As COVID-19 swept through the United States it disrupted every walk of life, and nursing homes were particularly affected because of the high risk to older people who have pre-existing conditions. Faced with this reality, nursing homes across the nation adapted quickly to protect their patients with employee screenings and visitor restrictions.
Throughout it all, Clay Health Care Center (Clay HCC) found a way to balance care, daily activities of living and protecting patients.
Activity Departments were challenged with keeping patients engaged and having fun during the changes of social distancing. “We looked at how we did activities before and how it could be adapted,” said Annette Rogers, Activities Director for Clay HCC. “Doorway bingo, sit and be fit, balloon send offs in the courtyard, and coloring contents all have been conducted during this pandemic while maintaining social distancing.
“Patients have adapted very well during this time with a change in their daily routine with our department at Clay and I am blessed to be a part of their lives,” said Rogers.
Another department crucial to the care of patients and important for socializing is our Dietary Department. Patients socializing with one another and employees is a large part of their day. Unfortunately, due to social distancing dining together was not an option.
“Our patients understood the need for restrictions on dining together as they usually did,” said Teri Lambert, Dietary Supervisor for Clay HCC. “As a department we miss interacting with the residents during mealtimes in our dining room. The dietary department has incorporated offering additional comfort snacks, allowing this time to update preferences they may have, and ensuring the nutritional needs of our patients are met at the end of the day.”
Everyone is looking forward to the day when families and friends will visit at the center. We are collaborating with our state survey agency and local health departments to finalize the reopening plans and the criteria for safe implementation of visits. Clay HCC will continue to follow the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) guidelines.
“All of our staff and residents are very eager to see our family and friends in our facility soon. We all miss talking with them and spending time with them so this to has been a hard time for us. I am thrilled about reopening just as much as the community is,” said Mariah Naylor, Executive Director for Clay HCC.