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Coronavirus Update for Brooke Grove Retirement Village

Brooke Grove Rehabilitation and Nursing Center (BGRNC) is a vital part of the healthcare continuum. In compliance with directives from the Maryland Department of Health and Governor Hogan, two isolation wings have been established at BGRNC to care for COVID-19 patients. BGRNC will support assisted living and independent living as cases emerge and will also assist local hospitals as the need arises due to surges in their hospital capacity, caring for COVID-19 positive patients on the first isolation wing. All admissions to BGRNC are presumed positive and admitted to a second isolation wing for the first 14 days of their stay, with required isolation precautions. Specific staff members are assigned to work only on one of these wings. Our number one goal is to prevent the spread of the virus, using our resources to care for our residents and patients in the best way possible while continuing to be of service to the greater Olney-Sandy Spring community.  

 

NEWS RELEASE - April 5, 2020

We are working with the Montgomery County Department of Health regarding COVID-19 cases in assisted living and continue to follow their guidance as well as CDC guidelines.  

 

NEWS RELEASE - April 10, 2020

We are very excited to let you know that the one COVID+ case we had at Brooke Grove Rehabilitation and Nursing Center has resolved.  The resident is doing well, and we have had no additional cases thus far.  We are grateful and proud as this is a testament to the stellar infection control practices in place as well as the incredibly committed care team providing services.

While this is great news, we’re not out of this pandemic regionally or nationally, and asymptomatic exposure continues to be a risk. We have provided the proper PPE to all of our staff, and we will continue to employ strict standards of care and screening procedures as we move forward.  

Brooke Grove's most valued treasure is its residents and staff.  What becomes apparent in challenging times such as these is how incredibly committed and compassionate our teams are, caring for our seniors even at risk to themselves.  Unfortunately, there is confusing information coming from a variety of sources about what's happening in our industry.    Teams of caregivers all across the country are meeting the challenges brought by COVID-19.  Not just those in the hospitals, but in long-term care as well.  We applaud each one of them.  Our health care system is being stretched like never before.  We need positivity and encouragement at a time like this.  Compassion, empathy, courage and solidarity are the virtues that will get us through this pandemic.

We have received communication from family members wanting to know what they can do to support the team here through the crisis.  One way is to order food for delivery to the staff. If this is something you would like to do, please make arrangements with Caitlin Smith by contacting her at 301-924-5176 or Caitsmith@bgf.org. This will allow your generosity to be spread out over various days and shifts.

What would really fuel the fire for our team would be for you to share your gratitude and words of encouragement for the work they are doing by posting a positive comment or review on social media.  You can also send cards or letters to the building where your loved one resides, and we will ensure they are posted on bulletin boards for all staff to see.  We know you appreciate them, and your words mean so much!

Thank you for your prayers.  Keep them coming.  We will get through this together!

 

NEWS RELEASE - April 8, 2020

We currently have four assisted living residents who have tested positive for the coronavirus and one additional individual whose results are pending. These cases are contained in one building at The Meadows with no cases in adjacent buildings or at The Woods. Family members of those who tested positive have been informed along with family members of other residents in the house.

We are working with the Montgomery County Department of Health and continue to follow their guidance as well as CDC guidelines. 

 

NEWS RELEASE - April 3, 2020

At 11:45 a.m. today, we were notified that we have a resident who tested positive for COVID-19 at The Meadows Assisted Living. This resident’s family member has been notified.  

The resident who contracted the virus is isolated, and staff members caring for that person are using N95 masks and other Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) and droplet precautions, per CDC guidelines to prevent spread to other residents.  Staff in the house with the infected resident are restricted to that house and do not work at any other locations on campus.

All staff members have been wearing fabric masks since Monday, March 31.  Prior to this time, we did not have enough personal protective equipment to provide them as all resources were being redirected to hospitals, and our medical supply chain was rationing our supply.  We are grateful for the volunteers who worked so hard to make the fabric masks for our staff.  Employees are wearing them to help prevent possible spread to residents should they have unknowingly contracted the virus and have no symptoms.  The volunteers are now also making masks for resident

We are working with the Montgomery County Department of Health on the report of the new case and are following their guidance along with all other CDC guidelines.  We know how distressing this is for all of you to hear.  We will be making every effort to keep the virtual visits going, but please know there is a limited supply of iPads and staff who can dedicate their time to make these calls. Additional infection control measures need to be implemented, and staff trained to these new practices.

In order to prevent a large influx of calls from concerned family members all at once, we kindly ask that questions be directed via email to cmartirez@bgf.org. She will find the appropriate person to follow up with you on your concern.  We are not permitted to give specific information about where this resident resides, so please do not call to ask.

We continue to screen all staff and essential personnel who enter our buildings, per CDC and health department guidelines.

We will continue to update you as we have more information. Please keep all our residents, their family members and our staff in your prayers.

 

NEWS RELEASE - April 1, 2020

On the afternoon of April 1, we were notified that one of our residents at Brooke Grove Rehabilitation and Nursing Center (BGRNC) tested positive for COVID-19. We are not able to release any additional information at this time. Currently, we do not have any team members showing signs of the virus. 

Brooke Grove Retirement Village (BGRV) has been following the guidelines set by CMS. We have contacted the Health Department and will continue to follow the precautions and guidelines they provide. We want to thank our staff for the outstanding job they are doing. Please keep all our residents, their family members and our staff in your prayers.

 

Media inquiries may be directed as follows.

Primary Contact:

Toni Davis, director of marketing, Brooke Grove Retirement Village, 301-830-0190

 

Other Contacts:

Patty Anderson, executive director, Brooke Grove Retirement Village, 301-924-2811, option 3

Rene Gomez, administrator, Brooke Grove Rehabilitation and Nursing Center, 301-924-5176

Wes Malin, director of corporate services, Brooke Grove Foundation, 301-924-2811, option 3

Dennis Hunter, president, Brooke Grove Foundation, 301-924-2811, option 3

 

NEWS RELEASE - April 1, 2020

We hope this news release finds you well and at home!  It is still mind boggling to consider how much this virus has changed our lives in such a short period of time.  Optimistically speaking, we hope you are finding some positive experiences to focus on in these challenging times to keep your spirits up.

As a result of Governor Hogan’s recent announcement, we have made some additional changes to improve social distancing within our facilities and added some ways to further prevent introduction of the virus to our assisted living homes.  Please see changes below:

In an effort to reduce the number of people gathered in one space, we have implemented separate dining spaces within each assisted living house –– one in the dining area and one in the activity area.  For residents of The Meadows, this means some residents are eating in the activity side rooms and in The Woods, a separate dining space has been set up in the lobby areas of the houses.  We have staff monitoring both locations during meals to ensure the residents have everything they need and are doing well.

We have also implemented social distancing within group activities.  There will be smaller groups and the activities may be shorter in order to accommodate smaller groups. Residents not involved in the program will be encouraged to spread through the other areas of the buildings. In The Meadows, there are three places to congregate, and The Woods has two places.  The caregiving staff are going to engage the residents who are not involved in the activity and then switch off.  As you can imagine, this is not a simple process when working with residents in need of memory support, but the efforts are underway nonetheless!

We have distributed reusable masks for staff and should have everyone wearing masks by the end of the day today.  This will help prevent the spread of the virus from staff to staff or staff to resident.

All resident temperatures and pulse oximeter readings are taken two times a day.  Anyone with a fever is required to stay in his or her room, as is always the case. 

We have stopped movement of staff between various levels of care as much as possible in order to limit the opportunities for the virus to move around the campus.  We still do not have any COVID-19 cases as of today.

Hospice providers have stopped sending the chaplain, social workers, and GNAs and are only sending licensed nurses to provide services to their patients through Hospice.

We are doing some telehealth medicine with certain providers and continue having our regular provider Darlene Brownlee, NP, see residents in their respective houses.

We thank you for your patience and understanding as we navigate the necessary changes to prevent the spread of the virus.

 

NEWS RELEASE - March 26, 2020

We are happy to report that there are no positive cases of COVID-19 in staff or residents at this time. We are continuing our normal processes of providing care and services to residents while also ensuring that we are practicing social distancing in all situations possible.

Some of the more heartwarming news we have to share is that some residents and volunteers are busy making homemade masks for our staff to use. We also had a family member donate their personal supply of masks.  Personal Protective Equipment that we use regularly when someone is in isolation is in very short supply. We are grateful for these efforts as well as for your messages of support.

While we have been busy implementing coronavirus precautions, spring has arrived! We recognize the importance of fresh air, exercise and socialization. So, as the weather warms up, residents will be given the opportunity to take walks with a staff member and/or enjoy the sunshine from the vantage point of the porches and gazebos on campus. We do, however, need to ensure that family members who visit our campus to speak to their loved ones through the windows refrain from approaching them if they are outside. Government guidelines still do not allow us to permit visitors, whether indoors or out.

If you are visiting your loved one at his or her window, please do not let the resident open the window as this breaks the protective barrier between visitor and resident. You may visit with the window closed and talk over the phone while being able to see your loved one. Please also consider a phone call over a window visit with residents who have a diagnosis of Alzheimer’s or dementia. It is difficult for some to understand why their loved one is at the window and not permitted inside the building. This causes more angst than benefit in terms of the visit.

Thank you for your understanding. Your cooperation is required and greatly appreciated!

 

NEWS RELEASE - March 18, 2020

As we continue to monitor the coronavirus (COVID-19), we want to provide you with an update on the steps that Brooke Grove Retirement Village has recently taken within our facilities to further increase precautions for ensuring the health and safety of our residents and staff.

Please see below for the recent measures that Brooke Grove Retirement Village has enacted:

  • We are continuing to screen employees and essential personnel who enter the buildings for elevated temperatures, symptoms of COVID-19, travel, both domestic and international, and known exposure to the virus.
  • We are taking resident temperatures and pulse oximeter readings daily to monitor their health status.
  • Group activities are suspended for the time being in Brooke Grove Rehab and Nursing Center (BGRNC).  Our LIFE Enrichment department now engages in one-on-one activities with residents in order to continue socialization and promote emotional well-being.  Small group activities continue in Assisted Living but no outside entertainers are permitted.  
  • Communal dining has been temporarily stopped in BGRNC, and residents are eating in their rooms with staff assistance as needed.  Because of the small environments in assisted living, we are able to continue serving residents in the dining rooms.
  • We are temporarily restricting contracted health services from entering our facilities - this includes dental, optometry, ophthalmology, and audiology.  Podiatry and Psychiatry services will continue on an as needed basis but routine follow up appointments will stop temporarily.
  • Diagnostics like x-ray and lab services continue with the same screening procedures we have in place for staff.  Medicine deliveries from the pharmacy are being accepted at the door of the facilities.
  • The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) has temporarily expanded telehealth services to allow physicians to continue seeing their patients remotely. We are going to make every effort to utilize telehealth services with the MedStar providers when appropriate.
  • We have suspended our salon and massage services for the next 15 days. Appointments that have already been scheduled will be rescheduled once we start services again. At this time, we are not scheduling any appointments for future dates. 

In addition to these recent measures, we are diligently following the guidance and best practices from CMS. We are also remaining in compliance with the most recent directives made by local and federal authorities. All BGRV seminars, classes and events have been cancelled through the end of April.

As this situation evolves, we will continue to keep you up-to-date on any changes we are making in our facilities. As a reminder, you can arrange for a Skype or Facetime call with your loved one by contacting BGRNC Assistant Administrator Melissa Johnson at Johnsonm@bgf.org  or 301-260-2303 or by contacting Assisted Living Administrative Coordinator Caryl Martirez at Cmartirez@bgf.org or 301-924-1228.

We appreciate your understanding and cooperation during this time. Your health and safety, and the health and safety of our residents and staff members, continue to be at the heart of every decision that we make.

 

NEWS RELEASE - March 11, 2020

Brooke Grove Retirement Village has received instructions from the Maryland Department of Health and Governor Larry Hogan to stop all visitation (including family members, friends, volunteers and entertainers) at our healthcare facilities on campus, effective immediately. The nursing facility in Kirkland, Washington, suffered the worst outbreak in the United States thus far, with 19 deaths and 31 residents who have tested positive still at the facility. Residents of nursing homes and retirement communities are at greatest risk for complicatoins of the coronavirus, and we want to do everything we can to protect them.

We recognize the hardship this causes family members and their loved ones. For this reason, we will make every effort to schedule Skype or Facetime calls for those who wish to interact with one another. You may arrange for a virtual visit at Brooke Grove Rehabilitation and Nursing Center by contacting Assistant Administrator Melissa Johnson at johnsonm@bgf.org or 301-260-2303. You may do the same for your loved one at The Meadows or The Woods assisted living by contacting Administrative Coordinator Caryl Martirez at cmartirez@bgf.org by 301-924-1228. If your loved one is on hospice and at the end of life, we will contact you directly to arrange for visitation at a set time with specific instructions for visiting. 

Thank you in advance for your cooperation. We will provide updates as soon as we have any further guidance.

 

NEWS RELEASE - March 9, 2020

In keeping with CDC recommendations that those 60 and over avoid large gatherings and stay home as much as possible, Brooke Grove Retirement Village has cancelled all seminars and events for the public through the end of March. Healthy Living class participants will receive a refund or credit toward a future class.

 

NEWS RELEASE - March 7, 2020

Many of you may have seen recent news regarding the potential exposure of staff and residents to COVID-19 at The Villages of Rockville.  In an effort to provide further screening and protection of residents at Brooke Grove Retirement Village (BGRV), we have asked the staff who work both at BGRV and The Villages of Rockville to stop working at BGRV until the 14-day waiting period is over.  This measure is being taken out of an abundance of caution.  We have no information indicating that any staff members have been exposed.

In addition, we have decided to limit visiting hours at Brooke Grove Rehabilitation and Nursing Center to 9am-6pm.  This will allow for better screening of visitors while we have coverage at the front desk. 

Again, we ask that family and friends do not visit any facilities at BGRV if they are experiencing cold or flu symptoms.  

Thank you for your patience and understanding as we respond to new and changing information about the virus.

 

NEWS RELEASE - March 2, 2020

Brooke Grove Retirement Village (BGRV) would like to reassure you that we are continuing to monitor the Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19) very closely to ensure we are taking the appropriate measures to protect our communities, residents, and staff, and are responding to developments as they occur.  This illness, which began in China, has spread to other countries around the world, including the United States.  

Viral transmission is similar to the flu via respiratory droplets and close contact with infected individuals.  After exposure, the symptoms of the illness include cough, fever and shortness of breath.  This lasts from 2-14 days after exposure.  The illness usually resolves on its own with supportive measures including rest, hydration and medicines to relieve cough and fever.  At this time, there are no indicated antiviral medications, and a vaccine is currently under development.  The Coronavirus can only be tested and confirmed by the CDC.

At this stage, BGRV has implemented a policy to identify those who have traveled to or plan to travel to affected areas in order to monitor their health status and intervene as appropriate on their return.  This policy includes that residents and employees are to notify the facility’s Infection Preventionist or Director of Nursing of any travel plans to high risk areas and/or known exposure to someone diagnosed with Coronavirus.  Additionally, we have increased supplies in-house which are readily available should it become necessary to employ. 

BGRV is closely monitoring developments in real time and will modify our response as required.  We will continue to communicate any further updates to you as necessary.

In closing, please know that the best way to prevent this or any viral respiratory illness (for example the FLU) is to avoid being exposed to the virus.  As a reminder, the CDC always recommends everyday preventive actions to help prevent the spread of respiratory diseases, including:

Avoid close contact with people who are sick

  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.
  • Stay home when you are sick.
  • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash and wash your hands.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces using a regular household cleaning spray or wipe.
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after going to the bathroom, before eating, and after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing.
  • If soap and water are not readily available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol.  Always wash hands with soap and water if hands are visibly dirty.

BGRV takes the health and wellness of our residents and staff as its highest priority.  Family members with questions or concerns are encouraged to contact the Administrator or Director of Nurses at their loved one's facility.


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