Dear Family and Friends:
This letter provides an update regarding the changes that have occurred recently in our state and let you know how it affects your family member.
As you may have already been made aware, as of May 13, 2020, the Governor’s Safer-at-Home Order was struck down by the Wisconsin Supreme Court. While this may impact how life is lived outside of St. Ann Rest Home, we want to let you know that we remain committed to maintaining the same level of care and safety.
We also want to let you know what has not changed here at St. Ann Rest Home. We will still be following best practice guidelines for infection prevention as published by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), both of which currently state that facilities should restrict visitation of all visitors and non-essential health care personnel, except for certain compassionate care situations, such as an end-of-life situation. These federal guidelines drive the decisions made for long-term care providers like us, which are intended to help protect the safety and well-being of those we are entrusted to provide care to.
We realize the stress this puts on you and your loved ones and truly do empathize with this situation. We also want to stress our dedication in providing compassionate care and keeping your loved one safe. We look forward to welcoming you back with open arms when we are able to do so without jeopardizing the safety of our residents.
These are not decisions we take lightly, and in the case of CMS regulations, these are not decisions we can legally deviate from as a Medicare/Medicaid certified facility.
Although in-person visits are still currently restricted, we would like to invite you to take advantage of the virtual visit options that we have already implemented. If you would like to connect with your loved one through a video call or to schedule a window visit, please contact our activities Department between 9 and 11am or 2 and 4pm to arrange a ZOOM video call. The number to the Activates Department is: 414-763-0477.
We are working with public health officials and regulators to determine what, if any, changes can be made to visitation policies.
Also, we would like to inform you that we will start offering cloth face coverings to our residents (if tolerated). During our phone conference with the Division of Quality Assurance last week we were instructed to do it. We understand that routines are very important for residents, especially with dementia. We try to keep their environment and routines as consistent as possible while still reminding and assisting with frequent hand hygiene, social distancing, and use of cloth face coverings. Cloth face coverings will not be used for anyone who has trouble breathing, or is unconscious, incapacitated, or otherwise unable to remove the mask without assistance.
Finally, on behalf of our staff and other residents, we want to thank you for your continued support and understanding during these difficult times. Nearly all American’s are having to make sacrifices during this pandemic; your sacrifices, and the sacrifices being made by our residents are exponentially greater and are a reflection of your love and commitment to the safety of your loved one, and the rest of the residents here at St. Ann Rest Home. Let’s pray together for each other and ask for God’s mercy to help us to overcome this virus.
Hopefully, we will be able to expand safe visitation soon so we can welcome you back into our community and see you reunited with your family member. Until that time, your patience, understanding and support are greatly appreciated.
If you have questions or concerns, please reach out to Nang Yang, Director of Social Services at firstname.lastname@example.org or to me at email@example.com.
Sister Andrea K. Andrzejewska
Nursing Home Administrator