March 20, 2020

Stories of Care

During this time it’s even more important to have a reason to smile! 😄

Checkout some great stories sure to put a smile on your face at the link below!

#CareNotCOVID #BrighterAtBethany

Care Not Covid

March 18, 2020

Letter from Bethany Retirement Living’s President/CEO

To Our Residents and Family Members:

We know you are concerned about the spread of COVID-19 {the new coronavirus) and how it may impact us at Bethany Retirement Living. Making sure residents are cared for in a safe and healthy environment is our top priority.

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) and the ND Department of Health have directed that we restrict all visitors and volunteers from visiting the facility. This includes family and friends. This restriction is in effect until further notice. We are posting signs in entryways to notify visitors and actively screening individuals, including staff, who do need to enter the building.

We may only allow visitors for compassionate care reasons, such as end-of-life situations. This will be handled on a case-by-case basis. We will actively screen anyone who must visit in these situations. Protective measures will be followed during these visits. If visitors have respiratory symptoms such as a fever, they will be restricted from entering the building.

We understand connecting with your loved one is incredibly important. There are a variety of other ways to communicate including telephone, email, text, video chat or social media. We are happy to facilitate these methods of communication. Please visit our website and click on the “contact us” button or call us at 701-239-3000 to arrange alternative contact methods.

We will stay up-to-date on State and Federal government recommendations as they may continue to change. Bethany Retirement Living is in close contact with the state health department and are following their guidance.
Should you have any questions, please contact us at 701-239-3000 or e-mail us at info@bethanynd.org. Please also follow us on Facebook and visit our website for updates. Our website address is
www.bethanynd.org.

For more information about COVID-19 specifically, please visit the CDC’s coronavirus disease information page.

Sincerely,
Shawn Stuhaug
President & CEO
Bethany Retirement Living

March 16, 2020

Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services

CMS Announces New Measures to Protect Nursing Home Residents from COVID-19

As part of the broader Trump Administration announcement today, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) announced critical new measures designed to keep America’s nursing home residents safe from the 2019 Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19). The measures take the form of a memorandum and is based on the newest recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). It directs nursing homes to significantly restrict visitors and nonessential personnel, as well as restrict communal activities inside nursing homes. The new measures are CMS’s latest action to protect America’s seniors, who are at highest risk for complications from COVID-19. While visitor restrictions may be difficult for residents and families, it is an important temporary measure for their protection.

“As we learn more about the Coronavirus from experts on the ground, we’ve learned that seniors with multiple conditions are at highest risk for infection and complications, so CMS is using every tool at our disposal to keep nursing homes free from infection,” said CMS Administrator Seema Verma. “Temporarily restricting visitors and nonessential workers will help reduce the risk of Coronavirus spread in nursing homes, keeping residents safe. The Trump Administration is working around the clock to ensure the continued safety of America’s health care system, particularly nursing homes.”

The new measures CMS announced today, which supersede prior CMS guidance, constitute the agency’s most aggressive and decisive recommendations with respect to nursing home safety in the face of the spread of COVID-19. They include:

+ Restricting all visitors, effective immediately, with exceptions for compassionate care, such as end-of-life situations;
+ Restricting all volunteers and nonessential health care personnel and other personnel (i.e. barbers);
+ Cancelling all group activities and communal dining; and
+ Implementing active screening of residents and health care personnel for fever and respiratory symptoms.

The guidance directs nursing homes to restrict visitation except in certain compassionate cases, like end-of-life. In those cases, visitors will be equipped with personal protective equipment (PPE) like masks, and the visit will be limited to a specific room only.

CMS’s guidance is based upon CDC recommendations informed by real-time information being gathered from experts on the ground in areas with large numbers of COVID-19 cases, like Washington and California. According to CDC, seniors with multiple health conditions are at highest risk for complications. With large congregations of that particularly vulnerable population, nursing homes are extremely susceptible to quick spread of the virus. There have already been reports of large numbers of cases of COVID-19 spreading quickly through nursing homes, such as the Life Care Center in Kirkland, Washington. The spread of COVID-19 in a nursing home can amplify or seed further spread to other facilities when patients are transferred and when staff and visitors come and go. According to CDC, visitors and health care personnel who are ill are the most likely source of introduction of COVID-19 into nursing homes, necessitating today’s change in guidance to restrict visitors and personnel.

CMS understands the vital importance of keeping nursing home residents connected with their loved ones. However, the rapid spread of COVID-19 and its transmission through visitors and health care workers – as well as nursing home residents’ high risk – has made it necessary to restrict nonessential visitation in order to protect the health and safety of residents. In lieu of visits, CMS encourages nursing homes to facilitate increased virtual communication between residents and families. CMS also encourages nursing homes to keep residents’ loved ones informed about their care. This could include assigning a staff member as a primary contact for families to facilitate inbound communications, as well as regular outbound communications. Nursing homes are expected to notify potential visitors to defer visitation until further notice through signage and other outreach, such as emails and phone calls.

CDC has made several additional recommendations for nursing homes as they work to keep their residents safe. Nursing homes should put alcohol-based hand sanitizer with 60-95 percent alcohol in every resident room – both inside and outside the room if possible – and in every common area. Additionally, nursing homes should ensure sinks are well-stocked with soap and paper towels for hand washing. They should make tissues and facemasks available for people who are coughing, and make necessary PPE available in areas where resident care is provided. Finally, they should ensure hospital grade disinfectants are available to allow for frequent cleaning of high-touch surfaces and shared resident equipment. A full list of CDC guidance to nursing homes can be found here.

This guidance, and earlier CMS actions in response to the COVID-19 virus, are part of the ongoing White House Task Force efforts. To keep up with the important work the Task Force is doing in response to COVID-19 click here www.coronavirus.gov. For information specific to CMS, please visit the Current Emergencies Website.

Mar 13, 2020

Video from ACHA/NACL Director, Dr. David Gifford

March 12, 2020

Covid-19 / Respiratory Disease Prevention Update

At Bethany Retirement Living, our absolute first priority is the health and well­being of our patients and residents and of our employees. By extension, this also impacts family members, vendors, clergy and other potential visitors.

We are wrestling with a threat – both real and potential – that could affect those listed above. We have seen some cases of Influenza A at Bethany and, thankfully, that appears to have run its course and is on the decline. We have NO CASES of Covid -19 (coronavirus) at Bethany and are taking steps to limit the potential exposure to any such virus.

To that end, we are asking non-essential visitors, including family members, contractors, and volunteers to suspend visits to Bethany on University and Bethany on 42nd for the next few weeks. If you feel you MUST visit, you will be asked to complete a health questionnaire and facility staff will take your temperature.

Family members can communicate with residents by using video chat, calling, texting, social media or through the contact feature on our website. Our Community Life staff can help coordinate alternative ways to communicate with your loved one.

Please do not visit at this time if you are currently feeling unwell or are experiencing respiratory symptoms (coughing, sneezing, a fever or shortness of breath) OR if you recently traveled to a geographical area considered high-risk for Coronavirus (Covid-19) by the CDC, OR within the past 14 days you have taken a trip on a cruise ship or participated in other settings where crowds were contained to a common location. Please call ahead as entry protocols may have changed since you last visited. Please visit the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) website at www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/travelers/index.html for an updated list of restricted countries.

All visitors will be screened when they enter Bethany facilities, including completion of a health-related survey and submitting to a temperature check.

We have also enhanced our already diligent efforts to reduce potential exposure at our facilities by cleaning and sanitizing contact areas such as doorknobs, hand rails, elevator buttons, etc., cancelling activities, limiting resident movement within our buildings, and restricting visitors.

We are working with local, regional and national health officials to assess and react to an ever-changing situation. We plan to implement any prudent and appropriate measures to keep our residents, patients and employees safe.

Thank you for your understanding and supporting our efforts to protect those who call Bethany “home.” It is our intent to remain transparent and will provide updates as new information becomes available.

We understand you may have questions regarding the evolving coronavirus (Covid-19) and the prevention and preparedness steps we are taking. The following may answer some of your questions.

What is Bethany Retirement Living doing to prepare for any incidence of Covid-19 (coronavirus)?

To address Covid-19:

  • Bethany Retirement Living maintains standard protocols and procedures to prevent or limit the spread of infections disease in our senior living community. We are actively following our established protocols for infection control and have implemented additional training modules to familiarize employees with identification, reporting and treatment of Covid-19.
  • An internal interdisciplinary team is monitoring and reviewing information from the CDC and state health departments. This team will evaluate risks and determine appropriate actions, as needed.
  • We have heightened our cleaning and disinfecting protocols for frequently touched objects and surfaces.
  • Employees, residents, visitors and others are encouraged to regularly wash their hands with soap. Dispensers of hand sanitizer have been posted at all entrances and throughout our facilities, and individuals are urged to use the product routinely.
  • We are sharing reliable and verified updates on Covid-19 with our residents, family members, employees and the public through our website, social media, email, the State of North Dakota Mass Communication system and/or other forms of communication.

Is it safe to visit my family member at Bethany Retirement Living?

For the safety of our residents and following the guidance of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS}, we have implemented a restricted visitor policy, requesting that only necessary visitors enter Bethany buildings. If there are special circumstances such as end-of­life, please contact Bethany for more information. As a healthcare provider, we consider community health – especially those living at Bethany- a priority and will follow the guidance of the CDC,CMS and local departments of health.

Can I still volunteer?

We are limiting external volunteers except in special circumstances such as for hospice or spiritual care.

Are vendors allowed in Bethany?

We will be coordinating with vendors to minimize their travel within our buildings.

Will I be notified if there is an outbreak at Bethany Retirement Living?

At this time, NO resident or patient at either Bethany campus has been diagnosed with Covid-19 (coronavirus). In the event of a localized outbreak, we will notify residents, staff, volunteers and family members.

Do you have enough supplies and staff to care for residents in the event of an outbreak?

Supplies will be available and distributed if /when the need arises. We are working with our suppliers to ensure adequate supplies of needed items. Please note that there is no medication (antibiotic or antiviral) that is effective against Covid-19.

What can I do to help?

The public can help in a variety of ways:

  • DO NOT VISIT Bethany Retirement Living unless absolutely necessary
  • Stay healthy and prevent spreading germs by following recommended actions: frequent handwashing; avoiding touching eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands; cover your mouth and nose when coughing or sneezing and dispose of all used tissues; avoid contact with people who are ill
  • Stay in touch with your loved one by phone, text, email and other means that do not require close proximity
  • Be in prayer with us for those impacted by the disease; for the wellbeing of residents and staff; for those working diligently to provide means of prevention, treatment and cure; and for calm, wisdom and mutual respect to prevail on our greater communities.