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WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT CORONAVIRUS PREVENTION AT THE BROOK RETIREMENT COMMUNITIES.
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September 16, 2021

How are we prepared for COVID-19 at The Brook Retirement Communities?

PLEASE CLICK ON THE BUTTON TO VIEW THE COMPLETE COPY OF OUR COVID-19 POLICY.

UPDATED 1/28/2021

January 28, 2021

 

 

Dear Residents, Families and Friends,

 

We can all breathe a small sigh of relief now that the residents of our buildings have received their first injection of the COVID-19 vaccine.  A date is set at each building for the booster shot as well. By the end of February, most residents and staff will be fully vaccinated.  We will then largely be able to move forward with life as we knew it before COVID-19.

 

If you missed the first injection, you may still receive a first injection when Walgreens returns to administer the booster. Additionally, a third date is already set, if needed, for a second round of booster shots.

 

It is hard to believe that we have had to deal with this pandemic for an entire year. However, we are extremely proud to be able to announce that, as of today, we have had only seven residents in our entire system that tested positive for COVID. Only one of the seven resident required hospitalization but was able to  return to the building; all others experienced only mild symptoms.  We did not have any resident deaths as a result of COVID. The staff in each of the buildings deserve praise and gratitude.  They have been instrumental in this success. This also could not have happened without your cooperation and continued support.  We thank you.

 

If you have questions or concerns, please feel free to contact the corporate office and we will assist you.

 

Sincerely,

Sandy Altman-Elliott

CEO

UPDATED 1/15/2021

January 15, 2021

 

Dear Residents, Families, and Friends,

 

We are pleased to have the vaccine clinics scheduled.  Our residents should have their first injection by the end of January. The second injection will be administered a minimum of 28 days later.  All vaccination clinics have been scheduled through Walgreens. If you do not receive the injection during the first clinic, you may still receive it during a follow up visit.  Walgreens is prepared to come back a third time to administer the second shot to those who need it. Each building is on a different schedule, so please check with your manager if you are not aware of the dates of the clinics.

 

Five days following the completion of the second clinic:

  • All residents will be allowed to leave the building without having to go into isolation upon return.
  • With safety measures in place, we will be opening the building to visitors.
  • We will continue to require masks to be worn. Social distancing will be recommended when a resident is out of their own apartments.
  • We will continue with meal service as it is currently structured with the hope of returning to full dining rooms soon.

 

There have been many changes over the past year due to the coronavirus and we are certainly not through it yet, but returning to ‘normal’ is becoming a reality. We are so happy to be able to report that as of today’s date none our buildings have had an outbreak of COVID-19. Your diligence and cooperation has been effective and appreciated. We could not have done it without you.

 

Please feel free to contact your building manager or the corporate office if you any questions or concerns.

 

Sincerely,

 

Sandy Altman-Elliott, CEO

The Brook Retirement Communities

UPDATED 12/16/2020

Revised: December 2020

FACT SHEET FOR RECIPIENTS AND CAREGIVERS
EMERGENCY USE AUTHORIZATION (EUA) OF
THE PFIZER-BIONTECH COVID-19 VACCINE TO PREVENT CORONAVIRUS DISEASE 2019 (COVID-19)
IN INDIVIDUALS 16 YEARS OF AGE AND OLDER

You are being offered the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 Vaccine to prevent Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) caused by SARS-CoV-2. This Fact Sheet contains information to help you understand the risks and benefits of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 Vaccine, which you may receive because there is currently a pandemic of COVID-19.

The Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 Vaccine is a vaccine and may prevent you from getting COVID-19. There is no U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved vaccine to prevent COVID-19.

Read this Fact Sheet for information about the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 Vaccine. Talk to the vaccination provider if you have questions. It is your choice to receive the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 Vaccine.

The Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 Vaccine is administered as a 2-dose series, 3 weeks apart, into the muscle.

The Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 Vaccine may not protect everyone.

This Fact Sheet may have been updated. For the most recent Fact Sheet, please see www.cvdvaccine.com.

WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW BEFORE YOU GET THIS VACCINE?
WHAT IS COVID-19?
COVID-19 disease is caused by a coronavirus called SARS-CoV-2. This type of coronavirus has not been seen before. You can get COVID-19 through contact with another person who has the virus. It is predominantly a respiratory illness that can affect other organs. People with COVID-19 have had a wide range of symptoms reported, ranging from mild symptoms to severe illness. Symptoms may appear 2 to 14 days after exposure to the virus. Symptoms may include: fever or chills; cough; shortness of breath; fatigue; muscle or body aches; headache; new loss of taste or smell; sore throat; congestion or runny nose; nausea or vomiting; diarrhea.

WHAT IS THE PFIZER-BIONTECH COVID-19 VACCINE?
The Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 Vaccine is an unapproved vaccine that may prevent COVID-19. There is no FDA-approved vaccine to prevent COVID-19.

Revised: December 2020

The FDA has authorized the emergency use of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 Vaccine to prevent COVID-19 in individuals 16 years of age and older under an Emergency Use Authorization (EUA).
For more information on EUA, see the “What is an Emergency Use Authorization (EUA)?” section at the end of this Fact Sheet.

WHAT SHOULD YOU MENTION TO YOUR VACCINATION PROVIDER BEFORE YOU GET THE PFIZER-BIONTECH COVID-19 VACCINE?
Tell the vaccination provider about all of your medical conditions, including if you:
• have any allergies
• have a fever
• have a bleeding disorder or are on a blood thinner
• are immunocompromised or are on a medicine that affects your immune system
• are pregnant or plan to become pregnant
• are breastfeeding
• have received another COVID-19 vaccine

WHO SHOULD GET THE PFIZER-BIONTECH COVID-19 VACCINE?
FDA has authorized the emergency use of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 Vaccine in individuals 16 years of age and older.
WHO SHOULD NOT GET THE PFIZER-BIONTECH COVID-19 VACCINE?
You should not get the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 Vaccine if you:
• had a severe allergic reaction after a previous dose of this vaccine
• had a severe allergic reaction to any ingredient of this vaccine

WHAT ARE THE INGREDIENTS IN THE PFIZER-BIONTECH COVID-19 VACCINE?
The Pfizer BioNTech COVID-19 Vaccine includes the following ingredients: mRNA, lipids ((4-hydroxybutyl)azanediyl)bis(hexane-6,1-diyl)bis(2-hexyldecanoate), 2 [(polyethylene glycol)-2000]-N,N-ditetradecylacetamide, 1,2-Distearoyl-sn-glycero-3-phosphocholine, and cholesterol), potassium chloride, monobasic potassium phosphate, sodium chloride, dibasic sodium phosphate dihydrate, and sucrose.

HOW IS THE PFIZER-BIONTECH COVID-19 VACCINE GIVEN?
The Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 Vaccine will be given to you as an injection into the muscle.
The Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 Vaccine vaccination series is 2 doses given 3 weeks apart.
If you receive one dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 Vaccine, you should receive a second dose of this same vaccine 3 weeks later to complete the vaccination series.

Revised: December 2020

HAS THE PFIZER-BIONTECH COVID-19 VACCINE BEEN USED BEFORE?
The Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 Vaccine is an unapproved vaccine. In clinical trials, approximately 20,000 individuals 16 years of age and older have received at least 1 dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 Vaccine.

WHAT ARE THE BENEFITS OF THE PFIZER-BIONTECH COVID-19 VACCINE?
In an ongoing clinical trial, the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 Vaccine has been shown to prevent COVID-19 following 2 doses given 3 weeks apart. The duration of protection against COVID-19 is currently unknown.

WHAT ARE THE RISKS OF THE PFIZER-BIONTECH COVID-19 VACCINE?
Side effects that have been reported with the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 Vaccine include:
• injection site pain
• tiredness
• headache
• muscle pain
• chills
• joint pain
• fever
• injection site swelling
• injection site redness
• nausea
• feeling unwell
• swollen lymph nodes (lymphadenopathy)
There is a remote chance that the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 Vaccine could cause a severe allergic reaction. A severe allergic reaction would usually occur within a few minutes to one hour after getting a dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 Vaccine. Signs of a severe allergic reaction can include:
• Difficulty breathing
• Swelling of your face and throat
• A fast heartbeat
• A bad rash all over your body
• Dizziness and weakness
These may not be all the possible side effects of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 Vaccine. Serious and unexpected side effects may occur. Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 Vaccine is still being studied in clinical trials.

WHAT SHOULD I DO ABOUT SIDE EFFECTS?
If you experience a severe allergic reaction, call 9-1-1, or go to the nearest hospital.
Call the vaccination provider or your healthcare provider if you have any side effects that bother you or do not go away.

Revised: December 2020

Report vaccine side effects to FDA/CDC Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System (VAERS). The VAERS toll-free number is 1-800-822-7967 or report online to https://vaers.hhs.gov/reportevent.html. Please include “Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 Vaccine EUA” in the first line of box #18 of the report form.
In addition, you can report side effects to Pfizer Inc. at the contact information provided below.
Website
Fax number
Telephone number
www.pfizersafetyreporting.com
1-866-635-8337
1-800-438-1985

WHAT IF I DECIDE NOT TO GET THE PFIZER-BIONTECH COVID-19 VACCINE?
It is your choice to receive or not receive the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 Vaccine. Should you decide not to receive it, it will not change your standard medical care.

ARE OTHER CHOICES AVAILABLE FOR PREVENTING COVID-19 BESIDES PFIZER-BIONTECH COVID-19 VACCINE?
Currently, there is no approved alternative vaccine available for prevention of COVID-19. FDA may allow the emergency use of other vaccines to prevent COVID-19.

CAN I RECEIVE THE PFIZER-BIONTECH COVID-19 VACCINE WITH OTHER VACCINES?
There is no information on the use of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 Vaccine with other vaccines.

WHAT IF I AM PREGNANT OR BREASTFEEDING?
If you are pregnant or breastfeeding, discuss your options with your healthcare provider.

WILL THE PFIZER-BIONTECH COVID-19 VACCINE GIVE ME COVID-19?
No. The Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 Vaccine does not contain SARS-CoV-2 and cannot give you COVID-19.

KEEP YOUR VACCINATION CARD
When you get your first dose, you will get a vaccination card to show you when to return for your second dose of Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 Vaccine. Remember to bring your card when you return.

Revised: December 2020

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION
If you have questions, visit the website or call the telephone number provided below.
To access the most recent Fact Sheets, please scan the QR code provided below.
Global website
Telephone number
www.cvdvaccine.com
1-877-829-2619
(1-877-VAX-CO19)
HOW CAN I LEARN MORE?
• Ask the vaccination provider.
• Visit CDC at https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/index.html.
• Visit FDA at https://www.fda.gov/emergency-preparedness-and-response/mcm-legal-regulatory-and-policy-framework/emergency-use-authorization.
• Contact your local or state public health department.

WHERE WILL MY VACCINATION INFORMATION BE RECORDED?
The vaccination provider may include your vaccination information in your state/local jurisdiction’s Immunization Information System (IIS) or other designated system. This will ensure that you receive the same vaccine when you return for the second dose. For more information about IISs visit: https://www.cdc.gov/vaccines/programs/iis/about.html.

WHAT IS THE COUNTERMEASURES INJURY COMPENSATION PROGRAM?
The Countermeasures Injury Compensation Program (CICP) is a federal program that may help pay for costs of medical care and other specific expenses of certain people who have been seriously injured by certain medicines or vaccines, including this vaccine. Generally, a claim must be submitted to the CICP within one (1) year from the date of receiving the vaccine. To learn more about this program, visit www.hrsa.gov/cicp/ or call 1-855-266-2427.

WHAT IS AN EMERGENCY USE AUTHORIZATION (EUA)?
The United States FDA has made the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 Vaccine available under an emergency access mechanism called an EUA. The EUA is supported by a Secretary of Health and Human Services (HHS) declaration that circumstances exist to justify the emergency use of drugs and biological products during the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 Vaccine has not undergone the same type of review as an FDA-approved or cleared product. FDA may issue an EUA when certain criteria are met, which includes that there are no adequate, approved, available alternatives. In addition, the FDA decision is based on the totality of scientific evidence available showing that the product may be effective to prevent COVID-19 during the COVID-19 
pandemic and that the known and potential benefits of the product outweigh the known and potential risks of the product. All of these criteria must be met to allow for the product to be used in the treatment of patients during the COVID-19 pandemic.
The EUA for the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 Vaccine is in effect for the duration of the COVID-19 EUA declaration justifying emergency use of these products, unless terminated or revoked (after which the products may no longer be used).
Manufactured by
Pfizer Inc., New York, NY 10017
Manufactured for
BioNTech Manufacturing GmbH
An der Goldgrube 12
55131 Mainz, Germany
LAB-1451-0.7
Revised: December 2020

UPDATED 11/25/2020

VACCINATION PROGRAM AT THE BROOK RETIREMENT COMMUNITIES

 

On November 24th we received communication from our COVID vaccination distributor that they are planning on hosting COVID-19 immunizations clinics at The Brook locations in the next few weeks. It is anticipated that the FDA will shortly authorize emergency use of a COVID-19 vaccine, so work is beginning to set up the essential processes to safely and seamlessly deliver and administer the vaccine to our residents and staff as soon as it becomes available.

UPDATED 11/19/2020

Six Frequently Asked Questions

 

Why are Independent residents not able to admit visitors that come in through the patio door of their own apartment?  Even though independent residents do not receive assisted living services, our independent residents do live in a congregate setting. Therefore, all congregate facilities are required to abide by the orders issued the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS).  One of those orders prohibits unmonitored entry into our buildings, including independent apartments.

 

If I am an Independent resident, why can’t I come and go as I please? You may. However, if you do so when you return you are restricted to your apartment.  While you were out of the building, you may have been exposed to the COVID 19 virus and could transfer the virus to another resident at The Brook. For the health of all of the residents and staff at The Brook, we do insist on strict adherence to this policy.

 

If I leave The Brook for the holidays, will I have to be quarantined when I come back? Yes. Any time a resident leaves The Brook for any reason other than a medical appointment, they do have to quarantine for 14 days upon return. This is to ensure that any exposure to COVID 19 you may have encountered while out of the building is not spread to any other resident.

 

Can I visit my loved one who lives at The Brook? Yes. We have arranged for heated spaces that have protective barriers in place to allow you to see your loved one and converse. Please call the building manager to schedule a visit. You may also schedule a virtual visit through the facility administrator. There are computer tablets at each building for this purpose and the staff will assist your loved one with the technology.

 

How am I able to buy groceries if I can’t leave The Brook? In some of our communities, the local grocery store has agreed to deliver groceries to residents who cook for themselves.  Please check with your facility administrator for more information.  Of course, you are also able to purchase meals at The Brook or have your groceries delivered to the main lobby by scheduling the delivery with the facility administrator.

 

Why do we have to wear a mask when we haven’t been anywhere? Even though you may not have left the building, others have.  Studies are now showing that wearing a mask is also an aid in protecting you from contracting the COVID 19 virus from someone else.

UPDATED 9/10/2020

September 10, 2020

Dear Resident, Families and Friends,

We are now in month 7 of this pandemic and I am happy to report that all the residents of The Brook have remained COVID free. Thank you for continuing to follow the protocols that are in place for the protection of the residents.

In the recent months we have been able to implement very small group social activities, re-opened the beauty shops, have visitation taking place outside in designated areas, and most recently have brought residents back to the dining room for one meal a day, all while maintaining physical distancing and following the recommended protocols for interaction with others. Not yet back to ‘normal’ but providing opportunities for the residents to feel some ‘normalcy’ during this time.

The order for no visitor entry into the building has been extended by the governor until September 30th and frankly, I expect it will continue to be extended especially with flu season approaching. We are in the process of executing a plan for visitation with your loved ones in a heated space now that the weather is getting colder. I will be sharing that plan with you as it is put into place in the next week or two.

I again want to express my appreciation to everyone who has been diligent in doing their part to minimize the exposure of the residents to this nasty virus. I know it is becoming cliché to say we are all in this together, but it really does take each of us doing what we can to protect each other.

 

Fondly,

 

Sandy Altman-Elliott
CEO

UPDATED 7/27/2020

July 27, 2020

Dear Resident, Families and Friends,

As we have been navigating our way through this thing called COVID, I would like to express my deepest gratitude to all of you who have been following the procedures when visiting outdoors, visiting at the windows, and dropping off sundries for the residents. It is because of this that we can proudly say that as of today, we have not had one resident with a positive diagnosis for COVID- 19. Thank you.

On Thursday, July 23rd, Governor Whitmer extended the ‘no in facility visitation’ order until August 31st. That means we will continue to provide space and time for outdoor visitation as well as continue the times for dropping off supplies to your loved ones. Let me remind you of our procedures.

• If you are sick, stay home.
• No entry into the building is allowed by any visitor.
• Please call the building manager to schedule a time for visitation.
• Limit visitors to 2 per visit.
• Maintain 6 ft. distance between people.
• Face covering must be worn at all times during a visit.
• Supplies may be dropped off between the hours of 10:00a and 12:00p and between 2:00p and 4:00p.

Concern for our residents and employees, as well as keeping our buildings free from the virus drives our decisions. Not following the above procedures could introduce the virus to the entire building which would result minimally in all residents having to be isolated in their apartments again and ultimately in death of residents.

I encourage you to share these practices with anyone you know who may want to visit a resident at The Brook. Thank you for your attention to and cooperation with the practices we have in place at this time. I know we are all looking forward to the time we have this all behind us.

Fondly,

Sandy Altman-Elliott
CEO

UPDATED 6/26/2020

MEMO
TO: Residents and Families
FROM: Sandy Altman-Elliott, CEO
DATE: June 26, 2020
RE: No Visitation Order

We have just been updated that the No Visitation order has been extended through July 24th. (Executive Order 2020 – 136) I know how frustrating this is and has been not being able to come into the buildings but as the number of people diagnoses with COVID is rising again, I am not surprised by this extension. We all have a responsibility to keep our senior population safe and healthy.

I hope you will take advantage of visiting your loved ones outdoors in the designated visiting areas. We are increasing the number of visitors to 2 per visit per resident. We continue to ask you not to visit if you are exhibiting symptoms of respiratory infection, such as fever, cough, or shortness of breath. Please contact the manager of your building to set up a time for visitation to happen. I want to remind everyone that masks must be worn, and 6 ft distancing must be maintained.

Thank you for your patience, sacrifices, and cooperation as we continue to care for and protect your loved ones.

UPDATED 6/22/2020

June 22, 2020

I want to say thank you to everyone who has supported The Brook during the past 3 months. Those who made and donated face mask, those who connected us to hand sanitizer and gowns, those who donated “goodies” and lunches to the staff, those who offered their time if we had needed it, and those of you who may have just said a prayer for us, THANK YOU. Your thoughtfulness and generosity is greatly appreciated.
THANK YOU to the residents who live in our buildings and are directly affected by the protocols put into place to keep the virus from entering our buildings. Thank you for your patience and understanding. That same Thank You goes to the families and friends of the residents. This has been hard for you as well and your encouragement and support has helped to keep our spirits up.
THANK YOU to each of the building teams who have been diligent in following the protocols set up for their safety and continuing to do an outstanding job in caring for our residents. To the managers, the personal care givers, the housekeepers, the kitchen staff, the activity coordinators and the maintenance staff I want you to know how proud I am of each and every one of you.
THANK YOU to the support staff of The Brook. To the marketing team that has had to learn new ways of doing their jobs, to the corporate staff who have been working behind the scenes, to the maintenance team did most of the running between buildings to deliver supplies, Thank you.
We are now in the slow and steady process of lifting restrictions yet following the directives that we must follow. We will continue to move in the direction of group activities, eating in the dining room and having visitors back in our buildings. When that will happen and how that will happen will be guided by the governing bodies and keeping everyone as safe as possible by minimizing the possibility of the virus coming into the buildings. There continues to be risks involved with going out into public settings and I encourage everyone to continue to be vigilant in wearing masks and keeping your distance from others. We will continue to keep everyone updated as we open and move in the direction of “normalcy.”
Sincerely,
Sandy Altman-Elliott, CEO

UPDATED 6/4/2020

THE BROOK RETIREMENT COMMUNITIES

Date: June 4, 2020

Dear Residents, Family Members and Friends:

In March 2020 we asked our residents, their families and all of our staff to make some huge personal sacrifices. Residents at The Brook were asked to Shelter in Place. Families were asked not to visit their loved ones. Our staff was asked to wear hot and uncomfortable personal protective equipment (PPE) to protect the residents and themselves while working in what might have been a health compromised environment. Administrators worked extended hours tirelessly to acquire PPE and to create policy and protocols for COVID-19 with one goal in mind:
Keeping our beloved residents and staff safe, and so far, so good.

As Michigan begins to reopen, the hope of returning to some level of normalcy is rising. We know that it is frustrating for all that The Brook is not making a huge leap forward and returning our residents, families of our residents and staff to life as we knew it before COVID-19. We must take it slow. Age and health status are the primary contributing factors to serious cases of this virus. The process of reopening can be a matter of life or death. There has been progress in combatting the virus, but new cases continue to be diagnosed daily.

Aside from our own company policy and practice, we are provided with mandatory oversight through the Governor’s executive orders. On June 1, 2020, Executive Order 2020-110 was published which ordered a continued restrictive environment for assisted living communities, including a no visitation policy until at least June 26, 2020.

Reopening for The Brook will be a gradual process. We will carefully watch the movement of COVID-19 cases. In the meantime we will continue to encourage physical activity and mobility for our residents within the building and outside, weather permitting. We are also allowing small group socialization between the residents while practicing mask wearing and distancing.

This week, we have provided for restricted outdoor visitation between a resident and a family member.

We thank you for your sacrifices and your patience. We are doing all of this to protect your loved ones and our staff.

 

Sincerely,

Sandra Elliot, CEO
The Brook Retirement Communities

UPDATED 6/2/2020

Protocol for Resident Visitation Outdoors – June 2, 2020

Independent Living Residents:
1. IL residents will be able to receive one (1) visitor per day on the resident’s patio.
2. Visits will be limited to one (1) visitor.
3. Resident and visitor will maintain a 6 feet distance between each other.
4. Resident and visitor will wear a mask at all times.
5. Visitor will provide their own mask.

 

Assisted Living Residents:
1. AL residents will be able to receive one (1) visitor per visit.
2. All visits will be scheduled through the manager or designee to allow staff preparation to help get residents out to designated visitation area.
3. All visits will take place in the designated area only.
4. Visits will be limited to one (1) visitor.
5. Resident and visitor will maintain a 6 feet distance between each other.
6. Resident and visitor will wear a mask at all times.
7. Visitor will provide their own mask.

 

Visits through an open window continues to be an option if more than one person is wanting to visit a resident. Visitors must maintain a 6 ft distance from open window and masks must be worn at all times during the visit.

UPDATED 6/2/2020

MEMO
TO: Residents and Families
FROM: Sandy Altman-Elliott, CEO
DATE: June 2, 2020
RE: Outdoor Visitation with Residents
*************************************************************************************************************
I am pleased to announce that we will be able to offer limited visitation with the residents outdoors. Starting Thursday, June 4th we will be designating the front entrance area as the space for visitation with the residents in assisted living. The area for dropping off goods for the residents will be moved to the A Hall service door (next to the front entrance.) Independent living residents will be able to have a visitor on the patio outside their apartment. Please see the attached Protocol for Visitation Outdoors.

We are limiting visitors to one per residents per visit. Six feet distancing and wearing masks must be maintained at all times during the visit. We also will be scheduling the visits for AL residents as that will require staff assistance and the space will be limited. Visits will be scheduled between the hours of 10a – 2p, 2p – 4p, and 6p – 8p.

Please drop off items for the residents at the A-Hall service door so the bag/container can be sanitized prior to coming into the building. We will be getting storage boxes at the outside of the door for bags/containers to be placed in to keep them out of the weather.

Also, on Thursday, June 4th, we will be lifting the scheduled time out of the resident’s apartment. Residents will be able to freely move about inside the building and on the campus. When out of their apartment, residents must wear a mask and stay six feet away from other residents. We also will continue to limit the number of people in the sunrooms to four residents at any given time. The other common spaces (living room, corridor) must have 6 ft between residents sitting in those spaces.

I know everyone is very anxious to see their loved ones, but remember our residents are the most vulnerable of the population and for their sake please follow the guidelines that have been set in place. If you are experiencing a cough, sore throat, trouble breathing, a change in taste or smell or have been around anyone with those symptoms, please do not visit. If you have been diagnosed with COVID 19 or have been around anyone that has been diagnosed with COVID 19, do not visit.

As we are starting to interact socially, we need to be just as diligent about keeping our residents COVID free. Thank you for your cooperation.

UPDATED 5/30/2020

MEMO

TO:                  Residents and Families

FROM:            Sandy Altman-Elliott, CEO

DATE:             May 30, 2020

RE:                  Extension of Executive Order for No Visitation

 

 

On May 29, 2020, an order to extend no entry of visitors into congregate living settings was given by Governor Whitmer.  We will be complying with that extension.

 

We are working on ways to continue to lift restrictions that are in place and will continue to communicate any changes to you.

UPDATED 5/21/2020

MEMO

TO:                  Residents and Families of Big Rapids

FROM:            Sandy Altman-Elliott, CEO

DATE:             May 21, 2020

RE:                  Extension of Order Prohibiting Communal Dining and Activities

 

 

On May 20, 2020, an order to extend the order prohibiting communal dining and group activities in congregate living facilities was extended until June 17, 2020. We will be complying with that extension. This does not change the lifting of restrictions we recently put into place. Those accommodations do not fall under this order.

 

As a reminder, the No Visitation order is still in effect until June 1st and we must insist that all residents and families abide by that order.

 

We will be communicating any new developments to you as they occur.

UPDATED 5/13/2020

MEMO

TO:                  Residents and Families

FROM:            Sandy Altman-Elliott, CEO

DATE:             May 13, 2020

RE:                  Plan for Lifting Some Restrictions

 

 

We are moving forward in our plan to slowly lift some of the restriction for the residents inside the building. We currently have a schedule of opportunities to walk out in the hallway and to meet in the sitting rooms for socialization. Those residents with patios have also been able to sit outside their apartment and those without patios have had scheduled time outside with a member of the staff.

 

Starting today, a schedule will be created for those residents who do their own laundry to use the laundry rooms on C and D halls based on the hall they live on.  Staff will be disinfecting the machines and room between resident usage.  Those residents wanting to use the exercise room will also have a schedule created for use of the machines and everything will have to be disinfected between residents. Residents may also start retrieving their own mail from their mail boxes again based on an organized schedule. 

 

Starting Wed, May 20th, the residents may start going outside to walk on the building grounds and to sit out on the back patio or designated areas outside. This too will be at scheduled times. All residents will be restricted from the front entrance area when outside and we maintain the no visitation into the building order of the governor. During the hours of 10a – 12p and 2p – 4p residents may visit with up to two family members through an open window of their apartment providing both parties are wearing a mask and the family maintains a 6 foot distance from the window. We will be painting a spot in the grass to indicate that 6 foot boundary. Residents must remain in their apartments during this interaction.

 

Any time a resident is out of their apartment, they must be wearing a mask and must maintain 6 feet between themselves and other residents.

 

Daily activities will continue to be conducted on the halls and the staff will continue to assist residents with virtual visits when requested.

 

Thank you for your cooperation as we continue to care for all of The Brook family.

UPDATED 5/4/2020

MEMO

TO: Residents and Families
FROM: Sandy Altman-Elliott, CEO
DATE: May 4, 2020
RE: No Visitation Order Extended

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First, I would like to say thank you to everyone who sent words of encouragement to the staff in each of the buildings. It was so wonderful for them to hear how much they are appreciated. To those of you who have sent lunches, goodie baskets, and other very thoughtful expressions of your appreciation, I also say thank you.

Second, Governor Whitmer gave an executive order on May 3rd extending the No Visitation to any congregate living community order to May 31st. We will continue to follow this order and will remain closed to visitors.

I encourage you to continue to be patient and utilize the telephone and electronic modes of visitation with your loved ones. If you need assistance in setting up a visit, please contact the manager or activity director at your building. They will be happy to schedule a time for your visit to happen.

We will continue to keep you informed of the situations as they evolve.

UPDATED 4/20/2020

April 20, 2020

Dear Residents, Family Members and Friends:

We are beginning to hear discussions taking place on a national level as to “Reopening the Country” even as quickly as May 1.  While we will be watching carefully as these events unfold, it is still apparent that additional caution needs to be implemented for our high risk population.   Although new cases of COVID-19 have decreased, Michigan is still experiencing in excess of 600 new cases a day (April 19).   This is a virus with serious health effects especially for those over 65 years of age.

We will be watching recommendations of the Center for Disease Control (CDC) as we have  throughout the pandemic for guidance on reopening our facilities.   Our relationships with local health care agencies and emergency groups have also been excellent and will assist in providing policy direction.   It may be the case that we reopen in stages…..first, to discontinue the “Shelter in Place” policy of asking residents to stay in their rooms and allow movement within the building (but no visitation); then, at an appropriate time period, resume normal operations.   Obviously, it is too soon to assign dates for either implementation but it is certainly something to look forward to.

We know this has been hard on everyone at every level.   The health and safety of each and every resident has been our utmost concern.   We appreciate the tremendous support, gratitude and fortitude of our residents and their families.   We also want to make mention that our staff has been amazing throughout these difficult times.  They care for the residents as if they are family.   We are very proud.

So, hold tight.  Stay safe.  We promise to keep you posted each step of the way.

 

Sincerely,

 

Sandra Elliott, CEO

The Brook Retirement Communities

UPDATED 4/14/2020

MEDIA RESPONSE STATEMENT

 

April 14, 2020

We set a high standard for the care we provide, and the well-being of our residents and staff members remains our top priority. This is not an easy time for anyone and is an especially difficult time for our senior residents.
The threat of coronavirus to those that we serve, older adults and those with underlying health conditions, is alarming and with dire consequences. We must do everything we can to prevent COVID-19 from entering our facilities.
We are current with CDC recommendations, as those recommendations evolve. The Brook remains in close contact with the local and state health department officials and adheres to the Governor’s Executive Order to “shelter in place”. As added protection for our senior residents, we have implemented a quarantine practice which places our residents in their apartments. The quarantine procedure is the best way to protect our residents from COVID-19 exposure. We understand that for some of our residents a quarantine is emotionally difficult.
Thankfully, no employee or resident of The Brook Retirement Communities (“The Brook”) has died from COVID-19 exposure. To date not a single resident has tested positive for the virus at any of our 11 Michigan communities we serve. That said, we do not take this virus lightly, and we will be proactive to save lives. Our current safety measures have been in place since March 12, 2020 and will remain in place until health experts tell us that our residents are safe.

UPDATED 4/6/2020

VOLUNTEER OPPORTUNITIES

The Brook Retirement Communities is actively seeking volunteers to help support the potential staffing shortage due to the COVID-19 outbreak.   Opportunities include clinical, clerical, hospitality, housekeeping, maintenance, personal care aides, crafting and kitchen support.

We are currently identifying people who may be able to volunteer by sharing their talent and skills with The Brook to assist in the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic in the event of an emergent need. As this situation continually evolves, we want to make certain that we are prepared and have a strong support system for our residents and staff that is ready to assist our communities.

We serve 11 counties throughout Michigan that include, Big Rapids, Boyne City, Cedar Springs, Cheboygan, Gaylord, Gladwin, Grayling, Houghton Lake, Newaygo, Roscommon and West Branch. Resident care and satisfaction are our top priority. This is our purpose, and everyone in The Brook community is committed to it. 

We truly appreciate everyone who has already shown their support in many ways and have reached out to offer their assistance.  If you are interested in volunteering at The Brook, please fill out our contact form and let us know which location you desire or call us at 989 745-6500. 

NOW HIRING!

The Brook Retirement Communities is actively seeking healthcare workers to fill staffing positions. Opportunities are available in clinical, clerical, hospitality, housekeeping, maintenance, personal care, and kitchen staff.

We are actively soliciting individuals able to work for The Brook on a temporary and permanent basis. As the health of our residents evolves, we want to make certain that we are prepared and have a strong workforce that is ready to support and serve our communities.

We serve 11 counties throughout Michigan that include, Big Rapids, Boyne City, Cedar Springs, Cheboygan, Gaylord, Gladwin, Grayling, Houghton Lake, Newaygo, Roscommon, and West Branch. Resident care and satisfaction are our top priority. This is our purpose, and everyone in The Brook community is committed to it.
We truly appreciate everyone who has already shown their support in many ways and have reached out to offer their assistance. If you are interested in applying, please visit our careers page and fill out our online application.

UPDATED 3/31/2020

March 31, 2020

Dear Residents, Families and Friends,

As you know, the world is fighting a deadly virus that is rapidly spreading, causing our lives to be challenged in significant ways. So many things around us are changing as a result of COVID-19. This dangerous and sometimes deadly virus cannot be compared to the flu; it is more contagious and the fatality rate is substantially higher. Over the course of two months, a person with the flu is able to spread the illness to about 386 people. During the same period, a person with COVID-19 can pass the virus to nearly 100,000 people. Presently, Michigan is the state with the fourth most confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the United States
Thankfully, no employee or resident of The Brook Retirement Communities (“The Brook”) has tested positive for the virus thus far. That said, we must not take this virus lightly, and we must be proactive to save lives. Our current safety measures have been in place since March 12, 2020. As the number of cases in Michigan continues to increase, we need to tighten our policies.

Beginning Wednesday, April 1, 2020, The Brook will implement “Shelter in Place”—all residents of The Brook will be asked to shelter in place within their apartments.

Additionally, The Brook will employ the following policies and practices:
• A primary symptom of the virus is that of raised body temperatures over 100.4 degrees (fever). In the elderly, it is also noteworthy to know that a low body temperature (less than 97 degrees) can be indicative of the virus. Another indicator of a potential infection is a change in mental status for those with dementia. Accordingly, our Clinical Staff (RNs and LPNs) will make daily rounds to monitor for any change with mentation or body temperature in all residents. Families will be notified immediately in the event of any symptom related to COVID-19.

• Since March 12, 2020, all staff body temperatures have been taken prior to the start of their shift. This practice will be increased to twice during each shift. We will also continue to have each staff member complete an exposure questionnaire prior to his or her shift.

• Employees of The Brook will continue to wear masks and gloves when entering a resident’s apartment. We will also now be requiring staff to wear gowns and eye protection. Please keep in mind that these measures serve as protection for both the employee and our residents. Every ounce of prevention helps, so we are also going to ask our residents to be masked whenever an employee enters their apartment.

• The Brook has always placed great value on the education and training of our employees, including education for infection control and, now, for COVID-19. This effort, will remain at the forefront of our priorities.

• The Brook is in constant consultation with medical professionals, CDC guidelines, and local health officials to adhere to best practices in the care of our residents. With their guidance and expertise, we are in the development of an Emergency Plan in the event that COVID-19 becomes an overwhelming presence in our towns or our communities. This is, of course, a preemptive measure at this point. We pray that we never have to utilize the plan.

• Although small and large group activities have been discontinued for the foreseeable future, we will be creative with providing opportunities to alleviate boredom.

What can you do?
• It will be important to keep everyone calm and to understand that these are preventive measures intended to keep everyone safe. Please talk to your loved one and provide reassurance.

• Please honor our “Shelter in Place” status. Do not bend the rules.

• Please consider securing a mask for your loved one. We have masks that can be provided in the event that your loved one does not have a mask, however, supplies are limited so any donations are very welcomed even if it is just a single mask for your loved one to use. If you have any other supplies that you are willing to donate, please contact our corporate office to let us know: (989) 745-6500.

• Your gifts and sundries to your loved one continue to be welcome at the specified drop off times. We would ask that you not burden the staff with a large volume of items. They are receiving and sterilizing the items prior to delivery, so numerous items can add a lot of work. Do not forget that meals are available through Good Living Kitchens at each site.

• Finally, we are establishing a list of volunteers who might be interested in providing a service to our employees and residents at each of The Brook’s facility in the event of an emergent need. If you would be interested in assisting us, please contact our corporate office at the number listed above.

We have appreciated the outpouring of support and understanding that we have received from so many. Together we will see this through. Thank you and stay safe.

The Brook Retirement Communities

UPDATED 3/31/2020

UPDATED 3/26/2020

REMINDER

TO: Residents of The Brook
From: Sandy Altman-Elliott, CEO
Date: March 25, 2020
RE: Governor Whitmer’s Order

On March 23, 2020 Governor Whitmer issued an executive order for all residents of Michigan to shelter in place. Citizens of Michigan need to remain in their place of residence subject to limited exceptions. This order is in effect through April 13, 2020.The executive order allows leaving your home for essentials, such as groceries or medicine. If you elect to temporarily leave The Brook facility for any reason, we want you to remember that upon your return, Brook operations policy requires that you must isolate in your own apartment for 14 consecutive days before you can be present anywhere else in The Brook. Every time you leave The Brook facility, the 14 day isolation starts again.
Please consider utilizing other options to acquire your living items. You may want to purchase your meals here at The Brook. You may wish to have someone deliver your necessary living items to The Brook. We have a safe, health wise, policy in place to deliver those items directly to your apartment.
We also wish to remind you that we are not allowing visitors in the building at this time. This includes visitors through your private door wall or open window. If a violation of visitation occurs, we will follow our policy and require a 14 day ‘in apartment’ isolation period. We will also consider contacting state authorities to report the violation. Keeping all residents safe is our paramount mission at this time.
We are committed to maintaining the health and safety of all of our residents and staff. We will be enforcing the Governor’s order and ask for your cooperation during this time.

UPDATED 3/24/2020

SUPPLY DROP-OFF INFORMATION 

ALL OF US AT THE BROOK ARE DEEPLY APPRECIATIVE OF THE OUTPOURING OF SUPPLIES AND SUNDRIES THAT FAMILIES AND FRIENDS HAVE PROVIDED TO THEIR LOVED ONES DURING THIS DIFFICULT TIME. THE UPPOURING OF GENEROSITY HAS ADDED SOME ADDITIONAL DUTIES FOR OUR STAFF. TO BE EFFICIENT WE WOULD LIKE TO LIMIT THE TIMES FOR DROP OFF OF SUPPLIES TO THE BROOK.

AS OF WEDNESDAY, MARCH 25, 2020
RESIDENT FOOD/SUPPLIES WILL BE ACCEPTED BETWEEN 10:00 A.M. TO NOON AND FROM 2:00 P.M. TO 4:00 P.M.

PLEASE DO NOT RING THE BELL.

YOU MAY LEAVE THE PACKAGES, WITH THE NAME OF THE BENEFITTING RESIDENT MARKED ON THE BAG OR CONTAINER, AT THE FRONT ENTRANCE. A BROOK STAFF MEMBER WILL ATTEND TO THE SUPPLIES AND DELIVER THEM PROMPTLY.

IF YOU WOULD LIKE TO PLACE YOUR LOVED ONE IN THE BROOK’S MEAL PROGRAM, PLEASE CONTACT YOUR MANAGER

UPDATED 3/23/2020

March 23, 2020
Dear Residents and Resident Families,
Governor Whitmer has ordered the people of the State of Michigan to stay home during this time except for “essential” reasons for going out. The Brook operations and staff are considered “essential.” We will continue to provide quality care for all of our residents. The Brook will remain closed to visitors and anyone who is not providing direct care to a resident.

I want to assure you that each staff person, prior to starting their shift, is required to complete a questionnaire about the potential for exposure and screening for symptoms of feeling ill. We also require them to record their body temperature to ensure they do not have a fever. We will continue this process as long as it is recommended by the CDC.

Families, I want to encourage you to have continued communication with the residents through computer, phone calls, note cards, and letters. Our activity department can also set up times for you to Skype with your loved one, and you can send emails to your loved one through our website, www.brookretirement.com.

This is not an easy time for any of us, but it is especially difficult for our residents. Please follow the recommendations of the CDC and the orders of the governor so we can all navigate this crisis quickly and with as little impact as possible.
Thank you for your cooperation.
Sincerely,

Sandy Altman-Elliott
CEO

UPDATED 3/16/2020

All meals will be delivered to individual apartments. There will be no cost for delivery, however all other meal charges will apply.

UPDATED 3/12/2020

The Brook Retirement Communities is taking precautionary measures to ensure we are doing everything we can to prevent COVID-19 coming into our buildings and to protect our residents, visitors and staff from the potential health threat posed by the coronavirus disease.

We are following the guidelines and recommendations from the Center for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC) and the Michigan State Department of Health & Human Services (MSDHHS).

Examples of actions we have taken to prevent COVID-19 in our buildings:

As of 3/12/20 The Brook will not be accepting visitors.
• We are asking residents and families to limit resident’s travel off-campus. If a resident leaves the building, they will be required to remain in their apartment for the 14 days following their outing.
• All staff receive infection control training on an annual basis and have received updated training to be vigilant with the COVID-19 outbreak.
• We have posted fliers in key locations of the buildings to promote good hand hygiene and respiratory etiquette and have placed hand sanitizer in the building for public use.
• Staff are being required to complete a Pre-Shift Questionnaire to self-screen for sign and symptoms of respiratory distress and potential exposure to COVID-19. Anyone experiencing symptoms of respiratory distress or may have been exposed to COVID-19 will be required to leave the building and will require a release from their Personal Care Provider to return to work.
• Staff are to stay at home if they are experiencing symptoms and may only return to work with a release from their Personal Care Provider.
• We have enhanced daily cleaning schedules of common area surfaces such as chairs, tables, handrails, public restrooms, etc. using EPA approved sanitation products.
• Supporting residents who wish to stay in their apartments.
• Increased monitoring of residents for signs and symptoms of COVID-19.

We remain concerned and cautious as COVID-19 is a novel virus. We serve a vulnerable population that we care about and consider our Brook Family. We ask that our residents, families, visitors, staff, and vendors help us to keep each other healthy and safe.

PLEASE CLICK ON THE BUTTON TO VIEW THE COMPLETE COPY OF OUR COVID-19 POLICY.

We will provide you with important updates as they arise.

Our purpose is clear.
Our performance is consistent.
Our passion is people.

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The Brook Retirement Communities are an equal opportunity employer.

The Brook Retirement Communities fully comply with the Fair Housing Act, which prohibits “Any preference, limitation, or discrimination because of race, color, religion, sex, handicap, familial status, or national origin or intention to make such preference, limitation or discrimination.”

Our purpose is clear.
Our performance is consistent.
Our passion is people.

FOLLOW US

The Brook Retirement Communities are an equal opportunity employer.

The Brook Retirement Communities fully comply with the Fair Housing Act, which prohibits “Any preference, limitation, or discrimination because of race, color, religion, sex, handicap, familial status, or national origin or intention to make such preference, limitation or discrimination.”

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