COVID-19

See how Caledonia Senior Living & Memory Care is taking precautions for the health and safety of our residents and staff.

February 18, 2021

Dear Caledonia Senior Living Family,

Today we announced to our team that we have made the decision to mandate the COVID-19 vaccine for all employees. While we believe that it will eventually be government mandated the right thing for us to do is to make that decision for our community now in order to achieve the maximum benefit from it and be able to implement it in a way that is fair to our team members.

Throughout this pandemic we have made decisions based upon science and a commitment to acting with an abundance of caution. Just as we implemented a robust testing program before testing being mandated we believe this decision is our best opportunity to continue to keep everyone safe. The vaccine is a key part of our reopening strategy and our ability to reconnect families with their loved ones while continuing to protect both residents and staff.

Many of you have asked what you can do to help during this crisis. The best opportunity to help our community is now. Please consider taking the vaccine when it’s available to you. Talk to your doctor if you need further information but please consider vaccinating. When Gus and I met with some of our team members earlier today who are feeling nervous about taking the vaccine I made a promise to them that I would ask family members to also get the vaccine. It would give them great comfort as we look to the future and families coming back inside our doors. It would mean so much to all of us to know that you are also helping to keep our community safe.

With your help, along with all of our infection control protocols and procedures still in place and a campus where residents and staff are all vaccinated, I believe we will be keeping everyone as safe as possible.

Stay safe,

Siân Stevens
Chief Operating Officer

February 15, 2021

Dear Caledonia Senior Living Family,

Today we received the good news that we can begin hosting scheduled supervised inside family visits this week! Please note this still can change at anytime if we have positive cases but for now we have the green light to move forward and the timing couldn’t be any better with this crazy winter weather!

Inside visits can be scheduled using the same online schedule calendar that we have been using for outdoor visits. The online calendar can be accessed here and time slots are now live for this week. The first day for indoor visits is this Wednesday. As always please be respectful of other families when you sign up for your visit.

This week, all supervised indoor visits will be hosted in Heritage Hall. While the weather is bad please park and come to the main entrance at The Scottish Home where you will sign in on our Accushield kiosk and be able to walk through the hallway to Heritage Hall. Full instructions will be available when you arrive on campus. Please follow the signs directly to Heritage Hall. There will not be access to public bathrooms so please plan accordingly.

As this will be our first week of doing inside visits there may be some tweaks to the program and schedule after the first week. Thank you in advance for your patience and understanding!

In general the visits will run very similar to the outdoor visits we have been hosting. Everyone must still wear our KN95 masks, be physically distanced and refrain from eating, drinking and physical contact.

We look forward to seeing you in Heritage Hall in the near future!

Reminder:

Please join us for this month’s Family Support Group this Thursday 2/18 at 6:30 pm. The Support Group is facilitated by Jim Boyle and uses the same Zoom link each month.

https://us02web.zoom.us/j/87840721036?pwd=ZVRhM0poUmxROUY4TFZONDFJUXA0dz09
Meeting ID: 878 4072 1036
Passcode: 896031

Stay safe,

Siân Stevens
Chief Operating Officer

February 9, 2021

It was a beautiful day at Caledonia Senior Living & Memory Care and not just because of the bright blue sky and sunshine. Today was a milestone day for our community as it was one week from the day that the majority of our staff and residents received their second does of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccination making today the day that they achieved immunization.

Today also marked the end of our sheltering in place restriction, having gone 14 days without having any residents or staff test positive for COVID-19. First thing this morning we had activities up and running again for sheltered care and skilled nursing residents and we have resumed our small group dining program. While I was writing this message this afternoon I could hear residents just down the hall from my office laughing and talking in the dining room. It was the best sound I’ve heard in a long time – the sound of us moving towards normal.

Several of you have asked how does having the vaccine change things for our community? First let me reassure you that it doesn’t change anything in terms of our infection control policies and practice. We are anxiously awaiting updated guidelines from the Illinois Department of Public Health that will hopefully address any changes we are able to make as far as easing restrictions on things like visits, testing etc. Until we receive updated guidelines we will continue to follow our current guidelines. As soon as we receive new information we will share that with all of you. One thing we know for sure is that vaccines are the key to being able to safely reopen.

Family outdoor visits will resume this Friday with one small change, we will be utilizing Heritage Hall for residents participating in the visits. Please park near the Georgeson Wing/Heritage Hall and follow the signs to the door to the elevator that leads down to Heritage Hall. Our outdoor stairs down are closed for the winter. Please dress warmly for your visit and consider bringing a blanket to sit on as well as a second blanket to keep you warm. Our calendar will be live with upcoming dates around 5pm tomorrow and can be accessed at caledoniaseniorliving.org/visit. Window visits remain suspended due to the snow and icy conditions. As a reminder we are required to pre-screen all outdoor visits and compassion visits 24 hours prior to the visit.

It has been 11 months since we locked our front door but today we took a big step towards unlocking it. Thank you for your continued support, patience and understanding.

Stay safe,

Siân Stevens
Chief Operating Officer

January 27, 2021

Dear Caledonia Senior Living Family,

Our latest round of COVID-19 testing results have come in and I’m happy to report that no residents tested positive. The resident that tested positive last week continues to be in good spirits and is recovering well in our dedicated COVID-19 isolation wing.

Unfortunately we received one new positive PCR test result for a member of our team. We conducted a rapid test which was also positive. We are considering this to be a true positive and the team member, who is asymptomatic, is isolating at home.

We administered additional tests today and continue to monitor everyone closely. We will update you when we receive this next batch of test results. We are counting down the days until our second vaccine day on Tuesday.

Stay safe,

Siân Stevens
Chief Operating Officer

January 25, 2021

Dear Caledonia Senior Living Family,

Today’s update is bittersweet because we have very good news to share as well as some that is heartbreaking.

I’m happy to report that the first resident that tested positive last week is in good spirits and is doing well with their treatment. We are also able to now confirm that the second resident that tested positive was a false positive. No other residents or staff have tested positive.

This weekend we received the devastating news that we lost one of our own team members to COVID-19. Marie Oyda joined our Caledonia family as a nurse back in October. She became ill with COVID-19 right after the new year and due to underlying health conditions was hospitalized. We are heartbroken to have lost one of our team to this terrible pandemic. Marie was a kind and compassionate nurse always putting others before herself. She provided loving care to the residents in our community. We will miss her and it breaks our hearts to lose her in this way. We will be planning a memorial for Marie when its safe to do so. Please join us in keeping her family in your thoughts and prayers.

You are likely thinking how did the resident get COVID-19 if no staff have test positive? We have done extensive contact tracing utilizing our test results dashboard, our Accushield screening system, our resident room sign in system and there is no clear answer. There is no connection to Marie as it has been too long since she was on campus and she did not provide care to the resident who is positive. At this time we are unable to identify how the virus came into our campus despite exhaustive measures. We are determined to do everything possible to prevent its spread.

With our recent test results we are optimistic but the next few days are crucial. We are still in the window of time that symptoms and positive test results could present themselves. Our requirement to shelter in place remains in effect and will take us up to our second vaccine day of February 2nd. As you may recall, 100% of our residents will be vaccinated and about 75% of our staff have already received their first shot and will receive their second on that day. More team members have signed up to receive their first shot. We are continuing to educate staff to have as many receive the vaccine as possible.

As always we are not just concerned about the physical well being of residents but also their quality of life. While sheltered in place we are live streaming exercise class and other activities, we have a daily visiting bar cart and library cart. We have been providing independent activity programming materials and are doing staff and family resident video chats. This week we are adding resident to resident chats so that residents can connect with each other. Our dining department are taking special requests from residents and are surprising them with their favorite treats.

Today, our President and CEO Gus Noble gave a live streamed message to residents to celebrate the birthday of Robert Burns. He spoke about the poem A Red Red Rose which Bob Dylan called the greatest love poem ever written. It’s our love and commitment that will see us through to the other side of this crisis.

Stay safe,

Siân Stevens
Chief Operating Officer

January 21, 2021

Dear Caledonia Senior Living Family,

Today we received our COVID-19 test results from Monday and results from Tuesday and Wednesday are also starting to come through.

As we anticipated, the symptomatic resident that tested positive with our rapid test yesterday did have a positive PCR test result from Monday. She is our first confirmed COVID-19 positive resident. With Monday’s results we also received a positive test result for one other resident. This resident is asymptomatic. We conducted a rapid test to try to confirm if it was a true positive and that test was negative.

We are hopeful that this resident’s initial positive was a false positive but we are awaiting an additional PCR test result to confirm that and closely monitoring them for signs and symptoms. The resident is isolated in our dedicated COVID-19 unit.

At this time we are continuing to receive negative test results for both residents and staff and are conducting additional testing throughout the week. Our test results have been coming back quickly and we hope to have more good news to share in the next day or two.

Stay safe,

Siân Stevens
Chief Operating Officer

January 20, 2021

Dear Caledonia Senior Living Family,

As you know we have made it almost a year with no residents getting sick with COVID-19. Eight days ago we received the vaccine and we felt very hopeful that we would make it to the finish line. Our vigilance and commitment have not waivered.

Unfortunately, today one of the Scottish Home residents became symptomatic and we immediately tested her with a rapid test. She tested positive. We retested her and she tested positive again. At this time we believe she is positive with COVID-19. I know you share the heartbreak of this devastating news.

The resident is in good spirits and is isolating in our COVID unit where she will be cared for by dedicated staff. Please keep her in your thoughts and prayers.

From the staff member who noticed her symptoms this morning to the entire team who quickly implemented our safety protocol, reassured residents and helped them back to their rooms, our incredible team took immediate action. All residents at the Scottish Home were retested and the staff on campus today that have had contact with the resident who tested positive have had rapid tests which were all negative. We are working hard to trace how COVID-19 came into our campus after two weeks of negative test results.

At this time no other residents are symptomatic or have tested positive. We are waiting for test results from PCR testing completed earlier this week to come back tonight or tomorrow and will be back in touch if they provide additional information. We are hopeful that because residents were recently sheltering in place that may have helped prevent the spread but we are of course prepared in case there are additional cases.

We know this is very difficult news to hear but at this time we have had to put the following precautions in place:

  • We have suspended all outdoor visits
  • We have suspended all hospice visits at the Scottish Home
  • All residents at the Scottish Home are sheltering in place one allowing.

We are allowing limited, compassionate end of life visits. Our Administrator, Chris Cortez will be reaching out to families that qualify for this type of visit this evening.

As always we are committed to transparency and providing you the latest information as quickly as possible. Please don’t hesitate to reach out with any questions or concerns.

As a reminder we will be having our Family Support Group tomorrow night hosted by Jim Boyle. I’ve provided the Zoom details at the end of this message.

Stay safe,

Siân Stevens
Chief Operating Officer

 https://us02web.zoom.us/j/87840721036?pwd=ZVRhM0poUmxROUY4TFZONDFJUXA0dz09
Meeting ID: 878 4072 1036
Passcode: 896031

January 14, 2021

Dear Caledonia Senior Living Family,

I’m writing to you today with a couple of quick updates:

  • Our Family Support Group is moving to the third Thursday of every month at 6:30 PM kicking off on January 21. Please note there is no meeting tonight. We hope to see you next Thursday! The Zoom link for Family Support Group will be the same each month and is listed at the end of this message.
  • All of our test results from this weekend and Monday came back negative (over 200 tests). We are optimistic that we will be able to lift our sheltering in place on Monday if our test results continue to be negative through the weekend.
  • Anticipating that there is a strong likelihood that outdoor visits will be able to resume next week we are updating our outdoor visit scheduler and new dates and times will be available for reservation by 5:30 PM tomorrow.
  • As a reminder, we are able to offer indoor hospice visits but they must be scheduled, pre-screened and participants need to be added to our testing schedule. Please call for more information.

Best,

Siân Stevens
Chief Operating Officer

 https://us02web.zoom.us/j/87840721036?pwd=ZVRhM0poUmxROUY4TFZONDFJUXA0dz09
Meeting ID: 878 4072 1036
Passcode: 896031

January 6, 2021

Dear Caledonia Senior Living Family,

We are looking forward to seeing you tomorrow night at our next Zoom Family Town Hall! For your convenience I’ve included the Zoom information at the end of this e-mail.

We are thankful that so far all resident test results received this week are negative. Earlier this week we shared with you the news that one of our staff members had tested positive for COVID-19. Today we received results from their subsequent test that confirmed their positive result.

We have also received two additional preliminary positive test results for members of our team. One is a direct care team member and the other part of environmental services. Both of these team members have been retested and are isolating at home. Residents at The Scottish Home continue to shelter in place.

Please know that even this close to receiving our vaccines we have not let our guard down. We are continuing to be extremely cautious and thorough in our precautions tweaking them as we learn the very latest safety recommendations.

We are continuing to collect consent forms in advance of our upcoming vaccine day next Tuesday. Our goal is 100% participation from staff and residents. Please let us know if you have any questions or concerns about the vaccine. A copy of the consent form is available on our website here.

Below is the link and password for our Zoom Family Town Hall which will be held on Thursday night at 6pm. When you join the call please make sure that we can see your name and not just your phone number so we can admit you to the call.

Zoom Meeting: Click Here
Zoom Password : 577821

Best,

Siân Stevens
Chief Operating Officer

January 4, 2021

Dear Caledonia Senior Living Family,

Happy New Year!

As you know residents are currently sheltering in place at The Scottish Home as a result of a team member testing positive last week. The good news is that everyone we retested in response to this result has now tested negative. We do unfortunately need to share with you that we have a new, potential positive test result on our direct care team. At this time we have no reason to believe that this employee contracted the virus from their coworker. This team member has been retested and is quarantining at home. We are waiting to hear if the second test confirms the positive or if perhaps it is a false positive test result. This new positive result means we must continue to shelter in place.

Please note that in addition to postponing Outdoor Visits we have also made the decision to temporarily suspend Window Visits due to the ice and snow on campus. While the woods and grounds look incredible in this weather, we simply are unable to provide a guaranteed safe way for you to do a window visit until the snow and ice are gone. Please consider calling your loved one for a video chat instead.

We are continuing to collect consent forms in advance of our upcoming vaccine day next Tuesday. Please talk to your loved one about the vaccine if they are able to make their decision themselves and if they are not and you are their Power of Attorney for Health Care please review and complete our consent so they can receive the vaccine on January, 12th. Our goal is 100% participation from staff and residents. Please let us know if you have any questions or concerns about the vaccine. A copy of the consent form is available on our website here.

As a reminder, we will be hosting our first Family Town Hall of the year via Zoom on Thursday, January 7th at 6pm. Below is the link and password. It is also posted on the COVID-19 page of our website. When you join the call please make sure that we can see your name so we can admit you to the call.

Zoom Meeting: Click Here
Zoom Password : 577821

I hope to see you all at the Town Hall!

Best,

Siân Stevens
Chief Operating Officer

December 30, 2020

Dear Caledonia Senior Living Family,

As you may recall, at Christmas we elected to shelter in place due to the exposure of a team member to COVID-19 . This team member is someone that was in direct contact with many people throughout our campus and so we felt it was necessary to take that precaution. That team member has continued to test negative and resident tests have continued to be negative too. Based upon these good results, yesterday morning we made the decision to cautiously bring back a few activities along with our physically distanced lunch program. We did not lift the shelter in place completely because it simply has not been long enough.

Unfortunately shortly after making this decision and in the midst of making all the operations changes we received a positive test result for one of our direct care team members. We immediately reverted back to sheltering in place again. This morning we were able to give this team member a rapid test as they have had some symptoms. Rapid tests are most effective in people who are symptomatic. The rapid test confirmed it is a true positive. What this means for our campus is that sheltering in place will now have to continue for the full 14 days assuming no other staff test positive. We need to do a full lockdown this time including the immediate suspension of outdoor visits. Scheduled, pre-screened hospice visits can continue. As a reminder, you must wear the KN95 mask we provide you at all times when on our campus.

We know how difficult this is for our entire community of residents, families and staff. There is however a ray of hope after this challenging year. Our vaccination day is almost here! On January 12th, 2021 we begin the process with the first doses of the vaccine being administered. The booster shots will be administered on February 2nd. What this means for our community is that we are just six weeks away from having completed the vaccine process and the vaccine being considered effective with an anticipated 95% efficacy rate. For this program to be successful to participate.

Thank you to those of you who have already completed the vaccine consent forms on behalf of your loved ones or helped your family member to complete their own consent form. While we have received a good number of completed forms we are still a long way from our goal of 100%. We need your help! Please take a few moments to complete the form this week so that we can make sure we are ready well in advance of January 12th.

Please reach out if you have questions about the consent form or the vaccine itself. Our Medical Director, the Illinois Department of Public Health and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention all recommend that all residents and staff at communities like ours get the vaccine. We don’t want anyone at Caledonia Senior Living to suffer from this virus. While it is has not yet been proven that the vaccine we are scheduled to receive will prevent the spread of the virus it is anticipated to at least help reduce the transmission of the virus.

A copy of the consent form is available on our website here.

Wishing you all a healthy, safe and Happy New Year!

Siân Stevens
Chief Operating Officer

December 24, 2020

Dear Caledonia Senior Living Family,

I’m so sorry to have to report today that we have decided to voluntarily shelter in place again. Late last night we learned that someone within our community has been exposed to COVID-19 . While we don’t normally shelter in place for this reason alone, because this team member is in direct contact with many people on our campus, we believe it is wise to put in place this extra precaution until more information is available. Our team member tested negative on Monday and we are waiting to see what their test result is from yesterday.

We recognize that this news is tough to hear on Christmas Eve. Please know we didn’t make this decision lightly. It breaks our hearts too. We believe it is necessary to fulfill our commitment to keep everyone safe. Our team is working hard to make Christmas still special for all residents and to make sure they feel safe and loved. There will be caroling in the hallways and Maria’s team will be bringing other seasonal activities to residents safely. We are continuing scheduled outdoor family visits so please know that if you are on the calendar for today or tomorrow you can still plan on being here!

As we approach the end of this challenging year, new hope is ahead. In just a few weeks on January 12th we will receive the vaccine. Three weeks later the booster shot will be administered and one week after that we will have immunity – experts say we can anticipate a 95% immunity success rate. Seven weeks stand between now and then. We are so very close and we want to make sure that we can make it all the way safely. We are revisiting and tweaking safety precautions to make sure we are doing everything we can to get there.

Wishing you and your loved ones a happy and safe holiday season and to all who celebrate, Happy Christmas!

Siân Stevens
Chief Operating Officer

December 21, 2020

Dear Caledonia Senior Living Family,

Vaccine Update

I am thrilled to share with you that today, after over nine months of our doors being locked due to COVID-19, we now have a confirmed date that we will receive our first dose of the two-step COVID-19 vaccine!

Walgreens is scheduled to administer the COVID-19 vaccine on our campus on January 12, 2021! At this point it is our understanding that the vaccine will be available on this day for all staff and residents of our community. We have provided Walgreens with our anticipated number of participants. Walgreens will visit again to administer the second dose of vaccines on February 2.

Anyone that receives both the first dose on January 12 and the subsequent dose on February 2 will have successfully completed the vaccine process and according to the Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) will have approximately 95% immunity! We are so excited!

We strongly encourage all residents and staff to receive the vaccine unless advised differently by their physician.

More information about the vaccine can be found in our previous e-mail which is posted on the COVID-19 page of our website. You can also find a link to IDPH’s FAQs about the vaccine and a copy of our consent form on that same page. As a reminder, we need consent forms back ASAP so that we are ready for Walgreens when they visit. Anyone who does not have a completed consent form will not be able to be vaccinated that day and there is no guarantee they will have another opportunity to receive a vaccine in the near future as we will not be given an extra supply to keep on hand.

Testing

Last week I shared with you that we had three employees with a positive COVID-19 test result. I’m relieved to update you that all three employees have had back-to-back negative test results and no other employees or residents have tested positive since these results. Based upon the subsequent negative test results we believe that the original results were false positives. As of this morning Scottish Home residents were able to resume communal dining and activities and we are all very happy to get back to our physically distanced social and festive programming.

While we wait for the vaccine, please know our commitment to keeping your loved ones safe is unwavering. It has been a challenging time for everyone in our Caledonia Senior Living family but today we feel hopeful that we are headed for a brighter future. We hope that this news brings a little joy and relief to you and your family this holiday season.

Wishing you and your loved ones a happy and safe holiday.

Siân Stevens
Chief Operating Officer

December 17, 2020

Dear Caledonia Senior Living Family,

I’m writing with a couple of important updates this evening including information about the COVD-19 vaccine. Please note that as of today no residents have COVID-19.

My first update was going to be to let you know we have received 3 positive employee test results but as soon as I started writing this message I received the wonderful news that our tests came back extremely fast and all three employees have now tested negative. We believe it is likely that team members had false positive results.

The moment we received these initial results we acted immediately, choosing to implement a temporary shelter in place at the Scottish Home and deep cleaning both the Scottish Home and MacLean House. We tested residents again as an extra precaution as well as any staff who had been near the team members that had tested positive. We met with residents individually and let them know what was going on immediately and reassured everyone. We quickly pivoted our dining and life enrichment programs adding some special treats to bring some holiday cheer.

We are so relieved to see these tests come back as negative. We hope to lift the sheltering in place after one more round of negative test results. Fingers crossed we get those results back quickly too.

Vaccine

This week we are gearing up for the COVID-19 vaccine. We are so excited after all this time and feel hopeful about the future. We have filed all necessary paperwork to obtain the vaccine itself and are waiting for a date from Walgreens as to when it’s our turn for them to come out and administer it. This week we watched an informative webinar from the Illinois Department of Public Health and they confirmed that for the first two weeks they would be vaccinating hospital workers and that they anticipate starting to vaccinate residents and staff of communities like ours beginning on December 28th. It will take several weeks for them to get to all of the communities so we are making sure we are ready in case there is an opportunity to be one of the first.

At this time it is the Pfizer vaccine that IPDH is providing. It requires two doses to be effective, is about 95% effective and takes 28 days from the first dose to work. It does not include live COVID-19 virus. Being vaccinated does not impact the PCR testing that we are doing in that it doesn’t change the results and it doesn’t eliminate our need for robust testing. At this point the vaccine will not change our restrictions and we don’t anticipate being able to do so until IDPH feels comfortable enough to change guidelines as well as we feel it is safe to do so.

IDPH recommends that ALL residents and staff at a long term communities be vaccinated including those who have had the virus before and those on hospice. Our goal is to achieve as close to 100% participation as possible.

Nursing is in the process of calling every resident’s Power of Attorney and meeting with every resident who has their own decision making capabilities. In addition to verbal consents we are required to have a signed original hard copy. A copy of the consent form is available here. If possible please send back to us electronically with your signature. Otherwise, please drop off at the front entrance of the Scottish Home. We are in the process of adding a secure drop box.

Vaccine Consent Form

I can’t stress enough the importance of timely submission of these consent forms. We will not be given an option at this time to administer vaccines ourselves on an ongoing basis and anticipate them being on our campus for just one day for the first of two steps of the vaccination.

When researching the vaccine please be selective in the sources you rely on. Click here for the IDPH vaccine resource page and FAQs.

Wishing you and your family a safe and joyful holiday season!

Siân Stevens
Chief Operating Officer

Caledonia Senior Living Family Support Group

Thursday, December 17, 2020
6:30 pm

We hope you will join us Thursday, December 15th at 6:30pm for our Family Support Group via Zoom. This group is facilitated by our former administrator Jim Boyle.

The purpose of this group is for family members of Caledonia Senior Living residents to be able to share and talk through emotions that they may be feeling having a loved one that needs care – especially during the COVID-19 crisis.

Please note we will be scheduling a Zoom Family Town Hall discussion with our leadership team in the near future where you can hear updates about our campus and have an opportunity to ask questions.

We hope you’ll join us!

 

December 11, 2020

Dear Caledonia Senior Living Family,

This is a quick update to yesterday’s notification that a staff member tested positive. As is our practice, we immediately retested that individual and we were fortunate to receive a quick response back. I’m happy to report that the second test was negative. The team member will continue to quarantine at home.

We have been extremely cautious throughout this crisis and this strategy has served us well so far. To continue to be cautious we have decided to continue to have residents shelter in place while we wait for the most recent resident and staff test results to come back. We will let you know when we feel it is safe to ease these restrictions.

Our Family Support Group (hosted by Jim Boyle) will be held on Zoom, Thursday, December 18th at 6:30. A separate e-mail with the Zoom link will be sent on Monday. We hope to see you there!

Stay safe!

Siân Stevens
Chief Operating Officer

December 10, 2020

Dear Caledonia Senior Living Family,

I am happy to report that as of today we still have not had any residents become ill from COVID-19. All staff that have tested positive either remained asymptomatic or have now recovered. We are relieved and grateful for the health of those in our community.

COVID-19 Update
We have received one potential positive staff COVID-19 test and are waiting for a second test result. The team member is quarantining at home and will not be back on campus for 14 days regardless of the second test result. Because this team member is in a direct care role we have elected for Scottish Home residents to shelter in place as a precaution until we have more information and can re-evaluate. We have tested residents and staff again following this positive staff result and will update you when we have those results.

During this self imposed sheltering in place restriction we have decided to continuing to host outdoor family visits for now with some modifications to the schedule. We will reach out directly to any families whose scheduled visit needs to be modified for safety reasons. At this time we are only able to offer scheduled indoor visits for compassionate hospice visits.

As a reminder, ALL visits to our campus including outdoor supervised visits, window visits and hospice visits must be scheduled in advance and our screening must be completed 24 hours before the visit with our receptionist as well as upon arrival to our campus. This is an Illinois Department of Public Health requirement.

Staff Update
Please join me in welcoming our new Director of Nursing, Lisa Boivin. Lisa has nine year’s of experience as a Director of Nursing in our field and we are thrilled to have her expertise on our team.

Holidays at Caledonia
We know that this holiday season is difficult for everyone in our community. Our team is working hard to bring joy to residents and staff throughout the season. We have planned many physically distanced holiday activities including wreath making, cookie decorating, holiday stories and much more. While we are sheltering in place we are bringing as many of these activities as possible to residents in their rooms as well as other physically distanced programs.

We have put together a survey to get a general sense of when family members would prefer to visit their loved one for an outdoor holiday visit. Please take a minute to answer the survey even if you’re not local or able to visit so that we can better plan our schedule for the day. Once we have the results we will create our schedule and will send out an email to let you know when visits will be available for reservation on our website. The 4 question survey can be accessed here.

If you are planning on giving clothing as a gift to your loved one this holiday season please pre-label the items before wrapping. We want to make sure we know it belongs to when it arrives in our laundry.

We anticipate a higher than normal number of holiday packages and deliveries. If possible please drop off or mail presents to arrive by 12/21 so we can make sure there is ample time to quarantine packages and distribute them.

Several of you have asked about providing Christmas meals. You are more than welcome to provide a hot meal from a restaurant for your loved one over Christmas. Please let us know if you are planning to do so. As a reminder, we can not accept home prepared meals or baked items. For planning purposes our Christmas menu is as follows:

Christmas Eve:
Baked Salmon
Spaghetti with Meat Sauce
Garlic Bread
Roasted Asparagus
Fried Eggplant
Broccoli Salad
French Silk Pie

Christmas Day:
Brie and Apple Stuffed Chicken
Stuffing
Green Beans
Roasted Sweet Potatoes
Pot Roast
Hearty Slaw
Lemon Cream Pie
Millionaire’s Shortbread

Employee Holiday Fund:
While we are unable to host our normal employee holiday party we are planning a staff raffle as well as a gift and treats for all employees. Our team’s commitment and dedication has been extraordinary during this crisis and we appreciate any support you are able to give to help brighten their holidays. Please reach out to me directly with any questions at sianstevens@chicagoscots.org.

Thanks for all your support,

Siân Stevens
Chief Operating Officer

November 18, 2020

Dear Caledonia Senior Living Family,

Thanks to all who participated in our survey this week about outdoor Thanksgiving family visits. We are excited to see that the weather forecast looks mild so far for Thanksgiving! Reservations will be live on our website at CaledoniaSeniorLiving.org/visit on Friday evening around 6 p.m. Thanks for your patience while we finalize our schedule to provide as many visits as possible.

As you may recall we built a prototype of our “lucken-booth” outdoor visit booth. Just as we were about to install the plexiglass windows and start making additional booths we learned of new guidelines for outdoor visits that will have to be incorporated into our design. We appreciate your understanding as we revisit our design.

Tonight, we have one new positive COVID-19 test result to report. The team member that tested positive lives in the same household as the team member we reported tested positive at the beginning of this week. We anticipated this positive test result and they have been out of the office for two weeks as of tomorrow. As we mentioned earlier this week we have sanitized their office area and have quarantined and retested those who work near these team members. Unfortunately, the team member who is now positive does have symptoms and we ask that you keep them in your thoughts as they recover at home.

As a reminder, our Family Support Group will resume on December 1st and will be held via Zoom on the first Tuesday of each month. Click here for the link. We hope to see you there!

Stay safe,

Siân Stevens
Chief Operating Officer

November 15, 2020

Dear Caledonia Senior Living Family,

As the numbers of positive cases of COVID-19 continue to be spike in Illinois and nationwide we continue to be grateful that we still have not had any residents get sick from COVID-19. In addition, I’m pleased to report that the staff that we notified you tested positive are doing well and are either back at work or will be back shortly.

Tonight, we have one new positive COVID-19 test result to report. The team member that tested positive works in our business office and has not interacted with residents. They have not been in the office for almost a week, do not have symptoms and are quarantining at home. We have utilized our Halo Mister to sanitize the business office area and we have retested those who work in that part of the building and asked them to isolate at home as a precaution.

Unfortunately this does require us to return to “phase one” of of the Illinois Department of Public Health’s reopening guidelines. Because our own reopening plan is a deliberate and cautious one there is only one significant change we have to implement immediately. All the other requirements are things we already have in place. Unfortunately we now must start the clock over again in terms of when we can allow indoor palliative care visits and non-medically necessary private caregivers. Outdoor visits are still permitted and can be scheduled here. We are also able to continue indoor hospice visits for immediate family. Please contact us information about those visits and getting tested in advance of being in our buildings.

It may be helpful to note that the additional restrictions we recently had in place – residents sheltering in their residences and the suspension of outdoor visits – were something we chose to implement. We know it was tough on everyone but felt we needed to implement those extra precautions as a result of having had two direct care team members test positive. When we were confident that the virus had not spread we were comfortable reinstating small group activities and our hybrid dining program.
In response to the increased county positivity cases we are implementing additional staff testing. Staff will now be tested twice a week.

Several of you have reached out about Thanksgiving plans and we will be sending out a survey tomorrow about outdoor visits and will have more details to share shortly thereafter. Please note we will still be in “phase one” during Thanksgiving. If there is something that you know would help brighten your loved one’s Thanksgiving please don’t hesitate to let us know.

Stay safe,

Siân Stevens
Chief Operating Officer

November 7, 2020

Dear Caledonia Senior Living Family,

We have good news to report this morning! Because all staff and resident COVID-19 test results have been negative we are comfortable easing some of the restrictions we recently put in place. We have resumed our small group activities and have returned to our dining program that includes a combination of in-room dining and physically distanced but social dining. We are monitoring the spike of cases in Illinois closely as well as continuing to be vigilant with all our safety precautions. We will let you know if we need to make changes again.

Outdoor visits will resume on Tuesday. Families who were previously scheduled for visit on 10/27 have been rescheduled for Tuesday 11/7. All families who were on the schedule for that day have received a phone call to confirm their reservation. The calendar is now open for 11/12 and 11/14. Visits can be scheduled here .

We have hired additional life enrichment staff and while we are still looking for a couple more team members we will be gradually expanding our family visits calendar starting the week of November 16th. At this time we are still limiting indoor visits to hospice visits.

As always, please reach out with any questions.

Stay safe,

Siân Stevens
Chief Operating Officer

November 1, 2020

Dear Caledonia Senior Living Family,

We completed our latest round of resident COVID-19 testing on Thursday and Friday and have received the results for all but 2 residents (for whom we hope to receive results tomorrow). I’m thrilled to update you that all resident test results received were negative.

We anticipate that we will likely be testing residents more than once a week as a precaution as we navigate the recent surge in Illinois positive cases and the staff cases we are experiencing.

Unfortunately this latest round of testing brought us one additional positive employee test result. The team member has not been on campus since the beginning of last week and notified us as soon as she became concerned about symptoms. Her COVID-19 test was completed as a “drive-thru”. Unfortunately this new test result means residents will have to continue to shelter in place. We will let you know as soon as we are able to change this.

We continue to meet with our team multiple times a week to reiterate the great need for vigilance as well as to keep their spirits lifted. We will continue to do everything in our power to keep residents and staff safe.

Stay safe,

Siân Stevens
Chief Operating Officer

October 30, 2020

Dear Caledonia Senior Living Family,

I wanted to provide a quick update on our test results this week. I’m thrilled to announce that all resident test results received have been negative. We have retested everyone again as a precaution and are now awaiting those results this weekend.

Our containment protocols are working and Gus, Chris and I couldn’t be more proud of our incredible team for consistently following our precautions and stepping up and alerting us of any possible exposure that they may have had. It’s because of them that we continue to keep your loved ones safe.

One of our team members recently let us know that she may have been exposed to COVID-19 in her personal life and we immediately took her off the schedule as a precaution. She has not been on campus since last Saturday. Unfortunately that team member has now tested positive and is quarantining at home.

This brings us to a total of two team members that have confirmed, active cases. All other staff that have tested positive in the last few weeks have recovered and are back at work. We are so grateful for their good health and for their honesty throughout their experience with COVID-19.

Unfortunately this new test result means we must continue to shelter in place a bit longer. We will let you know as soon as we are able to welcome you back for visits and begin congregate dining and programs again. I encourage you to schedule a video chat if you haven’t already and your loved one needs assistance making the call. Please Click here to schedule

With our return to sheltering in place I wanted to remind everyone that it is an Illinois Department of Public Health requirement that we screen any visitors in advance of their visit as well as upon arrival on our campus. Please let us know if you are planning on doing a window visit so that we can contact you the day before to screen you, provide you with a new mask when you arrive on our campus and make sure your loved one also has a mask and is the right distance away. Please do not come to campus if you believe there is a chance you have been exposed to COVID-19.

During this time our team is working hard to bring joy to residents in their residences. We are doing hallway exercise, individual activities and bringing home-baked and personalized treats. If there is something that you think would help brighten your loved one’s day please don’t hesitate to let us know.

Wishing you a safe Halloween weekend.

Siân Stevens
Chief Operating Officer

October 28, 2020

Dear Caledonia Senior Living Family,

Thanks for your support and understanding as we navigate temporarily sheltering in place. We know that it is disappointing and difficult to not be able to visit your loved ones and we will let you know as soon as we can start scheduling visits again. As a reminder, we are still able to offer hospice visits (immediate family only) on a one-on-one basis.

We have been retesting staff and residents after this weekend’s positive staff result and I’m relieved to say that all the resident results that we have received so far have been negative. Unfortunately we did receive confirmation of the staff result. One additional team member tested positive. This person works in a different department, is quarantining at home and we are waiting to receive their second test result.

The Illinois Department of Public Health recently changed their guidelines for communities like ours. One significant change is the requirement that communities return to phase one if they have residents or staff test positive. Prior to now the requirement was only for positive resident cases. They also reduced the length of time required to stay in phase one from 28 days to 14 days. Moving forward we will have to follow this guideline and the clock will reset anytime we have a positive case within our community.

As a reminder, here’s what Phase One looks like on our campus:

  • Sheltered Care residents shelter in place in their residences and any Skilled Nursing residents that can safely do so.
  • Only essential staff are permitted entry to both The Scottish Home and the MacLean House and families visiting loved ones that are receiving hospice care.
  • Outdoor visits are temporarily suspended.
  • We encourage non critical medical appointments to be virtual
  • We continue to offer video chats – Click here to schedule

We continue to be committed to transparency and will update you with any changes.

Stay safe!

Siân Stevens
Chief Operating Officer

October 26, 2020

Dear Caledonia Senior Living Family,

As you know, we have had a few team members test positive for COVID-19 over the last few weeks as the number of positive cases spikes in Illinois. Today for the first time in 26 weeks of testing two people in the same department have tested positive. Both team members work in nursing. Please know that all resident test results have come in and are negative and as is our practice we have retested all staff and the residents again.

The first team member’s result is one that we already shared with you and this is now a confirmed positive. The second team member’s result is a new one. As you may recall we always conduct follow-up test(s) to confirm whether the first result is true or a false positive result. At this time we have completed a second test and are waiting for the result.

Our guiding philosophy during this pandemic has been “If we overreact to this crisis, we will probably never know. But if we underreact, we will know immediately”. Following our philosophy and our commitment to being extremely cautious and careful, we have voluntarily decided to temporarily return to phase one of our reopening plan.

As a reminder, here’s what Phase One looks like on our campus:

  • Sheltered Care residents shelter in place in their residences and any Skilled Nursing residents that can safely do so.
  • Only essential staff are permitted entry to both The Scottish Home and the MacLean House and families visiting loved ones that are receiving hospice care.
  • Outdoor visits are temporarily suspended.

We personally informed all residents this morning and Life Enrichment has been providing in room activities to those who would like it. I’m happy to report that residents seem to be taking it all in stride so far. Our dining team created miniature pumpkin pies this afternoon to surprise everyone.

For those of you who had outdoor visits scheduled for this week we have provisionally moved the whole schedule to next week instead. If we are able to do visits later this week we will reach back out to you. Please let us know if you would like to do a video chat this week and we will be happy to arrange that too.

Please let Chris or I know if you have any questions. We will be updating you as soon as we have additional information.

Best,

Siân Stevens
Chief Operating Officer

October 23, 2020

Dear Caledonia Senior Living Family,

We just completed our 25th consecutive week of testing and I am relieved and very happy to report that all Caledonia Senior Living residents continue to test negative for COVID-19.

I’m also to grateful to be able to share with you that our employees that recently tested positive are all feeling better and have either returned to campus or will return to campus in the near future. From this week’s testing we have one additional team member that has tested positive. This team member is asymptomatic and quarantining at home.

While Caledonia Senior Living continues to be in good shape, we very concerned by the recent spikes in positive cases in the world around us. Witnessing Dr Ezike’s (Director of the Illinois Department of Public Health) tearful presentation today was jarring. She, and other health experts warn of the dangers of indoor gatherings in restaurants and bars, social events in churches and even small get-togethers in homes with family and friends as people let their guards down.

We are monitoring the sharp rise in positive cases throughout Illinois, particularly in the area surrounding our campus (Region 10)The positivity rate in region 10 is currently 7.3%, up from 5.9% last week. If we reach 8% for 3 consecutive days, the Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) will likely impose additional mitigation measures. These measures are outlined in Tier 1 of IDPH’s Guidance for Reopening Long Term Care Communities that was updated on the 21st of October.

The return to Tier 1 will not significantly impact Caledonia as it suspends things like indoor visits, beautician services and bus trips that we have not yet re-instated. We are preparing for a resurgence by reviewing our mitigation and containment strategies. This week our President, Gus Noble met with our staff individually to renew the personal commitment that he made to them in early March and confirm that they are also committed to continue to be safe and keep their guard up. Everyone responded positively and without hesitation.

Earlier this week I reviewed a design by Mike Domrese, our Director of Facilities to create a visitor booth – dubbed our “luckenbooth” after the Scottish symbol of love that is in our logo that for us represents the love between a family member and resident as well as between a Caledonia team member and a resident. These visitor booths will enable you to visit your loved one in the colder months while remaining outside of the community. It’s our hope that we will be permitted to use these booths even if indoor visits are not allowed. The creativity of our team members during this time is simply incredible.

While we are still not permitted to bring in a beautician to our campus we have developed a way to offer complimentary nail grooming for hands by purchasing personal products that will be kept in individual containers. If you are interested in having your loved one participate please let us know and we will add the cost for individual nail trimming and nail polish products to your monthly invoice. We will not charge for the service itself at this time.

I am pleased to announce our Family Support Group led by Jim Boyle, will resume via Zoom. We will be sending an e-mail with the date and time in the near future. I encourage everyone to participate.

Lastly, we are still actively recruiting for additional Life Enrichment staff that will enable us to offer additional days and times for our supervised family visits. Please let me know if you know anyone that could be a good fit.

Thank you for your continued support and understanding during this time.

Please be careful and be well.

Siân Stevens
Chief Operating Officer

October 11, 2020

Caledonia Senior Living Families,

We recently informed you about two employees that have tested positive for COVID-19 and are quarantining at home. Since then we have re-tested everyone that works in their departments at least twice along with our regular resident testing and all results are negative. The two employees remain positive and are symptomatic. We continue to keep them in our thoughts and prayers.

We have since received one additional positive test result from our routine employee testing. This employee does not work closely with either of the other employees that have tested positive and there is no reason to believe that the virus spread to him from either of them. Just like the other two team members we have reason to believe that he caught the virus from someone outside of our campus. He has not worked on our campus since Wednesday. As a reminder, our process is to quickly retest him while he is quarantined to identify whether it is a true positive or not.

We are appreciative of all three of these team members. Their diligent handwashing, mask wearing, commitment to being tested and honest communication helped prevent the spread of this virus.

I continue to be in awe of our entire team – to be sitting here in October writing to you with no residents having become sick from COVID-19 and to have had no staff members contract the virus on our campus is truly incredible.

As always, we will update you promptly if there is any new information.

Warm regards,

Siân Stevens

October 8, 2020

Caledonia Senior Living Families,

Over the weekend we informed you about a staff member that tested positive and is quarantining at home. That employee has since developed mild symptoms and continues to quarantine. Everyone that works in their department has been retested and the results are all negative. We are continuing to test them as a precaution. Resident test results have also been negative.

Unfortunately we have received one new positive test from an employee in a non direct-care role. This employee tested negative on Friday and has not worked since then. On Sunday night she developed symptoms consistent with COVID-19 and alerted us. She tested positive on Monday and will be retested today.

Both of these team members are very much on our minds this week as we anxiously await their recovery. We are grateful to our entire team of incredible heroes that are consistently doing everything we ask to keep everyone safe. As of today we still have not had any residents become ill from COVID-19.

At our last Family Town Hall Zoom we mentioned we are going to be expanding our life enrichment team so that we can offer more family visits which the Illinois Department of Public Health requires be supervised. We are actively recruiting for these new positions and will let you know as soon as we can expand our calendar. Please let us know if you know anyone who would be a good fit.

Thanks for your continued faith and support in us. It means so much.

Siân Stevens

October 3, 2020

Caledonia Senior Living Families,

A few days ago we notified you that an employee had tested positive for COVID-19. We have now received two subsequent negative tests for that team member indicating that it was most likely a false positive test.

On Thursday an employee in a different department informed us that someone close to them had just tested positive. They did exactly what we have asked of all our team members – alerted us immediately. We were able to test them right away and they have been quarantining ever since. Unfortunately, this evening their test result came back positive. We anticipate that this time the result is a true positive due to their recent exposure to the virus. We have received test results for most of the other department members as well as additional staff and they were all negative.

At this time we have no reason to believe that the virus was contracted on our campus nor that it has spread. As a precaution we have disinfected the area of campus where this employee most recently worked as well as the employee break room and other areas. The team member is currently asymptomatic. We will be testing them again as well as their colleagues and providing support to them during their quarantine time.

I continue to be impressed by the diligence of our team who continue to wash and sanitize hands frequently, complete daily screenings, wear their KN95 masks without complaints and participate in weekly COVID-19 tests. They continue to protect Caledonia Senior Living residents and each other.

As a reminder, please help us by wearing your mask at all times when on our campus.

Wishing you good health,

Siân Stevens

Resident Photos

With social distancing measures in place, we want to make sure friends and family can see how their family members at Caledonia Senior Living & Memory Care are doing.

We have setup a password protected page with resident photos which we plan to update throughout the duration of the COVID-19 situation. While we know it’s not the same as a personal visit, we hope seeing photos of your family members and friends helps during this time. 

Please visit https://www.caledoniaseniorliving.org/family/ to view the photos. If you need the password, please email us at info@caledoniaseniorliving.org

Spread Love, Not COVID

Support Caledonia Senior Living by purchasing a t-shirt featuring our “Spread Love, Not COVID” slogan.

Available for $15.00 in our online store.

Spread Love Not COVID

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