As the CEO at Pickering Manor, a senior-living community in Newtown, PA, I’d like to reassure all of you of the measures we have implemted under the recommendations of the CDC, CMS, the State and Local Health Departments and other Emergency Management officials. As of last Wednesday (3/11) evening at 11:00 pm, we went into a full lockdown with total visitor restrictions. The only exception is for Hospice cases or a dramatic change in condition. We are encouraging families to use Skype, FaceTime or phone calls and we will facilitate those communications on our end. We have a central checkpoint where we are screening and checking temperatures on all employees, physicians, nurse-practitioners and Hospice caregivers entering the facility.
We feel in every way the pain, fear and uncertainty that all of you may be experiencing. However, one thing is certain. We will continue to love and care for our residents at Pickering. Those frail elders that have been entrusted to us. We will use measures to also care for our staff in the process. They are under an enormous amount of strain as well; not only for their own welfare, but for their families at home. Many have children who will need caregivers while schools are closed.
I ask for patience and strength daily....and I ask all of you to continue to keep the healthcare workers and those we care for in your prayers. If you can assist a home bound person in your community by dropping off groceries or food to them; do that. If you can entertain the children of someone who needs to work, do that. Now is the time for communities to support one another....at a safe distance!! With the social distancing that is being recommended, depression and isolation will be a result. Make phone calls and send reminders that even though we can’t gather socially as a group, we can still let others know we care.
Believe me, without the friends and family that have personally reached out to me over the past week, I’m not sure what I would have done. It was truly a virtual hug...and you all know how much I love a hug!!
I know this is lengthy, but I felt a need to let you know what we are doing right now. It could, and probably will change as this crisis evolves. But we will learn and be better for it on the ‘other side’!
To all of you who currently work in a healthcare facility, I thank you. It’s an incredibly difficult choice for most to make. Leaving your own families to come to care for those unable to care for themselves is brave, noble and courageous every day; but most especially, in these days.
Chief Executive Officer