May 29, 2020
As you may already be aware, Governor Cuomo announced earlier this month that nursing homes and adult care facilities throughout New York State would be required to have their employees tested twice weekly for COVID-19.
In compliance with that mandate, testing at Ingersoll Place began this week with test kits and related personal protective equipment acquired through the Schenectady County Office of Emergency Management. Nasal swab specimen collection is being performed by Kim Towne, RN, interim staff nurse. To date, no new cases have been reported as a result of testing. It is not yet known how long the testing requirement will be enforced and there are no similar mandates from state or county departments of health for the ongoing testing of residents. It should be noted that all staff and residents have temperature checks at least once daily and are monitored closely for changes in health status.
One of the most frequently asked questions by residents, their families and staff is, "When will visits with family and friends be allowed to resume?" The same question is being raised in healthcare forums and political arenas across the country. Although everyone agrees that residents and their loved ones need to be reunited, there is no set timeline as to when it will happen and what the "new normal" will be.
At the present time, there have been no changes to the statewide ban on visitation which went into effect March 13, whether indoors or out-of-doors. The management team at Ingersoll Place continues to stay abreast of COVID-19 regulations and participates in conference calls, webinars and discussions with representatives from Schenectady County Public Health, New York State Department of Health and statewide healthcare associations.
Restrictions on group activities also remain unchanged. To keep residents engaged and help lessen their feelings of loneliness, the Activities Department staff, specifically Christina Benardo, Director and Cindy Persaud, Lead Assistant, offer a diverse array of activities for residents throughout day. Room visits, hallway exercise sessions, outdoor time in the patio and garden areas, mobile library and traveling food carts on Sunday, Wednesday and Friday are just some of the offerings. Window visits and video chats with families are regularly scheduled by Amber Zoller, Lead Concierge/Front Desk, and are greatly appreciated by the residents and their loved ones.
In celebration of Ingersoll's 96th anniversary, today's activities included a "cart party" with a special prayer from Fr. Bob Longobucco (see below), photo display, party favors and of course, cake. When asked what activities they most looked forward to when group activities are allowed to resume, "ice cream socials, group Rosary and Christina's guided meditation sessions" were among their favorites.
For those who may be history enthusiasts or just curious about Ingersoll Place when it first opened its doors in May, 1924, the original facility was known as the Ingersoll Memorial Home for Aged Men. It was founded through a trust fund established by George Ingersoll and named in memory of his parents Hiram and Eva Ingersoll. The trustees of his estate purchased the property once known as Locust Grove at the corner of State Street and Balltown Road and the "old Standford mansion" which housed Ingersoll's residents for the next 84 years. In 2008, Ingersoll Place opened at its present location on Consaul Road, adjacent to the Reist Wildlife Preserve.
Please continue to direct non-urgent questions and concerns to Ceil Mack, 518-370-4419, ext. 303.