Love More Letter & Artwork Program

In a time when so many of us are practicing social distancing, or are under quarantine, it’s important that we find ways to stay positive and stay connected. That’s why we’re rolling out some options for family members, friends of the community, or local families with children at home due to school closings, to submit letters or artwork to our residents to help lift their spirits. Here’s are some options on how to send letters, drawings, or paintings to our residents:

  1. Scan your submission and send it to lovemore@thehearthllc.net.
  2. Mail your submission to our one of our community addresses.
  3. Drop off your submission, in the labeled box, in front of any of our communities.

Thank you in advance for spreading cheer! It means the world to our residents!

COVID-19 Updates

The safety of our residents and staff is our number one priority. It is crucial that we act in an abundance of caution. Therefore, Hearth communities are subject to the following procedures until further notice:

Visitor & Access Policy

  • We are not accepting visitors at this time. We thank you for your understanding of these enhanced measures.
  • We will make limited exceptions in emergency cases. All exceptions must be approved by the community’s Executive Director. Anyone entering the community under these circumstances will be screened upon arrival.
  • All team members, visitors, professionals, and residents are screened with a questionnaire and temperature checks upon arrival or readmission.
  • Health care providers, urgent visits, including physicians and hospice staff will be granted access to the community once they have completed our entry screening procedures.
  • Clinical Service teams are conducting wellness checks on residents each day including screening questions and temperature checks.
  • Should you identify any change in your condition we ask that you immediately notify our clinical team for further evaluation.
  • We’ve increased our housekeeping services per CDC guidelines, and we have implemented enhanced cleaning and disinfection measures.
  • In an effort to increase social distancing, group outings have been suspended, and activities of any group type setting have been cancelled.
  • Transportation services are limited to medical appointments only.
  • Our vehicle fleet is being cleaned and disinfected before and after each use.
  • Hairdressing services are not being offered until further notice.
  • Independent and Assisted Living dining rooms are closed until further notice. Staff are delivering meals, in disposable containers, with disposable cutlery, to Independent and Assisted Living residents in their apartments.
  • Keepsake Village dining rooms are currently open, but using disposable containers and cutlery.
  • We continue to require a 6 foot minimum of social distancing in all community areas.
  • We understand that keeping in touch with your family and friends is important. See your community Activity Director if you’d like help setting up FaceTime or Skype video chat.
  • LOVE MORE: we ask that you share this communication effort with your family and friends to maintain the most active and vibrant communications possible during these challenging times.

For information on location-specific COVID-19 resident communication, select a community name below.

Dear Hearth Family Members:

During this difficult time, it’s important for us to remember that we have something in common: we both care deeply for your loved one’s well-being. Therefore, in an abundance of caution, and in response to recommendations by the CDC, all Hearth communities are experiencing changes to dining and activities.

In an effort to increase social distancing, staff have been delivering meals, in disposable containers, with disposable cutlery, to Independent and Assisted Living residents in their apartments. Keepsake Village residents are still attending regular meal times, in the Keepsake Village dining room, but our staff have removed all linens and are using disposable containers and cutlery. Social distancing is being practiced by spreading tables out and reducing the number of residents at each table.

Additionally, activities have been rescheduled to only include residents who reside on a designated floor. (So, for example, if a Hearth community has two floors, residents on the first floor will participate in one activity, while residents on the second floor participate in another.) We’re confident that by offering smaller, more intimate activity options, we can increase social distancing and minimize risk while keeping our residents connected and engaged.

As of now, these are two of several adjustments we’ve made, with your loved ones’ safety in mind, throughout COVID-19, and you might have questions regarding how your loved ones are being made aware of changes. Please know that all of our residents are informed of operational changes that impact them, including dining and activities, through face-to-face conversations with staff members, postings throughout the community, and letters much like these. Likewise, staff members are briefed on any operational changes daily, through in-person meetings, posted messaging, and our employee text messaging service.

Thank you for your continued support during this difficult time. We at The Hearth are here to serve you and your family and are deeply appreciative for the opportunity.

Please be safe, be careful, and stay well.

Respectfully,

Kevin Hunter
COO

For information on location-specific COVID-19 communication, select a community name below.

  • Staff members who experience any sign of illness are encouraged to notify their Executive Director immediately, and not report to work until they are symptom-free.
  • Staff members who have traveled outside of the country, and/or within any hot zone areas, must confer with their department head before returning to work.
  • All Staff will be required to complete new questionnaires, screenings, and attestations prior to full entrance into the community.
  • PPE (Personal Protective Equipment) continues to be replenished and distributed for your safety and for the safety of those that we serve. We ask that you monitor the status of these products at all times, and notify your department manager if any items become damaged. Damaged items are not to be used and will need to be replaced immediately before you continue to conduct any resident services.
  • We ask that you maintain a safe social distance, of six feet or more to all team members and residents whenever possible.
  • Frequent handwashing (in accordance with posted CDC guidelines) and the correct use of PPE is essential to the safety of all. Please continue to refer to the supplied training materials each day upon shift arrival for any updates to these procedures.
  • Staff experiencing any symptoms are highly encouraged to take advantage of our telemedicine partnership through Excellus, our health insurance provider. Due to an overwhelming demand placed on healthcare professionals, telemedicine appointments can save time and expedite appointments. Register for Excellus’ telemedicine program by visiting www.ExcellusBCBS.com/Member, or calling 1-866-692-5045.
  • If you have experience in food service, housekeeping, or hospitality, and recently lost your job or experienced a layoff due to COVID-19 we could use your help. Visit our Indeed page to learn more about employment opportunities in our communities.

For information on location-specific COVID-19 staff communication, select a community name below.

  • Vendors are not allowed inside any Hearth building at this time.
  • Please contact the community prior to drop offs, or for any other questions or needs should circumstances warrant.
  • All deliveries should be left outside the front door. Delivery drivers who require a signature should call the main line, posted on the front doors, and alert the community receptionist, who will come outside and accept the package.
  • Our visitation restrictions also impact private duty caregivers. Since private duty caregivers regularly work in multiple senior living or healthcare environments simultaneously, we are screening them at the door prior to admittance. Should we deem a private duty caregiver as a high exposure risk, due to his or her other work environments, we will not allow him or her to enter. Should we deny entry, the resident’s family will be contacted, and additional care options will be discussed.

The health and wellness of our residents remains our number one priority. We have detailed and specific plans in place for a wide-range of emergencies and illnesses like this, and are communicating regularly with our residents, their families, staff members, visitors, and vendors, regarding our policies as they relate to COVID-19. In response to this COVID-19 pandemic, The Hearth swiftly implemented procedures, screening, restrictions, and all measures advised by state and local health officials. We will continue to remain in a hypervigilant stance throughout the duration of this situation as we work around the clock to safeguard our residents and staff.

The Hearth understands that this situation continues to evolve and that our population is perhaps the most vulnerable to this pandemic. We continue to work closely with state and local health officials to take every measure to limit all possible exposure points to our residents and staff.

Out of an abundance of caution, we are not accepting visitors. Family members are encouraged to keep in touch with their loved ones via phone calls or video chat services. We’ve rolled out video chat procedures throughout all of our communities, and encourage residents and their families to take advantage of the complimentary video chat services and support until visitation restrictions have been lifted.

As we navigate this challenge, we remain focused on providing exceptional care and service for our residents. This includes sharing regular updates and information and taking any precautions required to limit the spread of illness or misinformation. Please, continue to check back for updates.

Please direct all media inquiries to Kevin Hunter, C.O.O., at khunter@thehearthllc.net.

Visitation

Who is allowed in the community?

No visitors are allowed in any Hearth community until further notice.

Why are you restricting visitors?

The COVID-19 virus is most dangerous for seniors, we feel that restricting all visitors is a necessary step toward keeping our residents safe.

How long will the restriction last?

We do not have an estimate on how long visitation restrictions will remain in effect. The decision to lift restrictions is largely dictated by states’ departments of health and the CDC.

What are the exceptions to this policy?

The community Executive Director will make limited exceptions in extreme or emergency cases, including end of life care. Anyone entering the community under these circumstances will be screened upon arrival.

Will my private duty caregiver be allowed to enter the community?

Private duty caregivers regularly work in multiple senior living or healthcare environments simultaneously. For this reason, we are screening every private duty caregiver at the door prior to admitting them into our communities. Should we deem a private duty caregiver as a high exposure risk, due to his or her other work environments, we will not allow him or her to enter. Should we deny entry, the resident’s family will be contacted, and additional care options will be discussed.

What are your screening procedures for people entering the community?

Anyone entering the community will be asked questions about possible cold-like symptoms, recent travel, and if they have been exposed to a known or suspected case of COVID-19. They will also have their temperature checked.

What if there is an emergency?

Emergency service personnel, including EMTs and fire fighters, may enter the community if needed. We will make limited exceptions in extreme or emergency cases for family members. These cases must be expressly approved by the community’s Executive Director. Anyone entering the community under these circumstances will be screened upon arrival.

May I visit with my loved ones outdoors, but on the community grounds?

No. Because outside guests pose a risk of exposure, we ask that you do not have in-person visits inside or outside of the community.

Are there other ways that I can get to see my loved ones?

Yes. We understand this is a top concern and priority. We have deployed our IT and community teams to assist you and your loved one with this process. Community teams are equipped to conduct video calls via FaceTime or Skype. Contact your community’s Executive Director to schedule a video call date and time with your loved one. Instruction guides and resources have been shared and will continue to be updated so we can advance this experience.


Resident Exit & Reentry

Are residents allowed to leave?

Residents are allowed to leave for essential medical appointments. Residents who leave the community for any other reason, including shopping, dinner, or socialization, will need to stay with a loved one or family member outside of The Hearth until all senior living restrictions are lifted.

Why are residents not allowed to leave?

COVID-19 is most dangerous for seniors, and every societal interaction increases the risk of exposure. We continue to follow the most stringent guidance available to safeguard our staff and residents during this pandemic.

What if I accept the liability of leaving the community?

We understand that you may be willing to put yourself at risk of exposure to the virus. However, this also puts others in our community at risk, and we cannot allow that.

Am I allowed to temporarily move out of the community?

Yes. If you desire, you can temporarily move out of the community to stay with family members. You cannot return until we are able to lift these restrictions. Rent for your apartment will still be due. If you pay for a supplementary level of care, that fee will be waived after fourteen days, per the community’s residency agreement.

What happens if someone goes to the hospital and is ready to return to the community?

Residents who are returning from the hospital will be screened. We trust that hospitals have enhanced infection control procedures and will not release anyone who poses a threat to others. We will continue to communicate with hospitals and services as residents receive services to monitor status and coordinate readmission and transport.


Deliveries

How do deliveries work?

All deliveries must be made outside the building. A staff member will accept them outside of the front doors, sign if necessary, clean, and deliver them accordingly.

Can I bring something, like a care package, to my loved one?

Yes. Know that it must be dropped outside of the building, and scheduled in advance. Call the community’s main line to speak with a receptionist and schedule a date and time to drop off your package. We will only accept care packages that have been pre-scheduled.


Personal Needs

How do residents get groceries or other supplies?

Family members are encouraged to bring groceries, toiletries, or anything else that they usually share with their loved one during regular visits to the front of the community. Bring your items to the front of the community, where a staff member will accept them. Be sure to call the main community number and speak with the receptionist to schedule a date and time for your package drop-off in advance. We will only accept grocery deliveries or packages that have been pre-scheduled.

Are salons open?

No. Community salons are closed, and will remain closed until further notice.

What if I use a dog walker?

Residents may continue to use a dog walker. Residents should coordinate their dog walker’s visits with their community’s Executive Director. The Executive Director will ensure that a team member meets the dog walker, at the designated dates and times, at the community’s main entrance. Dog walkers are not allowed in the community.


Medical Needs

How will I get to my doctors’ appointments?

Residents can still use scheduled transportation for any necessary doctors’ appointments. Our teams are also available to assist with communication and planning of any scheduled or requested medical supports.

Can a family member pick me up for my doctors’ appointments?

Please consult with the campus Executive Director. In an effort to limit all possible exposure points we have enhanced our medical driver schedule to accommodate these needs. For any extenuating circumstances we ask that you coordinate efforts closely with the community team. Upon return, all residents and members assisting with transport will be required to wash hands and rescreen.

What if a resident need hospice care?

Health care providers, including home health, private duty, nursing services, physicians, and hospice staff will be granted access to the community once they have completed our entry screening procedures.

Will the in-community therapy provider still see residents?

Yes. In-house physical therapy has been reduced to essential and required cases only. We have also asked each provider to prioritize our campus to ensure that any professional who sees residents in our campuses follow all screening, sanitation, and required procedures. We have also asked that these dedicated staff members close any communal training or treatment areas, and limit room to room visits. If such visits are medically necessary, they will be allowed, however the strictest PPE, and sanitation practices will be used.


Staff

How are staff screened?

We take staff members’ temperatures daily. We have a detailed questionnaire that is completed upon each shift. Staff members who have fevers or cold-like symptoms are not allowed to work until they’re symptom-free and advised by their doctor to be safe to return to work.

Do staff get paid when they miss work?

Full time and part time staff have a paid time off (PTO) bank that allows them to be paid when missing work due to illness.

What are you doing to help staff?

We understand that staff must balance their own family’s needs with those of our residents. We also understand that local business closures have displaced many hospitality workers, including those in food service and housekeeping. We are currently accepting applications from displaced workers, conducing background and wellness checks, and hiring as applicable on a temporary basis. We hope this process will alleviate some of the burden on our existing staff members. Visit our Indeed page for more information.


Resident Illness

How are you checking residents?

We are proactively conducting wellness checks and monitoring the temperatures and symptoms of all residents daily. We will continue to adjust these efforts under the guidance of State and Local health officials. We are also working closely with each residents Doctor.

What COVID-19 practices apply to Memory Care residents in Keepsake Village?

We continue to engage residents through our activity department but have increased our practices of social distancing where possible, including greater separation in our dining room during meal times. We have also increased sanitation practices surrounding activities. We’re utilizing paper and plastic for dining in order to reduce the risk of cross contamination, and table clothes have been removed from tables as well.

We continue hourly checks as normal, and are taking resident temperatures regularly. In the event of illness on Keepsake Village, we would continue to work with each resident’s physician on communication and guidance.

What happens if there is a case of COVID-19 in our community?

We have plans in place that have been drafted in advance of such eventualities. These plans have been created using the most current guidelines set by state and local healthcare officials. The Hearth will continue to track this situation on an ongoing basis as this continues to be a fluid situation. Our teams are all standing by with additional measures readied, supplies, and procedures in the event that we have a suspected or confirmed case. If there is a suspected or confirmed case, we will follow all CDC guidelines and work closely with the state and local departments of health.


Communication

How are residents, staff, and families being made aware of operational changes brought on by COVID-19?

Residents are informed of operational changes through face-to-face conversations with staff members, postings throughout the community, and letters delivered to their apartment door.

Staff members are briefed on any operational changes daily, through in-person meetings, posted messaging, and our employee text messaging service.

Family members are informed through personal phone calls as situations warrant, and frequent email updates. If you’d like your email address added to our family distribution list, call your loved one’s Hearth community and speak with the Receptionist.


Comments & Concerns

Who do I call if I have a comment, concern, or complaint?

First, call your community’s Executive Director. If your community’s Executive Director cannot address your concern, call The Hearth Home Office at (315) 453-0561. Please allow us 24 hours to respond to any non-urgent requests. During this timeframe we have a team standing by to review further questions, comments, concerns, or other matters and we will be triaging them as appropriate to focus our resources on urgent and critical concerns. All questions and inquiries will be answered. We appreciate your understanding and support.