Coronavirus Update

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Update 5/29/20

New Procedures for Health and Happiness Visits

We are excited to share some good news. As many states are moving from “Stay at Home” to “Safer at Home” restrictions, Christian Living Communities-Cappella’s leadership team has been working to distill directives and evaluate procedures in order to strike a balance between the crucial need to maintain the physical health of residents with mental health that leads to happiness.

We have developed new procedures pertaining to in-person visits via a plexiglass divider, self-isolation after essential appointments, residents who are able, to drive themselves to essential appointments, and excursions, which vary by community based on virus activity within the community, state regulations, and level of care. In all levels of living, state directives supersede new procedures. Information on what we are preparing for residents and families was shared at our May 28th Family Town Hall Webinar which you can view here.

This is an unprecedented time, and every decision we make is with the health and happiness of residents, families, and team members in mind. We are diligently planning, resourcing materials, and training staff on the new operational procedures. We appreciate your patience and understanding as it will take some time to implement these new guidelines. Please contact us at Info@clcmail.org with any questions.

While we are overjoyed that residents can enjoy greater freedoms and in-person family visits, we are still facing a virus that disproportionally affects older adults. We ask that everyone continue to do all they can to stay healthy and be mindful of the risk of exposure to this virus. Residents must stay well for our community to be well.

Thank you for your continued support as we celebrate residents and families as they make new memories!

Update 5/1/20

Town Hall webinar for Families on the COVID-19 Virus

We hope you were able to join us for the Family Town Hall Webinar on April 30th. You will hear from Christian Living Communities and Cappella Living Solutions organizational leaders on what steps are being taken to combat the virus in the communities, you may watch the Webinar here.

Update 4/17/20

Recording of Town Hall webinar for Families Now Available

We hope you were able to join us for the Family Town Hall Webinar on April 16th. Due to very high attendance, some participants were unable to join or lost the connection. You will find the complete recording of the webinar here. Additionally, there will be a new Town Hall Webinar on April 30th at 4 pm MT. You can register for that webinar with this link.
https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/6548730144097379085

Update 4/13/20

New Town Hall webinar for Families on the COVID-19 Virus

April 16th, 4pm MT | 5pm CT | 6pm ET

As always we will share the latest information about our organizational efforts to combat COVID-19 as well as answer questions people pre-submit to info@clcmail.org.

Registration URL
https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/6548730144097379085

Update 4/7/20

Senior Living Communities in Need of More Personal Protective Equipment

Christian Living Communities asking for PPE donations

Since the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic, there’s been a need for personal protective equipment (PPE) in senior housing communities. However, recent state health department and federal directives have made that need even more urgent.

Senior housing communities are being directed by the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment (CDPHE) to isolate and treat non-life-threatening cases of COVID-19 inside their respective communities instead of sending residents to the hospital. The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) issued a similar directive.

As a result, senior living care partners/staff need additional PPE to care for residents. Hospitals and first responders are first in line to receive PPE when stock becomes available, which compounds the difficulty of obtaining supplies. Many senior housing providers, including Denver-based Christian Living Communities and its senior living management business Cappella Living Solutions (CLC/Cappella), are exploring all resources to keep their team members and residents protected.

“Our top priority is to ensure the health and safety of residents and team members,” said Nathalie Knopp, a registered nurse and Director of Clinical Staff Development for Christian Living Communities. “In order to safely identify, isolate and eradicate the virus as soon as possible, we must have an adequate supply of PPE.”

Because of this, CLC/Cappella is asking for the public’s help to find more PPE.

If you can donate PPE supplies, or have leads on where more PPE can be purchased or procured, you’re asked to email:

  • info@clcmail.org
  • nknopp@clcmail.org

“The communities that care for older adults, the most compromised individuals in our current situation, need PPE for the safety of both team members and residents,” said Pam Sullivan, Senior Vice President of Communication and Strategy for CLC/Cappella. “Because senior housing communities are directed to care for older adults with a positive COVID-19 test onsite. We are competing with hospitals for the same equipment, its important senior care communities are considered at the same level as hospitals for distributions of PPE.”

Sullivan says her organization is also now taking homemade cloth mask donations. “We will give those to our care partners to put over their surgical masks so that the homemade cloth mask protects the surgical mask from becoming contaminated, compromised or wet – helping us preserve our PPE supply longer,” explained Sullivan.


Originally published in YourHub of The Denver Post

Update 4/7/20

Your Generosity Can Assist our Team Members in this Critical Time

They truly are heroes. Despite the challenges they see each day, our team members continue to come to work – knowing the work they do is sacred, caring for and serving older adults.

They do it because it’s a calling. They do it because they care deeply.

During this unprecedented health emergency, our team members at Christian Living Communities have gone above and beyond to keep residents safe and cared for during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Many are facing tremendous stress, including financial hardship as they have seen their household income slashed in half with family members being laid off. Others are incurring extra expenses: unanticipated childcare costs for kids no longer attending school or larger grocery bills due to family members that have moved in.

In response, Christian Living Communities is offering help. The Critical Needs Fund provides emergency grants of up to $1,000 to help with groceries, childcare, rent, transportation, and medical expenses. Recently, donated funds were given to a team member who was laid off from her second job and could not make her car payment or pay her auto insurance due to the COVID-19 crisis.

Your generosity makes this program possible.

Consider a gift today to allow those in dire financial need to focus on what’s in front of them: serving older adults.

DONATE NOW

Update 4/6/20

Tech keeps Centennial Seniors Connected and Informed

In a time when self-isolation and stay-at-home directives are the norm, residents of one Denver retirement community are using innovative technology to stay connected and informed.

The in-house radio station HCRK, staffed and operated by residents of Holly Creek Life Plan Community in Centennial, typically plays music for and programs starring its residents. Since anyone in the community can tune in, the station has long been a popular source of enjoyment. Now, resident DJs and community staff members are also using it to relay COVID-19 updates and share community activities currently suspended to comply with Colorado’s stay-at-home order.

HCRK resident DJs on the job before social distancing began.

The community’s Masterpiece Living Coordinator Patrick Shelton is helping orchestrate the expanded broadcast schedule. The goal, he said, “is to be transparent as possible.” The radio is one key way to keep everyone in the loop.

“We’ve revised our programs for the day,” resident DJ Dan Parker explained. “At 10am every day, our executive director gives a short update on anything important related to coronavirus. Then the phones are open for fifteen minutes so anyone can call in with questions for him to answer.”

This initial information session is typically followed by an interview with each of the community’s department administrators. Shelton has helped arrange for department heads from all key areas of community life to share their team’s approach to the current situation. “We’ve had team members speak on how they are handling repairs in apartments, to how dining services has adjusted so residents can order food delivered to their apartments.”

In addition to announcements and updates, Holly Creek is also using technology to further engage residents while they are socially distancing. “We’re not on lockdown,” Shelton assured. “Our residents move about and can walk outside provided they follow social distancing protocols.”

One way to make social distancing easier is through new entertainment—including movies and Ted Talks. Another is broadcastings of the community’s many regular activities via radio or its inter-community TV Channel 22.

“All the programs possible that you would go down to the Fellowship Hall for are now on the radio or TV,” shared radio DJ Ken Stenman. “Three times a week they have an exercise program. The thirty-minute exercise is amazing for how many muscles you stretch! They also have a yoga program on Tuesdays and ThursdaysToday, they are also going to do something similar to what they’re doing in Italy by turning the radio up really loud and putting it outside so everyone can sing along on their apartment balconies.”

Along with music and exercise programs, the station is broadcasting Shelton’s typical “Brain Booster” and other learning forums, including a new “Modern Music” session. The community’s Chaplain, Jim Kok, is also sharing music, encouraging sing-a-longs and conducting Bible studies on the radio.

Chaplain Jim Kok leads sing-a-long from HCRK radio station.
Holly Creek residents participate in the sing-a-long from their balconies.

Resident DJs are still operating the station and opening each day’s radio program with key community announcements like birthdays and the daily lineup of radio and TV programs.

“We’re just being extremely diligent with the disinfectant,” Shelton explained. The radio room is wiped, sprayed and sterilized between each DJ shift.

The response to the radio and TV communication efforts has been, in Shelton’s words, “overwhelmingly positive.” He estimates that around 90 percent of the community’s independent living residents are being engaged with key information as well as entertainment.

Ken Stenman would certainly agree. He has not only been pleased with the programming but sees it providing residents with even more positive insights and encouragement. For instance, he shared that the opportunity to hear from department heads has “helped us learn even more about the qualifications of those who serve us.”

He acknowledges that “It’s a different life,” but Stenman is grateful for the ways he can still enrich his life and connect with others, including his role as a DJ—one that is perhaps more important now than ever before.

Located in at 5500 E. Peakview Avenue in Centennial, Colorado, Holly Creek is owned and operated by Denver-based not-for-profit Christian Living Communities. CLC has been providing quality senior care in the south Denver metropolitan area since 1972. For more information, visit www.hollycreekcommunity.com.

Update 4/6/20

A Note from Camille Burke

Dear CLC – Cappella Family,

Together, we WILL get through this. This is a phrase our leadership team uses daily. It is essential to say often as now, more than ever, we as a community of caring people must come together, and each do our part to combat the spread of Coronavirus. We must care for one another in significant ways during this difficult and uncertain time.

My personal commitment – to cherished residents and clients, to team members working tirelessly in all 24 communities, and to the supportive families — is simply this:  We will do everything in our power to protect EVERYONE who lives and works in EVERY community.

While this is not the ideal time for the CLC Board of Directors to embark on a search for a new CEO as Terry Rogers has left for a new position in Florida,  please know the organization is stable, secure, and capable. I am confident in the team. I have faith in the organization.

I have been a part of the CLC-Cappella family for 16 years, 13 of those as the Chief Operating Officer. I have served as the President of Cappella. Our team is highly-trained, long-tenured and dedicated. We are CALLED to the work we do. I am humbled and inspired at how everyone has come together and put others ahead of themselves.

As I undertake the role of Interim CEO, I have named Pam Sullivan as the Interim Senior Vice President of Strategy and Communication. Pam has also been with the organization for 16 years. In this role, she will serve as the lead project manager for large organizational initiatives. She has been managing the COVID-19 response since early March. Additionally, three of our Vice Presidents will report to her for daily operational support during this interim CEO time frame.

We are all on high alert, and the developing situation is under constant scrutiny. We continue to respond to all developments with professionalism and compassion, keeping the safety of residents and team members as our highest priority. TOGETHER, WE WILL get through this.

Most sincerely,

Camille M. Burke | Interim Chief Executive Officer

Update 4/2/20

CLC featured in Rocky Mountain PBS for COVID-19 Response

View the story and hear from leaders at Christian Living Communities and Cappella Living Solutions in regard to how we are responding to the challenges the Senior Living and Healthcare industries face as a result of the global spread of COVID-19.

Update 4/1/20

CLC Seeks Sources for Personal Protective Equipment

Personal protective equipment is the key to preventing the spread of COVID-19.  Leaders at Christian Living Communities are scouring the globe to secure additional equipment for teams protecting residents, and appealing for local donations.

 

Update 3/31/20

CEO Search Begins as Organization’s Commitment to Older Adults is Unwavered

Christian Living Communities is focused and committed to supporting all the CLC and Cappella Living Solutions supported communities during this COVID-19 crisis. The safety and well-being of everyone who works in each community and with our Rhythms Home Care Service is our top priority. Additionally, we are working to ensure the continued success of our nearly 50-year-old operation as our current CEO Terry Rogers departs this week for a new position with another not-for-profit based in Orlando Florida. Please click here to read a letter from the CLC Board Chair regarding the new CLC CEO search effort.

Update 3/31/20

CLC-Cappella Communities Family Member Town Hall

CLC-Cappella will host a combined family member town hall in order to share the latest developments in combating the COVID-19 virus in all 24 of our supported communities. Our focus remains on the safety and well-being of everyone who lives and works in each community. We want to ensure families are informed as to the current situation, what steps are being taken and to learn how families and friends can help out.

 

Please click on this link to register for the Town Hall https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/3634841811299810318 . There is a limit to the number of people who can register. However, the recording of the webinar will be posted on each community website by Noon Friday, April 3rd.

 

Please submit your question in advance to info@clcmail.org . We will address the general themes of the questions submitted during the Town Hall and we will make every effort to forward specific questions to local community teams.

 

Thank you for your support during this crisis. Together, we can get through this.

Update 3/31/20

CLC to pay Work Bonuses for Hard Working Team Members

Thank you, Christian Living Communities Team Members for your dedication to delivering compassionate and quality care to residents during this challenging time.

We have been rewarding front-line team members with incentive bonuses and will continue to do through May 2, 2020. Recently we awarded $18,000 in incentives to over 30% of our staff.  To all of our CLC team members, We!Celebrate you and We!Care about you.

 

Update 3/24/20

Chaplain Kok Delivers Encouraging Message

Jim Kok, Executive Director of Chaplain Services for Christian Living Communities, delivers an inspirational and encouraging message for such a time as this. Chaplain Kok has been with CLC since 1983 and is a much-needed voice of calm amid the current chaos. We want to share this message with all of our residents, family members, and our team members and say thank you for your patience during this difficult time. May we all, as Jim reminds us, ‘feed the good wolf.’

Update 3/17/20

Webinar Town Hall Meeting to Discuss COVID-19 for Colorado Communities

Christian Living Communities and Cappella Living Solutions hope you were able to attend the recent Town Hall Discussion.  If you were unable to attend we have provided a recording; you will hear organizational leaders share what we are doing to prevent and prepare during this critical time.  Please click the link to watch the video, you may also send any questions you have to Info@clclmail.org

Video Link: https://vimeo.com/399164044/3bc15134c4  

Update 3/16/20

Finding Ways to Connect for Older Adults during Restricted Visitation

They say challenging times bring out the best in people.  Anyone who has tried to buy toilet paper recently may disagree with that statement.  In a broader sense, however, we see evidence this is true.  Neighbors are reaching out on Nextdoor social media offering to purchase groceries and run errands for older neighbors; teachers are providing non-perishable food to low-income students while schools are closed, and most importantly, the majority of Americans are following guidelines for social distancing.  Nevertheless, social isolation can bring problems of its own.  If you have a family member living in nursing care, assisted living or memory support community you may be especially feeling that isolation. Fortunately, readily available technology can aid in alleviating some of the loneliness and anxiety about your loved one while helping to build community at the same time.

There are multiple free or very low-cost ways to connect with loved ones through technology.  The most obvious and lowest-tech one is the phone.  A daily phone call can not only make your family member feel important, but it is a good way to check up on their mental wellbeing.  One Meals on Wheels chapter has discontinued the person-to-person connections when delivering the daily meals. However, they recognize that sometimes they are the only person the client talks to in a day and have since implemented Care Calls.  Volunteers take time to call each client just to check up on them and chat about their day.  They plan to continue this practice until the Covid19 danger has passed.

Older adults who live in a community can benefit from team members helping them connect via technology with family.  If a resident is not comfortable using platforms like Skype or FaceTime to video chat with loved ones, Life Enrichment Coordinators can help them make the video calls.  Additionally, utilizes the OneDay phone application.  This is a video sharing app that enables team members to record short videos of residents’ life stories or daily activities and send them directly to the family.  They can also share the video to social media when appropriate.

Social media is an excellent way to stay connected. Instagram and Facebook are great visual means for sending messages to isolated family members but consider some of the other options too.  In 2018, Facebook launched Watch Parties.  A Watch Party is a way to connect and watch an event, program or video with other people and chat via the app.  Recently, churches have used Watch Parties or YouTube live to connect worshippers with compromised immune systems with their fellow congregants.  There are also Facebook Groups that focus on common interests, hobbies, and discussion topics.  With a little setup and help, older adults can participate and feel they are a part of a much larger community.

Finally, help our older adults find purpose in this time of social distancing.  Hopefully, this restricted access to assisted living and memory support communities will be short and our family members and loved ones can be back to their normal engaging routines.  In the meantime, there are benefits to short periods without distractions. Here are things we can all do to help.  Write cards and send them to your local senior living community.  Have children draw pictures and send letters to residents; they may even get a response letter.  Christian Living Communities are encouraging residents to start seedlings by providing them pots and seeds to grow in their apartments and many other similar creative outlets.  It is said that great creativity is a bi-product of such times.

Update 3/14/20

Updated status for Colorado Assisted Living, Memory Support and Skilled Nursing Communities

We continue to work closely with state and local officials to balance resident safety, team member safety, and access for families and healthcare partners during heightened COVID-19 concerns. While no cases have been identified in any of our Christian Living Communities, we are now implementing new CMS and Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment directives to restrict access to our skilled nursing, assisted living, and memory support neighborhoods. This means that no visitors will be allowed within the assisted living, memory support or skilled neighborhoods at this time unless they are part of the required care team for an individual resident. Compassion visits may be accommodated for loved ones of a resident who is actively in an end of life situation. Such visitors will be screened and their temperatures are taken before entering the community.

 

Additionally, CMS guidelines require us to no longer host dining services in our dining rooms; residents will receive their meals in their apartments or suites. Life enrichment group activities are also cancelled at this time.

 

Residential and independent living neighborhoods continue to screen all Guests for symptoms and we are encouraging social distancing. As we have no COVID-19 cases in the community, we continue to welcome new residents into all levels of living.

 

We are doing everything we can to ensure residents are well cared for, but also that they continue to have joy and purpose during these restrictions. These measures are an attempt to stop the spread of the COVID-19 virus. Social distancing and isolation are the only proven way to stop the spread of the virus. We will work with families to help them connect with their loved one via technologies as Face-time, Skype and video conferencing.  As always, resident’s health and wellbeing are our primary concerns.

Update 3/12/20

KUSA’s Nelson Garcia interviews CLC VP of Clinical and Compliance, Pat McBride on Virus Prevention Protocol

Learn how the Clinical team and Christian Living Communities wrote the book on virus prevention protocol in this interview with Nelson Garcia from KUSA Denver.

Aired on KUSA 9News on 3/9/2020

Update 3/11/20

New Federal Directives to Help Protect Residents

We are now implementing new federal directives aimed at stopping the spread of COVID-19 in senior living communities. The Centers for Medicare/Medicare Services (CMS) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) have determined that if a skilled nursing community, assisted living community, or memory support community is in a county or operates in a county that is adjacent to a county that has had a positive case of COVID-19, we MUST limit visitors.

What does this mean for Christian Living Communities? We are liming visits to our communities that fall within those guidelines specifically for residents in skilled nursing, assisted living or memory support neighborhoods. Those residents will be allowed visitors for essential needs only, such as support care and family visit in end-of-life situations. Visits must be brief. All visitors will complete our screening protocol, which includes a few questions about their current health, and they will need to wash their hands to enter.

We know this can be discouraging for family members.  However, we know this is the only proven way to stop the spread of the virus. In the meantime, we are happy to forward a note or card to a resident and will help them connect with loved ones via technology like Skype or FaceTime.

Our team is committed to doing all that we can to ensure the safety and wellbeing of everyone who lives and works in the community.

Watch the NBC news coverage of our virus prevention protocol.

Update 3/9/20

Coronavirus Extra Protections Benefiting Older Adults

As a senior living and care provider, every day we take very seriously our responsibility to provide a safe and healthy environment for residents and team members, while also balancing resident’s individual freedoms. Therefore, when a new outbreak like the COVID-19 Coronavirus occurs, we build upon the already strong virus prevention protocols of our communities. We are aware that anyone over the age of 60 has a higher risk of complications from the virus.  This has prompted us to be even more vigilant in keeping communities safe.

Our approach during this heightened virus season is to remain calm, share the facts, take precautionary measures and continue to enjoy community life as best as possible. A leadership workgroup meets daily to assess the situation, give guidance and provide training so that we are as prepared as possible to identify, treat and eliminate Coronavirus should the need arise. In alignment with the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), we are limiting, for the near future, visits from large community groups such as school choirs and service organizations. Additionally, we are assessing the risk of all planned excursions with residents in a large group setting, 40 or more people. The CDC highly recommends postponing or not participating in large group gatherings of 40 or more at this time.

Of course, residents have the individual choice to attend a large group gathering.  However, as an organization, we will not transport residents to these types of events in the short-term.

We continue to ask any visitors to our communities to be mindful of the risk of exposure to the virus. We ask them not to enter the building when experiencing any symptoms such as fever, cough or shortness of breath. Additionally, those who have traveled or been exposed to someone who has traveled to any of the increased precaution countries of China, India, Italy, Iran or South Korea, is asked not to visit the community until being symptom-free for two weeks after travel.

Visitors may be asked a few screening questions when they do visit as an added precaution.  We want to welcome families and visitors while doing what we can to ensure a healthy environment and minimize the risk for everyone.  We appreciate the patience and shared concern of our guests.

We will continue to monitor the progression of this virus and follow all CDC recommendations.  We will conduct on-going training for teams working in the communities, follow our multi-disciplinary prevention protocols and build out our response should we have a confirmed Coronavirus case.  It is very important to us that residents feel safe, stay calm and have the opportunity to continue to enjoy their lives.

These extra steps, coupled with the extensive infection control cleanings, vigilant assessment for potential exposure and infection, and access to professional support in keeping well, or recovering from illness; are the added benefits of living in a senior living community for the older adults we serve. Learn more about Christian Living Communities Coronavirus Preparedness.

Update 2/28/20

Coronavirus Preparedness

News about the spread of coronavirus is everywhere. The situation is fluid and new information about the disease and its spread is changing daily. We understand the potential risk this disease presents and are taking proactive steps to protect residents and team members. While we don’t want to overreact to emotionally charged news stories, we know this situation is a cause for concern for many of residents and their family members, so we want to share with you what we know about the disease and initiatives we are taking to address concerns in our communities.

The World Health Organization and Centers for Disease Control are responding to an outbreak of respiratory disease caused by a novel (new) coronavirus that was first detected in Wuhan, China. This disease, labeled coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), has sickened thousands worldwide and has led to more than 2,000 deaths. (More information about the coronavirus can be found on the World Health Organization and/or Centers for Disease Control websites.)

Although the number of confirmed cases in the US is low, Christian Living Communities, Capella Living Solutions, and Rhythms Home Care are proactively working to prepare and protect residents, clients, and team members for this evolving situation. CLC-Capella conducts extensive yearly training for all team members in managing infections and preventing the spread of infectious diseases. Our protocols are multi-disciplinary and prescriptive to prevention, containment and how to stop the spread of the disease should it occur.

We have created coronavirus specific policies and procedures modeled after our very successful flu and norovirus protocols, including:

  • Reinforcing good infection control practices such as proper handwashing techniques, not touching face and proper coughing and sneezing protocol. We are stressing the importance of team members staying home if they are sick.
  • Educating all associates about the signs of coronavirus (fever, respiratory symptoms) to assure early detection and treatment.
  • Current CDC recommendations for treating coronavirus are the same as norovirus, including isolation, cleaning protocol, and communication. We are reviewing the norovirus protocol found in the Noro notebook. The Noro Notebook is currently in all communities and is a step-by-step instruction and competency on what to do at the first signs of viral symptoms. Watch the video 
  • Assuring that each community has an ample supply of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) such as masks, gowns, and gloves.
  • Screening anyone (residents, families, associates, and vendors) who have traveled to China, or other CDC designated countries, or have been around anyone with the virus within the last 30 days. If so, we follow strict CDC guidelines.

In addition, we are preparing for nonessential team members to be able to work remotely, “self-quarantine” at home, in case that becomes a CDC recommendation.

The health and safety of residents, their loved ones, and team members are our top priority. We are continuing to monitor the situation and will update all applicable personnel, residents and families as CDC recommendations change and as more is understood about the virus, including treatment and prevention guidelines.

Read the most current CMS/CDC Directives and how our communities are affected.

If a family member would like more information, please contact your community’s Executive Director.

See What Our Residents Have to Say

testimonial-georgia

"I made some good friends after moving to Clermont Park. My family loves it. They have also met a lot of good people here."

- Georgia Bell, Resident

Al Binford

"Clermont Park is a great place to live. You can participate as much or as little as you want in community activities. You can meet as many people as you like, and they are generally open, so I’ve made a lot of friends in the short time I’ve been here. "

- Al Binford, Resident