Dear Residents and Families of Birch Bay Retirement Village,
I wanted to thank this opportunity to send out a special notice regarding the upcoming Christmas Holiday. I want to remind our residents and their families that due to the dramatic increases of cases of COVID-19, I HIGHLY DISCOURAGE resident travel to visit family homes for Christmas.
Guidance from the State of Maine CDC and DHHS requires any residents who choose to leave campus to visit friends or family to quarantine for 14 days upon return to Birch Bay. This would require the resident to remain in their apartment or suite. If the resident is requires supervision to remember to stay in their apartment/suite, we would require the resident or family to hire private duty home care to act as 24/hr. “sitters” to assure the resident complies with quarantine and remains in their apartment. Housekeeping services would stop until quarantine is completed. Meal delivery would be placed outside the resident’s room. We cannot provide normal health care services under quarantine as any resident leaving our campus would be considered a “COVID-unknown” and providing care for that resident would mean that our staff would need to take full precautions.
If you or your loved one are planning a Christmas outing, please contact Michael Smith, our Director of Health & Residents Services, so we can be aware of your plans to exit Birch Bay and quarantine upon your return. A resident’s provider could order a COVID-19 test which may shorten their quarantine. However, a quarantine of any length may be challenging for some of our residents.
Although, it has been discouraging to not be able to plan for our usual holiday celebrations, please know that we are planning a number of in-house events to promote holiday cheer. James Hoke, our new Programs & Resident Engagement Director, has arranged for stocking deliveries, evening Christmas light rides, cardmaking, and an ugly sweater contest just to name a few of our planned events. Chef Maggie Geary is also preparing a delicious Christmas Eve dinner and a Friday morning Christmas brunch. Christmas has not been cancelled at Birch Bay!
With the new of the vaccines coming to our community, there is a light at the end of the tunnel. But I need to stress that the way in which our residents and staff navigate the holiday season may be the key to our success during the next stretch of this pandemic. It is of the utmost importance that we do not let our guards down during this critical time. It’s imperative that we are united in our efforts to keep COVID-19 out of the Birch Bay community.
Please do not hesitate to contact me with any questions or concerns you may have.
Peter Sullivan, MBA, RN-BC, LRCA, CDP, Executive Director, Birch Bay Retirement Village