COVID-19 Coronavirus – Increased Surveillance Protocol

By Lauren Sanderlin | Publish Date March 12, 2020
April 8, 2020
There are no signs of COVID-19 related illness at Kirkwood, across any level of care. We continue to monitor residents and will keep you informed of any changes. As always, contact Chad Carter or Jeff Burchfield if you have any questions.

April 7, 2020 Update

Skilled Nursing- We continue to monitor residents closely and are happy to report that none of our residents are showing any signs of acute respiratory issues today. We will continue to monitor and act accordingly if issues develop.

Assisted Living/ Memory Care Assisted Living- We have had a couple of residents transferred to the hospital from Assisted Living and Memory Care Assisted Living. There are no signs that would indicate that these illnesses are Covid-19 related. We will continue to monitor and update all if there is a concern.

Independent Living- One of our Independent Living residents was transferred to the hospital on Saturday from the Skyview Building. The Covid-19 test came back NEGATIVE. This person, however, tested positive for the Flu. 

 If you have any questions, please feel free to call Chad Carter or Jeff Burchfield at 205-956-2184 for further information.

Thanks,

Chad Carter, President/CEO

April 4, 2020 Update

Skilled Nursing- We continue to monitor residents closely and are happy to report that there are no residents showing any signs of acute respiratory issues today. We will continue to monitor and act accordingly if issues arise.

Assisted Living/ Memory Care- Assisted Living and Memory Care Assisted Living continue to do well. There are no acute illness being reported at that level from residents or staff. We continue to monitor for signs and symptoms in both residents and staff daily.

Independent Living-   All is quiet at this level currently. We finally received word, early this morning, that the resident in the Skyview building that has been awaiting test results for nearly 2 weeks now, was given confirmation that the test result for COVID-19 was negative.

If you have any questions, please feel free to call Chad Carter or Jeff Burchfield at 205-956-2184 for further information.

Thanks,

Chad Carter, President/CEO

April 1, 2020 Update

Skilled Nursing- Today, April, 1, 2020, Kirkwood administration participated in a conference call with the Jefferson County Department of Public Health, concerning directive given by Dr. Mark Wilson, JCDPH, that nursing facilities accept Covid-19 patients. I will update you on that conference call but, I think it is important that you all understand that it is Kirkwood’s policy NOT to admit any potential resident unless they have a negative test result.

With that being said, Dr. Wilson’s statements today during  the conference call were totally opposite of the statement that was put out yesterday. Today, he advocated for the safety of all residents in light of the potentially deadly outcomes and essentially admitted he made a mistake. You all will see another statement issued from the JCDPH today or tomorrow with their updated position.

Be encouraged that the JCDPH, ADPH and the Army Core of Engineers are working on alternatives to alleviate surge stress on hospitals. They also, are actively working to identify nursing homes that may be currently closed but, in good condition from a physical plant standpoint, that can be use as facilities to treat those that are Covid positive but, not critically ill.

 It was also reported by the Health Department that we will see the peak of this outbreak in Jefferson county approximately the 3rd week in April. There were a limited number of questions and the called concluded after 22 minutes.

We continue to monitor residents closely and are happy to report, that there are no residents showing any signs of acute respiratory issues today. We will continue to monitor and act accordingly if issues develop.

Assisted Living/ Memory Care- Assisted Living and Memory Care Assisted Living continue to do well. There are no acute illness being reported at that level from residents or staff. We continue to monitor for signs and symptoms in both residents and staff daily.

Independent Living-   All is quiet at this level currently. We still have no test results on the Skyview resident that have been outstanding for 10 days at this point but, the resident remains on quarantine in their apartment and is doing well physically.

 If you have any questions, please feel free to call Chad Carter or Jeff Burchfield at 205-956-2184 for further information.

Thanks,

Chad Carter, President/CEO

March 31, 2020 Update

I apologize that there has been a delay in updates since March 27th, however, there have been a number of technical and logistical issues that have prevented me from updating information. Those issues have now been resolved so, expect regular mass communication from this point forward.

If you are a sponsor of a resident at Kirkwood by the River and would like to be added to the email notification list, please email ccarter@kirkwoodbytheriver.comand provide your name and the name of the resident that you are the sponsor of. Also, we have had emails return from bellsouth.net. I have notified our IT group but would recommend you checking your security permissions and confirming that ccarter@kirkwoodbytheriver.com is whitelisted.

Skilled Nursing- Today, March 31, 2020, we have received all test results back for all 50 skilled nursing residents and all of them have tested negative for Covid-19 virus. All Responsible Parties should have received phone calls over the weekend and through yesterday with individual results.

Staff- In addition to testing all residents of skilled nursing, we also tested a total of 144 staff members. 142 of our staff members tested negative. There was an administrative staff member and a private duty sitter that was working with a resident in skilled nursing exclusively, that have tested positive for Covid-19.  Those two individuals have been removed from the schedules and quarantined per CDC guidelines. We have notified the Jefferson county Department of Health with all results as per protocol.

Assisted Living/ Memory Care- Assisted Living and Memory Care Assisted Living continue to do well. There are no acute illness being reported at that level from residents or staff. We continue to monitor for signs and symptoms in both residents and staff daily.

Independent Living- I am pleased to report that the resident that went to the hospital on 3/25 from the Mountainview building has tested negative for Covid-19. The individual in Skyview that went out last week, has never received results from the hospital but, is doing well in their apartment under isolation protocol.

If you have any questions, please feel free to call Chad Carter or Jeff Burchfield at 205-956-2184 for further information.

Thanks,

Chad Carter, President/CEO

March 27, 2020 PM

Skilled Nursing- Today, March 27, 2020, we have received a significant number of test results back for skilled nursing residents and all of them have been negative thus far. The Responsible Party will be receiving a phone call from the skilled nursing unit with individual reports. We have also tested the majority of the staff that work in this area however, we have not received any of those results.

We now have an IPad available for families to Face Time with their loved ones. If interested in setting up a visit. Please contact Jennifer Stembridge or Amanda White to schedule an opportunity to visit with your loved one via this application. Please be aware that certain times of the day are more demanding than others and such requests may have to be delayed until later as duties allow.

Assisted Living/ Memory Care- Assisted Living and Memory Care Assisted Living continue to do well. There are no acute illness being reported from residents or staff. We continue to monitor for signs and symptoms in both residents and staff daily.

Independent Living- We continue to await the test results from the resident that was reported to you on Sunday, 3/21/2020 I’m saddened to tell you that those results have not arrived as of this afternoon, 3/27/2020. The other resident that was sent to the hospital on 3/25/2020, remains in the hospital and has been tested. We will communicate the results of both of these test as appropriate, once they are received.

 If you have any questions, please feel free to call Chad Carter or Jeff Burchfield at 205-956-2184 for further information.

Thanks,

Chad Carter, President/CEO

March 25, 2020 PM

Skilled Nursing- We were informed at 12:15 today by UAB Highlands that a resident that was sent to their facility on Monday, March 23, has tested positive for Covid-19. This resident was just admitted to Kirkwood on 3/19. We are in the process of notifying all skilled nursing residents and families at this point. We have communicated with the Jefferson County Department of Public Health who has authorized testing on all 50 of our residents and all staff who have worked intimately with this resident. We have also been in contact with the Alabama Department of Public Health to report these matters. We are hopeful to receive test results within 24-48 hrs. We continue to monitor residents’ health daily and are being vigilant in looking for signs and symptoms. 

Assisted Living/ Memory Care- Currently, our Assisted Living and Memory Care Assisted Living areas seem to doing well. There are no acute illness being reported at that level from residents or staff. We continue to monitor for signs and symptoms in both residents and staff daily.

Independent Living- while we continue to await the test results from the resident that was reported to you on Sunday, I’m saddened to tell you that those results have not arrived as of this afternoon, 3/25/2020. We did have another resident in Mountainview building go out today from Independent Living and was admitted. We are waiting to hear what his diagnosis is but, based on past experience it could be several days before the results are received.

As always, we appreciate your understanding and cooperation. If you have any questions, please feel free to call Chad Carter or Jeff at 205-956-2184 for further information.

Thanks,

Chad Carter, President/CEO

March 25, 2020

Update on Independent Living resident sent for evaluation:

We have been in close contact with Grandview Medical Center concerning the one medical situation that was reported on Sunday. As of yesterday afternoon, the results have not been received from the Laboratory. We were told it could still be several more days before results are received. The resident has returned to his apartment and is doing well, so hopefully it is a false alarm. As a precaution, both he and his spouse are on strict quarantine. Provisions have been made to meet their daily needs. We will update as more information becomes available.

Assisted Living, Memory Care Assisted Living and Skilled Nursing remain the same. We continue to monitor temperatures and signs of symptoms in both residents and staff daily.

We have iPads being delivered later this week. If you would like to video call your loved one, please call 205-956-2184 and provide the receptionist with the residents name and your name and number. We will arrange this as quickly as possible.

We appreciate your understanding and corporation. If you have any questions, please contact Chad Carter or Jeff Burchfield at 205-956-2184.

Thanks,

Chad Carter, President/CEO

March 22, 2020 Community Update:

Each level of care will be discussed separately.

Skilled Nursing– We are doing really well in this level of care with the wellness of our residents and staff. There are no residents showing any acute signs of respiratory distress, low O2 saturations, or fevers. Our staff that are working are not showing any signs or symptoms of illness as evident by the temp screenings that are taking place upon arrival for every shift. While none of these measures are fool proof, we are encouraged at this point that things are going as well as they possibly can.

Assisted Living/Memory Care– Currently, our Assisted Living and Memory Care Assisted Living areas seem to be doing well. There are no acute illnesses being reported at this level from residents or staff. We continue to monitor temperatures in both residents and staff daily.

Independent Living– We have had one Independent Living resident transported to the hospital on 3/21/2020 at 7:55am. Resident presented with tremors, but was not showing a temperature as checked by EMT’s. The resident was transported to the hospital and subsequently admitted for further evaluation. We are maintaining communications with the family and are anticipating the results of screening when available, however this could take as long as 3-5 days before the results are received. No other resident currently residing at Kirkwood has presented any other symptoms.

As of 3/21/2020 we are instituting a new protocol for Independent Living emergencies. If we have an emergency at that level, the receptionist will automatically call 911 for assistance. I know that many will question this and will have concerns about why we are taking this posture, but at this point, it is in the best interest of Kirkwood to execute this strategy.

We have ordered several iPads that we will configure for video conferencing with your loved ones. We are expecting arrival of these devices Tuesday or Wednesday and once configured, we will make them available for residents and family to communicate via video conferencing.

As always, we appreciate your understanding and cooperation. If you have any questions, please feel free to call Chad Carter or Jeff Burchfield at 205-956-2184 for further information.

Thank you,

Chad Carter, President/CEO

March 19, 2020

We continue to monitor our residents for any signs and symptoms of COVID-19.  We are performing daily checks on all of our residents in Skilled Nursing, Assisted Living, and Specialty Care Assisted Living.  At this time, none of our residents are showing any signs or symptoms of respiratory distress.  We have had no reports or calls from Independent Living of residents showing any signs or symptoms of respiratory distress.

We are looking at the most effective means in which we can support our residents communication with families.  Right now we have instituted a call-system in which each resident’s responsible party is contacted weekly via phone and the residents have the ability to speak with them if they are capable.  We are also exploring the purchase of iPads so that we can set up Video Calls with those families who can use that communication platform.

As the days go on, our Independent Living residents are getting more restless and are asking if they can go out to various places for various reasons.  If you have a loved one in Independent Living, please remind them that going anywhere is strongly discouraged, unless medically necessary.

Again, we appreciate your cooperation and patience through this very difficult time.  Please feel free to contact us at any time of day or night at 205-956-2184.

Thank you!

Chad Carter, President/CEO

March 18, 2020

We are all doing fairly well here at Kirkwood. We continue to monitor our residents and staff for signs and symptoms of potential COVID-19 infections. At this time we are pleased to report that everyone seems to be in fairly good respiratory health. We will continue to monitor and make all aware of changes within the facility. Please visit our website daily for updates.

Thanks,

Chad Carter, President/CEO

205-956-2184

March 16, 2020

We continue to take a defensive posture as best we can.  Please know that these decisions are very difficult as we believe in a life well lived, which relies heavily on social interactions.   However, at this time, social interaction is being kept to a minimum.

We received guidance from CMS and CDC this morning that stated that all communal activities in Senior Living Centers should be postponed.  As of today, all internal activities have been canceled.  We are delivering all meals to residents in their rooms as a further precaution until such time that it is deemed safe to return to normal activities.  We do not know when that will likely be, but we are hopeful that it is no longer than 30 days.

As you can imagine, it is very difficult to communicate with everyone in a timely manner. Please check our website daily as we will post the latest information there.

Please note, that although it may seem as if we are going to extreme measures at this point, our only goal is providing the safest environment possible for our residents.  It is also important to note, that at the time this communication was generated, we do not have any residents who are exhibiting any upper respiratory illness or acute exacerbation of chronic conditions such as COPD.  We are monitoring the health of our residents closely and will act accordingly when situations arise.

We appreciate your understanding of these matters and we sincerely apologize for the inconvenience.

Chad Carter, President/CEO

Jeff Burchfield, Administrator

205-956-2184

Effective 3/13/2020, Kirkwood by the River is restricting access to its facilities to medically necessary visits only.  Admittance will be limited to the caregivers and staff only.  These precautions are intended to protect the health and safety of those we serve and not intended to be burdensome or punitive for any reason.  

Please note that we have not seen and are not dealing with any confirmed cases here at Kirkwood. 

We appreciate your understanding of these matters.

Effective 3/10/2020, Kirkwood by the River is increasing security of its facility.  These precautions are intended to protect the health and safety of those we serve and not intended to be burdensome or punitive for any reason.  

We are now only allowing limited access to the facility until further notice.  Access will only be allowed for close family members who meet the screening criteria.  Please limit visits to only those necessary for the emotional well-being of your loved one.  Please limit your interaction with others and refrain from excessive travel through the facility.  Visiting hours will be from 10am-7pm, unless there are extenuating circumstances that would justify visits outside of this time frame.

Please note that we have not seen and are not dealing with any confirmed cases here at Kirkwood.  We are only implementing guidance as issued by CMS, CDC, and the Department of Public Health.

We appreciate your understanding of these matters and we sincerely hope that this situation will be contained quickly and as effectively as possible so as not to affect Kirkwood.  If you have any questions, please feel free to call Chad Carter or Jeff Burchfield at 205-956-2184 for further information.

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The Residents

Our residents come from different backgrounds and bring their unique qualities, talents, and life experiences to complete the Kirkwood community. Here are just a few reflections from some individuals who call Kirkwood their home.

My husband and I looked at a number of places when deciding to move to a retirement community. For the most part, we found communities that said, ‘We’re going to take care of you.’ But Kirkwood was different. It wasn’t just about taking care of us. It was also about having fun, having friends, and living life to the fullest. The attitude at Kirkwood was positive and the atmosphere was comforting. We simply couldn’t resist. Without a doubt, the location was ideal. The Cahaba Room that overlooks the river, the mountains, the trails – there were just so many things about life. The community was lively. It was alive.

Alice Brooks Current Resident

My only regret is that I didn’t move here sooner with my late husband. We would have loved living here together. It would have been perfect for us to travel without the responsibilities of a home.

Nell Mehaffey Current Resident

We were moving my parents down from the Cleveland area to be near us. I looked at almost every retirement place in the Birmingham area. The second I turned into Kirkwood’s drive and drove up the hill, I knew that I’d found the perfect place for my parents to live in Alabama. In the six years that my parents have been at Kirkwood, I have always felt nothing but love and helpfulness from every staff member. Everyone is always helpful with a pleasant attitude. You can truly see and feel the family atmosphere. I’m happy that my parents can call Kirkwood their home.

Brenda Sheehan Kirkwood family member

One thing that we feel is very important here at Kirkwood by the River is the relationship that we have between the staff and the residents. They are dedicated to making our life here as safe and secure and pleasurable as possible. That goes a long way.

Fred Rogers Current Resident

We love that Kirkwood isn’t only church affiliated, but faith is a very prominent, important part of the community. To us, there just couldn’t be a better place.

Bob Tate Current Resident

If you asked me, I would say it gets better every year!

Robbie Sevier Former Resident of 37 Years

We’re a family. We really are a family.

Bet Kesmodel Current Resident