Father’s Day Message: 06-19-2020

Dear Upper Moreland Residents and Families,

Happy Father’s Day weekend!  We know, as with Mother’s Day, for some of you this holiday will be bittersweet.  Not seeing loved ones, or having to social distance at a time when hugs are desperately needed, is very hard and causes feelings of sadness and anger.  I am so sorry that this time has been so difficult for our residents, our families and our staff.  Although we were aware in March that this would persist for more than a few weeks or months, the reality of it has become increasingly difficult.  I have spoken to some residents who are very upset about our policies and not having social visitors on campus.  Please know having to close our campus, wear masks and restrict visitation has been agonizing not only for all of you, but for me and the Upper Moreland team.  We wish more than anything that things could go back to the way they were the first week of March; the burden has been heavy on all of our staff and I continue to be grateful to them for their dedication and positivity. 

Please know we are planning and preparing every day to not only keep our campus safe and healthy, but to welcome our families and visitors back to campus.  As I shared from the beginning, our approach will be planned and phased.  Our residents residing in Independent Living have been leaving our campus for just over 1 week now.  We know that people generally start to exhibit symptoms 5-7 days after exposure.  We are preparing that there may be illness on our campus in the near future, so we are taking re-opening slowly. We have had success with our measured approach thus far and we are hoping that it continues.  We are planning more programs and activities and will share information next week!

As soon as the PA Department of Health and the Department of Human services advises, we will be working with our families and residents in Personal Care so that they may leave campus for social visits as well.  Our residents living in Personal Care are monitored twice a day with a temperature screen and once a day with a symptom screen for early identification of symptoms.  We have begun dinning in the dining room again and continue with small group activities.

If someone on our campus is positive or presumed positive for COVID 19 we will advise all residents to self-isolate until we can complete Contact Tracing.  This is an in depth review and identification of all people who may have been exposed to the virus.  To properly conduct Contact Tracing, we will need time to identify and contact those people identified through the Tracing.  

We ask that the residents residing in Independent Living self- monitor daily by asking the following questions:

DO I HAVE:

  1. Fever greater than 99?
  2. New onset of any one of the following: cough, shortness of breath, sore throat, fatigue, chills, headache, vomiting or diarrhea, muscle pain, shaking with chills, loss of taste or smell?
  3. Direct exposure to anyone that has tested Positive or is Presumed Positive for COVID 19?

If you answer “YES” to any one of the above questions:

  1. Stay in your apartment; do not leave your apartment.
  2. Contact your doctor for guidance and your family so they know you are not well.
  3. Contact the front desk and clearly identify your symptoms. This is important so the staff is aware and will wear the appropriate Personal Protective Equipment if they need to enter you apartment or cottage.
  4. Wear your mask if staff or EMT’s enter you apartment or cottage.

Again, if we all remain vigilant in social distancing, wearing masks and washing hands, we are optimistic we can safely move to the Green/ Phase III on our campus.

For IL residents who are leaving campus, we hope you can spend time with family or friends at a local outdoor venue or at your family’s home this weekend.  And for our residents residing in Personal Care, we encourage Zoom, Face Time, and Skype visits.  We are happy to help any resident with those visits. We can also schedule window visits.  For help scheduling any of these types of visits, please contact the front desk or Karen or Kelly in Enhanced Living.

For any residents leaving campus for a medical visit, (or for IL residents who are shopping or a visiting with family), I cannot stress the importance of social distancing, wearing a mask and washing your hands.  All of these steps are critical in preventing the spread of COVID 19.  We continue to be negative for COVID 19 at Burholme and Upper Moreland for both residents and staff.  Thank you to everyone who has worked hard to follow our protocols both on campus and off. 

Again, I am aware of the stress, sadness and anger that some residents are feeling and I am truly sorry for how emotional and difficult this time has been.  I am available if anyone has questions or concerns.  For those residents and families that have expressed their ongoing appreciation, we thank you for your support.  We will continue to work hard to care for our residents, staff and campus.

Warm regards and Happy Father’s Day,

Maureen Casey and the Upper Moreland Team

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