Our phones are ringing regularly with concerned callers asking how assisted living is preventing disease and if we are ready for a potential Coronavirus problem. Laureate Group Senior Communities was also recently featured on CBS58 in Milwaukee and on Fox6 News Milwaukee, discussing how Health Care providers, like us, are trained to manage communicable disease.
My mother-in-law is a retired nurse, and I know she is reading all the Coronavirus stories she can find on the internet. Her response was this: “Thanks for sharing. Common sense remedies if only people would listen!”
How Laureate Group is Preventing Disease
Laureate Group Senior Communities in Southeastern Milwaukee are implementing a comprehensive Infection Control Preparedness Plan which includes:
- Re-educating our teams on infection prevention measures
- Sourcing additional vendors for infection prevention supplies
- Making hand sanitizer conveniently available
- Implementing additional disinfecting procedures throughout the building
- Limiting travel of our employees to avoid possible intercompany spread of viral illness
- Restricting access to non-essential visitors
- Screening everyone who enters our buildings including all employees.
- Restricting employees who are sick from coming to work until cleared
- Communicating weekly updates to friends and family of the older adults who live here. This includes e-mail communication and notifications through our family portal.
- Remaining up to date on government communications regarding communicable illnesses and Implementing all recommendations made by these government agencies.
Why Are Precautions Needed?
This is also influenza season, so for us, the Norovirus is also a concern. Managing COVID-19 is a continuation of our typical protocol, but it takes everyone to protect our most vulnerable. I was reminded of several examples of those who didn’t listen, two of which being Typhoid Mary and the 2009 H1N1.
Typhoid Mary was an Irish cook believed to have infected 51 people – three of whom died, with typhoid fever.
Mary Mallon emigrated to the United States in 1884. She had worked in a variety of domestic positions for wealthy families prior to settling into her career as a cook.
As a healthy carrier of Salmonella typhi, her nickname of “Typhoid Mary” came about due to how many were infected by her. She was forced into quarantine on two separate occasions on North Brother Island for a total of 26 years.
In 2009, we had a version of the COVID-19 tale in one of our senior living communities.
A daughter of one our residents came into the building and told the receptionist, “I just came from the doctor’s office. I feel fine, but I was diagnosed with H1N1. I couldn’t go back to work so I decided to come and visit my Dad.”
Yes, the receptionist paged the nurse, and the nurse sprinted to the apartment to check on the dad. Luckily, the dad didn’t become ill and we were able to watch him closely during the insuring days.