Friday, March 27, 2020 Update, 5:30 pm - 

As we complete our second week of navigating our “new normal” in the world of coronavirus, we are so thankful to say we have no cases of COVID-19 at Reformed Church Home. The health and wellness of our residents continues to be our top priority, but so too is our focus on compassion, engagement, and empathy for our seniors at this difficult time.

Within the bounds of the restrictions that have been placed upon us, we are committed to finding novel ways to reach out to families. Our Patio Chats this week brought tears to the eyes, not just for the family members standing across the glass windows from their loved ones, but for our staff members who made this successful event possible. That’s because we really are a family, and just as any family comes closer together in a crisis, so too have all of our employees in nursing, activities, social work, therapy, ministry, admissions/marketing, development, reception, maintenance, housekeeping, food service, human resources, accounting, assisted living, and on and on.

It takes a real team to accomplish what we have done these past two weeks. I cannot thank our staff enough for their commitment and boundless energy, and I want to express my appreciation to all the families that have recognized their efforts with kind words, letters, posts, flowers, donations, and more. Please keep praying for us and sending positive thoughts.

On a practical note, please note that effective March 28, 2020, ALL staff will be required to wear masks for the protection of themselves and all the residents.

With gratitude, 

Kate Shepard
Executive Director/Administrator

Tuesday, March 24, 2020, 6:00 pm - We are relieved to report that no coronavirus cases have been diagnosed at Reformed Church Home at this time. We continue to try and keep spirits up, and are happy to announce we are now fostering two pups from Husky House in Matawan. They needed some love and attention in a good Home, and we are happy to provide countless loving residents and staff members to do just that. You too can rescue a shelter animal from Husky House or your local shelter at this challenging time. Animals are known to reduce stress and lower blood pressure, plus lift the spirits. We will continue to update you as to their adjustment and antics! We also have been facilitating family chats through the large windows on the first floor patio so residents could see their loved ones via something other than Skype. But we do continue to offer Skype or FaceTime sessions, so reach out to the Activities Department at extension 192 to arrange.

We are also making good use of our live feed camera broadcast from the MPR to individual resident rooms, with exercise in the mornings and spiritual services in the afternoon. More great activities are being planned so stay tuned for more information.

We'd like to thank you for your patience and support at this time -- we appreciate the many positive thoughts, prayers, wishes, and gratitude so many of our families have expressed. We'll continue to do our best to keep this virus outside our doors and to keep the compassion flowing freely to all of your loved ones. 

Saturday, March 21, 2020, 6:00 pm - We made it through another trying week, and are happy to say that we have not had any COVID-19 cases at Reformed Church Home. We continue to follow all CDC, CMS and DOH guidelines and must restrict visitors until further notice. All staff and essential medical personnel receive daily screenings and temps before their shifts. Non-communal dining continues, and residents and staff are constantly reminded about good handwashing practices.

As the cases mount in Middlesex County, we so appreciate everyone's prayers and good wishes. Our Activities department has been working and thinking round the clock about ways to engage our residents and keep them feeling calm, loved, and comfortable. Although we know they miss all of their family members, we are taking extra efforts to keep everyone connected. We have done several Skype or FaceTime calls, helped residents create love letters to family and photographed them to send via email or post on Facebook, and have "Patio Chat" sessions scheduled for Tuesday and Wednesday March 24/25, if all continues to go well. We are able to accept supplies, birthday gifts, etc for residents if families bring them to the front door. Call our main number if you have any questions or concerns. Stay tuned for more updates, and stay safe! #Socialdistancing is the new normal. Sending virtual hugs.

Monday, March 16, 2020, 4:30 pm Update --

We are happy to report that we do not currently have any cases of COVID-19 at the Reformed Church Home. In addition to our visitor restrictions, we continue taking all the preventative measures previously outlined (see daily posts below). The Activities Staff continues to brainstorm to find meaningful programs to keep our residents engaged while practicing social distancing. As soon as possible, we will try to share some of these activities on Facebook so you are aware of your family member's daily events. We encourage you to Skype with your loved one in order for them to feel connected in these uncertain times. We appreciate your thoughts and prayers.  Stay well.

Sunday, March 15, 2020, 1:00 pm Update –

Reformed Church Home does not have any cases of COVID-19 at this time, but COVID-19 has been identified in increasing numbers in many counties throughout New Jersey.  This development triggers heightened infection control practices and protocols as recommended by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) .

In accordance with CDC and CMS guidelines, we have stopped all large group activities in the multi-purpose room including religious services.  We have also stopped all communal dining until further notice.  As you already are aware, we have stopped all visitation unless it is an extreme situation.  We successfully delivered trays to all residents today and we only hope to improve our efficiency from here.

All staff, necessary medical personnel and essential vendors continue to be admitted only after appropriate screening that includes taking the temperature and evaluation for signs or symptoms of a respiratory infection, such as fever, cough, shortness of breath, or sore throat.

The news about the spread of COVID-19 is concerning for us all. We understand that communication with your loved one is incredibly important and encourage you to communicate with them using the telephone, video chat, e-mail, or social media. We are also addressing creative ways to deliver activities to our residents in both skilled nursing and assisted living.

We continue to monitor information and guidance from the NJ Department of Health, CMSCDC and are working with state and local public health and emergency preparedness officials to prevent the illness and strengthen our preparation for a possible outbreak.  We will continue to keep you informed.  Keep visiting this website for regular updates.

We appreciate your understanding in these uncertain times.  Please continue to keep us in your thoughts and prayers.

 

Saturday, March 14, 2020, 4:00 pm Update --

While we do not have any cases of Coronavirus at Reformed Church Home, in light of the severity of the outbreak—and that the World Health Organization has characterized it as a pandemic—we must restrict all visitors, including family members, to Reformed Church Home at this time.

In accordance with the Guidelines issued today by The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), we are suspending communal dining and all group activities.  Our activity and dining personnel will be working on creative solutions to these new restrictions.  

We are actively screening all staff for fever, shortness of breath, cough and sore throat.
Again, I want to thank all the families and residents for their continued patience and understanding as we navigate through these uncharted waters.  Our goal is to keep everyone safe and well. Please see additional information below from previous posts.

Please continue to keep us in your daily thoughts and prayers. Kate Shepard, Executive Director

Friday, March 13, 2020, 2:30 pm Update --

Over the past few days, we have been working diligently to review all materials related to the Coronavirus pandemic to make the best possible decisions for the Home. As stated previously, our goal is not to react to fear in the midst of this extreme challenge, but to be proactive in the preventative measures we can take right now to -- first and foremost -- help protect our residents. Please be assured we are taking every measure feasible to keep the residents in our care—whom we consider our family—safe. Following is important information we want to share as of Friday afternoon, March 13, 2020:

  • Effective Friday, March 13, 2020, we are restricting all nonessential visitors, including family members, from entering Reformed Church Home
  • The front door will be locked beginning at 4 pm today onward. Anyone wishing to enter will use the phone in the vestibule to call the front desk #100 (8 am to 8 pm) or the nursing supervisor #157 from 8 pm to 8 am. Hand sanitizing wipes will be placed at the front door.
  • We are asking residents to postpone all nonessential appointments or gatherings outside RCH.
  • We have cancelled all Activities trips out to the community.
  • We have suspended all tours of Skilled Nursing and AL.
  • All staff members will be screened for symptoms upon entering the building, including temperature. Staff are instructed to self-report symptoms and stay home if they are sick or have come in contact with anyone diagnosed with Coronavirus.
  • Essential vendors will be screened as well and must enter through the main front entrance.
  • We are screening all new residents for respiratory illness prior to entering the building.
  • Thursday observation in the Rehab Department for families has been suspended.
  • Care Plan Conferences will all be done via phone.
  • Family Council Support Group has been cancelled for March.
  • If you would like to Skype with your family member, please contact the Activities Department at ext 192 to make arrangements.
  • To limit unnecessary exposure to large groups, we may need to reschedule some planned activities. We strive to put some creative solutions for the activities program in place. Please be patient as we navigate through this.

We have posted safety posters around the building to remind residents of proper preventative measures, including direction to:

  • Cover coughs & sneezes with your sleeve or tissue.
  • Wash your hands often. Use the wall-mounted hand sanitizers throughout the building.
  • Maintain a distance of 6 feet from others whenever possible and avoid touching, hugs, etc.

Thank you so much for your cooperation, and may God bless us and keep us all safe.

Kate Shepard

Executive Director/Administrator

Thursday, March 12, 2020, 3:30 pm Update --

There are no cases of Coronavirus at Reformed Church Home, but we are restricting all visitors effective Friday March 13, 2020.

In light of the severity of the Coronavirus outbreak, we must restrict all non-essential visitors, including family members, from entering the Reformed Church Home effective Friday, March 13, 2020. We know this is difficult news to hear during these challenging times, and it was a difficult decision for us to make. Our goal is not to react to fear in the midst of this complex time, but to be proactive in the preventative measures we can take right now as an organization. We’ve always prided ourselves on operating as a family. We assure you that we are taking every measure feasible to keep the residents in our care—which we consider our family—safe.

According to the World Health Organization, the Coronavirus (COVID-19) has now been characterized as a global pandemic. While we do not currently have cases of Coronavirus at Reformed Church Home, much remains unknown about COVID-19’s impact and we know the best time to put policies in place to effectively prevent or slow the spread of the virus is now rather than later.

We are posting signs on our entrances with these updates, and we are actively screening individuals, including staff, who need to come into the building. If you believe a visit to our Home is essential, please contact us at least 24 hours prior to your arrival for consideration by calling 732-607-9230.

We understand that connecting with loved ones is incredibly important, but we must put in place stringent measures that are in the best interest of the at-risk elders we serve, as well as our staff who provide the around-the-clock care necessary to keep our residents safe.  We will continue to review our policies and update them as necessary.

We need your support and cooperation as we focus all efforts on the safety and well-being of our residents, staff and the community at large. Please assist us with notifying other family members and friends about these important measures, and stay tuned to this site for the latest updates. Also, please note:

  • We are asking residents to postpone all non-essential appointments (routine doctor visits, hair appointments, etc.) outside the Home.
  • We have cancelled all activity trips out to the community.
  • We have suspended all tours.
  • Thursday Rehab observation for families has been suspended.
  • Care Plan Conferences will all be done via phone.
  • If you would like to Skype with your family member, please contact the activities department. 732-607-9230 ext 192.

Thank you for your cooperation.

March 11, 2020, 5:10 pm Update --

Following is an update from Kate Shepard, Executive Director, regarding Coronavirus prevention at RCH. 

We are closely monitoring the Coronavirus outbreak in New Jersey. This is an evolving situation and we’re constantly reviewing and updating our processes to align with CDC and NJ Department of Health guidelines. 

Keep checking our website to stay informed of updates, including visitation information and changes. At a time like this and because we care for one of the most at-risk populations, we must implement stringent measure to keep residents, staff—and ultimately the community—as healthy as possible. We need your patience and your cooperation in doing your part to reduce the spread of this disease. Please note: 

  • We do not currently have any cases of Coronavirus.
  • We are asking residents to postpone all non-essential appointments (routine doctor visits, hair appointments, etc.) outside the Home.
  • We will be canceling all activity trips out to the community.
  • At this time we are limiting visitors to adult, immediate family members, to visit in the resident’s room or apartment only.
  • We are suspending all tours of skilled nursing and rehab floors. AL tours are currently allowed. 

Thank you for your cooperation. 

March 10, 2020, 3:50 pm Update -- 

As Reformed Church Home continues to monitor the Coronavirus outbreak, please see the important updates and recommendations below. We need everyone’s support and cooperation to mitigate the risks associated with this disease.

  • We do not currently have any cases of the Coronavirus in our facility.
  • In alignment with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)’s guidelines concerning higher-risk populations such as the elderly, we encourage that only adults who are immediate family members visit our communities at this time so that we can limit potential exposure of illness within our home.
  • All visitors should limit their movement within the facility to the resident room.  Please reduce the amount of walking in the halls and avoid going to the dining room. 
  • All visitors must sign in at the front desk. Anyone with symptoms of illness should not visit and will be asked to leave.
  • In alignment with guidance issued by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) and the CDC, we are increasing our admissions screening procedures to assess symptoms of respiratory infection prior to a resident entering the facility.
  • Out of an abundance of caution, and to allow our staff to continue focusing on increased infection prevention and control measures, we are limiting our residents’ exposure to groups of people. As such, we will be working on a case-by-case and day-by-day basis to reschedule some planned activities within our facility.
  • Our programs and activities are incredibly important components of quality of life for our residents. As we adjust activities schedules, we will work to incorporate creative solutions for residents to have access to activities without increased risk of exposure to illness.

Additional Statement from Kate Shepard, Executive Director, March 10, 2020: “We’re implementing more stringent measures at Reformed Church Home because we are caring for one of the most vulnerable populations at risk for the Coronavirus. We’re making responsible—albeit difficult—decisions including limiting visitation and modifying activities within our home that involve close resident contact.  In the event the number of confirmed positive cases increases, we may find it necessary to limit all visitation to the Home.   We continue to encourage Facetime and Skype as an alternative to face to face visits. Our visitors, programs and activities are incredibly important components of our residents’ daily lives so we’re also exploring creative ways to keep offering meaningful activities while reducing the risk of exposure to illness. Each and every one of us has an important role to play in reducing the spread of the Coronavirus, and we need the community’s support and patience as we respond to this evolving situation. We know that many of the measures we’re putting into place are not ideal but your cooperation will help keep our residents and staff healthy, allowing us to better care for those we serve.”

March 9, 2020 - 5:00 pm -- INFORMATION ON OUR PREPAREDNESS EFFORTS FOR COVID-19

In an effort to address questions and concerns about COVID-19 and its potential impact at Reformed Church Home, this webpage will be updated to provide information to family members, residents, visitors and vendors. This is an evolving situation that we will closely monitor while we make every effort to ensure the safety of those we serve. 

As Reformed Church Home continues to monitor the COVID-19 outbreak, please see the important updates and recommendations below. We need everyone’s support and cooperation to mitigate the risks associated with this disease. 

As always, the health and well-being of our residents is our top priority...

WE ARE CONCERNED AND PROACTIVE: We are concerned about the spread of the novel coronavirus. The people we serve are typically more vulnerable to the virus and the disease it causes, COVID-19. We are taking action. 

OUR FOCUS IS ON INFECTION PREVENTION AND CONTROL:

  • We have emergency preparedness and infection prevention and control plans in place. These provide detailed instructions for staff on how we address and manage infectious disease outbreaks.
  •  Our staff is trained in infection control practices and follows established protocols based on that training. We have experience managing illness outbreaks, such as flu, and have a heightened awareness of the possible risk to our residents posed by viral illnesses, such as flu, norovirus, and COVID-19. 
  • We have implemented daily cleaning processes at our community that are part of the emergency plan.

WE ARE INFORMED: Because the coronavirus is spreading quickly, our administration and staff are in daily communication with the public health officials in our region to stay abreast of the latest developments about coronavirus. In addition, we are closely monitoring information from the New Jersey Department of Health as well as from federal agencies, such as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, CMS, and the World Health Organization. 

WE ARE EDUCATING: As we learn more about coronavirus and COVID-19, the disease caused by the virus, we are educating staff, residents, and families. Current protocols we’ve implemented include:

  • For staff: teaching them about the symptoms of COVID-19 and monitoring residents for these symptoms; teaching staff about how the virus spreads and recommended containment actions, including staying home from work if they are symptomatic.
  • For everyone: because older adults can be vulnerable to the spread of viral illnesses, including coronavirus, we are asking that everyone who comes in contact with our community members to be particularly vigilant and follow recommended guidance on prevention. Specifically:
  1. Washing hands regularly and sufficiently.   
  2. Cleaning and wiping down frequently touched surfaces.
  3. Limiting contact with others (social distancing).
  4. Staying at home if they are feeling ill.

WE ARE AVAILABLE: A fast-changing, potential crisis situation such as this calls for consistent communication. Our website will continue to be updated as the situation changes and as new information is received. If you have specific questions, please contact Kate Shepard, Executive Director, or Anna Vergara, Director of Nursing, at 732-607-9230. 

 

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