recovery care plan.
COVID-19 Screening of Employees and Essential Medical Providers
Limiting the number of people who enter our resident’s home and rigorously screening 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 prior to admission. Additionally, we welcome our new admissions into an enhanced infection control observation for their first two weeks. New residents dine and participate in life enriching activities in their room during the first two weeks.
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.
American Senior Communities’ memory care neighborhoods are operating within the CDC’s COVID-19 recommendations currently in place for each ASC community.
For the health of our residents we are striving every day to honor state, local and federal guidelines, monitoring social distancing and encouraging residents to wear masks, as tolerated. Because COVID-19 restrictions may disrupt some of the daily activities and routines which enhance the lives our memory care residents, our highly trained memory care team is well equipped to observe for, and recognize any unusual, behavioral or symptom-based expressions that would denote a decrease in our residents’ psychosocial or emotional quality of life.
Our memory care employees are going above and beyond to continue to create meaningful moments with our residents every day. Our team is continuing to prioritize wellness and engagement along with excellent infection control practices.
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.
At American Senior Communities, we take pride in creating a pleasurable dining experience prepared by highly a skilled team of culinary experts. We understand that the social dining experience has historically been a very important part of our residents’ day.
Guidance from state and local authorities has created a pathway for residents to dine together utilizing complex criteria which includes reduced capacity, maintaining a social distance and enhanced cleaning before and each dining experience.
Extensive training with our culinary staff is being conducted on enhanced precautions that will help open these selected dining rooms safely.
To help prevent the virus from entering our communities, outside vendors are given limited access to our kitchens. Many of our food deliveries are conducted outside and containers are wiped down with a sanitizing solution prior to storage.
Safety is of the utmost concern but so are the nutritional needs and satisfaction of our residents. Culinary and social enrichment professionals provide selections where residents choose from a variety of their favorite snacks and beverages which helps to improve nutrition and hydration and may also brighten their day.
The Culinary team remains focused on safety, nutrition and our residents’ satisfaction.
Activities for Life Enrichment
Activities are an important part of a resident’s day. Our employees go above and beyond to continue to create meaningful moments with our residents. Our Activity Departments have been very creative in their efforts!
Due to COVID-19, group activities have been reimagined. From conducting BINGO from the hallway to leading exercises and even dance contests, our activity professionals are continuing to prioritize wellness and engagement while adhering to social distancing and infection control guidance.
Independent, in-room activities are also provided. A variety of technology-based entertainment and activity platforms have shared their content with us. Using iPads and additional equipment, residents have access to music from the Great American Songbook, virtual museum tours, games, concerts, movies and more.
Each resident’s individual preferences and interests are assessed and supported as opportunities for life enrichment are presented either in their rooms or in a modified group setting.
We realize that the changes in daily routines and visitor restrictions caused by COVID-19 may be concerning for our residents. We are collaborating closely with local, state and federal health officials to continue to evaluate options for qualifying communities to ease restrictions while still ensuring resident safety.
Social enrichment professionals are continuing to prioritize wellness and engagement while maintaining social distancing and infection control.
Each resident is being monitored daily for indications of stress. Our team is trained to recognize any new or usual expressions that may indicate a concern. Things such as variations in sleeping or eating patterns, irritability, sadness and withdrawal from others are just a few of the symptoms that staff assesses for during resident interaction. In cases when these symptoms are observed, Social Services, the interdisciplinary team and the physician work in conjunction to develop a plan of care to address concerns. Interventions may include changes in the resident’s daily routine, how often they communicate with their loved ones and/or counseling services. Counseling services are available.
Families observing any change in their loved one’s psychosocial well-being, are encouraged to share their concerns with a member of the management team. These leaders can discuss observations and develop a plan for further assessment.
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.
Do you have a sufficient amount of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)?
As reported in the news, across the nation in all sectors of healthcare, PPE has been in short supply since the onset of COVID-19. ASC’s procurement department is working very hard to secure and maintain the proper level of PPE inventory necessary to safely care for our residents and protect our employees.
What types of education are you providing to your employees?
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.
How are you handling issues with staffing shortages?
Our recruitment team is working diligently to ensure we maintain proper staffing levels. We also contract with staffing agencies should we need to take advantage of that option to ensure your loved one is well cared for.
How do I locate my local ombudsman?
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:
- Fever or chills
- Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
- Muscle or body aches
- New loss of taste or smell
- Sore throat
- Congestion or runny nose
- Nausea or vomiting
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.
- Between people who are in close contact with one another (within about 6 feet).
- Through respiratory droplets produced when an infected person coughs, sneezes or talks.
- These droplets can land in the mouths or noses of people who are nearby or possibly be inhaled into the lungs.
- Some recent studies have suggested that COVID-19 may be spread by people who are not showing symptoms.
Currently, there is no vaccine to protect against COVID-19. The best way to protect yourself is to avoid being exposed to the virus that causes COVID-19. This can include avoiding close contact with others, wearing masks and other personal protective equipment, cleaning frequently touched surfaces often and washing your hands often or using an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
You can keep up to date on the symptoms and prevention of COVID-19 on the CDC website.
Love Endures, Caring Connections Continue
Horses of Hope
Horses of Hope
The ASC Cavalry, Horses of hope have been visiting the residents and team members of American Senior Communities. These horses have had the opportunity to impact the mental wellbeing of the ASC family as they travel from city to city doing window visits.
We understand where visitor restrictions are still in place, times continue to be extremely difficult and emotional for everyone. Our social enrichment team continues to keep families connected utilizing alternative methods and create engaging activities and social events. We encourage families to follow what’s going on by liking the Facebook page for their community.