During this time of the COVID 19 pandemic we know that, unfortunately, millions of adults still suffer from the devastating consequences of Alzheimer’s and other memory-related diseases. And we know their families are still searching for a safe, loving environment where their loved ones can live as full a life as possible while being treated with the dignity and care they deserve. Safety is the primary concern and to that point my sister, Carrie, and I would like to share what San Gabriel is doing with regard to the health and safety of our residents and employees.
1) Because San Gabriel is a small, family-owned business, with 32 years of combined senior living experience between us, Carrie and I have always been actively involved in the daily management and operations of the facilities. And because San Gabriel takes responsibility for its residents’ health and safety so seriously, we are even more involved now.
Please know, San Gabriel is directing all of its COVID 19 safety protocols and responses in its facilities under the guidance of the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and the Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH). In fact, our early, proactive decision to prohibit all but essential personnel access to our facilities was implemented two weeks prior to any CDC or IDPH recommendations in March. As a result, San Gabriel has no confirmed or suspected COVID-19 cases.
2) Because San Gabriel is purposely designed to limit the number of residents to 17 in each “neighborhood,” the risk of contagion is lessened. The building has two neighborhoods with physical communication between them restricted by locked doors. One of our COVID 19 protocols requires that the employees of each neighborhood stay in place and care only for the residents of their neighborhood. Therefore, unlike larger corporate-owned facilities with 50 to 80 residents in one building, your loved one will only be in an area with 16 other residents. His or her risk of encountering COVID-19 in our building is certainly reduced.
3) San Gabriel has implemented a policy assigning each caregiver per shift per neighborhood to only five or six residents in her neighborhood. This means that each resident is only around three caregivers per 24-hour period. And, each resident is assigned the same caregivers every week. This is much like your caring for your loved one in your own home consisting of only three or four family members, which lessens the possibility of exposure to the COVID-19 virus.
4) Each San Gabriel resident is tested three times a day, once on each shift, for signs and symptoms of COVID-19 and is given a temperature reading. If any resident shows signs or symptoms of COVID-19 and/or has an elevated temperature, he or she will receive a Madison County Health Department-approved COVID-19 test from the building nurse. The test will be sent to and analyzed by a private lab with which we have a standing contract. Until the results are received from the lab, the resident will be quarantined and assigned specific staff members to care for him or her. Those staff members will not have any contact with any other residents until the test results are received.
If the lab returns a positive test result, the resident will remain in quarantine and receive care from the originally assigned staff members. Those staff members will be regularly tested for signs and symptoms of COVID-19 including temperature checks. The resident will be relieved of quarantine only after the prescribed time period and an additional test is given and a negative test result is received from the lab. (Please see the attached document for all San Gabriel COVID-19 protocols.)
5) All San Gabriel employees receive temperature readings and signs/symptoms checks before entering the facility for their shifts. If any employee shows signs, symptoms and/or an elevated temperature, she will not be allowed in the building and will be sent home to self-quarantine. If the employee shows no signs or symptoms and her temperature is normal, she will engage in rigorous hand washing, sanitizing and personal hygiene practices and finally “mask and glove up” before caring for San Gabriel residents on her shift.
6) On each shift, San Gabriel employees are required to use Personal Protective Equipment (PPE). San Gabriel has over 5000 hand gloves, 2600 face masks, 130 plastic face shields, 100 gowns and over 24 gallons of hand sanitizer. This stockpile of PPE is continually added to as supplies are made available. We are also supplying our employees with an IDPH-recommended hospital grade EPA registered disinfectant for sanitizing all high-touch and hard surfaces. Our employees are required to perform rigorous building cleaning practices on every shift.
7) We know that during this time our residents are, sadly, separated from their beloved family and friends. While we cannot allow family members and friends into our facilities, we actively encourage family and friends’ involvement with their loved ones. To date, we have organized and facilitated many creative “COVID safe” interactions for our residents and their families and friends including:
- Daily phone/video calls
- “Window” visits and meals
- Socially distanced trivia
- Character window visits
- Family parades in the parking lots
- Birthday parties with families on the patios and residents participating through the dining room window
- Love notes from families on construction paper hearts placed on windows
- And many more
Finally, we would like to thank you for considering San Gabriel Memory Care and Assisted Living as a home for your loved one. We know it’s not an easy decision, especially now with all of the uncertainty about the safety of memory care and assisted living facilities. Please know, San Gabriel is following all established protocols and guidelines regarding the health and safety of our residents and employees.
We wish you and your loved ones all the best and hope to see you at San Gabriel!
John Dietzen and Carrie Dietzen
San Gabriel Memory Care
San Gabriel Memory Care follows the guidance and information set forth by the Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) and the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) in regards to the procedures associated COVID-19.
Infection Control Protocols:
- San Gabriel staff is responsible for disinfecting high touch surfaces three times per day (once on each shift) with hospital grade EPA registered disinfectant.
- These areas include handrails, door knobs, key pads, light switches, tables, chairs, public bathroom, activity kitchen, refrigerator handles, walker and wheelchair handles.
- Hand Hygiene-
- Staff is required to perform proper hand hygiene upon the arrival to the building for work. Proper hand hygiene is considered washing hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water is not available then using hand sanitizer containing at least 60% alcohol should be used.
- Staff is also required to perform proper hand hygiene between care of each resident, after using the restroom, after handling any sort of trash, and when hands are soiled.
- Staff is required to assist residents in proper hand hygiene prior to eating each meal and after each meal. As well as after using the restroom.
- Residents will be monitored on each shift for any symptoms associated with COVID-19. During each shift staff will check and document all residents temperature and oxygen levels. The nurse to determine if there are any changes that need to be looked into further according to CDC and IDPH guidelines will review all documentation.
- Residents will have a full set of vitals including blood pressure, temperature, pulse, and oxygen level done once per day. All information will be documented.
- San Gabriel will not allow non-essential visitors to enter the building to keep residents safe. Non-essential visitor include, but are not limited to, families, friends, entertainers, volunteers, etc.
- Only essential visitors such as hospice, home health, compassionate care end of life visitors, and food vendor delivery will be allowed to enter the building.
- Upon entering the building, all essential visitors will be subject to a signs & symptoms survey, their temperature checked, wearing a face mask at all times and performing proper hand hygiene.
- Essential visitors are only to see the resident they are assigned to see and not in other areas.
- Upon entry to the building at the beginning of each shift all staff members must do the following
- Complete the IDPH Employee Monitoring Form checking for signs and symptoms as well as take their temperature
- Any staff members showing signs or symptoms or a temperature will be sent home immediately and not allowed to return to work until the symptoms have resolved and have been symptom free for 72 hours without the use of fever reducing medications.
- Midway through each staff members shift they are required to once again take their temperature and document it.
- Staff is required to do proper hand hygiene at the beginning and throughout their shift.
- Staff is required to wear facemasks throughout their entire shift.
- Complete the IDPH Employee Monitoring Form checking for signs and symptoms as well as take their temperature
- Supply deliveries for resident items as well as items purchased and delivered to the building must be wiped down with disinfectant prior to being distributed throughout the building. Proper hand hygiene is to be conducted as soon as items are wiped down.
The following notifications must be provided within 12 hours after the facility’s administration becomes aware of the event, unless sooner notification is required:
- A verbal communication shall be provided immediately to a resident’s family, and a resident’s representative whenever a resident receives confirmation of COVID-19 infection.
- A written notification shall be provided within 12 hours to each resident of the facility, resident’s family, representative, and to all staff members, upon the occurrence of a single confirmed infection of COVID-19, or three or more residents or staff members with new-onset of respiratory symptoms that occur within 72 hours.
- A written notification shall be provided immediately to DPH and the LHD upon the confirmation of COVID-19 infection of a resident or staff member. The written notification should confirm that the long-term care facility is notifying all staff members, residents, residents’ families, and residents’ representatives as provided in this guidance. Notification to DPH should be submitted to the Regional Office by email or fax.
- A notice that indicates a resident or staff member of the facility has been confirmed with COVID-19 infection shall be posted in a conspicuous place near the main entrance of the facility.
- Updates to residents, their families, their representatives, and staff members shall be provided weekly, or each subsequent time a confirmed infection of COVID-19 is identified and/or whenever three or more residents or staff members with new onset of respiratory symptoms occurs within 72 hours. In these updates, facilities will include information on mitigating actions implemented to prevent or reduce the risk of transmission, including if normal operations in the nursing home will be altered.
- A verbal communication shall be provided immediately to a resident’s family and a resident’s representative whenever the long-term care facility receives notice that a resident has died from COVID-19.
For any additional questions or inquiries about San Gabriel Memory Care & Assisted Living, please contact Marketing Director Kim Goodwin at 618-651-6311.