THe Wesley Community as seen from the air. A series of buildings, including two 14 story towers, surrounded by an abundance of green areas.

Letter to Senior Solutions Clients and Families

Coronavirus Updates Home

August 31, 2020

Dear Wesley Senior Solutions Clients and Families:

I hope this letter finds you well.  I am happy to report that our clients and staff remain free from COVID-19!  I cannot thank everyone enough for your continued efforts to stay diligent with all the necessary safety precautions.  With Labor Day weekend approaching, if you do not need to go out into a  public area or gathering, please don’t.  If you do go out, try to remain outdoors, continue to wear a mask  covering the nose and mouth, wash your hands for 20 seconds, and practice social distancing of 6 feet or  more.  If for any reason you are not feeling well, please stay home.

I want to remind you that influenza season is quickly approaching.   Now more than ever, the CDC strongly encourages everyone to talk with your medical provider regarding the flu vaccine and set up a    time to receive it from them (or your local pharmacy) if there are no contraindications.  Ideally, the CDC recommends receiving the vaccine in September or by the end of October.

Getting a flu vaccine is an essential part of protecting your health and your family’s health this season. According to the CDC, a 2018 study found that the flu vaccine lowers the risk of severe illness with the flu by 82%.  Because some of the symptoms of flu and COVID-19 are similar, it may be hard to tell the difference between them based on symptoms alone, and testing may be needed to confirm the diagnosis. Both can result in serious illness resulting in hospitalization or death.

Please ask your provider if you are also in need of a pneumococcal vaccine.  Pneumonia can be very serious in anyone over age 65.  When you receive one or both vaccines, please contact our Director of Clinical Services,  Diane Coleman, RN,  so that she can update your record as required by the New York State Department of Health. For any further questions or educational information, please contact us at 518-584-1200.

If at some point you need to care for a loved one or friend who is not feeling well with any of the symptoms of COVID-19, or is under the suspicion of having COVID-19 and is waiting for test results, protect yourself by wearing a mask when in the same room with them.  Thoroughly wash your hands with soap and water immediately after.  Designate specific dishes, utensils and linens for the person who is sick and use hot water to clean them.  Do so often.   Identify frequently touched surfaces such as door handles, faucets, counter tops, tv remotes, phone, etc. and disinfect them frequently.  Ensure the person who is sick gets plenty of rest, fluids, and nutritious food.  Contact their physician and have them seek medical care immediately, especially if their condition worsens.

If you have any questions, comments, or concerns, please do not hesitate to contact us.   We are dedicated to keeping you and our staff safe and healthy.  We also want to ensure that all your needs are being met, and that your experience with us is meeting your expectations.

Please visit www.thewesleycommunity.org/coronavirus-updates for updated Wesley Community information on the pandemic and our efforts to protect the health and safety of our staff and those we care for.

Stay safe, be well and enjoy the last few weeks of summer.

Sharon O’Sullivan, BSN, RN                                                                                                                                            Director of Wesley Senior Solutions

sosullivan@thewesleycommunity.org

518-584-1200

 

July 31, 2020

Dear Wesley Senior Solutions Clients and Families:

I hope this letter finds all of you healthy, safe, and in good spirits despite all the current challenges we collectively face.

I am happy to report that our staff and clients continue to be COVID-19 free.  It is a true testament to the great work that our Wesley Senior Solutions team members and clients are doing to adhere to the strict protocols requested by the NYSDOH, the CDC and Governor Cuomo.  We will continue to follow mandated guidelines to ensure the safety and wellbeing of all.

As we watch other areas around the country spike with cases of the COVID-19, I ask that you continue to be vigilant during any traveling you choose to do and refrain from accommodating out of state guests unless they have followed the mandated 14 day self-quarantine reporting guidelines and are free from the virus.   As of July 28th, thirty-four states, plus Puerto Rico and Washington D.C., are areas impacted by our Tri-State Travel Advisory. (see list below)

If you do visit with family or friends, do so outdoors when possible and maintain social distancing of 6 feet or greater.

  • Avoid handshakes and hugs and continue to wash hands frequently for 20 seconds before, during and after your visit.
  • Avoid touching your mouth, nose or eyes and use a mask that covers your nose and mouth.
  • Consider arranging tables and chairs to allow for social distancing during the visit.
  • Remind guests to wash or sanitize their hands, especially before serving or eating food using single- use paper towels for drying hands.
  • Clean and disinfect commonly touched surfaces and any shared items.
  • Consider keeping a list of people you visited or who visited you along with the date the visit occurred. This will help with contact tracing if someone becomes sick.

We continue to make calls to screen our staff and clients on the morning they are scheduled. We appreciate your understanding of this process as it remains required by the NYS DOH until further notice. Please continue to monitor yourself daily for the following:

  • Fever in the past 48 hours
  • Signs or symptoms of:
  1. cough
  2. shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
  3. sore throat
  4. new loss of taste or smell
  5. headache, muscle or body aches
  6. chills or repeated shaking with chills
  7. nausea, vomiting or diarrhea
  8. nasal congestion, runny nose
  9. fatigue

*If yes to any of these, do you have a known cause such as allergies, migraines, chronic conditions… is it new or different?

  • Additionally, we will continue to ask if you have recently traveled out of state or have had close family or friends travel to affected areas that you have been in close contact with in the past 14 days. (States impacted by the travel advisory as of July 28th : Alabama, Alaska, Arkansas, Arizona, California, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maryland, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Mexico, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Puerto Rico, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Virginia, Wisconsin, Washington, Washington D.C.)

Lastly, we will need to know if you have been in contact with someone that has been quarantined with COVID-19 or mandated to be in quarantine by the local health department for COVID-19 in the past 14 days.

Please visit www.thewesleycommunity.org/coronavirus-updates for updated Wesley Community information on the pandemic and our efforts to protect the health and safety of our staff and those we care for.

With the summer months quickly coming to an end, the influenza season is around the corner! The CDC is recommending now more than ever for everyone to get their flu vaccine this fall, generally in September and October, or when advised by your physician. Getting the flu shot will not only reduce the risk from flu and its potentially serious complications but may also help conserve health care resources and reduce the burden of flu on the health care system during the COVID-19 pandemic. Please reach out to your physician later this month with any questions or guidance on this.

If you have any questions or concerns about the virus or any of our protocols in place, please contact me at 518-691-1591 or Diane Coleman, RN  at 518-691-1579.

Wishing you a safe and healthy August.

 

Sharon O’Sullivan,BSN,RN
Director of Wesley Senior Solutions

 

June 30, 2020

Dear Wesley Senior Solutions Clients and Families:

I hope this letter finds all of you healthy, safe, and cool.  As we continue in the Capital Region to open up to Phase 4, I urge everyone to please continue to use extreme caution and follow 6’ social distancing, frequent hand washing for 20 seconds and masking guidelines (covering your nose and mouth at all times in public).  Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands if you must go out.  As we watch other areas around the country spike with cases of the virus, the threat of a second round of COVID-19 is very real and worrisome until a vaccine is produced that is proven effective.

Here at Wesley Senior Solutions we have not let our guard down and continue to strictly follow the guidelines by the Center for Disease Control (CDC) and the NYS Department of Health (NYSDOH).  When any of our staff members feel ill, they are instructed not to report to work and to contact their physician immediately.  If at any time you have a question about the guidelines, or how we or your caregivers are following them, please call us right away.

I am happy to report that all office staff are back in the office after working remotely on a rotating schedule over the past several months.  We are following mandated guidelines by NYS to ensure everyone’s safety and well being. Required home visits for re-certification or any changes in care are being made.

We will continue to make calls to screen our staff and clients on days of scheduled visits for signs and symptoms of the virus and question any potential exposure to the virus.  We appreciate your understanding with this process, but it is required by NYSDOH and necessary until further notice.  Honestly, it has been a delight for us in the office to get to know all of you better! We are pleased to report that we continue to remain COVID-19 free and have not had a client or employee test positive!

Important information about how COVID-19 spreads from the NYSDOH:

  • Mainly from person to person
  • Between people who are in close contact with one another (within 6 feet)
  • Through respiratory droplet produced when an infected person coughs or sneezes
  • Respiratory droplets can land in the mouth or noses of people nearby or possibly be inhaled into the lungs
  • It is possible that a person can get COVID-19 by touching a surface or object that has the virus on it, however, this is not thought to be the main way the virus spreads.
  • People are thought to be the most contagious when they are most symptomatic
  • Spread of the virus is possible 48 hours before people show symptoms; some individuals with COVID-19 may not show symptoms.

Please continue to monitor yourself daily for the following:

  • Fever in the past 48 hours
  • Signs or symptoms of:
  • cough
  • shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
  • sore throat
  • loss of taste or smell
  • headache
  • muscle or body pain
  • chills or repeated shaking with chills
  • nausea
  • vomiting
  • diarrhea

*If yes to any of these, do you have a known cause such as allergies, migraines, chronic conditions… is it new or different?

  • Additionally, we will continue to ask if you have recently traveled anywhere or have had close family or friends travel to affected areas that you have been in close contact with in the past 14 days.

***There have been recent spikes in cases in states such as Alabama, Arkansas, Arizona, Florida, North Carolina, South Carolina, Texas and Utah.

 NY, NJ and CT issued a travel ban and are quarantining visitors from these locations for 14 days effective 6/24/2020 per Executive Order 205.

Lastly, we will need to know if you have been in contact with someone that has been quarantined with COVID-19 or mandated to be in quarantine by the local health department for COVID-19 in the past 14 days.

We continue to be challenged meeting the increasing needs for service hour requests. We continue to advertise and are hoping to hire candidates to restart our Home Health Aide Training Program in the next few months.   Thank you for your patience and understanding.

Please visit www.thewesleycommunity.org/coronavirus-udates/ for updated Wesley Community information on the pandemic and our efforts to protect the health and safety of our staff and those we care for.

One last item to mention…with the summer heat upon us, please try to prevent heat-related illness by doing the following:

  • Stay cool indoors with air conditioning on and wear appropriate lightweight, loose fitting, light colored clothing. *Please note that electric fans may provide comfort, but they will not prevent heat-related illnesses.
  • Limit outdoor activities to when it is the coolest such as morning and evening hours.
  • Pace yourself! If exertion in the heat makes your heart pound and leaves you gasping for breath, STOP.  Get into a cool area or into the shade and rest.
  • Wear sunscreen if you must go outdoors, a wide brimmed hat and sunglasses.
  • Try to avoid hot and heavy meals as they add heat to your body. Salads with protein and sandwiches are just a few good options.
  • STAY HYDRATED! Don’t wait until you are thirsty to drink! If your doctor limits the amount you drink, please ask how much you should drink when the weather is hot. Stay away from very sugary or alcoholic beverages.

If you have any questions or concerns please contact me, Sharon O’Sullivan, at 518-584-1200 or Diane Coleman, RN, Director of Clinical Services.

Stay safe, stay cool and be well.

Sharon O’Sullivan BSN, RN
Director of Wesley Senior Solutions

Coronavirus Updates Home


May 22, 2020

Dear Wesley Senior Solutions Clients and Families:

I am writing to update you on the continued pandemic health threat posed by the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in our community now that the Capital Region has begun the process to reopen.

We will continue to strictly follow the guidelines to protect our staff and all of you as recommended by the Center for Disease Control (CDC) and the NYS Department of Health (NYSDOH).

We continue to screen our staff and clients for symptoms of the virus, potential exposure, or any new diagnosis on the day of client visits.

Licensed Home Care Service Agencies have not been mandated for COVID-19 testing of its employees by the recent executive orders by Governor Cuomo.  Home Care and Hospice workers were excluded, unlike Nursing Home and Assisted Living employees who are mandated to begin testing up to twice weekly.  Please note that when any of our staff members feel ill, they are told not to report to work and to contact their physician.

Wesley Health Care Center, Woodlawn Commons Assisted Living and Wesley Senior Solutions have not had a resident or client test positive for COVID-19 to date!  This is an incredible statistic that we are very proud of and want to maintain. We are working hard every day to ensure your health and well being.

To date, Wesley Senior Solutions has not had an employee test positive for COVID-19. Again, this is something we are extremely happy about and hope that we will continue to remain healthy. Our staff is being very diligent in following all directives and guidelines.  I cannot thank them enough for being our “Home Care Heroes”!

As some of you know, it has been a bit of a challenge to meet the increasing service hour requests/needs you may have had over the past few months.  Thank you for your patience with us as it has been an even more challenging time than in the past to hire new employees.  Simply put, we are getting very few applications.   It seems many people want to wait for the end of the pandemic, while others are challenged with assisting their children with schoolwork and finding childcare.  Thank you for understanding.

Please continue to monitor yourself for the following daily:

  • Fever in the past 24 hours
  • Signs or symptoms of:
  1. cough
  2. new onset of shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
  3. sore throat
  4. new loss of taste or smell
  5. headache
  6. muscle pain
  7. chills or repeated shaking with chills
  • Additionally, we will ask if you have recently traveled or have had close family or friends travel to affected areas that you have been in close contact with.

**If so, you should be aware of the need to monitor yourself diligently for any changes in your health and contact your primary care physician immediately.

  • Lastly, we will need to know if you have been in contact with someone that has been quarantined with COVID-19 or mandated to be in quarantine by the local health department for COVID-19.

Please continue to practice hand hygiene frequently using soap and water for 20 seconds or by using alcohol-based hand gel.

If you must go out in public, practice social distancing of at least 6 feet from another person and wear a mask that covers your nose and mouth.  Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.  We need everyone to continue to remain very cautious and not let our guard down.

We will continue to work closely with the New York State Department of Health, Saratoga County Public Health Services and the Center for Disease Control as matters continue to evolve.

Please visit www.thewesleycommunity.org/coronavirus-updates/ for updated information on this pandemic and our efforts to protect the health and safety of our staff and those we care for.

If you have any questions or concerns regarding the coronavirus illness for yourself or a staff member visiting you, please contact me, Sharon O’Sullivan, at 518-584-1200 or Diane Coleman, RN, Director of Clinical Services.  Wishing everyone continued good health and protection from this pandemic.

Sincerely,

Sharon O’Sullivan, RN
Director of Wesley Senior Solutions

Coronavirus Updates Home


Coronavirus Updates Home

April 10, 2020

Dear Senior Solutions Clients and Families:

I am writing to update you on the measures Wesley Senior Solutions is taking to ensure the safety of all of you and our staff from the pandemic health threat posed by the coronavirus disease (COVID-19).

We understand the importance of limiting exposure to the coronavirus and are strictly following the guidelines to protect our staff and all of you as recommended by the Center for Disease Control (CDC) and the NYS Department of Health.

For several weeks now, we have continued to make calls to screen our staff and clients for signs and symptoms of the virus and question potential exposure to the virus or anyone that has been diagnosed with coronavirus.  Additionally, staff members that exhibit cold, respiratory or gastrointestinal symptoms are being asked to stay home until they are symptom free for a minimum of 24 hours.

If a staff member is ill and has been advised to be tested for coronavirus, with their permission we will provide you with that information. Should an employee test positive for coronavirus, the county health department in which they reside will make a thorough investigation of who they have been in contact with and will immediately notify anyone that they deem necessary, per CDC guidelines, to be quarantined.  The timeline of a positive result and the notification to those deemed at risk has been very quick, generally in a few hours. Additionally, the timeline we have seen to receive results of the testing done at Saratoga Hospital has been 2-4 days.

We are also taking other safety precautions. Currently, most of our office staff is rotating every two weeks to work from home; those in the office are practicing social distancing. No visitors are allowed entrance to our office building. Staff that need supplies or paperwork are stopped at the entrance, screened and given items that they need at the door by Diane or me. Hand sanitizer and masks are available at our entrance for all. Infection control practices have been in place and have been re-emphasized with our entire staff, including handwashing, use of personal protective equipment, and the proper use of masks at all times.

The entire Wesley Community as of April has not had a current resident or client test positive for COVID-19. As I write this, there has been just one employee out of the entire Wesley Community who works at Wesley Health Care Center that tested positive. The employee has since recovered from the illness and returned to work. That employee is not a direct care worker and did not spread it to their coworkers.

In following NYSDOH guidelines, a skilled nursing facility is unable to deny re-admission or admission to a nursing home solely based on a confirmed or suspected case of COVID-19.  If a hospitalized patient is deemed medically stable for discharge (seven days free from the onset of diagnosis or three days asymptomatic without the use of fever reducing medications and meets other criteria for admission, Wesley is unable to deny admission. A dedicated isolation unit has been setup in the Outpatient Therapy Gym, which has its own entrance and is away from all the other resident units. Strict protocols are in place for this situation and staff designated to that location will not be assigned to other locations in the nursing home.

I have a tremendous amount of respect and confidence in our Leadership and have extreme pride for all staff in their commitment to serve and care for those in need in our community, especially at this unprecedented time.

Please continue to monitor yourself for mild to severe respiratory symptoms such as dry cough, fever or difficulty with breathing. Those who have recently traveled or have had close family or friends travel to affected areas, should be aware of the need to monitor any change in their health and contact their primary care physician.

If you are experiencing any of these symptoms, we encourage you to call and follow the advice of your physician, stay home and away from others, and contact us right away. Please practice hand hygiene frequently using soap and water or alcohol-based hand gel. Our staff have been instructed to do the same.

The New York State Department of Health recommends the following ways to minimize the spread of all respiratory viruses and illnesses, specifically with COVID-19:

  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with 60 – 95% alcohol. Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands.
  • Avoid close contact with people by maintaining a social distance of 6 feet from others. 
  • Stay home when you are sick. 
  • Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or your sleeve (not your hands) when coughing or sneezing. 
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces. 
  • When in public, please wear a cloth mask covering your nose and mouth. 

The Wesley Community and Wesley Senior Solutions takes this matter very seriously and places great value on the care of our clients and staff. Notifications and education are being provided to our staff members as new information becomes available. We will continue to work closely with the New York State Department of Health, Saratoga County Public Health Services and the Center for Disease Control as matters continue to evolve.

Please visit www.thewesleycommunity.org/coronavirus-updates/ for updated information on this pandemic and our efforts to protect the health and safety of our staff and those we care for.

If you have any questions or concerns regarding the coronavirus illness for yourself or a staff member visiting you, please contact me, Sharon O’Sullivan, at 518-584-1200 or Diane Coleman, RN, Director of Clinical Services.

Sharon O’Sullivan, RN
Director of Wesley Senior Solutions

Coronavirus Updates Home

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