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Coronavirus Information and Updates
Laurelwood Assisted Living

March – November, 2020

November 24, 2020

Dear Laurelwood Residents and Families:

Coronavirus (COVID-19) Updates:

I would like to take this opportunity to thank everyone for welcoming me ever so kindly into The Highlands at Pittsford family.  It has been an absolute pleasure talking with and getting to know our residents and families.  Nine months ago when COVID first hit, no one could have imagined that we would be entering the 2020 holiday season while still working to navigate the unchartered waters of COVID.  I am so thankful that we remain COVID free, both residents and staff, and I am very determined to stay that way through the coming holidays and into the New Year.

With the holidays around the corner, many have asked questions about going out with families for the holidays.  We are following the guidance from the Governor’s office and the Department of Health and, thus, we must strongly discourage anyone from leaving HAP for any reason other than a medical visit.  With the rising number of COVID cases here in Monroe County and elsewhere, we cannot emphasize enough how important it is for our staff, visitors, and residents to be extra careful during the holiday season.  It is more important than ever that we remain vigilant as we work to adapt our traditional holiday plans in response to COVID.

We will be doing everything we can to bring holiday cheer to our HAP family here.  As challenging as this holiday season may be, we are looking forward to hosting a wonderful Thanksgiving Meal prepared by our HAP cooks.  The menu will include all your traditional Thanksgiving favorites and more: 

  • Pumpkin Bisque with Crab               
  • Fall Harvest Salad
  • Your choice of entrée: Traditional Roast Turkey with Gravy; Maple Glazed Salmon; Butternut Squash & Mushroom Ravioli
  • Sides will include Cranberry Sauce; Bread Stuffing; Mashed Potatoes; Green Beans; Dinner Rolls
  • And there will be several Dessert options to choose from!

Throughout the month of December, our Laurelwood team will be hosting a variety of festive activities including tree trimmings, holiday entertainment, happy hours, and much, much more.  Please know that we are extremely empathetic to the challenges that this holiday season brings for all.  We are determined to make the best of it and ring in 2021 knowing that brighter days are soon to follow.

Speaking of seeing our loved ones during the holiday season, I would like to thank everyone for your patience as we work to refine our in-person family visits.  We understand that the acoustics and the shared space is not ideal and we apologize for that.  Although we may have grown somewhat weary of the safety protocols, you are reminded that all visitors and residents should maintain a distance of 6 feet while wearing their masks and following all other safety measures outlined on the Laurelwood Visitation Fact Sheet dated November 3, 2020.

You are reminded of our Laurelwood visitation schedule.  Reservations must still be scheduled in advance (585-389-1630).  In the event that we have another positive COVID case, we will have to revert to window visits and, if so, your scheduled visit time will remain the same.  Of course, we all hope this will not be the case.

Tuesdays:         5:00 to 8:30 p.m.

Thursdays:       1:30 to 4:30 p.m. 

Fridays:           1:30 to 5:00 p.m.

Sundays:          1:00 to 4:00 p.m.

Please note:  For this week, we have added an additional visitation day:   Wednesday, November 25th from 12:30 to 4:00 p.m.

With Thanksgiving only a couple days away, this is a perfect time to reflect on the many, many blessings we still have in our lives despite the troubles that COVID has caused us.  I am most thankful for having the opportunity to work with all of our residents and families.  If you have any questions or comments at all, please reach out to me by phone at (585) 641-6373 or email at jennifer_diorio@urmc.rochester.edu.  I would love to talk.

A big thank you to everyone for your cooperation, understanding, and outpouring of support for our HAP team as they continue to work diligently to keep everyone safe.  Please stay well and Happy Thanksgiving to all!

Sincerely,

Jen DiOrio
Director of Laurelwood Assisted Living

 

November 3, 2020

Dear Laurelwood Residents and Families:

Coronavirus (COVID-19) Updates:

I would like to take this opportunity to share some good news with you on three separate fronts:

First, I am pleased to introduce Jennifer (Jen) DiOrio as the new Program Director for Laurelwood.  Jen previously worked for two of the leading assisted living communities in the Rochester area.  She holds a Masters of Social Work (MSW) degree from Fordham University and several additional certifications in gerontology and memory care.  Along with managing Laurelwood’s day-to-day operations, Jen will play an integral role in the development of the memory care neighborhood at Laurelwood, which we hope will be back on track for the spring of 2021.  Jen will be meeting you in the coming days and I know we will all give her a warm Highlands’ welcome.

During this transition, Jeanette Stephens has done an outstanding job making sure we had all the bases covered to ensure everyone’s health and safety.  We cannot thank Jeanette and the entire Laurelwood Team enough for pulling together to get the job done.  I am so proud of them all.  While Jeanette will continue to support Laurelwood in her role as Resident Health Services Advocate, she will be spending more time with the residents in independent living as she also assists them in finding the proper healthcare providers.

Second, I am excited to inform you that we have received approval from the Department of Health once again for indoor in-person family visits.  The required 14 days have passed since I reported our last positive COVID test result and there have been no further ramifications.  With the exception of slight variations in the designated visitation hours (below), all other protocols remain the same and reservations must still be scheduled in advance (585-389-1630).  An updated Laurelwood Visitation Fact Sheet is included as a reminder.  In event that we have another positive COVID case, we will have to revert to window visits and, if so, your scheduled visit time will remain the same.  Of course, we all hope this will not be the case. 

Tuesdays:   5:00 to 8:30 p.m. 

Thursdays:  1:30 to 4:30 p.m.  

Fridays:      1:30 to 5:00 p.m.

Sundays:    1:00 to 4:00 p.m.

Please note:  For Thanksgiving week, we have added an additional visitation day:  Wednesday, November 25th from 12:30 to 4:00 p.m.

Third, I am pleased to report that your monthly service fee will remain the same through March 2021 with no increase on January 1st.  Rather than developing a 12-month budget, we have chosen to do a 3-month forecast taking us through March of 2021.  We expect the first quarter of 2021 to be break-even financially and this means that our revenues from monthly service fees will be enough to cover monthly operating expenses as adjusted for COVID conditions.  This will give us additional time to assess what life will look like assuming a vaccine is developed in the near future.  With additional information we will be able to more accurately predict the financial needs of the organization and the impact on you.  More information will follow in February.

On a final note, Highland Styles has been servicing a high volume of customers as of late.  If you have experienced a bit of trouble getting in for salon services, please know that we are working to resolve these scheduling issues.

Did you realize that in just over eight weeks we will be into a brand new year?  It will soon be time to turn the page and trust in the magic of new beginnings.  So hang in there – stay safe, stay positive, and we will get through this together!

Sincerely,

Lloyd Theiss
Executive Director

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October 5, 2020

Dear Laurelwood Residents and Families:

Coronavirus (COVID-19) Updates:

I mentioned to you in my letter dated October 2, 2020 that we were waiting for approval on our Visitation Safety Plan from the New York State Department of Health and I am happy to report that approval has been granted!  All visits will now be held indoors in the Laurelwood Activities Room.  Keep in mind that, pursuant to the Governor’s mandate, in-person visits will continue as long as Laurelwood remains COVID free for a minimum of 14 days.  Here are the guidelines for Laurelwood visitation, effective Tuesday, October 6, 2020.  

  • Visitation is permitted on the following days and times.  Reservations must be scheduled in advance; call (585) 389-1630. 
    Tuesdays:     5:00 to 9:00 p.m.
    Thursdays:    1:30 to 4:00 p.m.
    Fridays:          1:30 to 5:00 p.m.
    Sundays:       1:30 to 4:00 p.m.
  • No more than 2 visitors will be permitted per resident, per visit.  This allows us to remain in compliance with New York State Department of Health visitation guidelines in relation to Laurelwood occupancy.
  • All visitors must be at least 18 years old or accompanied by an adult.
  • The duration of each visit will be no more than 30 minutes.  This ensures that all Laurelwood residents will have an equal opportunity to welcome visitors.
  • All visits will be supervised by a staff member to ensure compliance with hand sanitizing, social distancing, and masking protocols.
  • Visitors must only spend time with their Laurelwood family member/loved one and not with other residents.
  • The Laurelwood Activities Room has an outside entrance; please plan on entering at this door.  The side door to the Activities Room is accessible from the visitors’ parking lots at buildings 100 and 300; follow the signage.
  • Upon entering the Activities Room, all visitors will be properly screened to include a brief health questionnaire and temperature check.
  • Both resident and visitor will be asked to use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer prior to and at the conclusion of each visit.  Laurelwood will provide the hand sanitizer.
  • At each visit, Laurelwood will provide both resident and visitor with a sterile face mask which must be worn for the duration of the visit.  These disposable masks must be discarded at the end of each visit.
  • Visitors are permitted to wear their own reusable cloth face mask; please remember to launder with soap and water after each visit. 
  • All chairs and surfaces such as door knobs will be cleaned and sanitized by our staff before and after each visit.
  • Visitors should call ahead at (585) 389-1630 on the day of their visit to be sure our visitation status has not changed.
  • Visitors who are already scheduled for a window visit should plan to arrive at their scheduled time for an in-person visit with their loved one in the Laurelwood Activities Room.

In closing, we look forward to welcoming our new Program Director, Jennifer DiOrio, in about a month.  We know she will be a welcome addition to our Laurelwood team!  Thank you for your continued patience and optimism.

Stay well,

Lloyd Theiss
Executive Director

September 14, 2020

Dear Laurelwood Residents and Families:

Coronavirus (COVID-19) Updates:

We are sorry to inform you that we have had another employee test positive for the coronavirus this past weekend.  The good news is that this individual has not worked in Laurelwood and, therefore, the risk of exposure to our residents is very slim.  The employee has been removed from duty and will remain out of work for a minimum of 14 days and then must test negative for the virus before being allowed to work within our community.  All employees continue to be tested weekly for the virus.  This has allowed us to detect the virus early, thus catching it before it spreads to others in The Highlands’ community.

As COVID continues to be present and remains a potential danger to those persons with compromised immune systems, we ask that you continue to be diligent with social distancing and wearing your face mask when you are outside among others.  We all know that wearing the face mask can be a challenge, but it is still recommended by the Centers for Disease Control.

Due to this positive test result, we are forced to suspend all face-to-face visitation for the next 14 days which is September 27, 2020.  During the next two weeks, we will continue to offer window visits.   These times will be:  Sundays from 1:30 to 4:00 p.m.; Mondays from 9:30 to 11:30 a.m.; Thursdays from 1:30 to 4:00 p.m.; and Fridays from 1:30 to 4:30 p.m.  You may schedule your window visit with Margaret Leyden at (585) 641-6387 or by calling the Laurelwood front desk at 585-389-1630.  We want to remind you of the importance of being timely for your visit so that we can maintain our schedule and not have to turn anyone away.  While we realize that not being able to see your family and friends in person is far from enjoyable, we remind you how very challenging it is for the staff to uphold the rules and restrictions mandated by the State of New York.

Our patience has indeed been tested throughout this pandemic.  Unfortunately, we must persevere and continue to exercise caution as COVID may be with us for a while longer.  Please feel free to reach out to me by phone at (585) 641-6373 or by email at terrisa_silvestri@urmc.rochester.edu with any questions you have.

As always, Laurelwood and The Highlands at Pittsford remain diligent in keeping each of you as safe and healthy as possible.  With that in mind: “Be safe, be kind, and be hopeful.”

Sincerely,

Terri Silvestri
Laurelwood Program Director

July 21, 2020

Dear Laurelwood Residents and Families:

We are pleased to announce that the Department of Health (DOH) has approved our safety plan for visitation at Laurelwood.  I must stress, however, that we are required to follow a number of strict guidelines set forth by State officials and the DOH.  First and foremost, visitation will be limited and must be scheduled in advance.  Additional details are outlined below. 

Laurelwood FACT SHEET for visitation

  • We will be ready to offer visits effective Friday, July 24, 2020.
  • Visits may only occur if Laurelwood remains COVID free for a minimum of 28 days.
  • At present, only outdoor visitation is permitted during the following times: 
    • Sundays from 12:00 noon to 4:00 p.m.
    • Tuesdays from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m.
    • Fridays from 9:00 a.m. to 12:00 noon.
    • Please call (585) 389-1630 in advance to reserve your visitation time.
  • Visits will be limited to no more than 30 minutes to allow opportunities for all residents.
  • Residents will be permitted no more than 2 visitors at a time.  The DOH has stipulated that visitors cannot exceed 10% of our occupancy in order to maintain proper social distancing and ensure safe compliance.
  • All visitors must be eighteen years old or accompanied by an adult.
  • All visits must be supervised by a staff member to ensure compliance with the visitation policy.
  • Visitors must only spend time with their loved one and not with other residents.
  • Visitors will be asked to remain in the front entrance vestibule area to be screened for signs and symptoms of Coronavirus. This includes a health questionnaire and temperature check. 
  • Both resident and visitor will be asked to use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer prior to the visit and at the end of each visit.  The sanitizer will be available in our front entrance vestibule.
  • Each resident and visitor will be provided a clean and sterile surgical mask to be worn during the visit.  Once the visit ends, you will be asked to discard the mask.
  • Staff will properly clean and disinfect the chairs used after each visit.
  • Please call ahead (585) 389-1630 on the day of your scheduled visit to be sure our ability to allow visits has not changed.  

Terri Silvestri
Laurelwood Program Director

July 14, 2020

Dear Laurelwood Residents and Families:

Coronavirus (COVID-19) Updates:

You may have heard the exciting news that we can begin to have visitors here at Laurelwood.  While the Governor’s announcement on Friday, July 10, 2020 indicated that visitation could begin this week, unfortunately, it did not include the fact that we must first submit a safety plan to the Department of Health for approval.  This safety plan is a detailed description of how we will meet the strict guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control, which include sanitation, social distancing criteria, and other areas of compliance that are required.

The good news is we are currently working on our safety plan and hope to submit it within the next few days.  Once the plan is approved by the COVID team of the Department of Health, we will share our timeline with all of you for opening visitation.

Please keep in mind that there are several criteria that Laurelwood must meet prior to permitting visitors, e.g., we must not have any new or confirmed cases of COVID-19 (residents or staff) within the past 28 days.  I am thrilled to announce that we are COVID free at this time.

I will keep you informed on our progress with the safety plan and when your long-awaited visit with your loved ones can take place.  Once approved by the Department of Health, we will share the details of our plan including a fact sheet with guidelines.  Your safety and well-being continues to be our priority and we are delighted that you will soon be able to enjoy the company of your friends and family members. 

Please feel free to contact me should you have any questions or concerns.  I can be reached by phone at (585) 641-6373 or by email at terrisa_silvestri@urmc.rochester.edu

“Patience is not the ability to wait, but the ability to keep a good attitude while waiting.” (Joyce Meyer).  I thank you all for your continued patience during what has been and continues to be an unprecedented time.

Warm regards,

Terri Silvestri
Laurelwood Program Director

June 4, 2020

Dear Laurelwood Residents and Families:

Coronavirus (COVID-19) Updates:

It is with much gratitude to the residents, families, and staff that I am reporting that Laurelwood (and the entire Highlands campus) remains free from the coronavirus.  That is something we are all very proud of here after nearly three months! 

The warm weather has finally arrived and it has brought smiles to many of our faces (despite the masks that we are mandated to wear).  As you already know, Governor Cuomo and the State of New York continue to be diligent on the fight against the coronavirus. For Laurelwood, that means a continuation of the NO VISITOR policy that is in effect for assisted living residences. 

In my last letter to you dated May 7, 2020, I announced that, while we remained under a no visitor policy, we realized with the warmer weather that residents and families were wanting to see one another outdoors.  While we cannot restrict our residents from going outside, nor do we wish to do so, we were reminded by the Department of Health that we have a responsibility to supervise and monitor these outdoor encounters.  Therefore, we shared that we would make an effort to honor brief supervised outdoor visits with family members and/or friends with advance notice.  Although the offer was well-intentioned, we have again been reminded by the State of New York that we must adhere to the NO VISITOR mandate first provided by the State back in March.  Unfortunately, this means we CANNOT allow visitors/family members to enter our building nor can we accommodate outdoor face-to-face visitation at this time.  Going forward, any family member or friend that needs to see or speak to a resident should contact me at (585) 641-6373 or Jeanette Stephens at (585) 641-6304 for prior approval.  Family members do not need prior approval if they are simply dropping off a care package for their loved one.  Exceptions may be made for family emergency situations, legal matters, resident medical conditions, and for move-ins or move-outs.

Although these restrictions are challenging, especially after three long months, I am certain that our COVID-free status at Laurelwood/The Highlands is attributable, in large part, to the fact that we have all been so diligent in adhering to these rules.  Now is not the time to be lax.  If we want to continue to keep our residents and staff safe and healthy, we must not let down our guard in the fight against the virus at this time.     

Another safety measure that has been mandated by Governor Cuomo and the State of New York is biweekly COVID-19 testing of our employees.  We began internal testing on May 20, 2020 and I am pleased and proud to share that we have not had a positive test result for any Highlands at Pittsford staff member.  The testing will continue for the next several weeks or until further notice.

Our beauty salon, Highland Styles, reopened this week and we were hopeful and excited to offer these services to our residents.  At this time, these services fall under the strict guidelines that have been placed on assisted living residences.  For now, the salon remains closed for Laurelwood, but please know we will continue to work towards a solution and/or compromise.

Please keep in mind that we need your unwavering support, patience, and understanding to keep COVID-19 out of Laurelwood and away from those we love.  Each and every one of us may need to refocus in order to remain committed to the precautions that have been asked of us.  I leave you with a quote that goes like this, “The future depends on what we do today.”

Rest assured that the Laurelwood team is always here to support you and answer any questions that may come up.  Please feel free to reach out to me by email at terrisa_silvestri@urmc.rochester.edu or on my office phone (direct dial) at (585) 641-6373. 

Stay well,

Terri Silvestri
Laurelwood Program Director

May 7, 2020

Dear Laurelwood Residents and Families:

Coronavirus (COVID-19) Updates:

I am once again pleased and proud to share that Laurelwood (and the entire Highlands campus) is free from the coronavirus. With that said, we need your patience and cooperation now more than ever to ensure that we remain that way. I remind everyone that our strict no visitor policy remains in effect per Governor Cuomo and the New York State Department of Health. The only visitors permitted to enter the building are those who are here to provide medical care such as X-ray technicians, Hospice staff, or licensed physical therapists from a home care agency. For the time being, we will continue to enforce non-contact visits at Laurelwood such as waving to your loved one from outside a closed window or a very brief exchange in the lobby (monitored by staff) at a safe distance of at least six feet. We realize how very difficult this is for you and your families, and for our staff, but, nevertheless, Laurelwood is held accountable by a number of governing bodies to enforce this ruling. We would like nothing more than to have this pandemic eradicated and for our community to open for visitation. However, despite the talk of a phased reopening in parts of New York State, at this time there is no set date for reopening Assisted Living Residences.

We anticipate that the warmer weather (if it ever comes) will entice many of you to want to go outside and feel the sunshine on your face.  If you do venture outdoors, the Laurelwood team will remind you to wear a mask and maintain a distance of at least six feet from others.

We all know how important social connectedness is to our overall health and well-being and we also know how difficult these many weeks of separation have been. To help mitigate this to some degree, we will be making every effort to honor brief supervised outdoor visits, monitored by Laurelwood staff, on warm days with advance notice. All family members and/or friends must call the Laurelwood Front Desk at (585) 389-1630 to schedule a day and time to visit with your loved one. Your outdoor visit will be supervised/monitored by one of our staff members to ensure that Department of Health guidelines are followed at all times. The number of visitors will be limited to two at one time; everyone will be required to wear a mask and remain at least six feet apart; there should be no hugging or kissing. Should a friend or family member come to Laurelwood without prior notification, we cannot promise that a visit will occur due, in large part, to staff availability.

Finally, please do not ask to go off campus for non-essential reasons. On beautiful days, we may yearn for an ice cream sundae from Pittsford Dairy or to take our loved one on a scenic ride, but it is not worth the risk. If a family member takes a resident off campus for a non-essential reason, we will ask that family member to take the resident home with them to be quarantined for 14 days. This is for the health and safety of everyone here at Laurelwood since any potential exposure to the virus in the greater community puts us all at greater risk here. We have all worked very hard to keep this virus out of Laurelwood; we would hate for all our efforts to be for naught.

We look forward to the day in the not-too-distant future when we can relax our policies so that you can enjoy a face-to-face visit with your friends and families and feel the warmth of a loving embrace.  That day will come.  In the meantime, let’s all remain diligent and positive!  I like to close my COVID updates with an uplifting quote so I leave you with this:  After every storm there’s a rainbow, no matter how long it takes to show up!

Remember that I am available to address your questions or comments.  Please contact me directly by phone at (585) 641-6373 or by email at terrisa_silvestri@urmc.rochester.edu if I can be of any help. 

Stay well,

Terri Silvestri
Laurelwood Program Director

April 21, 2020

Dear Laurelwood Residents and Families:

Coronavirus (COVID- 19) Updates:

I am pleased and proud to share that Laurelwood (or for that matter, the entire Highlands campus) remains free from the coronavirus.  We have not had any known exposure thus far and will continue to do our very best to ensure the health and wellness of our residents.

As we are being directed to continue our social distancing and no visitor policy per Governor Cuomo and the New York State Department of Health, we want to remind everyone about the importance of socialization. We are offering a variety of cultural programs to keep you engaged and encourage you to look at your weekly calendar to decide which ones you want to attend.  We will continue to keep all group activities to a maximum of ten people and provide the proper distance between participants. If you visit with another resident, we remind you to keep at least six feet apart during your visit.

Again, abiding by the social distancing rule, we have continued with our two seatings in the main dining room and the feedback has been positive.  Residents are able to enjoy the company of a tablemate and also stop to talk with other residents and staff. The dining experience has been enhanced as the servers are able to provide more personal attention to the limited number of residents in the dining room at the same time. 

Speaking of an enhanced dining experience, Easter was a success as dinner was delicious and we had a special visit from the Easter Bunny. If you were photographed with the Easter Bunny, we hope you enjoy the picture that we have printed and shared with you. It was wonderful to see many friends and families visiting outside the building and dropping off special care packages. Although this type of visit is not ideal, I can assure you that it means so much to the residents.  If you prefer to connect with your loved one through a video chat, where you can see the person you are talking to, our Life Enrichment Coordinator, Crystal Johnston, would be pleased to help set this up; she can be reached at 641-6345.  Modern technology provides us with many ways to remain connected and we are here to help.

Moreover, our Sales and Marketing team has been busy videotaping our HAP Heroes.  Please visit The Highlands at Pittsford Facebook page to see all the HAP Heroes who have been honored.  If you wish to nominate a HAP Hero, please contact Ann Julien, Director of Sales and Marketing, at 641-6388.  If I could nominate all of the Laurelwood staff I would, as they are exemplifying our SPIRIT values with exuberance, day in and day out, during this time of transition.

Lastly, I am pleased to announce that we have received a donation of surgical masks that we will be sharing with our residents.  Each Laurelwood resident will be provided with one individually-wrapped, sterile mask to be used whenever he or she must go outside of the building.

The next few weeks will hopefully bring more springtime weather and beautiful flowers for us to enjoy; The Highlands campus really comes alive at this time of year.  Keeping positive thoughts as well as a sense of humor are skills that I find to be so helpful.  

I leave you with this thought by Charles Dickens: “Spring is the time of year when it is summer in the sun and winter in the shade.”  Even though the weather can be unpredictable at this time of year, you can count on the Laurelwood team to remain dedicated to meeting and exceeding the needs of our residents.  Please feel free to contact me directly at (585) 641-6373 should you have any questions or concerns.

Stay well,

Terri Silvestri
Laurelwood Program Director

April 2, 2020

Dear Laurelwood Residents and Families:

Coronavirus (COVID-19) Updates:

As you may have heard, the President has issued an extension on social distancing practices for another thirty days taking us through the end of April.  The protocols in place (limiting contact and avoiding unnecessary travel) are designed to help slow the spread of this serious virus.  We will need to continue our no visitor policy until we are notified by the Department of Health that the restriction has been lifted.

With the Easter Holiday approaching, we respectfully request that you do not go out for visits in the greater community or join your friends and family for a gathering.  Doing so could potentially put yourself and others at risk from being exposed to the COVID virus and other illnesses.  We understand how difficult it is for you to not be able to spend time with your loved ones and want to remind you that we have the ability to connect you via Skype, Zoom, and FaceTime using our computers and telephones.  Should you wish to arrange a video chat, please feel free to contact Crystal Johnston at (585) 641-6345.  We are happy to help with this technology on our end.  Another way to connect is to have family members “visit” outside a window where you can see each other and perhaps even talk to each other on cell phones.  Just remember that the window must remain closed because even if you talk through a window screen there is still the potential for exposure.   In addition, family & friends are encouraged to leave care packages at the Laurelwood front entrance between the hours of 8:00 a.m. & 8:00 p.m. and our staff would be happy to deliver. 

Program Updates:

As you know, the scenario with this virus changes day-to-day and even minute-to-minute and we thank you for your patience and understanding.  As a result, we have had to adjust our operations accordingly, including changes to our Life Enrichment programs and our dining room seating.  We will continue to offer our programming on a weekly basis and you will find the calendar of events on the shelf outside your door.

Effective this Friday, April 3, 2020, you will see additional changes to our dining operation.  These changes are designed to meet the social distancing criteria and hopefully provide you with a more enjoyable dining experience. 

The Laurelwood dining room will offer two seating times per meal:

Breakfast will be offered at 8:00 a.m. and 8:30 a.m. 
Lunch will be offered at 11:30 a.m. and 12:30 p.m. 
Dinner will be offered at 4:30 p.m. and 5:30 p.m. 

To help us identify which tables will be used for the first seating versus the second seating, you will see white tablecloths and colored tablecloths. 

To help us all acclimate to the new seating, we have created name cards to place at the tables.  Although we have tried our best to keep your seating time as close as possible to the time you are accustomed to, and also to seat you with one of your tablemates, a few residents may notice a change.  You will be notified later today about your meal times and seating.  If you feel especially unsettled about your designated seating time and/or location, please feel free to talk with Ben or myself. 

In most cases, the Laurelwood team has made every effort to announce and discuss program changes with you prior to implementation.  Throughout this pandemic, as a licensed assisted living residence, we are guided by certain regulations that emanate from various governing agencies.  Consequently, we are asked to make modifications within our community to protect the health and wellness of every resident and staff member.  Unfortunately, it is not always possible to include a group decision.  Please keep in mind that every decision to-date and all future decisions are made in your best interest.

Our team remains dedicated to caring for you, and supporting you and your loved ones through a difficult period of transition.  Please stay diligent and patient for a few more weeks.  As the Persian adage goes: “This too shall pass.”

Feel free to call me at (585) 641-6373 if you have any questions, concerns, or suggestions. 

Stay well,

Terri Silvestri
Laurelwood Program Director  

 March 24, 2020 

Dear Laurelwood Residents and Families: 

Re: Coronavirus (COVID-19) 

In our ongoing efforts to keep the lines of communication open, this letter provides written follow-up to a few announcements made today during lunch service. The main focus of the message had to do with the changes in the Laurelwood dining room with the separation of tables and tablemates being asked to sit with residents they may not have dined with in weeks past. These action steps are a direct result of New York State Department of Health mandates regarding social distancing and reconfiguring communal dining. By creating additional space between tables and allowing only two residents per table, Laurelwood is meeting the mandatory requirements from our State Governor and the Department of Health. All of these efforts are aimed at keeping the Laurelwood dining room open and thus avoiding the need to transition to meal deliveries. Please understand that these changes in the dining room are only temporary and we appreciate your understanding and patience in these ever-changing times. 

We also announced that you will now receive a weekly Calendar of Events as many changes are being made to protect the health and safety of all our residents. These weekly schedules will be delivered to the ledge just outside your apartment door. 

In addition, we have also been instructed by the Department of Health that the U.S. mail carrier cannot come into our building. In response, our Laurelwood team will sort and deliver your mail to your individual apartments and leave it inside on your counter for security purposes. 

Lastly, I want to remind all of you that no cases of COVID-19 have been detected or reported at The Highlands at Pittsford. Staff are required to wear masks as one of the many precautions we are taking to help us reduce the potential for this virus to enter our community. 

Please feel free to bring your questions and concerns to my attention; you can leave me a telephone message at (585) 641-6373. Again, we thank you for your support and understanding during these challenging times. 

Stay well, 

Terri Silvestri 
Director of Laurelwood 

To:              Laurelwood Residents & Family Members

From:          Lloyd Theiss, Executive Director

Date:          March 19, 2020

Re:             Coronavirus (COVID-19)

As you know, the scenario with regard to COVID-19 is changing on an almost daily basis.  First and foremost, please remain calm in the days and weeks ahead.  There are no cases of the virus on The Highlands at Pittsford campus.  We wanted to provide an update on the precautions we are taking at Laurelwood to help us reduce the potential for the COVID-19 virus to enter our community.  Most of these precautions are mandated by the Department of Health for assisted living communities like Laurelwood.  We are also closely following all recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the University of Rochester Medical Center.

  • With the exception of those with specific medical needs, all visitation into Laurelwood has been suspended.  Our Resident Services Advocate, Jeanette Stephens, RN, is able to respond to specific questions; she can be reached at 585-641-6304.
  • A routine internal screening process has been implemented for all employees.  This includes a mandatory daily temperature check prior to the start of every shift.  Anyone with a temperature of 100 degrees or higher will be sent home immediately.
  • Face masks are required for all employees working in any capacity at Laurelwood; this includes the wait staff in the dining room.
  • To comply with recommended social distancing guidelines, we have expanded our dining area into the Hearth Room to create more space between tables.
  • The door just beyond the Hearth Room that leads to Independent Living (IL) will remain closed.  IL residents are not permitted to enter Laurelwood and vice versa.
  • All off-campus outings are canceled until further notice.
  • All programs scheduled to take place at Laurelwood that involve presenters from the greater Rochester community are canceled.
  • Laurelwood residents will not participate in activities scheduled in IL and vice versa.
  • Laurelwood residents will not receive services in The Highlands beauty salon nor will they be able to use the pool.
  • We are still transporting Laurelwood residents to doctor’s appointments as needed.

We understand that staying connected with loved ones is very important during these challenging times.  You may want to consider Skyping with your family member.  If so, Crystal Johnston, Life Enrichment Coordinator, would be happy to help you access the Laurelwood Skype account and set up a time when she is available to help residents with the technology on this end.  You can call or email Crystal for more information.  Phone: 585-641-6345; Email:  crystal_johnston@urmc.rochester.edu.

To stay abreast of all HAP updates on COVID-19, please visit our website at www.highlandsatpittsford.org.  Simply click on COVID-19 (in red) that appears in the green banner at the top of the page. 

Thank you all for your understanding and support in helping us maintain a healthy environment.  These are indeed challenging times but we will get through this together!

LT:ef

To: All Residents 

From: Lloyd Theiss 

Date: March 16, 2020 

Re: Coronavirus (COVID-19) 

As you know, the scenario with regard to COVID-19 is changing on an almost hourly basis. First and foremost, please try to stay calm in the days and weeks ahead. There are no cases of the virus on The Highlands at Pittsford campus. However, we are taking additional precautions to help us reduce the potential for the COVID-19 virus to enter our community. The following protocols will go into effect on Tuesday, March 17th and will continue until further notice. 

Visitors 

1. With the exception of private caregivers and companion aides, no visitors are permitted to enter Hahnemann Square. This includes your family members and all other guests. No one from outside our community will be permitted to join you for dinner or visit with you in your apartment. We ask that you communicate this to family members and other potential visitors. 

2. At the present time, we are not restricting visitors to the cottage homes, however, those visitors will not be allowed to enter Hahnemann Square for dinner or other reasons. 

3. Private caregivers and companion aides MUST enter Hahnemann Square at the main entrance. These individuals must sign in at the Hospitality Desk and the receptionist will take a temperature reading each time they enter the building. Any caregiver with a temperature of 100 degrees or higher will not be permitted to enter. Residents need to have a backup plan in case their caregiver cannot provide care. 

4. The two guest apartments will not be available for reservation until further notice. Existing reservations will be canceled. 

5. There will be limited access at the key pad entrances (with key fobs) in the near future. 

6. The annual test and inspection of the personal safety system (a service provided by technicians from Special Care Systems) originally scheduled for this week and next has been postponed. 

7. For the time being, our marketing team will not be offering apartment tours to prospective residents. 

 Dining 

1. In an effort to minimize the number of people congregated at the same time, everyone (regardless of the size of your party) must call to make a reservation (641-6374) if they wish to have dinner in the dining room. 

2. You will be asked to choose one of the following times: 5:00, 5:20, 5:40, 6:00, 6:20 or 6:40. The dining team will not deviate from the protocol of seating 20 residents every 20 minutes. 

3. If your desired timeslot is fully reserved, you will be offered the next available timeslot. 

4. Everyone must have a reservation. Do not come to the check-in kiosk and say “I will wait for the next available opening.” 

5. No more than 2 residents will be seated together at the same table. 

6. The Community Table will not be available. 

7. The Bistro will be open as usual. Lunch is served: Wednesday, Thursday, Friday. Dinner: Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday. Reservations will be limited to 20 per night. No more than 2 residents will be seated together at the same table. 

8. Residents who prefer not to come to the dining room can have their meals delivered to their apartment or cottage. Call 641-6374 between the hours of 9:00 a.m. and 4:00 p.m. to place your meal delivery order. To the extent possible, deliveries will be made between 4:30 and 5:15 p.m. but please be patient as the demand may be higher than usual. 

Programs and Outings 

1. All off-campus outings are canceled until further notice. 

2. All programs scheduled to take place at HAP that involve visitors/presenters from the greater Rochester community are canceled. 

3. The general rule of thumb for HAP resident gatherings will be no more than 25 in a congregate setting. You may also see social distancing implemented in many group settings; we will try to increase the physical space between people to avoid spreading illness. 

4. Pool: Available for open swim only and no visitors are permitted in the pool. All aquatic classes are canceled. 

5. Fitness Classes: Robin will continue to conduct classes as scheduled but social distancing will apply. 

6. Beauty Salon: Operators have been informed that no more than 3 residents should be in the salon at the same time. Services will not be provided to patrons from outside HAP. Laurelwood residents will not receive services in the salon. Operators have been instructed to wear masks. 

7. The Pittsford Highlands Chorus will be modified so that it is a sing-along with HAP residents only; piano accompaniment will be provided by HAP residents. 

8. In keeping with the no more than 25 guideline, the following events are canceled: Wednesday Happy Hour; Newcomers’ Meet and Greet; Resident Meeting. Other events may be modified as deemed necessary. 

9. HAP will no longer provide transportation on Tuesday and Thursday to Wegmans in Country Club Plaza. The Lilac Shoppe will make every effort to have some essential items on hand for purchase. 

10. HAP will no longer provide transportation to Sunday church services. 

11. If you decide it is essential to use HAP transportation, call the hospitality desk at 586-7600 to submit a transportation request. Remember to cancel if your plans change.

Laurelwood 

1. With the exception of those with specific medical needs, all visitation into Laurelwood has been suspended. 

2. The door between the Bakery and the Hearth Room will remain closed. Independent living residents should refrain from entering Laurelwood. 

3. Laurelwood residents will not participate in activities scheduled in Hahnemann Square; IL residents will not participate in activities scheduled in Laurelwood. 

Staff Precautions: 

1. Effective immediately, all HAP staff will have a temperature reading prior to starting their shift each and every day. Anyone with a temperature of 100 degrees or higher will be sent home/not allowed to work. 

2. Employees are also required to complete a brief screening form that asks them to identify any flu-like symptoms (for themselves & their immediate family members), to tell us about recent travel, etc. 

3. All staff working in any capacity at Laurelwood will be required to wear a face mask. You may also see some staff members wearing a mask when they enter your apartment or cottage home. If you see a staff member wearing a mask, it does not mean they are sick. 

Other Considerations: 

1. Resident common areas such as the Club Room, Media Room, Library, and Fitness Room will remain open. Keep in mind that these are higher traffic areas and handwashing (or sanitizing) is strongly encouraged. 

2. U.S. mail and newspaper deliveries will continue without any changes. 

3. Dr. Howd will not be seeing any patients in her Laurelwood office unless it is an urgent situation. Patients should contact Dr. Howd’s main office at 276-0830 with all questions and concerns. 

4. Please check your in-house mail daily to keep abreast of all COVID-19 updates from HAP. As you know, things change day-by-day and even hour-by-hour. Updates will also be posted on our website at www.highlandsatpittsford.org. 

5. Keep in mind that you are free to make your own decisions about driving yourself here and there. If you decide to leave the campus for personal reasons, just remember that you reside in a community setting and your decisions may ultimately impact others. 

Once again, I remind you that HAP is staying abreast of all recommendations from the CDC, the Department of Health, and the University of Rochester Medical Center. 

Please understand that these difficult times call for difficult measures. I will conclude with the message I started this memo with: Stay Calm. 

And one final thought: These are trying times for everyone; please treat others – your HAP neighbors and staff – with kindness and understanding. We are all in the same boat and we’re all doing the best we can to navigate these unfamiliar waters. 

LT:ef

Saturday March 14, 2020 as of 11 AM

To All Family and Friends of our Laurelwood Residents

RE: Revised protocols for Laurelwood – Assisted Living

While there are no signs of the COVID-19 virus on our campus, the Department Of Health has implemented a number of new mandates for assisted living communities such as Laurelwood.

  • Effective immediately with the exception of those with specific medical needs, all visitation into Laurelwood has been suspended.  Laurelwood staff will be able to respond to specific questions.
  • All staff MUST have their temperature taken before their shift starts.  Anyone having a fever of 100 degrees or higher will not be allowed to work. 
  • All staff working in Laurelwood will be required to wear facemasks.

Again these are precautions that we will follow for the health and wellness of our entire community.  Thank you for your understanding and cooperation. 

Lloyd Theiss
Executive Director

March 13, 2020

Dear Laurelwood Family Member:

RE:   Coronavirus (COVID-19)

First and foremost, we want to assure you that the health and well-being of your loved one is our primary concern at Laurelwood. To that end, we have already put a number of precautions in place which we are sharing with you in the enclosed memorandums.  We are following all recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the Department of Health, and the University of Rochester Medical Center and we are keeping abreast of all new information as it becomes available.

As of this writing, we are not transporting Laurelwood residents to any events being held in the greater Rochester community.  We are still providing transportation to doctor’s appointments and various other personal appointments.

We will continue to post updated information on our website: www.highlandsatpittsford.org.

Should you have any questions, feel free to contact me (641-6372) or our Resident Services Advocate, Jeanette Stephens, RN (641-6304).

Sincerely,

Lloyd Theiss
Executive Director

LT:ef

To:              All Residents

From:          Lloyd Theiss

Date:          March 12, 2020

Re:             Coronavirus (COVID-19)

With the announcement last night about COVID-19 having been identified here in Monroe County, we are taking additional precautions regarding this virus.  Above all else, we want to reassure you that your safety and well-being is our greatest concern.  The protocols outlined below were thoughtfully designed to help us reduce the potential for the COVID-19 virus to enter our community while also giving you the freedom to make many of your own choices and decide what level of risk you are willing to assume.

Visitors

  1. Effective immediately, all visitors are strongly encouraged to enter the building at the main entrance. 
  2. All visitors entering HAP and Laurelwood will be required to fill out a Visitor Screening Form at the hospitality desk.  The form asks the visitor to identify any flu-like symptoms, to state if they have had contact with someone who has a confirmed diagnosis of COVID-19, and to tell us about recent travel and/or participation in crowded settings.  All information collected will be handled confidentially and depending on the responses visitors may be denied entry.
  3. The doors to the buildings will be unlocked during the following hours: 

    Hahnemann Square:
    Weekdays:  8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m.
    Weekends:  9:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m.

    Laurelwood:  8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. – 7 days/week (subject to change depending on staff availability at the hospitality desk)

  4. At all other times, the doors will be locked and visitors will need to use the wall-mounted telephone to request admittance.
  5. We ask that you communicate these guidelines to family members and other potential visitors.

Programs and Outings

  1. If an event is canceled in the greater Rochester community, HAP will also cancel participation in that event (e.g., RPO).
  2. If the event in the greater Rochester community is not canceled, HAP will participate and transportation will be provided as planned.
  3. For programs scheduled to take place at HAP, we will allow 1 to 2 individuals from outside the community to present here as scheduled (e.g., UofR speaker).  These individuals will be required to follow the visitor guidelines outlined above.
  1. We are canceling all events where community groups greater than 2 were expected (e.g., Young School of Irish Dance).
  2. At all times, we encourage you to self-manage your decisions about what level of risk you are willing to assume when choosing what activities you will participate in.
  3. If you are signed up for HAP transportation and decide to cancel your plans, please call the hospitality desk at 586-7600 to let us know.

Dining

  1. For the time being, we are limiting outside (dining) guests to 2 per apartment/cottage.  Your guests will be required to follow the visitor guidelines outlined on page 1 of this memo.
  2. Until further notice, Saturday Breakfasts and Sunday Brunches are canceled.  This is effective with the March 14th and March 22nd events. 
  3. Regular dinner service (5:00 to 7:00 p.m.) will resume on March 22nd in lieu of Sunday Brunch.
  4. Happy Hour will continue as scheduled, however, we are reevaluating the self-serve food stations that you are accustomed to.  You are likely to see changes in the way food is presented at Happy Hour and various other events.
  5. In an effort to help you plan accordingly for the Easter holiday, a plated meal will be served from 11:30 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. for residents only.  You are welcome, of course, to enjoy a holiday meal with your family at their home or, if appropriate, at a nearby restaurant.

Effective immediately, a routine internal screening process will be implemented for all HAP staff.  Our employees are committed to staying home if they are feeling ill.

On a final note, any residents returning from travel outside the U.S. will be required to contact Jeanette Stephens (641-6304) immediately upon return so that proper internal screening can be conducted. 

Again, I remind you that HAP is staying abreast of all recommendations from the CDC, the Department of Health, and the University of Rochester Medical Center.  As you know, the COVID-19 scenario changes day-by-day and even hour-by-hour, locally, nationally, and internationally.  Rest assured that all changes in HAP operations are driven by our commitment to ensure a safe and healthy environment for our residents and staff.

LT:ef

To:              All Residents

From:          Lloyd Theiss

Date:          March 11, 2020

Re:             Coronavirus (COVID-19)

To follow-up on yesterday’s information session, we want to make you aware of a number of steps we are implementing to help reduce the potential for the COVID-19 virus to enter our community.  These steps are based, in large part, on recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).  As of today’s date, there are no cases in Monroe County, which would of course include The Highlands at Pittsford, Laurelwood, and The Highlands Living Center. 

Below are some examples of how you can help us reduce the potential for the virus while protecting yourselves and our residents.  These guidelines are not much different from the ones we have shared with you in the past with regard to preventing the common flu.

  1. Identify:  Watch for symptoms of respiratory illness:  Fever, Cough, Shortness of Breath
  2. Isolate:  If you are feeling sick, stay in your apartment or cottage.  Do not come to the dining room; do not attend happy hour, programs, or other group gatherings.
  3. Communicate:  Notify Jeanette Stephens immediately (641-6304) if you develop flu-like symptoms.
  4. You can call dining at 641-6374 to request that meals be delivered to your apartment or cottage while you are ill.
  5. Practice proper hand washing hygiene.  Clean your hands before and after interaction with other residents and their environment with an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains 60-95% alcohol.  Hand sanitizer dispensers are located throughout the common areas and may be available for purchase in the Lilac Shoppe, to the extent possible.  Washing hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds is always the best method.
  6. Cough or sneeze into the crook of your elbow.  If you cough or sneeze into a tissue, throw the tissue away immediately and wash your hands.
  7. For the time being, you may want to refrain from shaking hands or hugging.
  8. HAP employees have been told to stay home if they are feeling sick.

Although we understand that connecting with loved ones is very important, family members and friends should not visit The Highlands if:

  1. they have any symptoms of respiratory illness.
  2. they have had contact with someone with a confirmed diagnosis of COVID-19 in the last 14 days, or with someone who is under investigation for COVID-19.
  3. they have had international travel within the last 14 days to countries with sustained community transmission (China, Iran, South Korea, Italy).
  4. they reside in a community where community-based spread of COVID-19 is occurring.
  5. they have been on a cruise ship in the past 14 days or participated in other settings where crowds are closely confined.

Rest assured that The Highlands is following the recommendations of the CDC, the Department of Health, and the University of Rochester Medical Center and we are staying up-to-date with all recommendations.   

We have posted signs on our entryway doors to notify visitors of the symptoms of COVID-19 with a request that visitors refrain from entering the building if they are experiencing these symptoms.  We will use the same guidelines listed above in our efforts to determine which program presenters, vendors, etc. will be permitted to enter our buildings.  Please be aware that we may need to make changes to the Program Calendar based on our determinations.  Ensuring that our residents are in a safe and healthy environment is our greatest concern. 

We will let you know if COVID-19 is identified in Monroe County and, at that time, we will communicate our plan for next-level precautions.  In the meantime, should you have any questions, feel free to contact me (641-6372) or Jeanette (641-6304).  For additional information, visit the CDC’s coronavirus disease information page at https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/

Above all, remain calm – and thank you for your continued support in helping us maintain a healthy environment.

LT:ef

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