Cassia’s commitment to transparency is a core value and remains unchanged in the midst of the current outbreak. Should a positive case of COVID-19 occur at any community, our practice is to let the residents and families associated with that community know—in addition to informing the immediate family and their loved one.
Of course, we cannot share names of residents due to privacy rules—but will be sure to keep you informed about the status of positive cases. If you have questions, please do not hesitate to contact the director at your family member’s community.
Preparation and Plans for Coronavirus (COVID-19)
Each day, Cassia’s dedicated employees are delivering the care and services our residents need and have come to expect from us. Despite the challenges presented by the coronavirus, we remain steadfast in our commitment to compassionate care and a safe environment for each of our residents, clients and staff.
Cassia has been using a variety of comprehensive measures to prepare for the Coronavirus (COVID-19). This is an emerging, rapidly developing situation that is changing daily.
COVID-19 is typically harder on older adults, with increased risks for people older than 60. The risks increase even more for those older than 80 and/or people underlying medical conditions such as diabetes or respiratory ailments.
We have planned extensively for COVID-19 and are ready for it. Our operations team has been working around the clock to respond to the Coronavirus.
Cassia is collaborating with health officials to monitor and evaluate changing circumstances. Preparation efforts are closely coordinated with the CDC and state-level planning. The most up-to-date information is available on the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention COVID-19 website, and your local state health department, see links below. In addition, Cassia is following Strategies to Prevent the Spread of COVID-19 in Long-Term Care Facilities (LTCF)
We remain focused on helping residents live fully and joyously. Daily life includes numerous opportunities to stay connected to the people and passions that mean most to them.
Currently, Cassia is taking the following steps:
- Restricted visiting with the exception of compassionate care patients facing the end of life
- Routine resident screenings, following protocol
- Employee screening, including temperature checks at the start of shifts
- Dining in rooms only and no group activities
- No activities with outside visitors or trips
- Regular communication with residents, families and staff explaining new procedures
- Continued emphasis on infection control and prevention following CDC guidelines
- Family informational webinars are being scheduled with all Cassia communities
Cassia understands the importance of visits to help residents stay connected to family and friends. At this time, outdoor and window visits are available in all states where Cassia provides care and services, except Florida. We continue to allow visits for compassionate care at all sites.
Please note appointments must be set up in advance of all visits; and please contact your care community’s administrator or director of housing for specific information on how to proceed.
A new development in Minnesota recently came from the Minnesota Department of Health, which recognizes the crucial role family members and other caregivers play in residents’ lives. Caregivers not only support residents as advocates; they help foster mental and emotional health, which is so deeply connected to physical health.
Therefore, our leaders are working to set up an essential caregiver program for those who require it. Essential caregiver visits must still be regulated to comply with state and Cassia guidelines.
Q. How can I connect with my loved one if visiting is not allowed?
A. COVID-19 tends to be harder on older adults and those with underlying medical conditions such as lung conditions like COPD, CHF, diabetes and other immune disorders. That is why we cannot allow visitors at this time, in accordance with CMS guidelines (with the exception of end-of-life compassionate care). We are working with a range of technologies and will help you connect with a loved on via Facebook Live or another digital platform. In some communities, we can also offer a special Beam robot that does not require much staff assistance because it can be run by family members remotely. Please see a recent KARE-11 story about our robot.
Q: How are residents receiving meals?
A. All residents in assisted living and skilled nursing communities are currently receiving meals in their rooms, as directed by CMS.
Q. Will I be notified if a case of COVID-19 occurs at one of Cassia’s locations?
A. Should either a resident or an employee show symptoms or test positive for the Coronavirus, our team will make personal, one-on-one telephone calls to family members to share information and respond to questions. Employees will not be allowed to work and will recommended for medical evaluation. Residents will be quarantined and will receive additional care and attention.
Q. Do you have enough staff and supplies to take care of my loved one in the event of a Coronavirus outbreak?
A. We do have sufficient supplies and staff, but have a plan in place if needed through our connections with health care staffing agencies. With numerous nursing assistants and nurses who have worked with us many years, we know we can rely on consistency of care for your loved ones.
Q. How can we be sure our loved one will receive the care he or she needs if the virus spreads?
A. Nothing is more important to Cassia than the health, safety and well-being of the people you love. Our commitment to care is why we exist and is crucial to our mission to foster fullness of life for older adults in the spirit of Christ’s love.
In addition, we are in close communication with health department officials to make sure we are implementing the most current guidelines. We are also able to utilize the experience we have with other infectious illnesses. We will continue to monitor CDC and CMS guidelines to stay current and follow the recommended protocols for infection control and prevention.
Q. Is there anything family members can do to help?
A. It is a great blessing for us to care for your loved ones and we are honored you chose Cassia. We hope you will take care of yourself and try to get enough rest and reduce your stress. If you must work, please ask your employer if you can work from home and if you have symptoms such as a fever, cough and shortness of breath, please contact your physician immediately. We also ask that you stay connected to your loved ones through digital means such as emails, texts, calls and video chats.
If you would like to support Cassia’s preparations and response, please consider making a donation at https://www.cassialife.org/give or connect with Cassia’s Philanthropy team at firstname.lastname@example.org. Your gift will help us purchase things like protective masks, iPads for social connections and make a significant difference for caregivers and those we serve as we adapt to carrying out our mission differently during this time.
Resources for National and Local Updates
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC): Link
- Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS): Link
State agencies where Cassia has communities
For additional information or questions, please contact Cassia at email@example.com or Sharon Wilson, Chief Clinical and Compliance Officer at 952-855-5141.