May 29, 2020
To the Residents and Family Members of our Franciscan Communities:
It is hard to believe that it has been almost three months since all of our lives were turned upside down by the coronavirus pandemic. The myriad of restrictions that were enacted throughout this time were necessary to provide the highest level of safety for the residents of our communities. However necessary those steps were, we all also recognize the psychological, mental and physical toll it has taken in every conceivable way on residents, family members and associates alike. We are all joyous to begin thinking about what it looks like to re-open our campuses both internally for resident dining & activities as well as externally for family member visits.
Our senior housing campuses fall under numerous Federal, State and local regulatory bodies who all have a say in the timing and extent to which we may allow visitors to our campuses. We have a team of staff who are dedicated to understanding all the regulatory requirements to ensure our compliance relative to the re-opening of our communities. Please know that we will phase our re-opening as quickly as possible within the safety guidelines under which we operate. I will continue to be a vocal supporter of getting families and their loved ones connected as soon as practically possible.
What we know today is that the skilled nursing section of the campus will be the last to re-open. It is no surprise that on Monday of this week, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (“CMS”) issued new guidance detailing steps that nursing homes should take before relaxing restrictions in skilled nursing. Much of the guidance will be dependent on how the State Health Departments interpret CMS guidance, and none have weighed in yet on what the timeline is for re-opening the skilled nursing.
Assisted living is also regulated by the various state departments of health, but we anticipate that we will receive some guidance on re-opening the assisted living portion of our campuses sometime in the next couple of weeks.
We will continue to do everything possible to arrange for FaceTime, Skype, window visits, etc. for the assisted living, memory support and skilled nursing residents. Please contact any member of the team if you need help with connecting with your loved one while we await some guidance about how we can comply with re-opening the campus. I promise to mobilize our teams as quickly as possible once we are given the “green light” to move forward.
Due to the unique circumstances at individual communities, each Executive Director will be sending out a memo in the upcoming next couple of weeks that goes over the particular plan for each campus. Our overall plan to open the campus has four key areas:
We recognize how difficult these past few months have been and how much our residents need to see their loved ones. It is our intention to make this process as quick, safe and smooth as possible. You all have been incredibly patient with us during this time, and we ask for your grace as we embark on this next step towards reclaiming our normal lives. Please know that every decision we make will be based on the safety of the residents of our communities.
Please continue to watch your email for more information regarding the reopening of our communities to help you reconnect with your loved one (s). Once again, thank you for your continued support, words of encouragement and prayers throughout this crisis. We can’t wait to welcome family members back to the campuses!
President & CEO