CORONAVIRUS ADVISORY

COVID-19 Information

COVID-19 Information

AS OF October 18, ALL HOUSES ARE OPEN FOR INSIDE AND OUTSIDE FAMILY VISITS.

Book a Visit or Skype Call with your loved ones:

Indoor Visiting Protocol (October 15, 2020)

Indoor visits may take place on any day where the outside temperature is below 70 degrees. During indoor visits, the following protocols will apply:

  • All indoor visits will take place in the lower level in a designated space. Wherever possible, the visiting space will be accessed through a separate entrance. If the main entrance must be used, visitors must proceed directly to the designated space without engaging others in the house.
  • Before entering the space, visitors must complete the screening process which includes recording temperature. If any screening question indicates a potential risk, we will ask the visitor to leave and reschedule at a future date.
  • All Visitors must remain, AT ALL TIMES, at least 10’ away from the resident and wear an N-95 (or KN-95) mask which covers both nose and mouth. Please note the upgraded mask type; with the move indoors, the level of protection must increase with the risk. These masks are currently readily available on Amazon and other places. If there is a medical reason why you are unable to use the N-95 mask, please contact Atta to work out an alternative.
  • Please do not bring food to share during the visit as that requires removing your mask.
  • Visits are scheduled through larmax.appointlet.com and will be based on three, 30 minute family visits per day (11:00, 1:30 and 3:00), enabling the staff to disinfect the space being used between visits. No more than two visitors per visit.
  • All visits are monitored by staff. To afford families privacy, Larmax will use video technology to visually monitor visits. No audio will be monitored. Visitors who violate the 10’ social distancing policy will be asked to leave (but we REALLY appreciate self-monitoring as the staff does not want to be put in this awkward position).

Changing COVID-19 data may impact health department or local government approvals for inside visits. Families will be updated of any change.

 

Visiting Protocol Update (6/29/20)

Visit Times:  Each house will have 2 visit times each day (including weekends): 2:00 to 2:45 and 3:15 to 4:00. Please schedule your visits through  clicking on the box above or going to  https://larmaxhomes.appointlet.com.  Please, please don’t just show up and ask the staff to visit; they will have to say “no” and then everyone will feel bad. We must follow infection control protocols before and after the visit which requires more organization than a video call. The time between visits enables the staff to disinfect the chairs and porches between visits, to allow for tardiness in coming and leaving and get the residents in and out without rushing and to allow staff to use the limited outdoor space for their own breaks and meetings. 

 We will begin with two visits per week for each resident. Prior to your first visit, you will need to sign and return a release form. When you sign up for a visit the first time, you will receive a copy of the release through AdobeSign to make it easy for signing and returning. No more than two visitors per resident at one time. Children 12 and under cannot visit.  

 Visit Locations: 

 All visits must take place outside. We will be using both the front porch and the side screened porch depending on weather and other commitments. Chairs must remain AT LEAST 6 feet apart and visitors must wear masks. (We do not have the ability to routinely provide masks to visitors so please come equipped with your own.) I know it’s going to be hard, but visitors cannot hug or touch their loved ones in any way or pass things between them (like pictures, flowers, food, etc.). Also, for residents in wheelchairs, please do not move them or touch the wheelchairs. If you need something, feel free to call the house for assistance. 

 Protocol: 

  • When you arrive at the house for your appointed time, call the house to let them know you are here. Visitors remain in their cars until the resident is brought outside and you know where to meet them. Staff want to limit their contact with others so please do not be offended if they do not stay and talk with you. This way there is more private time for you and your loved one! 

 

  •  When the visit is over, you can call the house phone again and, as soon as you step away, the staff member will come and bring the resident inside. If the 45 minutes is up, they will automatically come outside to assist. 

 

  • In preparation for the next visit, staff will bring the resident inside and then go back out and wipe down the chairs and anything else that the visitor and resident might have touched. 

 

  • Some residents may not understand why you cannot touch them or are wearing a mask. If you are concerned about this, either before or after a visit, please let us know and we will be happy to offer suggestions. The staff will try to check in on you during visits to ensure that it is going as positively as possible or feel free to call them if you are concerned. 

 

  • Visitors cannot enter the house for any reason. 

 

Update (3/16/20)

  • Restrictions imposed by various governments are rapidly changing and we are finding it important to ensure that our total focus at this point is the warm, loving care of our most vulnerable citizens — our residents. We appreciate the understanding and compassion that families are showing at these extremely difficult times for everyone.

We are working on a system whereby all families can visit regularly with their loved ones virtually through Skype. Instructions on how to do this will be coming soon along with a way to sign up for a scheduled time.

Also all families will be receiving regular calls or e-mails from the staff at least twice a week if not more. (In the event of any concerns, we will call immediately.)

 

Update (3/13/20)

  • First, we want to thank the outpouring of support and cooperation that we are receiving from our families. We are all in this together and knowing that you understand we are having to make hard choices for the benefit of our residents makes these already difficult times a little easier.
  • As you have heard, local school systems are cancelling school for up to three weeks. Clearly, for our staff with children this will place a significant hardship on their ability to both care for their children and come to work. We anticipated this problem earlier this week and are working with the staff to identify their specific needs as well as implement community-based solutions for childcare. Doing so will enable our staff to continue to take care of our residents and earn a living. We have also added extra personnel on upcoming shifts in anticipation of increased call outs. While we expect that these efforts will limit staffing shortages, this is an unprecedented time we are working though and we will continue to monitor each shift moment-by-moment.
  • Next week (assuming our order for additional thermometers goes through….getting the medical supplies we need has been an undertaking of inordinate difficulty), we will implement both a sign-in system as well as temperature monitoring for everyone entering each house. We will include details in a future update.

 

Update (3/12/20)

  • The Governor of Maryland issued a proclamation declaring a State of Emergency in Maryland. Under his authority given by emergency powers, health care carriers are now required to:
    • Waive any cost-sharing, including co-payments, coinsurance and deductibles for any visit or laboratory fees to diagnose or test for COVID-19
    • Waive the same charges for vaccination for COVID-19, which such vaccination becomes available
    • Evaluate a request to use an out-of-network provider solely on the basis of whether the use of such provider is medically necessary, and
    • Implement expedited grievance procedures for decisions related to denial of coverage for diagnostic services for COVID-19
  • For those who haven’t already heard, the NCAA Basketball Division I championships will be played in empty gyms (essential personnel and families only)! Sorry, just want to make sure you’re up on ALL of the news.

Update (3/11/20)

  • Effective today, any visitors will need to sign the visitor log located at the front door of each house. Visitors (including Larmax non-house staff) making multiple trips per day will only need to sign into a house once a day. By signing this log, any visitor represents that they (i) do not have a fever or any other signs of sickness and (ii) have no known exposure to the COVID-19 virus.

Updates (3/10/20)

  • Families are asked not to plan to send their loved ones to adult day care centers without having a conversation with Atta first. A review on 3/9 of at least one center identified concerns about their protocol for protecting participants from potential exposure.
  • PT/OT/Speech and skilled nursing visits are being reviewed on a case-by-case basis and include looking at the infection control practices of the visiting provider. Families will be informed of any changes to a residents’ scheduled visits.
  • We are closely monitoring the health of our staff and working to ensure they stay home if they have any flu-like symptoms.

Prior Updates and Answers to Your Questions

Q&A:

-Private duty aides and Iona Adult Day  Private duty should continue as needed. These people will be classified as staff and are expected to follow all of the infection control practices rules for staff. Adult day care may create an unnecessary exposure. Atta or Christine will contact Iona Adult Day Care to determine the precautions that they are taking and decide if they are satisfied that they are very strong.

— Visiting friends. We ask that non-family member visits be kept to an absolute minimum (and prefer none). Our families know the steps needed to prevent the spread of this virus and the precautions we have put in place. Visitors, even with the best of intentions, may be less aware of what is needed for safety and we have less knowledge of where they may have been and their risk of exposure. We will revisit limitation of visitors in 14 days.

— Personal trainer visits? Visiting ministers?  The personal trainer will be evaluated just like all of the other PT/OT/etc. that come to the houses. If he/she goes to multiple places that are “at risk” then he/she will not be allowed to come. This is the nurse’s decision. On the minister, we ask that they not come (except in the case of those on hospice) as ministers do such wonderful work visiting the sick and ministering to their congregations; however, right now we don’t need any more exposure than absolutely necessary of transmitted germs of any kind.

As of 3/7/20:

There are now confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Montgomery County, MD. Although Larmax Homes has no reports of coronavirus exposure, there has been confirmed exposure in a Rockville assisted living (there have been no confirmed positive residents at that facility).

Effective immediately, we are suspending all engagement activities and outings outside of the Larmax homes as well as entertainment visitors to all our homes. This suspension will include all lunches, church services, and any other group setting outings.

We are also asking that care managers not visit the homes unless absolutely necessary, and all care managers are to call the nurses before visiting our homes.

Lastly, we ask that you do not visit if you have traveled via mass transit (planes, boats and trains traveling outside of the DC region) in the last 14 days, have any symptoms of cough, fever, runny nose, lethargy or any other symptoms related to COVID-19 (see attached link).

For all family visitors, we also ask that you keep visits to a minimum. In addition, we may be closing houses down to visitors completely at some point in the near future. Please talk to your families and friends about not visiting at this time. We will work with you to offer video visits through Skype if possible.

We ask for your patience with our nurses in returning non urgent calls and emails as they are working on training staff on viral outbreak readiness.   Also, Larmax Homes is asking staff to not come to work if they have any symptoms or have traveled internationally. We ask for your understanding if we are not operating at peak capacity as a result.

Please remember the best thing you can do is wash your hands for 20 seconds and dry them thoroughly with a paper towel. We want to assure you that our team is focused on keeping your loved ones safe and healthy.

If you think you may have been exposed to COVID-19 and visited our homes within the 14 day period, please contact Atta at 301-525-1197.  All calls are confidential, however, exposures must be reported to the CDC and Health Dept.

If you have any other concerns please email atta@larmaxhomes.com

Would you like to contribute to help our employees?

During this time, our care team can use support in many ways. A few ways we are trying to support them at this time is helping them pay for childcare, safer transportation to work, hotels if they need to isolate, groceries, and supplies for themselves and their families. 

If you would like to help contribute to these expenses, feel free to mail a check, with a note that it is for the Family Fund to:

Larmax Homes
PO Box 59664
Potomac, MD 20859

If you feel compelled to help, we appreciate your contributions immensely and we know our employees do as well. Thank you.