An update on COVID-19 from Concordia CEO, Danny Eischen

Update as of June 19 for Concordia Family Members and Friends:
 
Concordia residents, families and friends,
 
As we continue our efforts to keep our residents and staff safe and healthy during this time, we wanted to provide you with an update. Last week, Governor Stitt announced Amended Executive Order 2020-20, which allows long-term care facilities to begin a phased approach for welcoming visitors. The Governor referenced guidelines put out by the Oklahoma State Department of Health (OSDH) including steps communities like Concordia were encouraged to take before they opened their doors. Since the announcement, OSDH has announced record-breaking COVID cases throughout Oklahoma. Nation-wide cases have increased, as well. Oklahoma’s data regarding confirmed COVID cases can be found here
 
Initially, we planned to release our guidelines for visitations today; however, the recent uptick in cases has caused us to adjust our guideline release date and to, instead, focus on monitoring Oklahoma’s cases over the weekend and into next week. We feel a measured approach to visitation is in the best interest of our residents and staff. 
 
We will continue to monitor cases in Oklahoma and nation-wide. At Concordia, we are family, and our community’s health is our top priority. We are thankful for the positive feedback and continued support we’ve received during this unique time. For questions regarding our visitation process or for updates, please call 405-720-7200. 
 
May God Bless You!
 
Sincerely,
 
Danny Eischen, CEO
 
CLICK HERE for answers to some of the most common COVID-19 questions

Update as of June 12 for Concordia Family Members and Friends:
 
Concordia residents, families and friends,
 
I hope you are well. As we work diligently to keep our residents and staff members safe and healthy during this time, we wanted to provide an update regarding Governor Stitt’s recent announcement. In the announcement, Governor Stitt issued Amended Executive Order 2020-20 which allows for long-term care facilities to begin a phased approach for welcoming visitors, effective June 15. The Governor references guidelines put out by the Oklahoma State Department of Health (OSDH) who offered recommendations and steps communities like Concordia should take before they begin opening their doors. These guidelines can be reviewed in full here.
 
We have assessed all documents and information available including the Governor’s announcement and OSDH’s guidelines and have consulted internally and throughout the community. We are eager to welcome our residents’ loved ones, family members and friends back, and we feel that in order to do so in a safe, effective way that we will take the upcoming week to craft a clear plan to help make visitations seamless, safe and beneficial for everyone. We anticipate that by June 19, we will be able to provide you with the details of how Concordia will proceed with visits and the other areas outlined in the OSDH guidance. 
 
We understand this is an unprecedented time for both residents and loved ones and are continually thankful for the enormous support we’ve received over the past several months. The health of our residents and staff is our top priority, and we truly believe that we are all in this together. For questions regarding our visitation process, please call 405-720-7200. 
 
May God Bless You!
 
Sincerely,
 
Danny Eischen, CEO
 

Update as of May 2 for Concordia Family Members and Friends:

Concordia Residents, Staff and Family Members:

As you all are aware, our state has started to open up again this weekend. This change has created a lot of questions about how the operations at Concordia will be impacted.

I know everyone is very eager for us to be able to ease and ultimately lift the restrictions that we have had to put in place. We have all been praying for and looking forward to the day when this can be done. Unfortunately, that day has not yet arrived for us, but we remain hopeful that it is coming soon.

For the time being we must continue to be diligent in our protective measures and keep all of them in place. In fact, we have to be even more diligent because as our state opens up it actually puts Concordia more at risk. As people begin to interact to a greater degree out in the public, the chance for the virus to spread increases, which places our staff more at risk when they are away from work.

In addition, the requirements and recommendations from CMS, CDC and OSDH related to our operations have not been scaled back, so until that changes we will continue to operate with these measures in place.

I know this message is not the response that everyone wants to hear and it is not the response that I want to be giving, but it is what we need to do for now.

There is hope though. We know at some point, and we pray it is in the near future, we will be able to ease off on our restrictions. We are in the process of putting plans together of what this will look like and how we can safely allow our residents to return to a lifestyle that allows more interaction with each other. We don’t know when the time will come that this plan can be enacted, but it will largely depend on what happens at Concordia, in our city and our state over the next few weeks. Thank you again for your patience and understanding during this difficult time.

May God Bless You!

Danny Eischen 
CEO


Update as of April 4 for Concordia Family Members and Friends:

Concordia Family Members:

Yesterday we received notice from CMS that all residents must cover their nose and mouth anytime a staff member is in their room. To help us be in compliance with this mandate we have taken the following steps:

  • We circulated a letter to our residents and issued each of them a homemade mask. The homemade mask is not the only option for them to cover their nose and mouth when a staf member is in the room, they can also use a paper towel, bandana or some other covering.
  • We have notified our staff of this requirement and asked them to not enter a room unless the resident is compliant with this request and to immediately notify their supervisor if a resident has a concern about following this mandate.

Other steps we have recently taken to help protect our residents include:

  • Earlier this week we issued our residents a medical type mask with instructions that this mask is to be worn anytime a resident is outside of their room or apartment. We asked that they take care of these masks and reuse them as our supply of masks is limited. We reminded our residents that the only approved reason for them to leave their room/apartment is if they are going outside for a walk or to a medical appointment approved by our Medical Director. For residents in Skilled Nursing and Memory Support, we are having our staff keep their masks for them and issue them as needed.
  • Last week we implemented a policy that all Concordia staff and essential visitors have to wear a medical mask the entire time they are in our building.

We understand the new practices and protocols we have to put in place are difficult for our residents and we
are doing our best to help them through this.

Thank you for supporting us during this difficult time and for your continued prayers. If you are not receiving
notices from us by e-mail and would like to, please call 405-720-7200 with your e-mail address so we can add
you to that distribution.

May God Bless You!

Danny Eischen 
CEO


Update as of April 2 for Concordia Family Members and Friends:

Concordia Family Members:

I pray this letter finds everyone doing as well as can be expected during this time.  I want you to know how much the staff truly appreciates your patience and positive feedback for the changes that we have had to adopt to help keep everyone at Concordia safe.  I know these changes have been difficult on you and your loved ones as we have asked and required a dramatic shift in their daily activity.  Please know that our staff continue to do our best to keep services going and find creative ways to help our residents make the best of this situation. 

We also continue to stay updated on the latest information from the CDC, CMS, local and state health departments as well as our local, state and federal government.  Our leadership team is spending most of our day listening to webinars and conference calls and reading information that we are provided from these various sources.  There is an overwhelming amount of information being provided to us which has helped guide our decision making and daily
planning conversations.  As this is an ever evolving situation it is important that we stay connected to the latest information so we can make adjustments as timely as possible.  To that end, we continue to ask for your patience as we may have to continue to change procedures quickly even if they are contrary to a previous communication. 

As we see the number of cases increase around Oklahoma County, it is important that everyone remembers to follow the information below that is being required for residents in senior living communities:

-Our residents are asked to stay in their apartment/room.  The Governor of our state has issued an Executive Order with this requirement.  Concordia staff are still available to run errands for our residents and help provide them with anything they might need. Any item that a resident needs to drop off for someone a staff member will bring it downstairs to the drop off location.  It is critical at this time that everyone follows this guideline and residents don’t come down to the Concierge desk to ask questions or leave items. 

-If residents would like to go for a walk outside that is still allowed.  We are asking our residents to be mindful not to get on the elevator at the same time as another resident and not to be in close proximity in the hallways.  As residents re-enter the building from their walk, we are reminding them to stay 6 feet apart from others who may be coming in to the community at the same time.  While on a walk, we ask residents to please stay 6 feet apart from others who are walking and don’t use this as a time to congregate outside.  For residents in Health Services who need assistance walking, we will do our
best to provide a staff member to assist them.  

– If a resident has an approved medically necessary appointment outside Concordia, upon return they must remain in their apartment for 14 days and allow staff to take their temperature daily and monitor them for any symptoms.  During this 14-day time frame, residents need to remain in their apartment and not go outside for a walk. 

-As reinforced by the Governor’s Executive Order, visitors are not allowed on Concordia property.  At this time, we are still allowing families to drop off items at the main entrance.  Families are not allowed on our property to visit with residents outside or through their doors or windows.   

-We ask that everyone take the above policies seriously.  In a recent call with the
Oklahoma State Department of Health, they stressed the importance of communities communicating the importance of this and doing whatever we can to enforce this-even if that means terminating agreements with residents who are not willing to comply with these necessary mandates that if violated will put everyone at Concordia at risk.     

I know the tone of this letter probably sounds harsh and I wish that our situation was different and didn’t require this type of direct communication or such a drastic change in procedures. 

I, like you, am looking forward to the day when these restrictions will be lifted and we can all be together again.   

In the meantime, please continue to pray for each other, our staff, our residents, our families, our state, our country and our world.  Even though we are apart, our act of prayer is something that can bring us together and is the most powerful and important resource that we have.       

May God Bless You! 

Danny Eischen 
CEO 


Update as of March 23 for Concordia Family Members and Friends:

DONATIONS WELCOME AND APPRECIATED.
We would like to thank the number of you who have reached out to ask how you can support Concordia.Like all healthcare environments we are doing our best to keep supplies available, to protect residents and staff.We would welcome the following donated items:
  • Masks
  • Gowns
  • Homemade Masks
  • Cotton & Cotton flannel Fabric &  ¼” elastic for making homemade masks
  • Disinfectants:
    • Hand Sanitizer
    • Lysol/Clorox Aerosols
    • Disinfectant Wipes
  • 100 piece or less puzzles
  • Word search books
  • Crossword puzzle books
  • Adult coloring books
  • Colored pencils and markers
  • Current magazines
To make a donation, please contact us at ConcordiaCares@concordiaseniorliving.com or call 405-720-7700.

Update as of March 17 for Concordia Family Members and Friends:

Thank you for your patience and support as we update you on the latest information from Concordia regarding our response to COVID-19. 

We continue to follow the requirements of government agencies and public health officials and have instituted the following:

  • Our no visitation policy remains in effect.  We also continue to discourage residents from leaving the building except in cases of a medical emergency or a medically necessary appointment.  We will consult with our Medical Director to make the determination if an appointment is medically necessary.
  • If a resident chooses to leave the community for any reason, we will most likely require a 14-day period of quarantine in their room or apartment where we will continue to provide services to them and monitor them daily for signs or symptoms of COVID-19.
  • If you are interested in and capable of having your loved one stay in your home or the home of a family member for the duration of this situation, you are free to make that decision and we will work with you on gathering belongings and medications.  We will also offer you a credit to your monthly service fee during this time.  The amount of this credit will be determined at a later time.

To help ensure services are continuing in the safest manner possible, we have taken the following steps:

  • We have closed the dining rooms and are delivering food directly to resident rooms.  Our staff members are assisting residents who need help with eating in their rooms.
  • We have discontinued all group activities in the community.
  • We have free valet service and are running errands for our residents.  Residents and families are encouraged to call our valet staff at 405-417-1332 to place orders or send an e-mail to valet@concordiaseniorliving.com.
  • Our lifestyle staff continues to deliver mail, newspaper and snacks to resident rooms and are going room to room to help residents connect with family members.
  • We have limited our housekeeping to common areas only in IL and AL and are increasing the disinfecting of all common areas.
  • We have limited our maintenance staff to on-call only.
  • We continue to allow only essential staff and essential health care providers in the building if they pass our screening procedures.
  • If you have anything you need to pick up or drop off for your family member, that will take place between the double doors of the main Independent Living entrance.  Please call us in advance to make those arrangements.

On another note, if you would like to initiate communication to your family member, feel free to mail letters via the USPS or send video clips to the e-mail address concordiacares@concordiaseniorliving.com and we will make sure they get to your loved one.

Most importantly, please pray for Concordia and our residents and staff during this time and take assurance that God is still in control.

Thank you again for your patience and support.  We are doing our best to make every effort to answer all questions and accommodate all requests as well as update you as we make changes to our operations. 


Update as of March 12 for Concordia Family Members and Friends:

Concordia Life Plan Community has taken a proactive approach to the COVID-19 outbreak. At this time, there are no confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the community.

Our mission is to meet the current and continuing needs of seniors of all beliefs in a safe, secure and supportive environment. In compliance with guidelines from the Center for Disease Control (CDC) and recommendations from public health officials, Concordia has implemented a special set of protocols out of an abundance of caution for its residents and staff.

As of March 11, Concordia began:

  • Limiting entry for any non-essential visitors
  • Postponing activities inside and outside the community
  • Encouraging residents to stay in the community
  • Offering alternative options for residents to make sure they receive proper care
  • Screening staff, residents and visitors who enter the community

Prior to March 11, Concordia was already:

  • Encouraging staff who feel ill to stay home
  • Providing continuing education to staff on hand washing and infection control
  • Enhancing cleaning and disinfecting around the community

Concordia understands the importance of being able to connect with your loved ones during this time, which is why its working on creative ways to continue communication and will reach out to families with more information in the next coming days. For specific questions or concerns email ConcordiaCares@concordiaseniorliving.com.

 

For the latest updates on travel, symptoms, prevention and response to COVID-19 in Oklahoma, please click here.