COVID-19 Update: A Safe & Happy Thanksgiving at Five Star!
COVID-19 Update: A Safe & Happy Thanksgiving at Five Star!
How Five Star is responding to the COVID-19 virus
All across the country our Five Star Senior Living communities are planning safe and happy Thanksgiving celebrations. Our recipe for Thanksgiving traditionally includes family, food, fun and festivities! Oh yes – we need to remember football. As everyone knows – holiday festivities involve a lot of preparation and this year is no exception. We’d like to tell you a bit about our plans to host safe and happy Thanksgivings all across Five Star Land.
We are focused, as always, on the safety and well-being of our residents, their families, and our team members. Our Community Leadership Holiday Guidelines Tool Kit includes protocols that meet or exceed all CDC guidelines as well as state and local regulations.
As we know – every good plan requires an equally good contingency plan. Every day, we monitor the changes that happen with regard to the pandemic. It varies state by state, city by city, community by community, and day by day. To ensure you understand the up to date status for a specific community, please navigate to their website and call them directly. Meanwhile, please know that our contingency plans include safe and creative ways to celebrate the holiday, regardless of community status.
Much like Piglet in the beloved children’s book, Winnie the Pooh, we at Five Star notice that our hearts hold a rather “large amount of gratitude” despite the challenges of this holiday season. We are grateful for our community team members who are committed to ensuring that our residents are able to have a safe and happy Thanksgiving, and to keeping each other safe. We are grateful for our corporate teams that have banded together to ensure that we are able to keep up with the latest infection control protocols, and that we have appropriate supplies to weather whatever may come our way, and most important, we are grateful for our residents and their families, who have entrusted us to support them through this journey, and to keep them safe and happy.
November 4, 2020
Dining rooms. Swimming pools. Salons. Libraries. Sunshine (outside) visits. Indoor visits. Even carefully planned tours for families in need of answers. Laughter is filling the corridors again – and not just because of hallway happy hours!
Sure, smiles are safely hidden behind facemasks. And everyone is staying at least 6 feet apart. Eyes above the mask line sparkle with the joy of visiting both family members and friends.
The warm feeling of fellowship, fueled these past few months through window and sunshine visits and the miracle of technology, is now turbocharged by loved ones actually seeing one another face to face. We hope to answer some of your most important questions on reopening here.
As we begin our reopening, pure bliss describes the experience of reuniting with each other. With residents and families in mind, our goal at Five Star is to reopen as much and as safely as possible.
We are diligent in our efforts to keep the virus at bay so we can continue to move forward with our phased reopening.
And as long as we’re not conducting community-wide testing, two guests at a time are invited to book visits with their loved one. We know that our residents will enjoy the love and attention.
It’s been a challenging few months for everyone. We quickly learned at the very beginning of the pandemic to redouble our infection control efforts and stock up on personal protective equipment in order to divert the arrival of COVID-19 in as many Five Star communities as possible.
We’ve creatively nurtured the physical, intellectual, social, emotional and spiritual well-being of our residents with reimagined programs, room service with a smile, Zoom calls, sunshine visits and so much more. Ageility therapists have helped maximize residents’ independence and facilitated healthy lifestyles. One creative therapist, knowing how her client loves to dance, prescribed a daily dose of “The Quarantine Shuffle.” You are sure to smile while watching.
Our attentive caregivers have also been keenly aware of the mental stress on residents. That’s why, since May, residents in our assisted living and independent living neighborhoods have had access to licensed or credentialed counselors by phone or videoconference 24/7. Whether they fear for their family’s safety or their own, or are suffering from feelings of isolation and hopelessness, they’ve had access to Employee & Family Resources (EFR) for up to three, 60-minute, confidential counseling sessions at no cost. We’ve extended this important, complimentary service through April 27, 2021.
It’s truly inspiring to witness our residents and families celebrating the gradual reopening of our communities and watch them embrace the precautions required to achieve a successful reopening. While we know that COVID-19 still lurks outside our doors, Five Star Senior Living is carefully loosening restrictions to give residents and families the liberty to be together again.
Meanwhile, residents are having fun in lots of ways. A favorite example is how our Myrtle Beach Manor residents “cruised” into a reopening lunch in their dining room with a “Ticket to Paradise” event. After receiving their tickets, residents boarded a virtual cruise ship. There were photo ops on the starboard side, delicious all-they-could-eat food, a Broadway show and socially distanced fellowship with friends. “It was great seeing some of the folks not encountered since March,” says one resident, who shared her joy at just being able to wave and say “hi!” to friends and neighbors again.
Most recently, residents of Five Star’s Morningside of Cleveland voted right in the community. Lifestyle360 director, Janie Wingo, made arrangements with the county voting commission. One more way these valued citizens stayed safe while exercising their citizenship and freedom. Not even a pandemic could keep them from voting safely!
While this unforeseen pandemic has kept you from hugging and kissing your mom, dad, grandparent or possibly even your spouse of many years, your expressions of gratitude for the teams of Five Star caregivers has been so encouraging and very much appreciated. This special note to the Morningside of Orangeburg team is one of dozens from families.
“We want to thank each and every one of you for being so helpful, patient and kind to our mother during this most trying transition in her life. Every one of you [has] special talents to be able to work with the elderly during this pandemic and lock down. Heroes Do Work Here! This cake is just a token of appreciation. We thank God for you all.”
From all of us at Five Star, thank you for your continued confidence and ongoing trust. We are grateful for you!
June 12, 2020
Dear Five Star Residents and Families,
As certain businesses begin the process of reopening, I want to take this opportunity to share that we have established an expert-led, cross-functional reopening team. For the last several weeks, this team has been aggressively designing a reopening strategy, which is tailored to each line of business and is consistent with the guidelines of the White House phased reopening plan, the CDC and Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services as well as applicable federal, state and local regulatory authorities.
It is important to highlight two important points about reopening:
First, Five Star communities will not reopen in the same way as other businesses. Given the vulnerability of the population we serve, we are taking a cautious and measured approach to reopening. Each community must demonstrate readiness before moving through the levels of reopening. We ask you to please be patient with your community as it moves through the reopening process to ensure that the effort is sustainable and efficient while mitigating potential risks.
Second, as your community moves through the reopening process, the resident experience will evolve to reflect our learnings and experiences during the COVID-19 pandemic. For example, we will continue to practice social distancing and wear facemasks.
We know that in-person visits with loved ones will be one of the most anticipated activities once your community begins the reopening process. You can expect that the executive director of your community will communicate with you and outline all the specifics regarding family visits as well as other activities, such as salon appointments. It will be of the utmost importance that every resident and family member abide by the guidelines established within each community.
Over the next few weeks, your executive director will keep you updated with any information that may influence the reopening process. Each community’s goal is to resume as many activities as soon as safely possible. As always, the health and well-being of our residents and team members are our highest priority.
Meanwhile, everyone at Five Star extends their gratitude for your support and understanding as we thoughtfully approach reopening our communities.
President and Chief Executive Officer
May 27, 2020
COVID-19 Testing and Reopening Considerations
As our nation continues navigating the COVID-19 pandemic, Five Star Senior Living remains committed to safeguarding the health and well-being of our residents, team members and clients. Our COVID-19 task force and dedicated clinical leaders are working closely with public health organizations and regulatory agencies to ensure that our procedures stay fully aligned with the latest best practices and that we remain well equipped to protect our communities.
To further reduce the risk of exposure and prevent the spread of the virus, we have implemented a COVID-19 testing protocol for all healthcare and assisted living residents and team members. This program is designed to quickly diagnose asymptomatic individuals, survey and assess patient recovery and inform future decisions regarding reopening.
In light of certain states taking action to reopen local businesses, it is important to reiterate that our communities continue to follow all directives and recommendations provided by the CDC and other federal, state and local authorities. The three-phase White House reopening plan, the CDC and Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services support the requirement for senior living communities to maintain current protocols until, at the earliest, phase three.
Accordingly, at this time, Five Star communities are maintaining restrictions on non-essential visitors as well as protocols related to pre-entrance screening, symptom monitoring, resident outings and community activities. Similarly, we will continue to diligently enforce enhanced sanitation and infection prevention protocols, including hand washing, social distancing and the use of personal protective equipment. We are aggressively evaluating policies and restrictions and will adjust them when appropriate with our first consideration being for the well-being, health and safety of our residents and team members.
April 24, 2020
Five Star Media Statement
The safety, health and well-being of our residents, clients and team members remains our highest priority, and the Five Star COVID-19 task force continues monitoring developments and further enhancing our policies and procedures in this evolving global health crisis. Consistent with recommendations of and directives by federal, state and local regulatory agencies, all of our communities and clinics have implemented and continually updated infection and disease prevention protocols along with a number of other precautionary measures specifically tailored to mitigate the spread of COVID-19.
We have strict guidelines in place prohibiting all non-essential visitors from entering Five Star communities. Prior to entering, team members and essential visitors are screened for signs of a fever or other indications of COVID-19. Everyone is required to thoroughly wash or sanitize their hands and wear a facemask before entering a community. We continue to closely monitor all residents and team members for signs and symptoms and immediately follow recommended protocols to contact a physician and family, and isolate or send home someone exhibiting specific COVID-19 symptoms. Additionally, we have temporarily closed all dining areas and postponed all non-medical resident outings and other social events. We strongly encourage independent living residents to refrain from leaving the community. Any resident leaving and returning to the community will be screened and may be asked to self-isolate for 14 days.
At Five Star, we continue to closely follow the recommendations provided by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), as well as federal, state and local regulatory agencies, and will continue taking proactive measures to ensure the safety and health of residents, clients and team members in our communities and clinics. Our team members are experienced, well prepared and specifically trained for infection prevention and control practices. We will continue to be vigilant and proactive in navigating this challenging situation.
April 24, 2020
As our nation continues to fight COVID-19, Five Star’s mission to honor and enrich our residents’ lives is more important than ever. Our teams are working tirelessly to deliver exceptional care, and we remain as committed as ever to providing a warm, inviting environment for our residents. At Five Star, our top priority is protecting the health and well-being of our residents, as well as their families and our team members.
At the onset of the COVID-19 crisis, Five Star quickly reacted by establishing a cross-functional, interdepartmental task force to closely monitor developments and communicate with community leaders, public authorities and other health care professionals in real time. The task force continues to diligently track the evolving pandemic, providing new information and key insights that enable Five Star to regularly enhance our protocols to safeguard our communities.
In addition to following all recommendations provided by the CDC as well as federal, state and local health authorities, Five Star has implemented robust infection prevention and control protocols. Our team members have received extensive training to take care of our residents, and they are well equipped to keep our communities safe.
Our actions show our commitment.
By being proactive and leveraging the expertise of our nation’s public health authorities, we are continuously adapting our procedures and best practices.
For our valued residents and their families, we are...
In our community operations, we are...
April 9, 2020
A Message from Five Star CEO Katie Potter
Five Star offers options and excellence, with 260 senior living communities in 33 states.