May 21, 2020. 6:00pm PST
The past 80 days have been unprecedented as the widespread impact of COVID-19 has forced the world to change overnight. People across the globe have put their lives on hold in order to protect those they love; fortunately, we are starting to see light at the end of the tunnel.
Make no mistake, we will deal with the COVID-19 virus for a while and Hawthorn has a plan in place as we move toward our “new normal”. This transition will be slow and will continue to follow the guidelines of local health officials.
We recently began pilot programs in select communities across the US and Canada to test new dining, beauty salon, visitation, and move-in protocols. These communities are in states that have already lifted restrictions. Our team is evaluating feedback from these communities and their residents and we’re working to determine a safe roll out for all our Hawthorn independent living communities. Our goal is to lift most precautions in the coming weeks, but please understand that our plans may change quickly if the local area has a resurgence of the virus. As we continue to work on the best way to reintroduce the services our residents love, each community will maintain their existing level of precautions until such time as it’s safe to move forward. Residents will also be able to continue to shelter in their apartments if they choose.
On behalf of the entire Hawthorn family, we thank you for your patience and understanding during this challenging time. We are very excited to move forward and settle into our “new normal” while providing you the gracious service you deserve. We will keep you updated on our progress. In the meantime, please reach out to your community managers or our Resident Relations Department at 866.267.8218 with any questions.
May 13, 2020. 5:45pm PST
Orders to shelter-in-place to slow the spread of the coronavirus were introduced by local and federal health authorities several months ago and issued over a short period of time. In many states and provinces, those orders are starting to be lifted and phased re-opening plans have been presented across the US and Canada. Many families have reached out asking if we have made any adjustments to our protocols; as of the writing of this, the answer is no. Other than a few small exceptions, our approach remains the same.
Although we do not have any communities where we can accommodate visitors at this time, we anticipate introducing outside visitation gradually in the future at our Independent Living communities. We are anxious for our residents to see their loved ones again and look forward to following the advice of our local health authorities in finding the right time to make that happen. In some areas of the United States where there have been few instances of the virus and a loosening of restrictions, beauty salons have already re-opened. After ensuring proper disinfecting equipment and masks were in place, we followed in those communities where it was appropriate for our residents. It is our intention to make local decisions for each community with regard to re-opening and to what extent we re-introduce services.
We will continue to communicate local changes via e-mail and more universal adjustments to our protocols through e-mail and on our website. Please click here to sign up for e-mail updates if you have not already subscribed.
If you have questions, please notify your Community Manager or contact our Resident Relations department at 1.866.267.8218.
April 24, 2020. 4:00pm PST
Two weeks ago we announced additional preventive measures to stop the spread of the COVID-19 virus in our communities that included a request of our Independent Living residents to shelter in their apartments. After monitoring the situation around the US and Canada, we are ready to begin re-implementing some of the gracious services you’ve come to expect in our Independent Living Communities.
Please keep in mind that this will be a slow process and does not include communities currently on a Level 3 protocol and may contain modifications in areas where there is a high volume of cases around our community. Hawthorn Senior Living will continue to follow the guidelines set forth by local health authorities and federal health authorities. If COVID-19 cases increase around our community, we may re-implement preventative measures to protect our residents and staff.
For now, we are happy to announce the following changes at US Independent Living communities :
Preventative Measure Remaining in Place
Additionally, residents may choose to remain self-isolated until such time as they feel comfortable utilizing the community amenities. Residents choosing to shelter in their apartments may still request assistance with tasks that would otherwise require leaving their apartments.
We recognize that everyone would like to get back to normal as soon as possible. Our goal is to slowly and safely re-implement the gracious services you have come to expect. We appreciate your continued patience as we work to keep everyone in the community safe and healthy. Thank you for your understanding and your continued support.
*At present, Boston-area communities are not yet participating in group activities, even with social distance due to the volume of cases around the area.
April 17, 2020. 4:00pm PST, A Message from Art Hessler.
Over the last 45 days, and especially the last 9 days, our lives have all been altered by the COVID-19 virus. The freedoms that we all cherish have been taken away from us, and many of us have been isolated from the ones we love. There is good news though, the protocols we have put in place, while not always popular, are having the desired affect in keeping our residents and staff safe. I want everyone to understand that while self-isolation is the best course of action against this virus, it also takes a toll on all of us, but especially you, our resident.
Our goal is to start reducing restrictions as early as the mid-part of next week. Unfortunately, at this time nobody knows what the new normal will be in our world. We expect that there will still be social distancing guidelines, to which that we will have to adhere. We also know that there will be limitations on the sizes of gatherings and visitation to the community. These safety and health guidelines will have an impact on how your community will function in the foreseeable future, and are consistent in nearly all senior living communities. We only have one goal as we work through these issues, it is to provide you, our resident, the lifestyle you deserve, while still trying to protect you and the staff.
I want to assure you that we are working tirelessly to find ways to provide you the standard of living you deserve, and pay for. I also know that the “new normal” will look and feel a little different. I’m sure there will be a few bumps as we roll-out the new programs, but understand our goal is to get you back to some degree of normalcy in our daily routines. Also, for those that want to continue to limit your exposure by continuing to self-isolate we will have options for you.
I also want to take a minute and publicly thank our management teams and staff at our communities. They have not only had to face the challenges of the crisis at home, but also at work. The pictures, cards and letters we have received from thankful residents are a testament to your passion to serve each resident. I know the long tiring hours that you have all put in serving our residents. I am thankful to each and every one of you for the job you are doing, and I am proud that you have persevered and risen to the challenges of this crisis and are part of the Hawthorn Senior Living family.
I truly want to thank everyone for their patience and support during these uncharted times!
Art Hessler, President
April 14, 2020. 5:30pm PST
Tomorrow marks the midway point of the 14-day modified Level 3 protocol rolled out on April 8. We are pleased to report that this temporary, preventative initiative is proving effective in protecting our residents and staff. We know that a lack of symptoms does not mean we are in the clear; however, it is reassuring to know the communities are healthier today than they were a week ago.
As an organization, we are using this time to review our dining and activity programs knowing that this pandemic could last a while. Reports from various health authorities have said that Coronavirus, in some form or fashion, may have a global impact for the next 12 to 18 months. Our residents have been very understanding so far, but they deserve as much freedom, independence and social opportunities as possible and we are working on a proactive way to return them to the lifestyle to which they have become accustomed.
We appreciate all of your support.
April 9, 2020. 5:30pm PST
Yesterday we updated our COVID-19 protocol, raising each community to a modified Level 3. At the request of our residents, we are introducing another modification to the plan that allows for limited outdoor walking.
Our residents have asked for guidance about walking outside for fresh air and exercise. We recognize that walking outside is part of the daily routine for many of our residents and we want to be as accommodating as possible while still protecting other residents and staff. We have invited residents to call the office to speak with a manager or the activity coordinator to work out a schedule to walk outside that allows us to maintain as much social distance as possible and gives us time to keep common areas disinfected between residents.
We stress that it’s important for the resident to call first and schedule their routine so that we can keep this accommodation available to everyone.
Please remember that we cannot have visitors, even while residents are outside. Like you, we continue to look forward to getting back to our regular routine and gracious lifestyle.
April 8, 2020. 6:00pm PST
Many of our residents and families are following their local news closely. The one consistent message we see is that this virus is dangerous, particularly to our population, and that it’s highly infectious. In nearly every city where we operate, there are other senior living communities following government protocols and still experiencing new COVID-19 cases, and many that have been overwhelmed with the virus. Our initial protocols seem to have helped; however, as the number of cases grows in each city, so does the likelihood of transmission to our staff and residents. It’s for this reason that we have decided to further enhance our precautionary measures and err on the side of caution. For the next two weeks, we are going to a modified Level 3 protocol at all of our buildings that are not already operating at that level of precaution.
TEMPORARILY IMPACTED SERVICES:
STAFF AND ESSENTIAL VISITORS
We have further enhanced our expectations for staff and all essential visitors.
We recognize that these measures are a step further and more proactive than has been required by local health authorities. It is our hope that by following these enhanced precautions for the coming weeks, we will lower the risk of exposure to our residents and staff. We know that this is inconvenient, and we apologize; however, the safety of the residents and staff members that we love is paramount.
We look forward to returning to our regular routine, delivering services in the gracious way you’ve come to expect. Thank you for your understanding and your continued support.
Should you have any questions or concerns, please contact the community manager, administrator or our Resident Relations Department at 1.866.267.8218.
April 6, 2020. 2:30pm PST
Recently there have been reports that many people across the world have the Coronavirus and do not show symptoms. In light of this new data about how COVID-19 spreads, along with evidence of widespread COVID-19 illnesses across the United States and Canada, it has been recommended that people wear a cloth face covering over their nose and mouth in public (for the protection of people around them).
When we first learned that this may be the case, we immediately began ordering bandanas for our staff to wear in the community due to the worldwide shortage of surgical and N95 respirator masks. Our first shipments began to arrive around the same time the US Center for Disease Control announced the cloth face covering recommendation. For the buildings that did not receive their bandanas late last week or over the weekend, we anticipate their arrival very soon. We have ordered a second shipment of backup bandanas that should arrive soon as well. In addition, we have written guidelines for community leadership on the proper way to disinfect their cloth face coverings after each use.
We are still following guidance with regard to social distancing and our visitor restrictions have not changed. Our community employees will be wearing the masks when interacting closely with one another or with a resident.
March 28, 2020. 3:45pm PST
Our top priority is ensuring the health and safety of all those in our communities while maintaining the independence of our residents.
At the beginning of March, Hawthorn Senior Living developed a leveled response program to be implemented at local communities based on the degree to which its residents, employees and others may have been exposed to or affected by COVID-19. We are following all guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and other public health authorities.
On March 4, all communities initiated our Level 1 response. Level 1 included providing an overview of the virus to our residents and staff as well as posting signage asking all visitors who were not feeling well to refrain from visiting the building. Staff received additional precautions about transmission of the virus. Each community also began preparations for an outbreak that included retaining emergency food and medical supplies. Our standard virus protocol was implemented which included updated procedures for COVID-19 precautions.
On approximately March 10, all assisted living communities, initiated our Level 2 response. This included further restricting visitation to essential visitors only, except where state government did not allow the restriction. We began providing all meals by room service and activities were programmed for in-room enrichment.
On March 14, all independent living communities initiated our Level 2 response. This set a window for visiting hours that allowed for proper disinfecting and limited the number of asymptomatic guests to one per resident at a time. Communal areas were restricted and public areas, such as elevators and hallways, were disinfected regularly.
On March 14, across all our communities, we took additional actions in accordance with our Level 2 response. All beauty shops were closed. All staff and residents were educated again on CDC prevention guidelines. All public areas of our communities were disinfected three times per day. All kitchens were restricted to culinary staff only. All out-of-facility activities were postponed, and outside entertainment was no longer allowed in our communities.
On March 20, we exceeded the Level 2 plan by restricting all visitors, except where required by law, at every community. We also arranged room service and/or offered socially distant dining.
Our Level 3 virus protocol will be implemented at communities where there is a reported case of COVID-19. In addition to re-educating staff on prevention using hand washing and staying home with any sort of symptoms, very specific and extensive disinfecting protocols will be instituted in addition to the stringent plans currently in place. All meals will be delivered via room service using appropriate caution. Kitchen staff will be restricted to the kitchen and all other staff will be restricted from entering the kitchen. All activities, non-urgent transportation will be canceled. Residents will be required to shelter in their apartments. The Level 3 protocol will remain in place until such time as it is safe to return to Level 2.
Keeping our residents and staff safe requires the participation and support of everyone connected with our community. Please do your part in helping to keep the COVID-19 virus from spreading.
March 25, 2020 2:40pm PST
As of the writing of today’s update, we do not have any known cases of residents or staff diagnosed with COVID-19 at any Hawthorn Senior Living community. As an organization, we continue to review and adopt local and federal guidance on managing this crisis and will maintain communication in the same fashion that we have over the last few weeks.
Since the last update, many states and provinces in which we operate have issued orders to stay home. We were ahead of those orders at every building when we self-quarantined and modified our activity and dining programs. We continue to look for ways to serve and engage our residents at a safe social distance. At present, we have not received any new guidelines that are more stringent than those we have already put into place. We appreciate how patient and compliant most of our residents and family members have been with the directives handed down from local governments. We are in the process of having individual conversations with those residents and family members that are not following the shelter-in-place and social distancing guidelines introduced by the government to find a resolution that minimizes risk to our residents and staff. We recognize that staff enters and leaves our communities at the completion of each shift; there has been guidance from the government on essential employees reporting to work. Providing for our residents is an essential job and our employees are going through a screening process prior to each shift.
While we maintain our existing visitor protocols, we encourage our residents and families to find ways to communicate with one another. FaceTime, GoogleDuo, Skype, and Zoom are a handful of free or inexpensive ways to stay in touch. Residents that do not have a computer, smart phone or tablet device may utilize community computers; however, please have a conversation with the community team first so that the computer can be properly disinfected before and after using it. One topic that we suggest you consider adding to your conversation has to do with financial safety. During times of crisis, we know that seniors are often the victims of scams. We’ve already learned of a few attempts to separate seniors from their money. Here are a few typical scams that people fall victim:
Keep an eye out for these types of call and have a discussion about how to recognize them and what to do. As a community, we will work together to keep our residents as safe as we can.
March 21, 2020 6:15pm PST
As of the writing of today’s update, we do not have any known cases of residents or staff diagnosed with COVID-19. We continue to focus on our temporary protocols to limit exposure in our communities and we truly appreciate the positive feedback shared by residents and their families.
We are proud of the care and services that we provide each day at Hawthorn Senior Living. It is our intention to maintain the level of gracious assisted and retirement living our residents have come to enjoy and to provide for our employees whose families may be experiencing economic hardships. Today we announced to our communities that through the duration of this crisis and retroactive to the beginning of the payroll period, our hourly employees will earn $2.00 more per hour. Salaried employees will accrue additional paid time off for each week worked until this pandemic comes to an end.
We recognize that the best way to take care of our residents is to take care of our employees. As a company and a community, we will see our way through this trying time together.
March 20, 1:45pm PST
As you are likely aware, there has been a significant increase in Coronavirus (COVID-19) cases throughout the world. Governments are taking extreme measures in order to further prevent the spread of this virus. Schools, restaurants, bars, salons, movie theaters and even clothing stores have closed. Hawthorn Senior Living has followed the guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and the President's Coronavirus Guidelines for America, and will be following the most recent guideline regarding visitation. We will be restricting social visits in our communities effective immediately. Please keep in mind that these are extreme circumstances and we will remove these measures as quickly as possible.
What are the immediate prevention measures being implemented?
This is a measure that we understand will impact everyone. It is not ideal, but given the current situation and the rapid spread of the Coronavirus (COVID-19), this extreme measure is necessary for the health and safety of our residents and staff. We will be closely monitoring the situation and will work to remove any preventative measures as soon as it is safe to do so. Click here for more information on The President's Coronavirus Guidelines for America.
Should you have any questions or concerns, please contact our Resident Relations Department at 1.866.267.8218.
March 18, 12:50pm PST
As of the writing of this update, Hawthorn Senior Living has no confirmed cases of COVID-19. We are, however, reviewing our culinary program to respect the social distance recommended by the CDC.
Last week, all Hawthorn Senior Living Assisted Living and Memory Care communities instituted a room service program. All meals and snacks are being served to assisted living and memory care residents in their apartments.
In Independent Living communities, we began introducing modified dining plans early this week and expect to have all communities modified by the end of the week, if not sooner. The modified dining plan may vary slightly by location; however, service is intended to maximize social distance between residents at each meal service. This could include serving stations set up on each floor for every meal, one person per dining table, meals packaged to be eaten in a resident’s apartment, or a combination of these efforts depending on the location.
We are fortunate to have a talented, well-tenured culinary team. It is our intention to maintain the gracious dining program to which our residents are accustomed; however, any change to our meal program can be frustrating. Please help us by being patient.
Should you have any questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to reach out to our Resident Relations Department at 1.866.267.8218.
March 17, 2020 1:30pm PST
Dear Hawthorn Family,
As you are aware, we have added numerous additional measures in our community over the past few weeks in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. We understand the impact this is having on your daily life, and we hope that you know every change made was weighed thoroughly and introduced with the best interests of our residents and staff in mind. With that said, there are two areas that we specifically wanted to mention in this update that affect all communities. At the end of this update, there are additional precautionary measures for our assisted living and memory care communities as it relates to visitors.
The first relates to resident key cards and exterior doors. Last week, we announced updates to our visitor protocols. While looking at the entire visitor process, we have decided to go further and lock all outside doors except the main entrance, which will be open between the hours of 9:00am and 5:30pm every day. The maintenance team is currently coding the doors, but we wanted to give you a heads up of this important change. Please keep in mind that should you choose to leave the community from any door, the only way back in is through the main door. The main entrance door will still respond to your community key card. Visitors, we continue to ask that you do not come to our community if you're ill, have been ill, have been exposed to someone that is sick, or think for any reason you may be a risk to the safety of our residents. All visitors must check in when they enter the community, hastily make their way to their loved one's apartment, and may not congregate in or utilize any common areas.
The second update affects our community dining process. Many states are implementing limits on the number of people in one space. The CDC is currently recommending limiting “in-person” gatherings. Some states have set limits far below what the CDC has recommended and we are responding appropriately to those changes at a local level. This means the normal meal service (and activity programming) at our community will be adjusted per guidance from the government and in our residents' best interest. Specifics will be provided by the community manager and executive chef, but we wanted you to be aware that we are implementing these changes.
To further protect our most vulnerable residents in assisted living and memory care, we are temporarily restricting visitation to "essential" visitors only until such time as our local health authorities deem visits safe. An "essential visitor" is friends or family entering the community during an end of life situation. These visitors must undergo screening for fever and/or respiratory symptoms. Visitors may be required to wear protective equipment (including a mask), have their temperature taken, and perform hand hygiene. Only one visitor will be permitted at a time. Essential visitors will be required to restrict their stay to the identified resident's apartment and may not use common areas or any rooms or space outside of the resident's apartment.
All visitors must check in prior to entering the community.
On behalf of our entire family, we would like to thank you again for your patience as we continue to work through this process.
3.14.20 11:30am PST
Part of our ongoing commitment is to keep you updated with any changes to our COVID-19 prevention procedures. As you are aware, the US President declared a national state of emergency due to COVID-19. In order to best protect our residents and staff, Hawthorn will be implementing additional preventative measures for each community.
What are the additional prevention measures being implemented?
Our goal was to keep normal functions in our communities, we apologize in advance for any inconvenience you experience. We will return to normal functioning as soon as possible.
Rest assured, the Hawthorn team has been, and will continue to, monitor developments. Our primary goal is to keep you informed, safe, and healthy. We know that these measures may disrupt the normal exceptional level of service you have come to expect from Hawthorn; but during these unprecedented times, we put your health and safety above all else.
Thank you for being a valued member of the Hawthorn Family and for your patience as we all work through this situation together.
Caring concern is one of the foundational bricks at Hawthorn Senior Living. It is a scary time as health officials world-wide monitor the illness caused by the newly identified coronavirus (COVID-19).
Rest assured, the Hawthorn team has been, and will continue to, monitor developments. Our primary goal is to keep you informed, safe, and healthy. In order to do that, we want to share what the coronavirus COVID-19 is, and what Hawthorn is doing to prevent the spread of the virus.
Overview – What are we dealing with?
The virus, COVID-19, is a previously unidentified coronavirus. Coronaviruses are a large family of viruses and cause illness in people. Much is still being learned about COVID-19, but it is known to be spreading person-to-person. Symptoms including mild to severe respiratory illness with fever, cough, and difficulty breathing. If you are a Hawthorn resident experiencing any of these symptoms, please stay in your apartment, notify us, and seek medical care as you see fit.
What is Hawthorn Doing?
Hawthorn is using the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) for the most up-to-date information and recommendations to prevent illness. Currently, the CDC is recommending preventative precautions. This means avoiding contact with people who are sick, staying home if you are sick, and washing your hands to name a few. A complete list is below for your reference.
We are working with our staff to keep you safe. Please understand that we are going to err on the side of caution with our staff. If folks feel ill, we have asked them to stay home.
Our goal is to keep normal functions in our communities, but certain services may be impacted. We are, and will be, doing all we can to keep you safe and healthy.
What can you do?
According to the CDC to help prevent the spread of respiratory diseases like Covid-19 you should:
The Hawthorn team will continue to follow any developments through the CDC and let you know if we need to make any changes. The Community Manager or Administrator will keep you updated on any specific items that may arise.