In order to increase our ability to comply with the stay-at-home order by the Governor, we will be closing all of our buildings over the next few days. Closing the building means to keep people out - but also to keep residents in their apartment. In order to facilitate keeping residents in their apartment, we must first eliminate the reasons a resident would need to leave their apartment. Here is the plan:
Continue to taking your trash to the nearest trash room. This procedure does not cause groups of residents to congregate together and thereby poses no risk as long as proper handwashing is done. Remember to wash your hands. Should you need assistance - please call David Jackson at ext. 3375.
There has been previous communication regarding the delivery of meals, groceries and prescriptions.
We are still receiving results from the testing of over 425 residents and staff. We will provide updated information in a communication tomorrow.
Again, the most important issue is to comply with the order issued by the Governor. As stated in a news release by the Department of Health:
I apologize for my oversight yesterday not to mention those staff and residents who have unfortunately tested positive with the Covid-19 virus. I wish you all a very speedy recovery. You are missed, and we are thinking about you. I imagine that you are feeling frightened and isolated, and this virus must be very unnerving to have. In addition, I'd like to offer my most sincere condolences to the families of those residents who have died during this time. So, Residents, Employees, and all family members impacted, please know you are all in our thoughts and prayers.
I would like to express my thanks for the love, support, and prayers we have received from residents, staff, and family of current and past residents. From the beginning our focus has been on keeping residents and staff safe. Starting in early March by, in effect, closing our licensed healthcare areas we have been continually updating our response and following the department of health recommendations for independent living.
I would like to send a message out to the resident population saying thank you to all the residents and staff that got tested. We tested about 425. I would like to personally thank Ginny Seiser, Milo Meyers, Betsy Bayne, Sara Steven-Miles, Stephanie Kauffman, and Kathy Jackson, for their willingness to accept the challenge for this project, awesome organizational skills, excellent communication and their dedication to the success that everything went smoothly. We are starting to receive results - we will update as we have the information.
Everyone in independent living should understand their role to prevent the spreading of Covid-19. LVL is following the guidelines and best practices - but if you do not follow the protocol it will not be effective.
Follow the ongoing safety protocols that our Governor has urged all New Mexico citizens to observe:
Well, it's certainly been a tough couple of weeks.
THANK YOU to those valued employees who are coming to work and dedicated to serving our Residents. I realize many of you are working extra shifts and doing work not normally within your regular job duties. It is valued! You have my most heartfelt thanks and appreciation.
THANK YOU to our Residents who are doing their part to stay healthy and safe. I realize every day you get information about what is changing. That's not easy for you, it's difficult to know what to plan and what to expect. THANK YOU for being patient and understanding as we work through how to maintain service to you and how that's being accomplished. We know it's hard and not easy. I know your families are also concerned because they are concerned about your wellbeing and they can't visit you. This won't last forever, and together let's try and be kind and patient with each other.
You are all in my thoughts and prayers.
We are awaiting test results and more testing continues. Many of those who serve you are in isolation while awaiting their results or due to possible exposure. With the resulting decrease in staffing, we have evaluated what needs to be done in order to provide you the critical services to keep you comfortable and safe. Please review the following temporary adjustments to services, activities and support:
First and foremost, this is an incredibly difficult time for the residents, our staff and their families. Our hearts and prayers are with the people fighting this horrible virus and for the families who have lost loved ones.
The staff at La Vida Llena have been in constant communication with Department of Health officials and have been complying with all orders and recommendations. As you are aware, this is new territory for everyone, and things are changing rapidly.
We are a retirement community of 425 residents, with more than 350 of our residents living independently in their own apartments. The remaining residents require various levels of nursing up to and including people in hospice care. We also have 285 staff members, all of whom are essential.
Reviewing the timeline of events, on March 11th, the Governor announced non-essential businesses would be closing and ordered New Mexicans to practice social distancing. That was followed with her March 24th Stay at Home order. Both orders were shared with our residents and their families. At that time, COVID-19 testing was available only to people with symptoms.
Noting the communication from the Department of Health on March 13th, the healthcare section of La Vida Llena was placed into complete isolation on March 14th. We banned all outside visitors except essential healthcare workers beginning March 16th in the assisted living section and March 18th in the independent living section.
This past week, the Governor loosened restrictions on testing allowing asymptomatic people who had been exposed to someone who tested positive for COVID-19 to receive testing. Friday testing began of all La Vida Llena staff and residents. We are grateful for the Governor's commitment to everyone in New Mexico, especially to the high-risk senior population. We are also incredibly grateful for our amazing and hard-working staff and the support of the La Vida Llena families.
Since the initial results have come back, we have put the following more stringent guidelines in place:
Our thoughts and prayers are with the family and friends of the residents who passed away. We want you to know that we are following all the protocol and recommendations for limiting the spread of this horrible virus.
Within a memo - also dated April 4th, I updated you regarding Covid-19 testing and about the results of the testing. At that time, I did not mention there were two deaths in the health center as we were waiting to obtain the testing results. Later in the afternoon, the NM Dept. of Health issued the following news release:
SANTA FE - The New Mexico Department of Health (NMDOH) and the City of Albuquerque report today an outbreak of COVID-19 at the La Vida Llena long-term care facility in Albuquerque where two residents have died, and 19 residents and three staff members have tested positive for COVID-19 with additional test results still pending.
The resident deaths consist of a man in his 90s and a man in his 80s, both had underlying health conditions. The man in his 90s died yesterday, April 2nd; the other in his 80s died early this morning.
"We are collaborating with the facility to complete testing of the residents and staff," NMDOH Cabinet Secretary Kathy Kunkel. "We are also working together on identifying their recent contacts to determine the need for additional testing."
"We continue our vigilance with respect to nursing homes," said City of Albuquerque Mayor Tim Keller. "Our Environmental Health Department is working with the New Mexico Department of Health to make sure people are following self-isolation guidance and that all state health regulations are being followed in these high-risk facilities."
We are trying our best to keep you updated - but the news and information is constantly being updated, and some information is coming from different sources. We will post new updates and messages on the La Vida Llena website.
Thank you for continuing to follow social distancing protocol and keep WASHING YOUR HANDS!
At this time, the NM Dept. of Health, in collaboration with Presbyterian Hospital, are testing residents and staff of La Vida Llena for Covid-19. Prior to this week, testing was limited only to individuals who displayed symptoms of Covid-19, and so it was impossible to track the spread of the virus if people were asymptomatic. During her Press Conference on Monday, March 30, Governor Lujan Grisham announced that she had procured significant quantities of coronavirus test kits, and that the protocols of the Dept. of Health would now include testing asymptomatic individuals, particularly of vulnerable populations. This was very welcome news, and the new development allowed testing of all residents and staff in Health Care at LVL. Furthermore, it enabled LVL management to work cooperatively with DOH and Presbyterian to implement the testing that is currently being done.
As part of the testing in Health Care, there have been positive test results reported, and we continue to receive updates from the Dept. of Health. As of this writing, there have been 18 residents in Health Care who have tested positive. All are are being isolated and cared for by the dedicated Health Care staff who are using PPE as part of the regular protocol to ensure infection control.
Again, we are thankful that Governor Lujan Grisham has, as part of her ongoing efforts to mitigate the effects of Covid-19, directed the Dept. of Health to make testing available to senior care communities. The testing now being done at LVL is an important part of safeguarding our residents and staff. We encourage you to take advantage of this opportunity to be tested, whether you are a resident or member of the LVL staff. Testing will continue over the next few days, making testing available to all residents in the various locations throughout LVL.
The management of LVL is working with DOH to include our sister community, NIRR, in the testing of residents and staff.
Updates and news are ever-changing - and it is especially difficult to keep up with the speed of gossip. It is important for our written communications to be up-to-date and accurate. To that end this news may seem delayed - but it is accurate.
A case of COVID-19, the illness resulting from the novel coronavirus, has been diagnosed in a resident of La Vida Llena.
This is an independent living resident who was exposed by a private caregiver and had been placed in isolation. While in isolation, the resident began showing symptoms and was transported to the hospital. The resident tested positive and remains in the hospital.
There was no exposure to other residents and attending staff had been using the appropriate PPE. The Department of Health has been notified and we are following every recommended protocol. Everyone has been contacted who was potentially exposed.
There have been other independent living residents who have been exposed by a non-employee care provider. LVL was notified and those who were exposed are now in isolation in their apartments. As of this being written, none of those in isolation have tested positive or shown symptoms.
Isolation is: staying in their apartment or casita; groceries should be delivered; all meals should be delivered; all medications and packages should be delivered; if staff need to come into the apartment they will be wearing gloves and mask.
No residents in Health Care, Assisted Living or Memory Care have shown symptoms or tested positive for Covid-19.
It is important to understand that the protocols put in place for social distancing do work. The problems we have had are from external providers coming into the building and they or their client not following the recommended protocol
In addition to limiting visitation to prevent the illness on our campus, we are also focused on infection control best practices with our staff and residents. Remember that you are a key partner in keeping yourself and others healthy - wash your hands often; avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth; observe social distancing and limit travel off campus. Please notify staff if you feel sick.
It has been our pleasure to keep the dining rooms open to add some socially distant socialization during this difficult time. However, it was brought to our attention by Environmental Health that we can no longer have our dining rooms open. To be compliant with the Governor,s orders, all dining rooms will be closed. This includes all dining rooms: Main, Corner Cafe, Alta Vista, and Nueva Vista. Beginning Wednesday, April 1st - Residents can call in their orders from:
Another option is to come in at regular mealtimes and go through the line and make your choices. Staff will serve you. All food will be in put in take-out containers. We will not be serving beverages.
We appreciate your patience and understanding as your staff is doing their best to serve your needs during this period of social distancing
La Vida Llena continues to stay connected to the Center for Disease Control (CDC) guidelines, Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) and our state and local government. Your safety from this virus is our primary goal. Based on information received, communities such as ours are at high risk and should anticipate potential cases. We all need to be responsible for the health of the community and adhere to the social distancing therefore, we are going to ask for your cooperation as we implement the following protocols beginning March 31, 2020.
Management recognizes these are drastic measures, but we think if we limit the time of closeness to mealtime, we can be OK for now. Be assured we will adjust in in whatever area if it is required. We so appreciate your cooperation and taking social responsibility so that we can all be safe. We do not want the virus in our community. This is one time we do not want to be like a cruise ship.
Stay healthy and well.
Your safety continues to be our high priority. Our focus is following the guidelines of the Center for Disease Control (CDC), Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) and our state government.
We are counting on each of you to be responsible and self-isolate so that you can help protect those that are serving you.
We understand that the family connection and interaction is vital to your wellbeing. We ask that your family members respect our current policies and practice to protect our community and not to visit unless they are your private caregiver and to only enter through the front entrance. Keeping minimum exposure protects us all.
I want to thank Susan Cho, Betty Koch, and Carol Hjellming for volunteering to help our staff by making face masks. If this is something you might be interested in participating in, please feel free to contact Susan Cho.
Also, if you would like to help take temperatures of staff and visitors, please let me know. We will add you to the list of volunteers and train you in the process. You will be required to have your temperature taken prior to performing this duty.
I want to thank you and applaud you for your cooperation while we all work through this new adventure. This is a time for all of us to be creative and look at how we are doing things and see if there could be a better way. I know if we all work to together, we can get through this with a positive outcome and be better than we were. Remember to be kind to one another.
Haverland Carter LifeStyle Group (HCLG) and our affiliates are committed to providing the highest quality senior housing and care. We respect the needs of our older adults who are at greatest risk.
Our company, indeed our country, has never faced a situation such as this. Each of our communities have been adhering to the daily updates and requirements issued by their local government, Center for Disease Control, World Health Organization, Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, LeadingAge, and the health care associations of their state. To see the latest updates at any of our communities please go to their website or Facebook page. A link to each of our communities can be found at the "AFFILIATIONS" tab on HCLG website: Or Click Here.
We are aware of the stress this has put on our employees who are superheroes. They are struggling to balance work, family and other stressful issues, yet are still there to provide care and services to our residents. HCLG has an experienced HR department that is keeping up with what we need to know and do to be a support to our employees.
All of our communities, as directed by the local, state and federal guidelines, have severely restricted visitors. We recognize how difficult this will be for residents and their loved ones. However, limiting residents to potential exposure is an essential element of containment. This is a dramatic change in the operation of our communities but we are dedicated to making the adjustments needed to prioritize and protect the needs of our residents and the staff who care for them.
Stay calm and WASH YOUR HANDS!
La Vida Llena continues to be concerned for your safety and make it a high priority. We continue to monitor and follow directives from the Center for Disease Control (CDC) along with the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) for our licensed areas.
We continue to ride the waves of uncertainty as we comply with guidance put forth by our government.
Specifically, these are the current modifications we are implementing in our community to ensure your safety.
Life Enrichment understands the importance of the Dimensions of Wellness and is working to include all these aspects on our April activity calendar. Please watch for it in your mailbox with a few surprises.
We recognize that the Fitness Centers are an important part of your daily life. We are also aware that gyms have been closed citywide. We have made a decision to leave our Fitness Centers open with some requests and limitations:
All residents must use sanitizer when entering and leaving the Fitness Center
Life Enrichment will be sending out more detailed information on making reservations to the Fitness Center.
The pool is currently closed as we had a pump go out. It has been ordered and we have been advised it will take approximately 2 plus weeks to be received and installed. We will open the pool and resume classes as quickly as we can.
Movies - we need to adhere to the limit of 10 individuals. Please watch for dates and times of showings.
Fitness classes - there will be several 30-minute fitness classes held in each community. Due to the limit on attendance we are asking you call Life Enrichment to schedule your time.
Our IT Department is working with Life Enrichment to have a variety of fitness videos and entertainment via Channel 77.
Our transportation staff is eager to assist you with your grocery shopping. If you call them at Extension 3491 or 3593 they will be willing to help you set up your order for pick up or delivery online.
These continue to be challenging times for you and for us so let's work and get through this together. Please let me know if you have any concerns or questions.
La Vida Llena is concerned for the safety of our residents and has made it a high priority. I can assure you we are diligently following the Center for Disease Control (CDC) guidelines along with Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) for our licensed areas.
These are uncertain times and have undoubtably had an impact on our community and we continually revise our processes to ensure our residents are safe.
Specifically, we will implement the following steps based of these guidelines.
We understand that the family connection and interaction is vital to our wellbeing. We would request family members respect and protect our community and not visit except as indicated above. In an effort to keep family members informed, we will implement the following:
Life Enrichment will work on a list of activities that will be available for residents and post on bulletin boards and monitors.
For licensed areas:
For independent areas:
As you are aware, government mandates and guidelines change daily and we appreciate your flexibility and cooperation.These are challenging time and we are asking that we all take responsibility to take care of ourselves and continue to lookout for each other. I have set the expectation that we are all here to serve and we will be asked to do anything that is needed. We appreciate your cooperation and kindness and we travel this journey.
La Vida Llena is concerned for the safety of our residents and has made it a high priority. I can assure you we are diligently following the Center for Disease Control (CDC) guidelines along with Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) for our licensed areas. These situations will undoubtable have an impact on your community for months to come.
We are starting to see cases of the COVID-19 in New Mexico however the New Mexico Department of Health is being very proactive and making personal site visits to each community to ensure we are following the appropriate protocol. We had our visit on 3-12-2020 and were encouraged we are taking the correct steps.
Specifically we are doing the following for our independent residents:
For the licensed healthcare areas we are doing the following:
Circumstances seem to be changing on a daily basis so please check back frequently for updates or visit the CDC, CMS or New Mexico Department of Health websites for updates.