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Montgomery Place puts people first during this time of COVID-19

 Dear friends and families,

News conferences today are starting to talk about “reopening” in Illinois. I have very mixed emotions about this topic. I desperately want to go for walks along the lakefront or in the forest preserves. I want to get together with my family and travel again. BUT…I also know that we are too early in the process.

At Montgomery Place, we are just four days from our most recently confirmed patient case. We still do not have access to test all of our employees, and I fear some may be potential carriers.

We have not reached the top of the curve. All of our residents have accepted the Stay-at-Home order. Residents’ efforts have helped mitigate the potential impact so that today we have only three people in independent living who have been diagnosed positive. That is fantastic! Let’s sustain our vigilance and our patience a bit longer. Give us a few more days and weeks, though, before we gradually begin to ease into a freedom of movement in society.

I spent time with our management team today discussing how we might unfurl the Stay-at-Home order. We talked about what we could do “within” Montgomery Place first, without added risk of exposure to the “outside.”  For instance, opening the library, gym and pool might encourage small groups, not large gatherings, to see if we can continue to maintain their COVID-19-free status.

Decisions like this will depend on guidance from governmental agencies and our own continued success rates. Strategies to gradually lift protocols designed to protect each other are being discussed worldwide. We are monitoring countries starting the process. We will watch these and learn from them. Just know that we are thinking about it and want it as much as you.

It was somewhat of a surprise to learn that a future resident is willing to move in, even without knowing if the Stay-at-Home order will be lifted. This person values our efforts and wants to make our place her home. What a wonderful compliment to all our efforts. As we finalize all the arrangements, we will keep you posted so you can meet in our current virtual world.

We are ready to accept new admissions to our skilled nursing care and short-term stay rehab area. Hospitals are preparing to open services for elective surgeries in their efforts to “return to normal.”  We also are prepared to provide rehab programs for those patients as they recover. At Montgomery Place, new patients will be screened for COVID-19 prior to admission; placed in isolation for 72 hours after their admission to observe them for any symptoms; and only then moved to our general inpatient rehab area.

Staff will use full precautions with these and all patients, not mixing staff providing services for patients positive with the virus. At this time, we are only accepting into our COVID-19 isolation unit individuals who currently are hospitalized and already call Montgomery Place home.

On Wednesday, we will share our updated statistics with you.

Today, we focused on caring for and addressing the human impact of this virus. We supported one of our staff members who lost his sister to COVID-19. Helping him has priority over publishing statistics.

We also said a sad goodbye today to a former independent living resident who moved to the skilled care nursing floor as our Stay-at-Home order went into effect. Joan Henly, who had been in hospice since early March, passed away. We will miss her dearly. Today, Joan and her family have priority over statistics. Our hearts go out to all who have lost family today, and every day.

Please contact me with your questions, requests and suggestions. You can reach me anytime by calling my mobile phone number, 773-617-1317.

Caring together, gives us strength.

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