Many of you have inquired about how Aldersly is doing during these COVID-19 times. It is our pleasure to give you a short update of our 99-year old community and how we are holding up, thanks to the many years of support from people like you.
The COVID-19 pandemic is impacting all our lives. Aldersly has faced and continues to face new challenges daily. We are adapting to these unprecedented circumstances, and our wonderful staff continues to serve all our residents with the love and care they expect and deserve. To date, we have successfully prevented all residents from contracting the coronavirus. We are constantly briefing residents and their families about the situation, offering guidance and helpful suggestions to make life as pleasant as possible, given the restraints placed upon all of us at the moment.
UNITY IN ADVERSITY – WORKING TOGETHER:
As we do in all health-related cases, we are addressing this pandemic with the guidance of our Life Care Services (LCS) partner, the Marin County Health Department, the California Department of Public Health and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
TEAMWORK IS THE KEY TO SUCCESS:
The Aldersly team has done a tremendous job, going beyond its regular daily responsibilities in providing care and service to all our residents during these challenging times.
We thank our Aldersly team members, who have done a tremendous job going beyond their regular daily responsibilities in providing care and service to all our residents during these challenging times. Both the Aldersly Board of Directors and the leadership team are very grateful to each and every one of them, and we don’t want it to go unnoticed. Every day, we are impressed by their dedication and inspired by their performance. Their diligence ensures safety, and reduces campus exposure to COVID-19.
IMPLEMENTATION OF SAFE POLICIES:
We wanted to take a moment and share with you, our supporters, the modifications that have taken place at Aldersly to keep our residents safe during this pandemic. These changes were centered around resident and staff safety, all while combating the sense of isolation and reduced personal interaction.
- In early March, we implemented strict measures to screen all entries into Aldersly, including travel restrictions of employees and residents. All visitors and guests check in at the Front Office or at the desks in Assisted Living or Health Center. Visitors who exhibited COVID-19 symptoms were asked to stay away from the community.
- Employees are checked before starting shifts. Employees who show the slightest signs of being ill are asked to stay home. Residents are screened during meal service with temperature checks and monitored for signs and symptoms.
- On March 17th, Aldersly began to follow the County’s Shelter-in-Place order, to include resident temperature checks, in-apartment meal delivery service and a stop of communal activities. Residents began receiving daily phone messages while family members received weekly letters, updating them during the crisis.
- The Assisted Living and Health Center were closed to all except essential visitors. All family and non-essential workers were asked to not visit these areas due to the high-risk senior population. Staff began to wear masks to further protect our residents. The Community Life activities team began working with residents to facilitate regular calls and video chats with family members. Restricted access was eventually instituted throughout the campus as other retirement communities and health centers began to see positive cases of the virus at their facilities.
- To address the lack of socialization, our Community Life team created our “Aldersly LIVE” weekly calendar, where we are hosting activities through ZOOM, an online video application.
- Additionally, services have been adjusted for residents in Assisted Living and the Health Center to allow different activities to occur in small group settings (keeping safe distance), offering those residents a little respite away from their rooms.
- On April 10th the Shelter-in-Place was extended to May 3rd. Aldersly friends and supporters donated hundreds of face coverings that were distributed to all residents to wear outside of their apartments. We created a visitation area that made it possible for a family member to see a resident face-to-face in a safe manner, one person at a time.
- In early May, the Shelter-in-Place orders were extended through the end of May, with opportunities for reducing restrictions in the future.
- Three weeks ago, we have been having a weekly Farmers’ Market, where all residents can pick up 10 items, at no cost, including meat products, vegetables and a variety of other snacks
OUR CHALLENGE AND OPTIMISTIC OUTLOOK THROUGH THE CRISIS:
On Friday May 8, 147 Aldersly staff and residents were tested. Our strong oversight and compliance have resulted in Aldersly having zero residents with signs of COVID-19 virus symptoms.
Residents welcome opportunities to socialize safely throughout the campus, while maintaining appropriate physical distancing. That includes breakfast- and mail pick-up, the Aldersly Farmer’s market and other activities expanding to include balcony singalongs, campus walks and the much-anticipated Movies-in-the-Park. Our team continues to do everything they can to make this difficult time a little less stressful.
In spite of the generous donations, Aldersly has to procure lots of personal protective equipment, which comes at a high cost. Move-ins have almost stopped and our revenue and investments have dropped significantly.
We are happy to report, no employees have been furloughed or laid off, and our staff continues to come to work every day and help in any area needed. In honor of the Aldersly employees, we are creating a Covid-19 employee recognition fund. If you feel led to give to this fund during this difficult time, please do so by visiting our donation page. As always, thank you for your continued support!
Again, we personally want to thank our residents, families and donors who have supported Aldersly through the years, leaving us with the ability to weather hard situations like the current crisis.
We wish you and your families health and peace. Let us take care of one another during these trying times!
Aldersly Executive Director
Aldersly Board President