Coronavirus Is Causing Area Nursing Homes To Lockdown

Judy Kramer
County Reporter
Reba Slavens, Admissions and Marketing Coordinator of Warsaw Health and Rehabilitation Center, said that the staff is taking precautions to ensure the safety of the residents. No one other than employees and medically essential professionals are allowed to come into the Center, and all staff members are screened upon entrance.  Residents stay six feet away from one another at all times, and they are doing all activities and meals in their rooms, in hopes that if the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) were to slip in that it could be stopped it before spreading.
“Being part of the medical field during this journey has been extremely rewarding and nerve-wracking at the same time,” said Slavens. “Navigation as everything is changing so rapidly has been challenging. We are a stronger team because of this situation.”
Slavens said that activities at the Center consist of a lot of intercom bingo, coloring, and one-on-one visits. She said that they are in need of bingo prizes, magazines, tablets, ipads, MP3 players, and packaged cards. However, they are unable to accept anything that cannot be thoroughly sanitized, including stuffed animals.
Nurse Shelby, RN, ADON, at the Center said that “Even though things are a little grey due to being on lockdown, we still enjoy coming to work and seeing our residents’ sun-shining faces and knowing that we are making a difference.”
“In an effort to keep as much stability as possible, we have set up a Skype station so that family members are able to communicate. If you are a family member who would like to speak to your loved one, please contact me at 660-438-2970 and I will walk you through the steps,” said Slavens.
RexAnna Kreisel, owner and operator of Ambrose Park Residential Care Facility, in Cole Camp, said that their Facility is trying to follow CDC guidelines by keeping residents in their rooms, even for meals.
“It is hard to do that because many of the residents don’t understand why they can’t leave their rooms,” said Kreisel. “We are taking meals to each room, but that is not ideal because we are not able to keep continuous watches over them in case they choke on their food. In communal dining, we are able to observe all who are eating at the same time. But, we are getting through it and following CDC guidelines.”
Kreisel,  said that all staff members have temperatures taken when they begin their shift, and are asked the usual COVID-19 questions regarding recent travel or whether their temperature has been elevated. Residents also have their temperatures taken every shift.
“I spent the past 10 days scavenging for supplies such as gloves and toilet paper,” said Kreisel. “And I was pretty successful. Staff members have been doing scavenging too and the wonderful Cole Camp community has brought us supplies. Several members of our staff have not been onboard due to various ailments, but none of our staff or residents has the COVID-19.”
She said that there are test shortages, that this is unprecedented, and that at first she thought “yeah, yeah!” about the virus. But, she said that she now realizes the seriousness of it.
“I think our president is doing an amazing job,” said Kreisel. “And our staff members are the reason we have a good reputation at our Care Facility. They take ownership of the Facility and treat residents as family. Some residents have computers and can email family and friends. Some also use staff phones to Skype or Facetime. We are keeping our heads and praising the Lord, and leaders who are doing a good job of tackling this problem.”
Kreisel is an RN. She and her husband opened the 30-bed Facility in 2009. There are presently 20 residents. 
Sheryl LaFavor, Administrator of Lincoln Community Care Center, said that supplies are being dropped off outside the building. Only essential people are admitted, and everyone in the Center is screened and temperatures are taken regularly.
“We are serving residents lunch and planning activities in small groups or in their rooms if they choose,” said LaFavor. “We have some supplies, but don’t know how long they will last. We are using technology with our residents and patients to help them communicate with families. We recently gave out white boards so they could write messages to their families. Then, we posted photos of them with their messages on our Facebook page. This is especially important for contact with families who live out of state. Our website also has information about what is going on.”
The Care Center has 66 beds in the Skilled Nursing section, with five vacancies. There 14 beds in assisted living, and all are filled.