How to Safely Tour a Nursing Home During COVID-19

by The Maplewood
How to safety tour a nursing home during covid-19

As we continue to navigate through the uncertainty of COVID-19 and adjust to a new normal, The Maplewood has implemented effective measures to ensure a safe experience for its staff, residents and visitors.

At the onset of the pandemic, the Maplewood staff responded quickly, carefully evaluating every aspect of its operations. The staff thoroughly reviewed all infection control protocols and enhanced policies and procedures, where it was needed. A supply of personal protective equipment (PPE) inventory was increased and an alternative staffing plan was created to ensure shifts would be covered if employees became ill.

“Our staff is well-trained and prepared to treat infectious diseases. We are accustomed to dealing with influenza, which is also a respiratory illness and requires similar practices for preventing the spread to other residents and staff,” said Greg Chambery, administrator at The Maplewood.

“We continue to be guided by recommendations from the New York State Department of Health and CMS regarding COVID-19 precautions and procedures to protect and maintain the health and safety of our residents and staff,” adds Chambery.

To date, there have been no positive COVD-19 cases among the residents at The Maplewood. Only one employee tested positive for the virus back in July. This is a remarkable accomplishment, especially considering the unfortunate outcomes many nursing homes have seen during this challenging time.

Adjusting to a New Normal

Fortunately, the layout of the facility has served The Maplewood well. All resident rooms are private and have private bathrooms, which eliminates the concern of resident-to-resident contact from shared living quarters. And, if someone is on precautions, they are isolated in a beautiful, comfortable space, much like a hotel suite.

The restrictions to keep everyone safe has created a new challenge in regard to social engagement. The staff immediately went to work planning meaningful social experiences, in addition to making sure residents continue to be connected with their families and Maplewood community during this time.

Enough time has now passed (following the employee positive report) that visitors are now allowed in the building under the conditions put forth by the State.

On August 19, The Maplewood started its official family visiting process, conducting inside family visits five times a day. Patio visits with cell phones during off hours, as well as Zoom, Face Time and Google duo visits are still taking place.

Virtual tours are taking place on a limited basis. A social worker screens applicants first to ensure they are a match for the facility. Once a match is established, an iPad tour is arranged.

New Guidelines for Visitors

On July 10, New York State released guidelines for nursing homes to allow visitors. Below is a list of protocols that everyone must follow when visiting The Maplewood.

  • Visitation hours are by appointment only.
  • Visitors will be screened for signs and symptoms of COVID-19 prior to resident access and visitation will be refused if the individual(s) exhibit any COVID-19 symptoms or do not pass the screening questions.
  • Screening shall consist of both temperature checks and asking screening questions to assess potential exposure to COVID-19, which shall include questions regarding international travel or travel to other states designated under the Governor’s travel advisory.
  • Documentation must include the following for each visitor to the nursing home: first and last name of the visitor; physical (street) address of the visitor; daytime and evening telephone number; date and time of visit; and email address, if available.
  • Limited visitation, including, but not limited to, family members, loved ones, and representatives from the long-term-care ombudsman program (LTCOP).
  • At this time, visitation is strictly prohibited in resident rooms or care areas.
  • Visitors will be appropriately socially distanced and wearing a face mask or face covering while in the presence of others.
  • Visitors under the age of 18 must be accompanied by an adult 18 years of age or older.
  • Visitors must wear a face mask or face covering which covers both the nose and mouth at all times when on the premises of The Maplewood.
  • Maplewood will provide hand washing facilities to visitors. All visitors are required to wash hands before visiting.
  • A copy of The Maplewood’s formal visitation plan is posted on the website and broadcasted via email.
  • The staff is required to monitor the visitation process. If any visitor fails to adhere to the protocol, he/she/they will be prohibited from visiting for the duration of the COVID-19 state declared public health emergency.

Contact Us

The Maplewood staff will continue to adjust to this new normal, while ensuring a safe experience for our staff, residents and visitors.

If interested in learning more about The Maplewood or would like to participate in a virtual tour, contact Lynn Pierce, social services director, at (585) 872-1800, ext. 4022 or complete the form here.

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