Our mission is to enhance the lives of our residents and their families by providing exceptional senior care with compassion, dignity and grace. The COVID-19 pandemic has brought many challenges to our communities, but we haven’t lost sight of our mission and those at its very core. While many things have changed, our commitment to the health and well-being of our residents, families and staff is as strong as ever. The pandemic was, and continues to be, a rapidly changing situation with new information and guidance coming out almost every day. Our leadership monitors and follows directives from state and local departments of health, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) and The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). We will continue to keep abreast of and compliant with new developments and guidelines in this ever-changing environment. Below is a summary of what our communities have done and will continue to do in order to protect those who placed their trust in us:
- Wingate is fortunate to have more than 10 infection preventionists throughout the organization. These include specially trained nurses who continuously monitor state and federal guidance, develop policies on infection control and provide ongoing education to our front line staff.We expanded our mandatory training program to encompass Coronavirus while reinforcing best practices for infection control and the proper use of personal protective equipment.
- Our procurement team works diligently to secure adequate supplies of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) such as N-95 masks, gowns, gloves and surgical masks to ensure that all staff have appropriate protection. And, we reinforced training in ‘donning’ and ‘doffing’ – putting on and taking off – PPE in order to maximize staff safety.
- Staff is screened every shift for possible exposure to the virus and tested for the presence of the virus in accordance with applicable state guidelines.
- Wingate has always supported testing as a means to identify and contain the virus. Our communities are in full compliance with county, state and federal initiatives to test residents of skilled nursing facilities and senior living environments for the COVID-19 virus.
- We monitor and assess all of our residents on every shift for signs or symptoms of the virus. Special units and designated rooms are used for residents suspected of having or diagnosed with COVID-19.
- We increased housekeeping and disinfection schedules. In addition, we invested in industrial ultraviolet (UV) germicidal irradiation lights. UV sterilization can kill over 99% of viruses, bacteria, and fungi on hard and soft surfaces in an extremely short amount of time.
- Our leadership rounds throughout our communities to observe that all housekeeping, hygiene, and infection control measures are carried out appropriately.
- Perhaps one of the most difficult steps we took was to close our communities to all non-essential visitors in compliance with state and federal guidance. We invested in tablets and other devices to allow for virtual visits and, when possible, coordinated ‘window visits’ between residents and families.
- Our communities have adopted innovative ways to keep our residents engaged and stimulated while maintaining social distancing requirements. New guidance has allowed us to resume group activities while maintaining social distancing and complying with infection control. Small group activities, pet therapy visits by window, games over the loudspeakers, and virtual visits all help prevent social isolation during these challenging times.
- To keep residents and families up to date, our administrators communicate by letter, email, or other means when there is a change in the building’s COVID-19 status. In addition, nursing leadership and medical staff contact families directly if there are any changes in their loved one’s condition.
While many things have changed over the last year, ensuring the health and well-being of those in our care remains our priority. As a family-owned business for nearly three decades, we take great pride in our communities. Our leadership and staff are committed to the safety, health and wellness of our residents. Whether supporting individuals in an independent or assisted living environment, providing skilled nursing services that optimize recovery from illness or injury, or caring for those in our long-term care units, our team helps residents live peacefully and comfortably while ensuring their social and clinical needs are met.
- At Wingate, we know our caregivers are at the heart of our compassion and care. Our team members spend their days making a difference in other people’s lives – and we think that makes them all heroes to be appreciated, celebrated, and recognized! Please take a moment to recognize a staff member who shines through with kindness, inspires you or your loved one, and goes the extra mile to keep our residents safe and healthy.
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