HarborChase Addresses Coronavirus (COVID-19) ConcernsPosted By HarborChase on March 22, 2021
Since the first reports of the Coronavirus (COVID-19) emerged in the United States, all HarborChase communities have taken special, proactive precautions to protect those in our communities from the virus and we continue to do so. Those measures are based upon the recommendation of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), as well as other leading health organizations, and our own task force.
- Pinnacle Quality Insight Awards
- Ongoing Preventative Measures
- Preventative Steps We Encourage
- New Resident Protocol
- Promoting Positivity
Safe Visitation Allowed as of March 22, 2021:
Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services provide guidelines to senior living communities that will allow for safe visitation amid COVID-19 pandemic at HarborChase assisted & independent living and memory care communities effective immediately.
COVID-19 Vaccine Update:
As of January 4, 2021, Harbor Retirement Associates successfully completed COVID-19 vaccine clinics at several HarborChase communities for residents and associates. The clinics were completed in one day at HarborChase of Rock Hill, South Carolina, and Southlake, Texas, and will return to the community in approximately one month to administer the second round of the vaccine.
As of December 11, 2020, Harbor Retirement Associates to be among the first round of people worldwide to receive the COVID-19 vaccine. HRA will make the COVID-19 vaccine available to associates and residents at all HarborChase Senior Living communities. All residents will be eligible to receive the optional vaccine. All associates are strongly encouraged to receive the vaccine in an effort to continue to combat the spread of COVID-19.
Access, Admission Update/Infection Control Protocol:
- HRA is following the CDC and individual state recommendations and has a task force dedicated to these efforts.
- HRA has started restricting access to non – essential visitors.
- Limited exceptions will apply: Family members and friends during end-of-life situations; Hospice, Home Health, Medical, Life Safety Repairs, or Palliative Care workers caring for residents in end-of-life situations. Any individual providing necessary health care to a resident.
- It is always critical to remember the communities have updated, Certified Emergency Management Plans that covers illness, flu, virus, floods, power outages, hurricanes, etc. We are prepared.
- HRA has implemented virtual tours.
- HRA is still accepting admissions, and those residents will be screened and requested to self-isolate to the best of their ability. We are using a transfer checklist as part of our screening.
HRA is following the CDC recommendations for group dining and programs, limiting the groups to smaller sizes.
Safe & Strong Cleaning: Viking Solutions
HarborChase is proud to announce the use of Viking Solutions, an all-natural, electrostatic sprayer to clean our communities. This product is a salt-free, non-corrosive product that merges science and nature. The solution is produced by the same white blood cells found in the human body which help to eradicate germs.
Due to the absence of harsh chemicals, this product is not hazardous and is user proof. The “safe & stronger” product has an endless supply because the system is generated on-site from our own water. Viking Solutions has been helping businesses maintain health and sanitization for over 50 years by eliminating germs similar to those found in COVID-19. For more information, please contact a HarborChase community directly if you have any questions.
Pinnacle Quality Insight Awards
Every year, Pinnacle Quality Insight awards clients who have excelled at providing a superior customer experience for their patients/residents. Receiving a Customer Experience Award is no small feat. Out of the 2,700 care providers we have and the 150,000 customer interviews we conduct each year, only those that are the 85th percentile or higher receive this award.
- HarborChase of McKinney is the recipient of 10 Pinnacle Best In Class Awards. Among the awards include exceptional Cleanliness, Activities, Communication and more.
- HarborChase of Wilmington is the recipient of 10 Pinnacle Best In Class Awards for Memory Care and Assisted Living. Among the awards include exceptional Quality of Food, Activities, Communication and more.
- HarborChase of Jasper is the recipient of 6 Pinnacle Best In Class Awards. Among the awards include exceptional Dining Services, Activities, Dignity and Respect and more.
- HarborChase of Mandarin is the recipient of Pinnacle’s Best In Class Awards for outstanding Cleanliness!
- HarborChase of Wellington Crossing is the recipient of Pinnacle’s Best In Class Awards for their outstanding Quality of Food!
A Letter from our CEO, Sarabeth Hanson:
At Harbor Retirement Associates, we empathize with residents, family members, and associates who have concerns regarding a plethora of overwhelming emotions stemming from the uncertainty surrounding the ever-evolving COVID-19 pandemic. Seniors are one of the most vulnerable groups of people who are at a higher risk for contracting and combating the virus, which presents understandable reservations. Our commitment to our residents, our associates, and the families of both is to provide the safest and highest quality of care and disease prevention while maintaining our high standards of hospitality, service, and dignity.
This commitment to providing frontline services puts our associates and residents who are quarantined, isolated, or on droplet precautions within close proximity of each other, which increases their risk for exposure. However, we continue to provide our residents and associates with all available resources to maintain an environment that is safe and healthy while ensuring we are taking all preventative measures to protect our associates and those we serve. We are resilient in our fight against COVID-19 and quickly adopted health measures, which help to reduce the spread of the virus, while subsequently continuing to redesign services for residents that uphold the unparalleled hospitality, dining and therapeutic services our residents have come to expect from us.
At the cusp of the COVID-19 outbreak, HarborChase identified a task force and adopted protocols that exceed the recommendations by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the World Health Organization to implement procedural modifications to prevent, prepare and manage the virus. Testing is mandatory for all current and new associates and made available to all residents in all communities. All symptomatic residents are transferred to the hospital for immediate observation. Our clinical team also monitor the health of our associates during their shifts and send anyone home who presents with symptoms. We provide the necessary tools and exercise the mandatory use of a PPE (Personal Protective Equipment) and social distancing.
As we continue to monitor the cases in each vicinity, we adhere to all state and local guidelines or mandates but allow for safe visitation where possible. We have constructed our Togetherness Suite which is placed outside of the community and allows for our residents to safely converse with their family and loved ones safely divided by plexiglass. Reservations for the Togetherness Suite are on a first come, first serve basis and can be made with the concierge. Window visits and drive by parades are another wonderful way for residents and loved ones to see each other. HarborChase exercises the use of modern technology to stay connected including using smartphones and tablets and apps like Zoom, Facetime, and Skype. We ensure we provide residents and loved ones with every possible resource to safely visit as much as possible to provide peace of mind for everyone.
HRA specializes in providing premium hospitality and lifestyle services in assisted and independent living, memory care, and skilled nursing facility residences throughout 12 states with more coming soon. All communities are accepting new residents, following an intensive review of each case by our Move-in Exception Committee, which includes our VP of Clinical Services, our VP of Sales & Marketing, and our Chief Operating Officer.
We launched the HarborChase Pledge of Love on May 1, 2021. This is a company-wide initiative wherein our associates pledge to continue to exercise the same mindful precautions outside of work that they do in our communities.
It is a pledge to do our part and live by our Core Values to continue to combat this pandemic. HarborChase focuses our energy and efforts on our residents and their families. We are committed to doing the right things for the right reasons in an environment where everyone entirely values and fosters the dignity and individuality of each resident, family member, and associate.
Sarabeth Hanson, President & CEO
- HarborChase of Rock Hill is making sure the young at heart know they are loved and not forgotten!
- In addition to taking precautionary steps to protect the our residents, associates, and guests, HRA has started offering grocery and supply items to staff and residents two times per week through U.S. Foods who has a plentiful supply of inventory including high demand items. These will be sold at cost.
Ongoing Preventative Measures:
We have established an HRA task force and will outline our action and preventive measure, as we closely follow communication with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), as well as other health organizations to help us respond appropriately.
The safety of our residents and associates is always and without exception our top priority, and our senior living communities are guided by our company policies under which we operate at all times:
- To operate in the best interests of our residents, their families and guests, and the general public.
- To take all measures necessary to protect the lives, privacy and dignity of the residents we serve and their families, as well as our staff and visitors.
The following practices are critical to minimize the possibility of exposure and we are implementing these throughout our HarborChase communities:
All HRA non-community associates are going to begin remote access protocols starting March 17, 2020. All corporate associates are taking state required trainings to arm us to assist at community level should staffing shortages occur.
- Enhanced hand hygiene (frequent washing, use of gloves, and use of hand sanitizers), and respiratory hygiene/cough and sneeze etiquette (use of disposable tissues, or elbow when tissues unavailable).
- Enhanced environmental cleaning (wiping down surfaces with antibacterial/virucide cleansers. Clean frequently touched areas, such as doorknobs. Provide disposable wipes for commonly used surfaces). We are adding night housekeeping to accomplish this.
- Observe waste disposal best practices (e.g., touchless, lined wastebaskets).
- Conducting reminder trainings for staff and volunteers on sources of exposure, prevention, recognition of symptoms, response when an outbreak has been identified, and communication protocols.
- Educating residents and visitors about prevention practices, response, and precautions implemented at the community.
- Distributing post educational materials about the coronavirus that explain why infection control precautions are necessary.
- Posting signs notifying residents, staff, and visitors to report any experienced respiratory symptoms to management.
- Implementing protocols for staff travel (leisure or work-related), including international travel to countries with confirmed cases of the coronavirus.
- New guidelines have been implemented to request associates to self-isolate for two weeks if they have traveled through an airport. This is in addition to the CDC recommendations regarding international travel restrictions. This was reversed for health care workers on March 18, 2020 by the state agencies.
- Stock inventory (stockpiling supplies such as sanitizer, masks, gloves, cleaning products, water, food, and linens).
- We screen all residents and associates three times per day with recommended questions, and by taking temperatures.
- If an associate has a fever, he/she is sent for immediate testing for COVID-19 and then sent home.
- Any resident presenting with a fever is quarantined immediately and sent for COVID-19 testing.
- We have suspended communal dining within our community, as well as Life Enrichment Activities. All residents now dine in their apartments and will continue to do so until it is safe to resume group dining. We continue to provide exceptional hospitality and the same delicious menu options available in our restaurants.
- Each day we practice heightened daily cleaning and sanitation measures, including:
- Wiping down and disinfecting all surfaces in the community a minimum or two times per day.
- High-traffic areas receive additional daily cleanings and disinfection.
- All HRA Associates in the community wear special personal equipment to protect themselves and others.
Specific COVID-19 policies and procedures are in place to supplement our intensive Infection Control Policy. Our communities started screening all visitors with infrared thermometers, documenting travel questions, and directing guests to wash hands thoroughly and use hand sanitizer.
CONTINUING FOCUS ON STAFF AWARENESS:
- We regularly repeat associate in-servicing to ensure they know how to spot the signs and symptoms of the COVID-19 virus AND that they are stressing vigilance in all interactions with residents and with each other.
- We constantly re-train on proper handwashing protocol, as handwashing has been established by the CDC as absolutely essential to controlling the spread of the COVID-19 virus.
OUR COVID-19 PREVENTION PLAN FOR GOING FORWARD:
- Our communities will remain closed to all visitors and outside guests until further notice.
- We will continue taking every action possible to keep all of our residents, staff personnel health and safe.
- We will continue to keep our residents, their families and our staff informed of our situation and results relative to COVID-19 within our community.
- We will keep our resident families updated and apprised of any new developments relating to this issue and its impact upon our senior living community.
At Harbor Retirement Associates we understand that these are indeed uniquely challenging times. It is both our policy and our promise to continue serving and protecting to the best of our ability our residents, our staff, and all others who must have access to our community for maintenance, deliveries or any other necessary or required purpose.
Preventative Steps We Encourage:
New Resident Protocol:
New residents moving into our communities will need to self-quarantine for their first 14 days. HarborChase will be following the below protocol for hospitality and dining:
Move-In (First 24 hours):
- Chef will prepare their favorite meal based on the time of day the resident moves in (i.e., Breakfast, Lunch, or Dinner) to be delivered to their room once settled and ready.
- All meals should be delivered in person by the Chef at the appropriate time of day, set up on the counter (or applicable dining surface, such as lap tray, wheelchair tray, etc.) following the standard table setting in Signatures.
- Chef will sit and dine with the resident and discuss dining options and menu selections as well as learning about special requests or needs.
- All menus should be printed and given to the resident and explained.
- Chef will take order for the following service.
- Allow the resident to order from any of the menus offered throughout the community.
Days 2 – 14:
- All meals should be delivered by a designated server or team member, set up on the counter (or applicable dining surface, such as lap tray, wheelchair tray, etc.) following the standard table setting in Signatures.
- The server or team member will sit and dine with the resident, ensuring that all needs are met.
- Allow the resident to order from any of the menus offered throughout the community.
- The server or team member will take their order for the following service.
- Chef will check on the resident daily and inquire about their meals, satisfaction, and make any special accommodations.
- Dining rotation will be implemented so the resident can experience all restaurants and concepts.
- Breakfast in Signatures
- Lunch in Counter-Offer
- 4 to 5 in Fusion
- Dinner in Zest
- The resident will be escorted back to their room by the Executive Director.