January 23, 2021
With regard to weekly testing of staff for COVID-19, which was held Tuesday, Jan. 19, all results have been received. One employee has tested positive and is isolating at home. As required by the NYS Dept. of Health, the quarantine period has been extended until Feb 4. Monitoring for symptoms and changes in health status among residents and staff is ongoing.
The next COVID-19 vaccination clinic for residents and staff is scheduled for Feb. 5. Second doses of the vaccine will be administered to those individuals who received their initial vaccination on Jan. 15. It will also be available to those residents and staff who did not participate in the Jan. 15 clinic. Second doses for this group will be administered on Feb. 26, the last of three scheduled clinics in collaboration with CVS Pharmacy.
Caroline Thompson, Executive Director, presided at the first QA (Quality Assurance) meeting of the new year which was held last Friday. Key topics of discussion focused on resident care, activities and food service as well as the tools and techniques that will be used to evaluate best practices and opportunities for improvement. Going forward, monthly meetings will include reports based on chart audits, interviews with residents and staff, the incidence of falls, and both departmental and facility-wide compliance with policies and procedures. Recommendations by the NYS Dept. of Health, as part of its annual survey process, will also be added to the QA plan.
In response to requests by residents and family members, the Activities Department will be expanding its one-on-one exercise sessions and daily walks with residents to ensure that each resident is able to participate in some form of physical activity at least once a day. Before the onset of COVID-19, morning exercise class was consistently one of most highly attended group activities. Similarly, the “Walking Club” had its own group of devotees who kept track of their laps around the building and wildlife sightings. With group activities still on pause and quarantine extended, Activities Director Christina Benardo and her staff has begun carving out segments of time each day to schedule additional in-room exercise sessions or individual hallway strolls and will be meeting with each resident to encourage his/her participation.
Other good news from the Activities Department: Isabella Sautin, who does double duty as a front desk receptionist and activities assistant, is enrolled in a five-year degree program at St. Rose specializing clinical mental health counseling. Beginning Jan. 27, Isabella will be leading a new series of art projects with residents as part of a four-month internship she will be undertaking at Ingersoll Place. Until group activities can resume, Isabella will be visiting residents who may have interest in keeping a journal, have family stories to share or experiences that have influenced their lives. Residents will also have the opportunity to create personal mandalas as forms of artistic expression (see example below).
Wishing everyone a safe and pleasant weekend.