Dear Residents, Family Members and Community Friends,
A year in reflection, and where to begin. 2020 a year that as with every New year started out with so much promise and optimism. Little did anyone know what lay ahead, how events that will forever be studied and imbedded in history, began to unfold in front of our eyes and we were all part of the unfortunate cast.
In March the World Health Organization (WHO) declared a worldwide pandemic and a Public Health Emergency (PHE) and since then life as we knew it changed forever. Kirkland Nursing Home in Washington, DC, heralded the plight of all nursing homes into the spotlight and concurrently it felt like someone flipped a switch and everything was different, Coronavirus, no indoor visitation, wearing masks, screening, social distancing, telemedicine, PUI - Person Under Investigation, isolation precautions and if this myriad of life altering events wasn’t enough a whole new vocabulary emerged too.
We were all in a state of disbelief and longed for things to return to “normal” the normal and familiar life we knew pre Covid-19, but the realization quickly revealed itself. Covid-19 or SARS Cov-2, a respiratory type illness is not a transient phenomenon but something that has continued to prevail and claim the lives of 361K Americans and 1.8 M lives globally.
Despite many challenges we have all learned so much in a short span of time. We started to speak a whole new language including Phases of Reopening, Phases of Mitigation, Testing and Response Strategy and a whole host of new processes and procedures came barreling down the pipeline.
In the mean-time Sunny Hill staff continued to care for and support our residents and their families and we have all pulled together to navigate this storm. New focus areas have emerged requiring attention. IDPH has developed and outlined guidance regarding a new program to facilitate “Essential Caregiver” involvement in resident and person centered care. These “Essential Caregivers” are not considered visitors but individuals essential to residents well-being. In light of Covid-19 duration and residents being unable to experience life as they knew it with obvious adverse effects IDPH took a deeper dive into effects and implications and devised some guidelines for facilities. Sunny Hill is in the process of adopting, developing and implementing these guidelines and initiatives. Additional information will be shared at a future date.
Sunny Hill kicks off the New Year on a very positive note with our first Covid-19 Vaccination Clinic for residents and staff occurring on January 5th, in the Main Dining Room starting at 9:00am – 6:00pm. Sunny Hill has partnered with Walgreens to administer vaccinations with subsequent follow up clinics occurring on January 26th and February 16th, 2021. Based on some raw data it appears that approximately 70% or so of residents have consented to receive the Pfizer vaccine.
Sadly, we also remain mindful of the many friends and family members that we have lost this last year, and our deepest sympathies are extended to their loved ones. We were also able to welcome many new friends into our lives, and want to express our gratitude to those that entrust us to care for them. We will continue to celebrate each other and the gifts we bring to our extended family relationships.
Thank you to our family members, visitors, volunteers and community friends for their support and friendship as it has truly meant so much during these difficult times for all. We appreciate the love and support extended and displayed in so many different ways.
May health and wellness be with you and your families throughout 2021. Please stay physically distant but socially connected.
Maggie McDowell. Administrator