March 11, 2020

 

Dear St. Paul Hermitage Family Members:

Today was a hard day for all of us.  We are no longer able to have family and friends visit our community.  We have asked residents to only leave our facility for medical appointments.  We are operating under guidelines from Centers for Medicaid and Medicare Services (CMS) and as such we are limiting ALL outside visitors with the exception of rare circumstances, such as immediate family members in end-of-life circumstances or when it is medically necessary for our residents.  CMS has asked that all counties that have COVID 19 case or adjacent counties cease visitation in long-term care and residential facilities.   Marion County now has multiple cases of COVID 19.  The elderly we serve at St. Paul Hermitage are at high risk for more severe cases of COVID 19 if exposed to the virus. We will allow families to visit in an emergent situation arranged through me.  Ensuring residents are cared for in a safe and healthy environment is our greatest concern.

Our IT department is in the process of setting up Skype accounts for two of our computers in Health Care.  We have chosen to use skype because it is compatible with the technology we have at this time.  We have one staff member that will be dedicated to helping residents Skype with their families.  We have set up dedicated times for skyping for 15 minutes per resident per day so that all our residents can communicate with their families. They will be Tuesdays and Thursdays from 3:00 pm - 8:00 pm and Saturdays and Sundays from 9:30 am - 4:30 pm.  You can set up a time for skype by calling the Health Care Desk at 317-786-2261 ex. 248.  Our Skype emails will be familychat1@stpaulhermitage.org and familychat2@stpaulhermitage.org. 

We are screening all staff who enter our building to make sure that those who are caring for your loved ones are healthy.  We are doing health screenings on each resident each shift to make sure that everyone is healthy.  If a resident develops a fever with respiratory symptoms, we will move them to an isolation room.  We have two rooms set up for isolation purposes.  It is our prayer that we will not have to use them.  We do not have any residents who are ill currently.  We have reviewed with our staff through in-services the protocol we use regarding infection prevention and infection control.  We are continuing our normal day to day activities.

We will also be having an outdoor prayer service at 6:00 pm on Thursday March 12 for families.  We will meet under the awning at the front of the building if anyone would like to join us in prayer.  This is also a great way to stay connected to one another during the visitation restrictions.

We will notify you if any residents or staff are diagnosed with COVID-19. Should you have any questions, please feel free to contact me at

317-786-2261 ex. 224 or administrator@stpaulhermitage.org.  We will be sending daily updates through an e-mail blast and positing our daily updates on our website atwww.stpaulhermitage.org.  Thank you for entrusting us with your loved one’s care.

Blessings and Prayers,

 

Sr. Heather Jean Foltz, OSB

Administrator

St. Paul Hermitage

 

March 12, 2020

Dear St. Paul Hermitage Families,

Today was our first full day without your visits.  You were missed, not only by your loved ones, but by all of us who make up the St. Paul Hermitage Community.  I want to make sure that you feel connected to your loved one.  I know that you cannot physically be present at this time, but there are other ways we can connect.  Below are some ways that you can connect with your loved ones.

Skype:

We are now equipped for you to connect with your loved one through skype.  To connect with your loved one through skype follow the instructions below.

Step 1: Download the Skype

Depending on which device you plan to use, you'll download a specific version of Skype. To download click the following links and select your device type:

https://www.skype.com/en/

Step 2: Create your username

Come up with a username and password you can easily remember. 

Step 3: Set up your contact list

Once you've given out your Skype username, you can easily add St. Paul Hermitage’s account after logging in by clicking the Contacts tab on the left-hand side, then the "Add Contact" button in the top right-hand corner.

Our two skype for St. Paul Hermitage are:

familychat1@stpaulhermitage.org

familychat2@stpaulhermitage.org

Step 4: Schedule your Skype Time

We have set up dedicated times for skyping for 20 minutes per resident per day so that all our residents can communicate with their families.  They will be Tuesdays and Thursdays from 3:00 pm-8:00 pm and Saturdays and Sundays from 9:30 am- 4:30 pm.  You can set up a time for skype by calling the Health Care Desk at 317-786-2261 ex. 248

Step 5: Select your call type

After creating your contact list, you'll be ready to make your first Skype call. Select a family member or friend to call by clicking on his or her picture. You'll then see a series of buttons and you'll decide which kind of call you'd like to make. You can choose between:

Video calls - Click the video button if you want to communicate face-to-face.

Phone calls - Click the phone button if you want to make a call without using the webcam.

You'll notice a "+" button as well, which allows you to add other loved ones to the conversation. This is especially convenient when you're trying to get the whole family together on the call!

Phone Calls:

You can speak with your loved one on the phone by calling 317-786-2261.  We are experiencing a high call volume.   If you have difficulty reaching the health care or residential desk, please call my extension at 224.  I will help you connect with your loved one.

Care Packages and Letters:

You can drop off care packages and letters at our main entrance.  Ring the doorbell and we will deliver your package and letter to your loved one.

 

Prayer:

We will be starting the rosary each day with a prayer written by Sr. Susan Marie.  Our monastic community will be praying it each day.  I invite you to join us in prayer.

Thank you for entrusting us with your loved one’s care.  Please reach out to me if I can do anything to help ease your fears, worry or concerns.   

May God continue to unite us through the above modes of communication.

 

Peace,

 

Sr. Heather Jean Foltz, HFA

 

March 13, 2020

Dear St. Paul Hermitage Families,

Today was a day filled with many blessings.  Our residents have been enjoying a wide variety of activities.  I am grateful to our activity staff for adding extra group and 1:1 visiting to help our residents stay connected while we are without visitation.  We have had multiple families ask if they can come and look in the window of their loved one’s room.  You are more then welcome to peek in, but we ask that you call when you arrive to let us know that you will be looking through your loved one’s windows.  We have had a couple of staff members that have been frightened by knocks on the windows or peering faces.  We will even bring your loved one to the window to see you if you would like.  I know it is important for you to see that they are alright.  You can also connect with them via skype, phone or leaving packages at the main entrance of the building with the receptionist. 

 We are still in good health and virus free.  Residents temperatures are being taken each shift.  All staff and residents have passed their health assessments.  That is a truly a blessing.  We continue to share with one another what our greatest blessing has been that day.  I will share some of the answer in my weekend updates.  It is a good practice to name the things we are grateful for in difficult times.  Know that our Benedictine community gathers each morning and evening for prayer.  We are praying for you during this time of separation from your loved one and for your health.  We know that it is a sacrifice and one that we hope will help keep our residents safe.  Know that we hold sacred the trust you place in us to care for your loved one.  

                                                      

In Christ’s Peace,

Sr. Heather Jean

March 14, 2020

Dear St. Paul Hermitage Families,

I hope all of you are well.  We are all healthy, which is a continued blessing.  We had some of our first skype calls today.  They went well.  We did learn that skype business isn’t compatible with regular skype.  If you use skype business for work, you will also need to download regular skype.  Indy Teledata has helped us to set up Google Duo on our computers.  You can use Duo on an android phone to connect with your loved one.  

We received new recommendations from the Centers from Medicaid and Medicare Services that we are in the process of trying to implement.  All recommendations are for the health and wellbeing of our residents.  We will no longer be having communal meals or group activities.  In the Health Care Center, we will bring up the steam table.  The CNA’S will take room trays to all their residents.  Nursing Management will be assigned to help assist CNA’s with individuals who need total assistance.  In Residential, we will deliver trays to their apartments.  Dietary and Nursing staff will assist with this process.  We will still have daily mass.  Residents will watch mass through our in-house television station.  We will bring Communion to them.  We will have our Activity Directors provide 1:1 visits and help residents connect with you via phone, skype and Duo.  We will be encouraging residents to stay in their rooms.  We know this will be a challenge for some.  For those who do need to be out in common areas, we will encourage social distancing.  I will be moving into our guest room on 3rd floor tomorrow.  It is recommended to have administration onsite during the overnight hours.  That way if something comes up, administration is here to help make decisions.  Thank you again for entrusting us with your loved one’s care.  They are all doing well and have had great attitudes.  It is a blessing to serve them and each of you.

 

With a Grateful Heart,

Sr. Heather Jean

March 15, 2020

Dear St. Paul Hermitage Family Members,

 

Today we began implementing the newest regulations from ISDH.  Our community has been blessed by the graciousness with which our residents and families have embraced the changes that have come this week. Although it is hard, the well-being of our residents continues to be our top priority.  Fr. Mike and Fr. Stan con-celebrated mass today in the chapel with the faithful watching from the closed-circuit TV.  Sr. Anna Marie distributed communion to each resident.  It was a joy to be connected even though we were not all in the same room.  Our residents also enjoyed window visits from family members.  It has been great to see those of you who have come by.  Please remember to call us.  Calling ahead allows us to assist in getting your family member close to the window.  We had multiple Duo and Skype chats today.  If you would like to sign up for a chat time, please call 317-786-2261 ex. 248. We have had a family donate an iPad.  We will be able to use Facetime soon.  Staff and residents continue to be in good health.  We hope each of you are too.  I will close with some of the things are residents are grateful for today.  We have been sharing our joys and gratitude with each other to help us count our blessing during this difficult time.

·       Good Health

·       A new Day

·       Sunshine

·       Great Staff

·       Social Distancing Visits (some of our 3rd floor residents sat in their doorways to chat across the hallway)

·       Living here at St. Paul Hermitage

·       Family

·       Window Visits

·       Hidden stashes of Candy

·       My son bringing me groceries

·       That I am not sick just old

·       Being well loved by my family and St. Paul Hermitage Staff

·       The Blanket Warmer

·       My Health, St. Paul Hermitage and Rudy

·       Cable TV

·       Friendship

·       Our Good God

·       Friends, Family and the Benedictine Sisters

·       Good People who are keeping us well cared for in the midst of a pandemic

·       Birds to watch my window

·       The Love of God and one another

 

In Christs Peace,

Sr. Heather Jean

March 16, 2020

Dear St. Paul Hermitage Families,

We have found a good rhythm with providing room service for all meals.  We have all staff involved at mealtimes to deliver and assist where needed.  The residents are in good spirits.  We have activities, social services and pastoral care visiting our residents throughout the day.  We have also provided 1:1 activity for many of our Health Care Residents.  In residential, we have had more open door visiting and Sr. Susan took around a snack cart this afternoon with treats.  Social distancing is hard, but we are trying to find ways to connect with our residents in meaningful ways and to help them to connect with one another.  Visiting across the hall has added joy to my day.  The third-floor residents have provided me with a warm welcome to my new accommodations. 

We still can assist with video chats.  We can skype, duo and facetime with families.  Since we are no longer offering group activities, we would like to offer video chat times whenever it is convenient for you.  Please call 317-786-2261 ex. 226 to arrange a time.  This is a different number then before.  We would like to divert calls for video chat away from the front desk due to high call volume.  I know we are in uncharted waters.  In our 60-year history, we have never had visitation, activity and dinning restrictions imposed on us.  It can feel overwhelming at times.  As I prayed this morning, one of my favorite Taizé songs came to me reminding to seek God in all things.  I wanted to share it with you.  May we continue to rely on God to lead us and sustain us during through these uncharted waters.

 

Nothing can trouble,

nothing can frighten.

Those who seek God shall 

never go wanting.

Nothing can trouble,

nothing can frighten.

God alone fills us.

 

If I can do anything to assist you or address concerns please e-mail me at administrator@stpaulhermitage.org or call me at 317-213-8430.

 

With Love,

Sr. Heather Jean

March 17, 2020

Happy St. Patrick’s Day!   

 

Today our residents celebrated St. Patrick’s Day.  We had mass via our in-house television.  We had a wonderful Irish lunch.  This afternoon we had a Celtic coloring contest.  I will send pictures of the winning artwork tomorrow after the formal judging.  My personnel favorite the resident wrote on his drawing “I don’t do art.”  We provided our residents with St. Patrick’s Day crossword puzzles and word search puzzles.  We had many leprechaun’s appear for window visits with their loved ones.  It brought me joy to see several you outside the window today.  We miss you.  We also had several families drop off packages. Our staff is grateful for the treats you have been delivering to your loved ones and to us.  It brightens our day.  Please remember that if you drop something off at the front door for your residents, they should not come to the door to receive it from you.  We have allowed residents on the residential side to come down and wave near the elevator, but they really need to be at least 5 feet back from the door.  Coming to the door creates the same risks as having people in the building.  We are asking the same thing on health care families regarding window visits.  Please bring items to the main entrance.  Please do not pass them through the window.  We will bring your loved close enough to see you, but we need them to be back 5 feet from the window.  I know these restrictions are difficult, but they truly are in the best interest of our elders.  They are very vulnerable to the COVID 19 virus.  We want to do everything we can to keep your loved ones healthy.  I want to end this evening with an Irish Blessing.  May God Hold each of us in the palm of God’s hand as we travel this unknown road.

 

May the road rise up to meet you,

may the wind be always at your back,

may the sun shine warm upon your face,

and the rain fall soft upon your fields, 

and until we meet again may God hold

you in the palm of God’s hand.

 

If I can do anything to assist you or address concerns, please e-mail me at administrator@stpaulhermitage.org or call me at 317-213-8430.

 

Blessings,

Sr. Heather Jean

March 18, 2020

Dear St. Paul Hermitage Families,

I am attaching the winners from our Celtic coloring contest.  We had wonderful participation.  I also wanted to share some exciting news with you.  We have hired a new Director of Nursing.  She will begin a week from today.  We will have a formal welcome party and meeting once our visitation restrictions are lifted by the Center for Medicaid and Medicare Services.  Kathy Vanderslice comes to us with 35 years of nursing experience.  She has served as Director of Nursing in Long Term and Skilled Nursing Facilities for over 15 years.  She has a passion for serving the elderly.  Kathy is looking forward to getting to know each of you. Thank you in advance for helping her to feel welcome and for offering her our Benedictine hospitality.  I spoke with her today and she will spend time in her first couple of weeks connecting with our families by phone since she won’t be able to meet you in person at this time.  I am excited to have someone with her experience and love of caring for the elderly joining our team.  Kathy is excited to begin.  Once she begins, she can be reached at 317-786-2261 ex. 228 or director.nursing@stpaulhermitage.org.   I would like to take this opportunity to thank Sr. Margaret Ann Dailey for serving as our interim Director of Nursing.  She has done a great job of leading our nursing services while we searched for a new candidate.  Please join me in thanking her for her service here at St. Paul Hermitage.

If I can do anything to assist you or address concerns, please e-mail me at administrator@stpaulhermitage.org or call me at 317-213-8430.

Blessings,

Sr. Heather Jean

​​

March 19, 2020

Dear St. Paul Hermitage Families,

 

I am extremely grateful that Holy Name School will be loaning us six iPads.  This is a huge blessing.  The iPads help us to connect your loved ones with you during this time of restricted visitation.  We can use the iPads for Facetime or Skype.  If you would like to sign up for Facetime or Skype please call 317-786-2261 ex. 226.  Today, our community enjoyed doorway Pokeno, exercise and a warm apple crisp for our afternoon snack.  We participated in Mass and The Way of the Cross through our in-home television station.  Our Activity Directors and Pastoral Care Associate are doing a wonderful job of coming up with different ways to provide meaningful engagement for our residents each day.  Your loved ones are doing well.

I am daily attending webinars with CMS and Leading Age on regulatory changes.  Our staff is updated on any new recommendations that we are given during our daily huddles.  We continue to assess our residents throughout the day for signs and symptoms of COVID 19.  Our staff is screened prior to starting their shift.  We remain healthy.  I hope that is the case for all of you as well.  I will continue to update you if anything changes. Know that we pray for the health of our community, family and world each day at Mass. 

 

If you have any questions or if can assist you in any way, please contact me at 317-213-8430 or e-mail me at administrator@stpaulhermitage.org.

 

Blessings,

Sr. Heather Jean Foltz, OSB

March 20, 2020

Dear St. Paul Hermitage Families,

 

At the end of Pope Francis’ general audience today, he invited the global community to join him in praying the rosary for the protection of or world and families.  He asked us to pray at 9:00 pm Italian time, which is 4:00 pm here.  Pope Francis asked every family, every member of the faithful, every religious community: to unite spiritually to pray for health for the sick.  We invited our residents who were interested in joining this global prayer event to tune into our in-house tv channel.  Sr. Anna Marie did a beautiful job of leading us through the Luminous Mysteries.  Our residents commented that it was nice to feel connected to the greater church.  It reminded me how much prayer unites us to one other and to the world.  It is a difficult time.  We miss having you visit our community at St. Paul Hermitage.  I received an e-mail from one of our family members, Therese Brandon with a way that our families could unite in prayer through Eucharistic Adoration.  EWTN has Eucharistic Adoration Channel on YouTube.  She is hoping to arrange a time that our St. Paul Hermitage family might be willing to offer a few minutes or an hour of adoration for COVID 19 and the world.  If you are interested, please contact her at tbrandon@att.net.  I am grateful for the many ways that we can connect during this time of visitation restrictions.

 

I have had several families ask for ways that they can help or if we need anything.  We have had several families wanting to use Facetime over skype.  The problem that we are encountering is that we only have one iPad.  I wanted to ask if anyone has an iPad used of new that they aren’t using.  This would help us to be able to connect more residents with their families.  If you have an iPad or know of someone who does, please contact me at administrator@stpaulhermitage.org or 317-213-8430.  I am looking into ways that we may be able to share videos and pictures in the future with each family.  If any of you have additional ideas on ways that we can connect to one another.  Please let me know.  It is a joy to serve you and your loved ones.

 

Peace,

Sr. Heather Jean Foltz, OSB

Administrator 

St. Paul Hermitage

March 21, 2020

Dear St. Paul Hermitage Families,

Today was a day filled with many window visits, Video Chats and deliveries.  It was a joy to see so many of you here today.  It is good to be connected even with our visitation restrictions.  The staff wanted me to express our gratitude for the treats and notes that we have received.  It means a lot to us to have your prayers and support.  

Today, the Indiana Health Commissioner requested that all long-term care facilities and residential care facilities require all Health Care workers to wear masks.  We will begin to do this tomorrow.  I will in-service our staff at the beginning of each shift tomorrow.  We will continue to follow this directive until we are advised otherwise.  I wanted to alert you to this new request.  I do want anyone worried that our residents are sick if they see us in masks.  It is a preventative measure.  During the Indian State Department of Health webinar today, they informed us that the FDA approved the use of reusable cloth masks.  There is some concern over the nation-wide shortage of disposable masks.  They are recommending the use of reusable cloth masks for day to day use and saving the disposable masks for use when caring for someone with a respiratory illness.  The reusable masks would be laundered at the end of each shift.  They told us that there are patterns online to make reusable masks.  My Benedictine Sisters began this evening to make masks for our staff.  I am grateful for the way they immediately responded to this need.  Our Sisters ran out of elastic this evening.  If anyone has any quarter size or smaller elastic that they can donate, please let me know.  

 

Blessing to each of you as we enter this fourth week of lent.  

 

Peace and Good Health,

Sr. Heather Jean Foltz, OSB

March 22, 2020

Dear St. Paul Hermitage Families,

 

This weekend was our second weekend without any of you visiting.  St. Paul Hermitage is different without you.  Your loved ones are well, but we they are missing you.  I spent time visiting with many of our residents this weekend.  They have expressed that this time of social distancing is hard.  Last week we spent time focusing on what we are grateful for each day.  This week we are focusing on hope.  How do we remain hopeful in this new and different time?   How do we reach out and connect in new and different ways?  One of the ways that we have been trying to support our residents is to continue with engaging activities.  We have some new ideas for the coming week that I want to share.

·       Video Chat- We will continue with family video chats.  We are going to also offer video chats with other residents in our facility.  Some of them have expressed missing each other.  We are going to set video chats to allow them to connect to each other as well as with you.

·       Museum visits- Through our INTL we can connect to the museums that are offering virtual tours.  We will be taking those computers room to room for anyone who might want to virtually visit a museum.

·       Pen Pal Program- I have a friend in Chesterton, IN who is the Director of Nursing at Addison Pointe Rehab. We are going to invite residents from our facilities who want to participate to exchange letters.  This will provide an opportunity to reach out to someone else through letters.

·       Music- Many of our residents have expressed missing music activities.  We have staff who are going to provide hallway music and sing-a-longs this week.

·       Games- In addition to Hallway Bingo and Pokeno, we are going to try across the hall bowling and corn hole.

·       Spirituality- We will continue to have daily mass, rosary and weekly way of the cross on our in-house television network.

·       “State of the Union”- Each Monday I give weekly updates to our residents through our in-house television channel.  The have started calling it my “State of the Union” address.  This weekly event allows us to keep our residents informed and updated.

We are continuing to be creative about ways to keep everyone engaged.  I also wanted to let you know a couple of changes we have had to make due to COVID 19.  Our beauty shop is not open currently.  It was one of the areas that CMS said we had to close.  We are doing our best to make everyone look lovely in the interim.  I know our residents are missing the beauty shop.  The state also granted all Long-Term Care Facilities waivers on who can help provide can.  We can now train people to be Personal Care Assistants.  We are working on cross training some of our staff to be able to help with feeding, dressing, transferring and taking vital signs. The staff will be trained by one our Registered Nurses and will have to complete a skill check off before performing any tasks independently.  Please let me know if you have any questions.  Thank you for allowing us to take care of your loved one.

 

Peace,

Sr. Heather Jean Foltz, OSB

March 23, 2020

Dear St. Paul Hermitage Families,

 

Today, Indianapolis issued a stay-at-home order that will begin later this week.  Tonight’s update is going to focus on the things that we are doing to prepare here at St. Paul Hermitage for responding to a potential COVID 19 case.  The Indiana State Department of Health is asking facilities to begin transitioning from prevention to proper response and treatment for a confirmed case.  We have seen an increase of newly confirmed cases developing throughout the United States and Indiana.  We are working hard to be prepared.  Currently, there are no confirmed or suspected cases at St. Paul Hermitage.  We are all Healthy.  We are working hard to prepare for the possible introduction of COVID-19 to our community. 

·       Staffing - We have asked “non-essential” staff to begin working at home if they are able to work from home.  This is to reduce potential exposures.  When possible, we are utilizing some “non-essential” positions in other capacities to accommodate the increased workloads resulting from the new restrictions.  In anticipation of potential absences caused by illness, we will be training some of our “non-essential” staff that can’t work from home to be personal care attendants.  Our Governor has issued a waiver that allows us to train addition staff to provide personal care to our residents.  They will receive eight hours of instruction and skills check offs prior to performing any tasks.  I am in residence at St. Paul Hermitage should a staffing our medical issue come up in the middle of the night.  

·       Supplies (PPE) – Health Care Facilities and Hospitals around the country are concerned about supplies – especially Personal Protective Equipment (PPE), and we are no exception.  We have been taking inventory of PPE throughout our facility.  We have been working with Hancock Regional Hospital to help us boast our current PPE Supply.  During normal times we would have enough supplies, but because we are anticipating the need to isolate at some point one or more of our residents we are making sure that we continue to build our supply.  ISDH has asked that we wear masks daily.  We are grateful to have received reusable masks mas by my Benedictine Sisters.  We are saving our disposable PPE for use if we need to isolate someone.    Treatment of one resident in isolation for requires significant PPE.

·       Supplies (Food and other items) - We are also remaining watchful of food and other critical items. Currently, we are not experiencing any unusual difficulties with suppliers. We have ordered some extra items to make sure we are prepared should this become an issue in the coming.  There are so many unknowns right, but we are trying to prepare for any circumstance.  

 

·       Training – We have completed skills check offs for areas such as handwashing, PPE, and COVID-19 symptom assessments.

·       Quarantine- We have set up isolation rooms that are ready to go.  If some has a fever with respiratory symptoms, they will be moved to an isolation room until a diagnosis is made.

I wanted to let you know what we are doing to prepare, in hopes that it may ease your mind that we are prepared to continue to provide the very best care for your loved one.  If you need anything or have questions during this time, please reach out to me at 

317-213-8430 or administrator@stpaulhermitage.org.  

Peace,

Sr. Heather Jean Foltz, OSB

March 23, 2020

Dear St. Paul Hermitage Family and Friends,

Tomorrow, our city will begin to live Governor Holcomb’s executive orders to stay at home.  I was asked if family members would need a letter stating that they have a loved one in our facility if they come to drop something off.  At this time, I do not believe that you will need a letter to deliver items to someone who needs it.  I watched the Governor’s press conference today.  He indicated that they won’t be pulling people over to check papers.  I have given our staff letters in case they need them.  If we find that families need a letter, I will be more then happy to provide one.  We continue to have video chats daily and our residents are really enjoying them.  We are grateful to Holy Name Catholic School for loaning additional iPads to us.  It allows us to have multiply video chats going at the same time.  I have had a few families send videos to me to show their loved ones.  If you would like to make a video message, please send it to me at administrator@stpaulhermitage.org. Our residents who have received video messages and pictures really enjoy them.  It is also something we can play over again that sparks joy.  I am trying to share new ideas as we have them to stay connected while we are all following the Governor’s orders to stay at home.  You can also send pictures to me via my e-mail address.  I will print them and share them with your loved one.  

At the end of this week, we will have our first personal assistant training class.  We have partnered with our friends at Suburban Health to make this training happen.  Our employees who complete it will be certified personal care assistants through the State of Indiana for the duration of this State of Emergency.  Afterwards, the hours they put train can go towards a CNA license if they decide to continue in the longer program.  We have a group of eight employees who will be going through this course.  After they complete the course and pass the skill check offs, they will be ready to provide direct care activities along with our CNA's to our residents.  It is a great way to have additional hands on deck to assist.  Please let me know if you have any questions of concerns.

 

I am ending my letter tonight with another song from Taizé.  The Taizé community is ecumenical community located in France.  This song reminds me of  the need to offer thanks to God at all times.  It reminds me that God is near in all things and in all times.  May we continue to feel God's presence in our lives as we face this global pandemic. During this time of uncertainty our days can be filled with many different emotions.   It is hard not to see and touch the people we love most in this world.  It is hard to leave or hang up Facetime when we do have opportunities to connect.  Through all our emotions God is near and drawing us closer to one another.  Please know that I am here to journey with you, listen to you and provide updates on your loved ones. Do not hesitate to call or e-mail me with questions.  May we continue to connect with each other in prayer and in hope.

 

In the Lord I'll be ever thankful,

In the Lord I'll rejoice.

Look to God, do not be afraid,

Lift up your voices, the Lord is near;

Lift up your voices the Lord is near.

 

Peace,

Sr. Heather Jean Foltz, OSB

March 24, 2020

Dear St. Paul Hermitage Families and Friends,

 

Today was a beautiful day.  Spring is in the air.  We have a goose that has laid six eggs on the awning over our back door.  Our residents and staff have enjoyed watching momma goose build her nest and tend to her eggs.  It is exciting to see signs of spring and the gift of new life.   It will be fun to continue to watch her over the coming weeks and to see the baby geese once they are born.  Nature is a good reminder that life continues to move forward even as we slow down. 

We are in a good rhythm of mass, hallway exercise, family chats, rosary and hallway games. Everyone remains healthy.   We miss you and look forward to the day we open back up visitation.  Until then know that your loved ones are being well cared for and loved by our staff.  If you need anything, please let me know.  I can be reached at 317-213-8430 or administrator@stpaulhermitage.org.

 

Peace, 

Sr. Heather Jean

March 25, 2020

 Dear St. Paul Hermitage Families and Friends,

 

Tonight, on the news, many of you heard that a local retirement community has positive COVID 19 cases.  This news is heartbreaking and can cause us to fear for the safety of those we love most. This news is close to home and I want to assure you that we have taken many precautions to try to prevent COVID19 from entering our facility.  We are also prepared if someone becomes symptomatic to treat them and minimize the spread.  Our Infection Prevention Committee has reviewed our infection prevention and control policies and procedures, as this is key to preventing coronavirus and other common viruses. 

 

We are ensuring that our staff and residents are practicing proper hand hygiene.   We have reminder posters near sinks and posted visibly in rooms.  Our staff are wearing face masks during their entire shift.  As you know, we have stopped visitation for families, consultants, venders and non-essential health care personnel on Wednesday March 11.  We no longer have communal dinning services and group activities.  We do not allow gatherings of people in our shared visiting areas.  We have educated our residents and staff about social distancing.  We continue to remind our residents the importance of remaining in their rooms as much as they are able.  

 

We continue to strive to keep a balance of physical health and emotional wellbeing.  We no longer allow intermingling of residential and health care residents. Residential residents do not enter the Health Care Unit and Health Care Residents no longer come to residential.  We have a trained infection preventionist nurse, whose son works for the Center for Disease Control.  We have been in close communication with him for all policy and procures that we have implemented. Department Managers have reminded all employees to remain at home if they are sick.  I require a doctor note for return to work form any illness during this time. We are in very close communication with local and state health officials to ensure we are taking the appropriate steps.  

 

We have reviewed and updated our infection prevention and control plans and our emergency communication plan.  Our Infection Prevention Committee has created a COVID 19 policy and procedure.  We continue to in-service staff as we received new and updates information from local and state health officials. We are following the same infection prevention procedures used during flu season: handwashing, using alcohol-based hand sanitizers, covering coughs, and disinfecting the environment.  We assess residents each shift for COVID 19 symptoms and monitor their temperatures.  We monitor staff on each shift for the same symptoms.  I am still in residence in case someone becomes symptomatic during the night hours.  We have isolation rooms set up and ready.  I have the ISDH contact number in my phone if need to call to get someone tested.  

 

We continue to be in good health.  Be assured that I will notify you if that changes.  Please know of my gratitude to you for entrusting your loved one to our care.  If you have any questions or concerns, please call me at 317-213-8430 or email me at administrator@stpaulhemritage.org.

 

Know of my prayers.

 

Peace,

 

Sr. Heather Jean

Administrator

March 27, 2020

 

Dear St. Paul Hermitage Families and Friends,

 

Today began with an anticipated visit from the Indiana State Board of Health (ISDH).  They are making daily visits to facilities in Marion County and across our state to meet with Health Facility Administrators to review their COVID 19 policies and procedures.  We received very positive feedback on what we have implemented.  The Surveyor felt that should we have a positive case here, the plan we have in place is a good one.  I am proud of the good work our staff is doing to ensure the safety of our residents. 

I did receive word from ISDH that they will be sending out further guidance regarding social distancing during this time when we all are being asked to stay at home.  I was instructed that we should begin asking residents to stay in their rooms except for hallway activities.  We have asked residents not to walk in the halls.  We have stopped having daily Mass because everyone including our priest need to stay in their rooms.  Sr. Anna Marie is praying the rosary at 11 am in place of Mass currently.  We are helping residents to watch mass on EWTN.  I know this is hard, but it is necessary to try and keep everyone healthy.  We did have some hall activities today.  Our residents had exercise, bingo and a sing along in their doorways.  They continue to enjoy these times of connection.  We also continue 1:1 visits and video chats with family.  Our residents remain healthy.  

We have one nurse that woke up this morning with a temperature and respiratory symptoms.  She contacted me right away and we are following the appropriate next steps.  She has been in contact with her primary care physician. I have contacted Indiana State Board of Health to get her tested.  I will continue to update you about the situation as I receive more information.  Let us continue to hold our world and each other in prayer.  Please contact me with any questions or concerns.

 

Blessings,

Sr. Heather Jean

Administrator

March 29, 2020

 

Dear St. Paul Hermitage Families and Friends,

 

I have had some questions regarding our procedure for staff and residents if they have a fever.  If a staff member has a fever, they have been instructed to use IU Health’s virtual screen for Health Care Providers per the Indiana State Board of Health.  The nurse practitioner then sends me her diagnosis or other tests she is ordering.  The nurse advises if they need to call their primary care physician to get an order to be tested for COVID 19.  If they need to be tested, I call the State Board of Health to notify them that a screening is taking place and help our employees set up the test at Eli Lilly.  It takes 1-4 days to get the COVID 19 test back.  Any Staff member with a fever cannot return to work until they are released by a medical professional.  They are required to turn in to me a return to work note.

 

If our residents have a fever.  We notify Dr. Hurley.  We move them to an isolation room if they are in a shared room.  Dr. Hurley then orders tests to check to see if the person has a Urinary Tract infection, flu, pneumonia and finally for COVID 19.  All these tests take 24-96 hours to get back.  We treat symptoms until we have a firm diagnosis.  We limit the amount of people in the room to nursing management, nurses and CNA’S and practice standard infection control practices such as wearing masks, gowns and gloves.  Please let me know if you have any additional questions.  We currently do not have testing back yet for our resident or our staff member who are ill.  I will update you as I know more.

 

Today we had many window visitors, deliveries and video chats.  I enjoy seeing you when you come.  We will continue to have hallway activities throughout the coming week.  Know that I am holding each of you in my prayers as we continue to journey through this time together. 

 

Peace, 

Sr. Heather Jean

 

 

 

March 30, 2020

Dear St. Paul Hermitage Families and Friends,

 

Today as I spent some time in the book I am reading for Lent about gratitude, I was inspired by a quote from Edward Everett Hale.  “I am only one, but I am one. I cannot do everything, but I can do something. And I will not let what I cannot do interfere with what I can do.” -Edward Everett Hale 

 

During this current pandemic, things can feel overwhelming.  Many of you are working from home.  We have visitation restrictions here and you are unable to be as close to your loved ones as you want to be.  It can feel like there is a lot we can’t do, but really there is a lot that we can still do.  Your window visits bring so much joy to your loved ones and our staff.  I know when I see you out there it brings joy to my heart.  We miss each of you around here.  Our staff are heroes.  I walk around our building and see everyone pitching in to continue to provide quality care during uncertain times.  We are truly blessed.  This Friday I want to do something special for our staff.  I am seeking your help.  I am going to get our staff donuts to thank them for their great work.  I am going to decorate the break room and would really appreciate if you could send us your words of gratitude. I will post them with a sign that says, “Donut ever forget how much we appreciate you.”  I know our staff will appreciate hearing from you.  If you want to participate, please send me you or your family’s words of appreciation to our staff to administrator@stpaulhemitage.org.  Together we can shower them with our love and gratitude.  

 

Peace,

Sr. Heather Jean

 

 

 

 

March 31, 2020

 

Dear St. Paul Hermitage Families and Friends,

We have very good news to share with you tonight.  Our resident who was ill is doing much better.  He does not have COVID 19.  The test came back negative.  Thank you for your prayers.  His family also expressed gratitude for your support and prayers.  We still do not have any information on our nurse, but I have been in contact with the Board of Health.  They are helping us with this process.  I will update you as I have more information.

Our residents enjoyed playing hallway trivia this evening.  Our staff also helped to paint nails and curled hair for our residents who are missing the beauty shop.  Our leadership team is working on planning a special doorway party for our residents on April 17.  We already have decorations, centerpieces and flowers for prom.  We decided to use them and have a Formal Friday Luncheon.  We are going to get all our residents dressed up and decorate the hallways like we would for our prom.  We will serve a fancier meal. We will also play some swing music over our PA system.  It is something fun that we can do during our time of social distancing.

I also wanted to thank all of you who have submitted words of gratitude to our staff.  I think they will really enjoy our celebration on Friday.  If you still would like to send me your words of thanks, please e-mail me atadministrator@stpaulhermitage.org.

 

Peace,

Sr. Heather Jean

Visit

501 North 17th Street

Beech Grove, Indiana  46107

Call

T: 317-78 6-2261

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