AN UPDATE FROM DAVE:
“One night I dreamed a dream.
As I was walking along the beach with my Lord.
Across the dark sky flashed scenes from my life.
For each scene, I noticed two sets of footprints in the sand,
One belonging to me and one to my Lord.
After the last scene of my life flashed before me,
I looked back at the footprints in the sand.
I noticed that at many times along the path of my life,
especially at the very lowest and saddest times,
there was only one set of footprints.
This really troubled me, so I asked the Lord about it.
"Lord, you said once I decided to follow you,
You'd walk with me all the way.
But I noticed that during the saddest and most troublesome times of my life,
there was only one set of footprints.
I don't understand why, when I needed You the most, You would leave me."
He whispered, "My precious child, I love you and will never leave you
Never, ever, during your trials and testings.
When you saw only one set of footprints,
It was then that I carried you."
—Margaret Fishback Powers
The COVID-19 pandemic that we are experiencing has been several months where I will look back and certainly only see one set of footprints. These months have led from one disappointment to another. To be completely honest with you, I have struggled deeply with many emotions. One minute, feeling completely frustrated that the residents have to be locked down to being scared to death that we are going to have an outbreak of COVID.
God has taught me so much about myself and has showed me so many times that he has not stopped being God! We can and must trust Him with all of this!
As time marches on, thoughts and opinions regarding COVID get stronger and more deeply rooted. They seem to range from “this is all a conspiracy, a great big hoax” to “this is going to be the end of mankind.” We hear all kinds of “facts” and data and, for every piece of data you hear, there is a reason out there why it can’t be actual data. The world around us is utterly confused or at least a lot of people think everyone around them is confused.
Well, if you’re looking for the answers, folks, I’m sorry to disappoint you, I’m not even going to give you my “facts” (or, rather, opinions). But let me point you to the one true media source. No, I’m not talking about CNN, ABC, CBS, Fox News, Twitter, or Facebook. I am talking about Jesus Christ and the Word of God. It would do us all good to set aside our own “facts,” stop talking to others about what they know as “fact” and focus upon the only source of real truth: Jesus!
If we’re irritated with Governor Pritzker, the Illinois Department of Public Health, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, President Trump, Dr. Fauci, Livingston County Public Health or whoever God has placed in our lives to lead us and rule over us, let’s get on our knees and pray for them. Whoever it is that has to make decisions in these unprecedented times needs your prayers right now. Because the real fact is, just when we get things figured out, something changes.
On that note, here’s a little update on what is happening at Fairview Haven.
On August 7, the Illinois Department of Public Health released their version of a reopening plan for nursing homes and other congregate living facilities in the State of Illinois. While there will be some that are miffed about the regulations and guidance in this plan, there will be others that will say there are not enough restrictions. Regardless of what we think, Fairview Haven will strive to meet the requirements and guidelines of IDPH.
Whenever I orient a new team member at Fairview Haven, I go over the qualifications of a team member. The number one characteristic we want to see in our team members is integrity. I explain that, to me, that means we will do the right thing every day.
So, the IDPH reopening plan is divided into three phases. In order to move from one phase to another, Fairview Haven must meet seven criteria:
1. We must have a testing plan and the ability to test (check)
2. We must practice universal source control (wear a mask) and practice good hand hygiene (check);
3. We must implement a universal screening process (check);
4. We must have an adequate supply of PPE, essential cleaning and disinfection supplies (check);
5. We must have adequate staffing (check);
6. We can have no new facility acquired COVID positive cases for 14 days (check).
While we have been successful in meeting all of these six criteria thus far, in order to remain in the phase we are in, we must continue to meet the criteria.
So, you’re probably wondering ... he said seven criteria, but only listed six. No, that wasn’t a typo. See, the seventh criteria is up to you and me! COVID outbreaks and deaths in nursing homes are directly tied to and related to the case status in the community. Therefore, our community must meet certain criteria before we can move forward in the re-opening phases or in order for us to stay in a certain phase. While our team has a lot of work to do in order to maintain a safe and healthy environment for our residents, this last criteria is solely dependent upon YOU and ME. It is very important that our community is practicing the guidelines/mandates of the State of Illinois and CDC.
If you aren’t aware of what these guidelines are, let me share what are often quoted as the most important guidelines:
1. Wash your hands frequently or use hand sanitizer (not too hard – right?).
2. Maintain adequate (that’s defined as 6 feet) social distancing between anyone that is not a member of your household. If you’re wondering what 6 feet looks like, I tell our team members to imagine our DON (Brandon) lying down between you and the other person. If he doesn’t fit, you’re too close. (Granted, this concept will give you a extra few inches, but you get the picture!)
3. Wear a mask/face covering. (don’t stop reading here) Yeah, it’s not the most comfortable thing in the world, but it’s really not that bad. You and I don’t have to decide if they are effective or not — they either are or they aren’t. Science can be used to prove both thoughts. If they are effective, do we want to err on the side of aren’t? Public health guidance says we should be wearing a facemask when it isn’t possible to maintain social distancing outdoors or whenever we are in a public building in proximity to other people.
So statistics show that, when communities abide by those guidelines, the case status decreases. Maybe the statistics are skewed by the Joe Biden campaign, or by the Donald Trump campaign, but guess what ... if the statistics show that our community has a low case status, then our residents get to live a little.
So let me ask you a question. I know many of us don’t care if we get COVID. It appears it isn’t as deadly as it once was thought to be. BUT, can I plead on behalf of the residents here? Are we willing to sacrifice a little to protect them and let them have a little piece of life back?
Thanks for your consideration of these thoughts!
--Dave Blunier, Administrator
Testing day today ... we'd appreciate prayers!
Also a photo captioning contest :) - give us your best caption for this photo in the comments on this post!
We're thankful for the distanced outdoor visits as an opportunity to connect with loved ones.
Please contact Dixie - email@example.com or 815-692-6706 to schedule a visit.
Testing is going well today ... most of our team has passed thru the outdoor tent site. Much appreciation to our friends at Circle K in Fairbury who gave us treat bags to sweeten the day!
All dressed and ready to test the Fairview Haven team and residents. Please pray for all negative results!
Incredible Memorial Day Parade tonight in celebration of Fairview Haven residents and honoring our veterans. Thanks, family and friends!
To all our Friends and Family -
We love to see you and look forward to your visits, especially during this time.
However, we are under strict restrictions!!!
We must follow all protocol in order for us to continue to have patio visits.
1. Residents must wear mask, and stay behind the designated line - no physical contact at all.
2. Family must stay behind the south side of the fence at all times, and only the people who live in your household may be in this area. So if you're not all sleeping under the same roof at night time, then you may not visit at the same time.
3. You may not pass anything to residents ...all items have to pass through the 48 hours waiting procedure.
4. All visits must be supervised by staff member; this is mandatory.
You must schedule your visit with Dixie Steidinger or the Life Enrichment team before the visit.
We will make every attempt to schedule the visit.
Care of the residents is priority #1 - so we might not be available to supervise at just anytime.
Dixie Steidinger - Life Enrichment
We would like to reach out to and connect with all families of our residents and neighbors here in the Fairview Haven community. Hopefully, you are staying up to date through our many phone calls and blog/Facebook posts on what is happening at Fairview Haven during this difficult time.
The Fairview Haven COVID-19 task force would like to hear from you and answer any questions you may have. You can communicate with the task force through our dedicated email address at firstname.lastname@example.org at anytime. We will also be hosting a town hall GOTO Meeting for our families this coming Thursday, April 30 at 7:00 pm.
Please email email@example.com if you would like to participate in this town hall and we will send you the link to join.
With nicer weather approaching, we would like to make the option of patio visits available for our residents and their families. Unfortunately we are still under lockdown by CMS and so in order to facilitate patio visits we will need you to follow strict guidelines. 1) no more than ONE household may visit a resident during a scheduled visit. 2) visitors shall stay behind the gate at the dining room courtyard and resident must stay behind the painted line on the sidewalk to provide for adequate social distancing. 3) Resident must wear a mask during the visit. 4) A Fairview Haven team member must be aware of the visit and ensure that all protocols are properly followed.
If you would like to arrange a patio visit, please contact our Life Enrichment (Activities) department at 815-692-2572 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. This is a great opportunity to stop by and say hi to your loved one – family or friends are welcome, but again only ONE household at a time, please!
I thought it might be helpful to share steps you can take to help prevent the spread of COVID-19. If you follow IDPH, CDC, CMS or any other healthcare government agency on Facebook, then likely you have seen these tips hundreds of times in the past month. Nonetheless, it never hurts to be reminded.
The first step in preventing the spread of Coronavirus is really a no brainer that we should be doing anyway to prevent other forms of sickness. WASH YOUR HANDS. How many times have you heard that in the last month? Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds (that’s the “alphabet song” or one verse of “Happy Birthday”). It is especially important to wash your hands after blowing your nose, coughing, sneezing, going to the bathroom, before and after eating or preparing foods and when returning home from somewhere. Hand sanitizer can be used when you don’t have soap and water available to you.
Step two sounds so easy, yet it is one of the most difficult steps for me! Don’t touch your face – stop rubbing your eyes (get more sleep!), wiping your nose, and stop biting those nails! If I understand COVID-19 correctly (which I am not sure anyone does), the quickest way to contract it is to get it on our hands and then rub it into an opening on our face.
When you go out into public, CDC is now recommending that you wear a facemask. It is not appropriate to wear medical facemasks, or N95 masks as healthcare professionals need those for outbreaks.
There are lots of suggestions how to create cloth masks on the internet. Just make sure the material is tightly woven. Our research says that a dishcloth gives the best protection, but CDC says a piece of cotton works just fine. I would use a couple layers for good protection.
So, all of you trend setters out there, wear a mask! Right now (though I haven’t been there since the beginning of March), if you go to Dave’s you won’t see a lot of people wearing masks yet. Let’s make it the COOL thing to do!
Lastly – STAY HOME! Now, let me tell you, I am an introvert and the thought of a shelter-in-place order actually brought a little excitement to me. I must confess though, I’m a little sick of it! I’m ready to go to church again. I’m ready to go out to eat with my wife again, or make my weekly (who am I kidding, daily!) trip to Ace Hardware. I think, honestly, we are all getting a little sick of staying home, but it is important to keep this virus under control.
FAIRVIEW HAVEN PROTOCOL:
I would like to remind everyone that Fairview Haven is on a mandatory lockdown implemented by CMS on March 13, 2020. This unfortunately means that, unless absolutely necessary, residents are not allowed to leave Fairview Haven and visitors are not allowed into Fairview Haven. As the weather is improving and spring is here, it is very difficult for our residents to stay indoors (and for us to keep them indoors)! Therefore, residents are able to go outside in the courtyards at Fairview Haven and Serenity Villa. Residents are not able to be on the front patio at this time.
PLEASE do not use this nice weather to try and meet up with residents at Fairview Haven. Continue to communicate with your loved ones via phone calls, FaceTime, Skype, window visits and other creative ways. We are in the process of creating a way to do patio visits in the near future, but not at this time. Residents are allowed to venture away from the courtyard if they are accompanied by a team member who will ensure they maintain a safe distance from people in the community.
We would also like to address concerns that have recently been expressed by different people. How are we ensuring that team members are safe to be inside Fairview Haven? Naturally, we can’t guarantee that our team members are following all the guidelines we give them, but here are the guidelines we suggest. Starting on March 11, per CDC guidelines, our team members have been required to be screened upon entering Fairview Haven. Nobody with a temperature is allowed to work. If anyone has symptoms of COVID-19, they will be sent home and asked to consult their physician. We have strongly encouraged our team members to shelter-in-place per the Governor of Illinois' instructions. We understand that we can’t control what our team members do on their personal time, but trust they are taking this seriously and protecting themselves in order to protect your loved ones.
-Dave Blunier, Administrator
On behalf of the team at Fairview Haven, I would like to thank our surrounding communities for the tremendous support we have felt these past couple of weeks. It has been quite a journey as we strive to keep up to date on the latest Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) guidelines. We care deeply about our residents and team members here at Fairview Haven and it has become apparent to us during this crisis that our community does as well! We recognize this quarantine has been difficult for our residents and their families, but are so thankful for the efforts so many of you have gone to with FaceTime, Skype and window visits.
We are so thankful to report that as of this writing, we are still free from the dreaded Coronavirus here at Fairview Haven. We have tested a few residents that have presented symptoms similar to those who experience Coronavirus, but thus far those tests have come back negative! We are also thankful that our team members thus far have been remaining healthy. While we don’t know our future, we know God holds that future in His hands!
While our precautions we have taken up to this point have been successful and we haven’t yet experienced any positive tests, we know that we need to be prepared should an outbreak occur. Here are some of the things we have been doing to prepare:
1. We have been inventorying our PPE (Personal Protective Equipment) and studying the best approaches for preserving PPE so that we are well protected should we have an outbreak. At this point, we are unable to get the necessary supplies that we would need. So many in our community who have dug up and donated as many N95 masks as they can find have blessed us. While we still have a shortage, we feel that we will be able to keep our team members and residents safe. We are also receiving goggles and general face masks that will be helpful. And thanks to many seamstresses in our communities, we have developed a large stash of cloth masks that will help keep everyone safe. Our biggest struggle right now is disposable gowns. We continue to develop procedure that will help us to preserve these should we need them during an outbreak.
2. Our COVID-19 team has been working on protocol for caring for residents who may become positive with Coronavirus. Residents who have a diagnosis or are under investigation for a diagnosis will adhere to strict isolation precautions. It is our goal to limit the number of team members who will be assigned to care for residents who test positive or are under investigation to limit exposure. These team members will be trained on how to handle the isolation and given the necessary PPE.
3. Should a resident develop symptoms, his/her healthcare power of attorney will be notified. The physician and the Health Department will order testing for COVID-19. The healthcare power of attorney should then anticipate a phone call at least daily (or upon any change in condition). We ask that you coordinate with your family how the power of attorney will then communicate with the remainder of the family should an outbreak occur at Fairview Haven. While it is our desire to provide you with up-to-date information, we recognize we have limited resources. The best form of communication is emailing. We have established an email account for general COVID-19 questions at email@example.com.
Thank you for your patience with us! And for your prayers and support!
Fairview Haven team members voted for MOST Awards to recognize our fellow team members. Since we cancelled our Team Appreciation Supper and Recognition Evening, we are gradually presenting the awards throughout our work days.
Here we present ...
Most Likely to Brave a Snowstorm to get to Work - Jeremiah Rinkenberger
(Jeremiah's award was presented by window visit)
Most Likely to Put the Gold Back into the Golden Years - Rick Plattner
Most Likely to Take Over Dave's Job - Brandon Stoller
Brandon received an Administrator's Survival Kit, including such useful items as a packet of gravy (because it's a gravy job), a pair of thumb protectors (for all the thumb twiddling), pillow and blanket (for all naps he'll get to take), a pocket protector and pens (to hold all his pens so he doesn't have to snitch everyone else's).
Just have to share the inspiration these talented FVH team members gave us amid the stresses of COVID-19 prevention.
We've set up a special email address: firstname.lastname@example.org. Please feel free to use this for questions and concerns related to COVID-19.
Also contact Dixie Steidinger (email@example.com) or direct line (815-692-6706) to schedule virtual visits via our iPads at Fairview Haven, Fairview Estates or Fairview Suites.
Contact the Serenity Villa team (815-692-6730) to schedule virtual visits at Serenity Villa.
I will be with thee: I will not fail thee, nor forsake thee. Be strong and of a good courage... Joshua 1:5-6
"For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, (nor coronavirus, nor isolation, nor quarantines) shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord." (Romans 8:38-39)
This morning as I arrived to work at 4:30 am, not really ready to face another day of uncertainty and challenges, I walked into the living room to some beautiful, soft, instrumental hymns playing on the CD player and a complete peace and calm throughout our home. It was a really good reminder of the fact that God is bigger than all of this chaos and He's got this. We have nothing to fear!
My heart turned to gratitude and I would like to just take this opportunity to express that gratitude. I want to thank our wonderful team here at Fairview Haven who have showed up to work with a smile on their face to care for our loved ones. Oh, how things are different for them. We are adjusting daily to new changes, yet they are meeting the challenge with such great attitudes. I love to see the teamwork and the smiles as I walk the halls of Fairview Haven. Thank you team for being such an easy group of people to lead. Thank you to my management team who have been such an amazing support to me and to the team here at Fairview Haven. Thanks for your flexibility of coming in early, staying late, working weekends, taking calls "off the clock".
I want to thank our family members. I can't really imagine how difficult it must be to have a loved one inside Fairview Haven who you are used to visiting every day and now all of a sudden you can't visit and we have no idea for how long. Many have expressed that you know we'll take good care of them and that our caregivers will love them like our own family, but still the pain of separation is there. Yet, I have not heard ONE family member complain. In fact I have been humbled by your attitudes and your appreciation for our team during this difficult time. So thank you for your support and patience with us. I know we won't get everything right during this crises, but I promise you that our team will do our very best to care not only for our residents, but our families as well.
I want to thank our community. I know this is a difficult time for everyone. #canceleverything sort of seemed like a joke a couple weeks ago, but reality is here. I know that some people still have a hard time understanding. My heart is filled with gratitude as I see people who become educated begin to really get behind controlling this crisis. This really can't be about self preservation, but rather supporting and preserving your community. I'm thankful to live in a community that rallies around each other.
Lastly I am so grateful for the prayers on my behalf and on behalf of the team at Fairview Haven. Sometimes when we pray we have no idea how that prayer is helping. This is one of those times that I can tell you, your prayers matter. I know that we are being carried by your prayers. I am going to beg you all to please continue to pray for Fairview Haven at least daily through this crisis. With God all things are possible! Of course our prayer is that we keep this nasty virus out of our community or at least contain it to a point that it doesn't devastate us. But, also that whatever comes that God will give us endurance, peace and calm, that He can be glorified in all things. Pray for healthcare providers everywhere!
Thanks for letting me ramble and forgive my poor writing style (no editor to clean it up)! God bless all of you! - Dave Blunier, Administrator
It is the policy of Fairview Haven to give equal opportunity to all qualified persons
without regard to race, color, religion, sex, marital status, disability, national origin or age.