Wesley Enhanced Living Community Update: 07-13-2020

Good afternoon All.  In any kind of normal condition, residents could hear all this at 3pm on the 2nd Monday, the normal time of the traditional TOWN HALL meeting for the Wesley Enhanced Living Doylestown community.  But pandemic, being the lingering qualifier for much of what we see and do right now, the TOWN HALL format is a written document presented by video.  But we live in hope with the expectation of using the new and improved gathering space, to be known as Heritage Hall, in the near term.

The other major distraction that makes this year unique is the renovation project.   The latest update provides that the work completion date is Tuesday, August 11.  Almost two weeks will be allotted thereafter to handle any ‘punch list’ items (details that need to be finished or corrected), such that Benchmark contractors would be out of the building by August 21.   As for opening of the dining areas and space usage, there are a number of hurdles in the form of new equipment shakedown and physical distance safety precautions to plan.  These are in process as so many things still are.  I’ll do all I can to translate your patience into excitement and anticipation.   We are pleased with the results thus far.

At this writing, we still have no new cases of the novel corona virus in the building.  As reported, we are engaged in universal baseline testing.  On Thursday, a CVS pharmacy division set up shop on site to carry out universal testing mainly for Personal Care residents and related staff persons.  The Skilled Nursing universal testing is effectively completed, with no new cases. Most of the testing for that area happened in June.   This effort was mandated by Federal and State authorities as a critical component for understanding, treating and controlling the virus. 

Most of you, by now, anticipate my next comment:   the social responsibility that each of you has to control and manage the virus, by diligent maintaining of distance, wearing masks and sanitizing/washing hands, remains paramount.  These are critical to your safety and those with whom you share community in this place.  This is all the more important now that many of you are going out occasionally.   You may know that the Department of Health issued information for travelers, especially those who might travel to ‘hot spots’ like Florida or the Carolinas.   Even travel to the Jersey Shore presents some risk in crowded public places.   So it is ideal for you to self-quarantine for two weeks after such a visit.

So, some restrictions remain.  We are still not permitting visitors, including family members, to enter the building.  Exceptions to this are for medically necessary health practitioners and repair technicians whom might enter to fix, say, the air conditioning or elevators when needed.    There have been some of you who have objected to seeing visitors enter the building to tour with our Marketing/Sales Director, Sharon Margulies.  These persons are granted an exception for two reasons.   First it is a relative small group of persons, compared to the many family members who are ready at a moment’s notice to visit.  Then, we remain under the jurisdiction of the state departments of Health and Human Services, which visitation to and between skilled nursing residents and Personal Care residents is not yet allowed.

Our opening plan allows that visitors may enter the building, at the end of the month.  We will have a specific date available in subsequent community update mailings.   Keep in mind that if we have an outbreak of the virus in house, we will likely have to re-impose restrictions.

Beginning on July 20th, we will be reopening the 9th floor to additional activities.    In addition to the walking track and library being available we will add some physically distanced tables and chairs.  Please note that card playing is not permitted at this time because of the increased infection/contact risk this presents.  We will be preparing the fitness studio for limited classes in August and we are also setting up the 9th floor living room for limited seating for movies.  These programs will begin to appear on your calendars in August.  We ask that you continue to wear masks and observe distancing rules while on the 9th floor.  We have yet to receive guidelines for the reopening of the pool.  Once it does reopen, we will not be offering classes but will limit the number of people who can use the pool and the hours it will be opened. 
Note:  Please do not move the tables or chairs on the floor; they will be set up to ensure appropriate restrictions.  Your observance and adherence will help us to continue to expand the activities offered, keeping it safe at the same time.  

It comes as a relief to many that Rose, our hairdresser, returns today to service Apartment Residents in Independent Living.  This is, of course, by appointment only.  I’m sure patience is called for since she can care for only so many heads in a day that she’s here.   But this service is a sign of hope also.

If you’ve been off campus, walking north to the shopping center, you may have noticed that the crosswalk at our main driveway has been repainted.  The crosswalk at that location has been a matter of discussion by residents, particularly on the Resident Council.  Inquiries directed to the Borough manager came from some residents and also Martine Minninger, Administrator of Personal Care [You may not know that Martine has direct experience working as a representative with her local municipal council for her home township]. We think that our inquires led to this improvement. There have been suggestions that flashing warning lights are needed, that would initiate when anyone crosses Veterans Lane.  We are not sure that the Borough will agree to this.   Regardless, for the time being all are reminded that it is imperative, for safety reason, to cross only at the designated crossing area and NOT at the nursing entrance driveway.

I remain very encouraged by comments of appreciation from many of you for how you’ve experienced the service of staff persons.  They have been working tirelessly.  I assure you, that they have their own versions of adjustment, as we all do, to something that clearly is forcing us to find a new normal.   I encourage you to find those things for which we’re thankful, like those technological gizmos that help us talk to and see loved ones even if we can’t be together.  I’ve thought often of those who have family living thousands of miles away who rely on the telephone.  Now, when a loved one lives only several miles away, it can feel the same.  But staying in touch in limited ways is still possible.  We stand ready to help with this as it may be needed.   I applaud your good will and optimism.

Thanks and all the best. Good afternoon.

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