Walnut Hills During the COVID-19 Outbreak

Campus Update

To find the update on daily numbers for COVID Cases on campus, please click here.

November 23, 2021

 

Dear Walnut Hills Residents and Families,

During this season, I have so much enjoyed the changing colors and the beauty of the carpet of leaves that adorn some of our driveways.  It has been a reminder of the changing seasons and a preamble to the winter that is about to come.

As the holiday season is upon us, we have received numerous questions concerning visitation and celebrations during this time of the year. Recently, CMS (Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services) issued new guidance concerning visitation at long-term health care facilities. We want to take this opportunity to update you on the Visitation During Covid-19 Pandemic Policy. As we move into the holiday season, the following will be in place:

1. Visitation will be allowed at all times. At the Nursing Home, all visitors should use the entrance to unit where your loved one resides. At the Assisted and Catered Living building, all visitors should use the main entrance. There will be no limits on the lengths of the visits, but the core principles of infection control must be followed.

 

Core Principles of Infection Control Include:

  • Visitors who have a positive viral test for Covid-19, symptoms of Covid-19, or currently meet the criteria for quarantine, should NOT enter the facility.

  • All visitors will sign in and screen upon entry to the facility for visitation.

  • Hand hygiene (use of alcohol-based hand rub is preferred) upon entry to the facility

  • Face covering or mask (covering mouth and nose) is required, and physical distancing of at least six feet between people should be observed, in accordance with CDC guidance.

  • Instructional signage is posted throughout the facility, and proper visitor education is offered on Covid-19 signs and symptoms, infection control precautions, and other applicable facility practices (e.g., use of face covering or mask, specified entries, exits and routes to designated areas, hand hygiene).

  • High frequency touched surfaces in the facility are cleaned and disinfected often, and designated visitation areas are cleaned and disinfected after each visit.  

  • Appropriate use of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)

2. Until now, there has been a two-person limit that can enter the facility at a time.  Please note that there still needs to be adequate space in the room to allow for social distancing. Therefore, we ask that only a few people enter at a time. Larger gatherings in which adequate physical distance cannot be maintained (i.e., parties, large family meals) cannot occur.

 

3. When the county level of transmission is high (It is presently high in Holmes County at 12.68%), masks must be worn at all times, regardless of the vaccination status, while inside the facility, and social distancing must be maintained.

 

4. All visitors MUST sign in and screen upon entering the building.

 

5. At the Nursing Home, any Resident who shares a room with another individual will have to conduct their visits in a visitation area designated in the south side of the facility. We have designated several visitation areas on the south side of the facility that families may utilize comfortably. One family member will be permitted to gather their loved one and assist them to the visitation area to convene with the remaining family members. There are signs posted identifying these areas.

 

6. Visitors should go directly to the resident's rooms. Visitors should not be walking throughout the building, sitting, gathering, or lingering in the common areas. One visitor may walk a resident who shares a room with another individual (at the Nursing Home) to a designated visitation location on the south end of the facility for visit with family.

 

As the holiday celebrations are upon us, we would like to encourage you to spend time with your loved one. The Covid-19 pandemic has meant that many times residents have felt isolated. In an effort to continue to keep your loved ones and our team members healthy and safe we ask that you reference the handout included in this mailing which addresses taking your loved ones out of the building for a leave of absence. The handout includes our facility quarantine guidelines.

As a community, we are glad that visitation policies are opening up. At the same time, we take this opportunity to remind you of the importance of being vigilant in observing and following all the principles of infection control.  Visitors who have tested positive for Covid-19 OR are experiencing Covid symptoms and currently meet the criteria for quarantine, should NOT enter the facility. Hand hygiene (use of alcohol-based hand rub is preferred), masks (covering mouth and nose), and social distancing at least six feet between persons must be followed at all times. These steps are for the protection of your loved ones and our team members. Keeping the members of our community safe is a high priority

As we celebrate this time of the year, I will be grateful for many things, and one of them is the opportunity to serve each one of our residents. I thank God with my whole heart for the blessing of being part of this campus. As we celebrate together, I leave you the following verse as a blessing:

 

The Lord bless you and keep you;

The Lord make His face shine upon you,

And be gracious to you;

The Lord lift up His countenance upon you,

And give you peace.

 

Numbers 6:24-26

 

 

Sincerely,

Rob Aneshansel

Executive Director/VP of Operations

 

 

August 20, 2021

As you may have heard, on Wednesday August 18, President Biden announced he is calling on the Center for Medicare and Medicaid (CMS) and the Center for Disease Control (CDC) to require all nursing homes who accept federal reimbursement to mandate COVID-19 vaccinations for team members. We recognize that this mandate will be met with mixed emotions. Some will be undoubtably relieved while others will be disconcerted and alarmed.

Since the COVID-19 vaccination availability, we have done our part to encourage all team members who are able to get the vaccine. We feel it’s the best way to maintain the safety and health of our team members, their families, and our residents. At the same time, in accordance with our CROFT values, we respect those who choose to think differently.

You may be asking what this mandate means? The answer is, we don’t know for sure. It appears we will receive communication as early as September. We ask for your patience as we await formal guidance from CMS and our state department of health with the policy and procedures. Once that is received, we will begin to process this guidance as an organization in conjunction with our team members

In addition, we are working with our state and national non-profit associations to advocate for team members who are unable to receive the COVID-19 vaccine due to religious beliefs and/or medical conditions. We expect these protections will be included in the mandate but feel it is vital for us to have our voices heard now.

Should you have questions, please do not hesitate to contact myself or another member of the leadership team. In addition, you may also email your concerns or questions to covidquestions@greencroftcommunities.org.

Sincerely,
Rob Aneshansel
VP of Operations/Executive Director


July 6, 2021

We are happy to announce that we are now beginning to open our doors to more visitation time with your loved one. We realize this past 15 months has been very difficult and hope that reopening, in a safe and responsible manner, will help all of us begin to return to a sense of community and reconnection.

Included you will find a guide we have created to demonstrate the new visitation protocols we will be starting this week. As we begin this new process, we ask that you extend us grace in transitioning from our current practice. We will begin this new visitation process on Monday July 12, 2021. We are striving to meet the individual needs of both our residents and families while continuing to maintain a safe environment for all.

Vaccination status has been considered when creating this new process. For those residents and family members who are not yet vaccinated, Walnut Hills is extending the option to get your vaccine at our campus. The risk of variant strains of COVID-19 and the spread of COVID-19 to unvaccinated residents, team members, and community still exits.

As required, we will continue to follow guidelines from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), and the Ohio Department of Health (ODH), to ensure a safe environment for both you and your loved ones. As changes to these guidelines occur, we will do our very best to keep you apprised of the changes that affect our practices.

We look forward to welcoming you back to our campus!

Truly Yours,
Walnut Hills Management Team

Click here for Assisted Living visitation specifics

Click here for Nursing Home visitation specifics
 


May 26, 2021

This letter is being sent to keep you informed about recent developments here at Walnut Hills regarding COVID-19. Our most recent round of team member testing this week resulted in one team member testing positive for COVID at the Assisted/Catered Living building.

The positive case means we must follow the COVID outbreak protocols set by the Ohio Department of Health. This includes all Assisted Living and Catered Living residents and team members getting tested for COVID every three to seven days, during the next 14 days.

We have implemented several safety measures designed to protect our residents and team members. These include enhanced health screening of residents, team members, and visitors, isolating residents with symptoms/positive COVID test results, monthly COVID vaccination clinics for residents and team members, sending team members with symptoms home to quarantine, and other measures with the guidance from federal agencies. We have notified our department of health and will continue to work with them to monitor our active case.

Thank you for your continued prayers and support as we partner to provide our residents with the best care possible. If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact Teresa Yoder at 330-893-3200, extension 1351, or Melissa Klintworth at extension 1356.

Thank you,
Rob Aneshansel
VP of Operations/Executive Director
 


May 21, 2021

As you are aware, our focus during the pandemic has been to protect our residents from COVID-19. We understand that physical separation from family and loved ones has taken a physical and emotional toll on both our residents and their loved ones. We also recognize that visitation restrictions and other ongoing changes related to COVID-19 have been confusing and upsetting for residents, their loved ones, and our team members. We want to assure you that we are monitoring the changes from the Ohio Department of Health daily, and we are attempting to reopen in the safest and most responsible way we can. Please note: The lifting of the mask mandate on June 2nd announced by Governor Dewine does not apply to nursing homes and assisted living facilities.

We continue to offer several types of visitation, including compassionate care, end of life, and indoor and outdoor visitation. Outdoor visitation generally poses a lower risk of transmission due to increased space and airflow.

All visitations must be conducted with certain core principles and infection control practices to reduce the risk of transmission of COVID-19 and must be scheduled for a specified length of time to help ensure all residents have the opportunity to receive visits. These core principles include, but are not limited to, being screened upon arrival for the visit, hand hygiene, wearing a mask (covering both mouth and nose), and social distancing unless the resident has been fully vaccinated. If these core principles of infection control are not met, we must stop the visit and ask the visitor(s) to leave. Walnut Hills continues to be responsible for ensuring all visitors and residents properly wear a face mask and designated visitation areas are disinfected after each visit.

Some of the questions that have been raised recently:

Q:        Can we bring food and/or beverages for the visit or eat with our loved one?
A:        Masks are required for the duration of the visit. Therefore, eating and drinking are not permitted, as the mask would need to be removed.

Q:        Can I have a visit in my loved one’s room?
A:        Currently, Walnut Hills is only allowing in-room visits for residents who are in quarantine or compassionate care or end of life situations, or the resident is unable to physically exit his/her room. The requirement of disinfecting all touched surfaces after a visit becomes overwhelming if a visitor is rearranging or sorting resident belongings and/or clothing.

Q:        Can I take my loved one outside for a walk?
A:        If the resident is fully vaccinated, you can schedule an outdoor visit and take your loved one for a walk on the grounds during the visit. All parties will be required to wear a mask for the duration of the visit.

Q:        Do I have to schedule a visit?
A:        Visits need to be scheduled to help ensure that all residents are able to receive visits and Walnut Hills is able to provide proper monitoring of infection control with masks and social distancing, as well as disinfecting following each visit.

Q:        Can I visit longer than 30 minutes?
A:        We schedule visits for a 30-minute minimum. If you wish to visit longer, you may ask if there is availability for an extended visit when you call in to schedule. If there is already a visit scheduled for the time following your scheduled visit, you may need to choose a different day or time when there is an opening for an extended visit.

Quarantine

We are still required to complete quarantine for some circumstances with our residents. It can be difficult to navigate, so we have developed a resource that Walnut Hills team members can reference and follow to determine quarantine requirements, which are based on each individual resident’s circumstances.

Vaccinated Residents – Assisted & Catered Living Residents

  • Quarantine for 3 days upon admission or re-admission from the hospital
  • Quarantine for 3 days upon return from LOA involving community involvement (shopping, restaurant, private home with greater than 10 people present, funeral, wedding, family reunion, etc.)
  • No Quarantine upon return from LOA from a private home with less than 10 people present
  • No Quarantine upon return from doctor’s appointment

Unvaccinated Residents – Assisted & Catered Living Residents

  • Quarantine for 5 days upon admission or re-admission from the hospital
  • Quarantine for 5 days upon return from all LOA (shopping, restaurant, private home no matter the number of people present, funeral, wedding, family reunion, etc.)
  • Quarantine upon return from doctor’s appointment

Vaccinated Residents – Nursing Home & TCU Residents

  • Quarantine for 7 days upon admission or re-admission from the hospital
  • Quarantine for 7 days upon return from LOA involving community involvement (shopping, restaurant, private home with greater than 10 people present, funeral, wedding, family reunion, etc.)
  • No Quarantine upon return from LOA from a private home with less than 10 people present
  • No Quarantine upon return from doctor’s appointment

Unvaccinated Residents – Nursing Home & TCU Residents

  • Quarantine for 10 days upon admission or re-admission from the hospital
  • Quarantine for 10 days upon return from all LOA (shopping, restaurant, private home no matter the number of people present, funeral, wedding, family reunion, etc.)
  • Quarantine upon return from doctor’s appointment

If you have a specific situation you would like to ask about, please call Walnut Hills, and a team member can provide you information about quarantine requirements.

Thank you for extending grace and support during this challenging time.

Sincerely,
Melissa Klintworth                                                     Melanie Ripley
Assisted Living Nursing Manager                              Director of Health Care Services

 


March 17, 2021

Since the beginning of the pandemic, it has been our goal to be transparent in our communication with you. This letter is to inform you of recent developments at the Assisted and Catered Living building.   

As you know, we have been testing all team members for COVID on a weekly basis. Following this week’s testing (on Monday, March 15), we were notified that one team member’s test result came back positive. Walnut Hills follows the federal HIPAA policy and does not identify or comment on the health of specific residents or team members. The team member is showing no COVID symptoms and is quarantining at home.  

We have notified our local department of health and will continue to work with them to monitor any active cases.  

Due to the positive COVID test result, we are required by the Ohio Department of Health (ODH) to temporarily stop visitation at our Assisted and Catered Living building. We will evaluate and work within ODH guidelines in hopes of getting back to some of these activities as soon as we can do so safely.  

The team member positive test result also means we will be testing all Assisted and Catered Living residents at the same cadence as team members for the outbreak period.   

If you have questions, please do not hesitate to contact Melanie Ripley, Director of Health Care Services, at 330-893-3200, extension 1300. 

Thank you for your prayers and support.  

Sincerely,
Rob Aneshansel
Executive Director
 


March 2, 2021

As we approach the one-year mark of the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, we are encouraged. It was March 17, 2020, when life changed dramatically for Walnut Hills, its residents, its families, and its team members. After several months of challenges – including residents not being able to be with their neighbors and families, team members donning layers of personal protective equipment, and communal activities, meals in the dining rooms, and beauty shop services suspended – we are cautiously optimistic as we move into the next stage of reopening.

Visitation is now possible at Walnut Hills, as effective March 1, 2021, there has been a reported decrease in the positivity rate in Holmes County. This, in addition to having no new positive cases of COVID among residents and team members and avoiding additional outbreak situations, is a major milestone. The lower county positivity rate means Walnut Hills will be able to allow indoor visitation safely and comfortably for residents and families, beginning on Thursday, March 4th.

Please read the information below regarding the guidelines that were set forth by the Ohio Department of Health (ODH). These guidelines are being followed by Walnut Hills to ensure safety during the indoor visitation, as well as to ensure that we may remain COVID free and continue to have the ability to provide visitation for our residents and their loved ones.

Guidelines for indoor visitation at Walnut Hills – Nursing Home and Assisted Living: 

  1. All indoor visitations will be at designated, scheduled times. Each visit will be 30 minutes in length.
  2. There is a limit of two (2) visitors per visit.
  3. All visits must be scheduled in advance. See contact information below.
  4. At this time, we are asking that each resident has no more than two (2) visits per week to ensure that all residents have the opportunity to visit with their loved ones. There may be some limits to this based on availability.
  5. All visits will require social distancing of at least six (6) feet between visitors and residents. These are        no-contact visits.
  6. All visitors must sign in and provide contact information. All visitors will be screened for signs and symptoms of COVID-19 (including temperature). If a visitor has been in contact with anyone who is COVID-positive, he/she will not be able to visit.
  7. All visitors must use the provided alcohol-based hand sanitizer before and after visitation. Hand hygiene stations will be provided. 
  8. All visitors must stay in the designated visitation location for the entire visit. Visitors are not permitted to go to any other area of the building.
  9. Residents will be asked to wear a face mask during visitation, if they are able to comply.
  10. All visitors must wear a face mask (provided by Walnut Hills) at all times during visitation. Homemade masks are not permitted during the indoor visitation.
  11. Per the Ohio Department of Health, there is no age limit for visitors for the indoor visitation, however, all visitors shall be of an age of maturity to facilitate social distancing and not be a distraction to other residents, visitors or staff and able to wear a face covering.
  12. All areas where residents and visitors sit will be wiped down with an approved anti-viral disinfectant between visitations.
  13. All visits will be monitored.

Family members interested in scheduling a visitation with a resident at Assisted Living or Catered Living should call 330-893-3200, extension 1350, between 9:00 a.m. and 4:00 p.m., Monday through Friday.

Family members interested in scheduling a visitation with a resident at the Nursing Home should call 330-893-3200, extension 1303, between 9:00 a.m. and 4:00 p.m., Monday through Friday.

When family members call to schedule a visit, we will provide them with more detailed instructions on where to go and what to do when they arrive on campus for the visit.

Please keep in mind that if we experience a positive case of COVID with a resident or a team member or a spike in the number of cases in the county, visitation will need to be discontinued. Visitation may need to be stopped and started again with little notice per the requirements.

If you have any questions, please contact Melissa or Teresa.

Thank you for your patience, grace, and understanding as we work hard to provide needed visitation and connections and continue to provide the best care for our residents.  

Sincerely,
Rob Aneshansel
Executive Director/VP of Operations             

Additional note:

Due to the decrease in the county positivity rate and most residents having received both doses of the COVID-19 vaccine, the length of the mandatory quarantine for a resident returning to campus is being shortened. Residents who leave our communal buildings for physician/dentist appointments will now only be required to complete a three-day quarantine. An additional recommendation is that the resident will be given a rapid test for COVID at the conclusion of the three-day quarantine

 


February 10, 2021

 

With the pandemic still very much in our lives, we continue to keep our CROFT values at the forefront of what we do. Our values guide us in everything from how we treat one another to the decisions we make each day. As January has turned into February, we have completed the second and even third vaccination clinics for our residents and team members at each campus in the Greencroft system. 

This news is exciting as it means that most of our residents have gotten their second dose of the vaccine and are on their way to developing the needed immunity to COVID-19. While the number of team members taking the vaccine was not as high as our residents, we still had a good number of team members who decided to take the vaccine. The COVID-19 vaccine is not mandatory for our team members. We will continue to make this a voluntary action. 

The vaccine is now available to more and more age groups in each state which will bring us closer to the level of immunity needed in order be able to make changes in our routines. We have heard from many of you asking when restrictions will be removed. Our answer is that we must continue to follow the same guidelines put forth by the CDC (Center for Disease Control) and CMS (Centers for Medicare Medicaid Services) and our State Department of Health. We are unable to offer visitation until county positivity rates remain under 10% and we are COVID free for residents and team members. We wish that answer could be different. Truly, we do.  We are happy to report that some of the Greencroft Communities’ campuses will be able to have visitations restored now that county positivity rates are below 10%. We celebrate the joy this brings to our residents and family members.

For the time being, we must continue to social distance, wear masks, keep washing our hands, and avoid gatherings until we, as a society, can reach a level of immunity which would make those actions less important. Trusted resources tell us that while even after the second dose of the vaccine, we can still contract COVID-19, and thus we can still transmit the virus to others. The vaccine may keep recipients from experiencing the severe symptoms of COVID-19 but not from transmitting the virus to those who have not been vaccinated. Therefore, we must adhere to the safety protocols we have in place.

We are thankful for the protection the vaccine offers to our residents as they have suffered the most severe of the effects of this virus. To know they have protection is a blessing. We continue to educate and answer questions for our team members and families so you may make an informed decision on whether to accept this protection for yourself when you are eligible.

Should you have questions specific to our campus, please do not hesitate to contact me directly. Should you have questions about COVID-19 or the vaccine, please don’t hesitate to email covidquestions@greencroftcommunities.org.

Sincerely,

Robert Aneshansel Signature

 

 

Rob Aneshansel, VP of Operations
 



February 1, 2021

We trust this letter finds you healthy and warm and enjoying the beauty of the freshly-fallen snow. There is just something so peaceful about the hush that a winter storm brings. We are sending this letter to update you on recent developments at Walnut Hills regarding COVID-19, including plans to implement the next phase of opening up for some activities, dining, and other services.

 

Testing Results

At the Assisted/Catered Living building, we continue to test team members once a week (on Mondays).  Our two most recent rounds of testing resulted in no new COVID-positive team members at the AL/CL building.  We are no longer testing AL and CL residents on a weekly basis. Resident testing will now be done only if a resident is showing signs or symptoms of COVID.

COVID vaccine update
Walgreens will have health care personnel at the Walnut Hills Assisted Living facility on Thursday, February 4th to administer the second dose (booster) of the COVID-19 vaccine to Assisted and Catered Living residents and Walnut Hills’ team members. (This is different from the date given to you earlier. It is based on a 21-day period between doses instead of 28 days.) Over the next couple of days, Melissa will be going room-to-room to get residents’ signatures on the consent form for the second vaccine dose.

Reopening Plan
In light of the favorable results we have been seeing with COVID test results, we are ready to implement the next phase of opening up. We are excited to start offering some communal activities for our AL and CL residents, beginning today (2/1). The activities will open up slowly and will be done by hallways.

We are also planning to open up for Beauty Shop services, beginning Tuesday, February 9th. Residents can make an appointment by calling Teresa or Lisa in the Business Office, at extension 1350.

The third part of this reopening phase will be congregate dining. Our team is working on the logistics to provide a safe and enjoyable meal times for residents.

We understand how difficult the last several months have been for our residents and you, their families. We are excited to be able to move forward with the reopening plans. We do want to remind you that these reopening plans can change at any time. They are contingent upon the Holmes County positivity rate remaining steady or declining and our building continuing to have no new positive COVID cases.

Thank you for your continued prayers and support as we partner to provide our residents with the best care possible. 

If you have any questions or concerns, please contact one of us at the numbers below.

Sincerely,

Teresa Yoder                                                            Melissa Klintworth
Director of IL & AL Services                                    Director of AL Nursing Services
330-893-3200, extension 1351                                330-893-3200, extension 1356
 


January 19, 2021

This letter is being sent to keep you informed about recent developments here at Walnut Hills regarding COVID-19.

Our most recent rounds of testing resulted in one new COVID-positive team member at the Nursing Home and no new COVID-positive residents at the NH.  

Walnut Hills follows HIPAA laws and does not identify or comment on the health of specific residents or team members. The COVID-positive team member is quarantining at home and has been temporarily removed from the work schedule.  

We have implemented several safety measures designed to protect our residents and team members. These include a no visitor policy, enhanced health screening of residents and team members, weekly testing of team members and residents, isolating residents with symptoms/positive COVID test results, sending team members with symptoms home to quarantine, and other measures with the guidance from federal agencies, such as the Centers for Disease Control.  We have notified our department of health and will continue to work with them to monitor our active case(s).

We also want to let you know that Walgreens did return to the Nursing Home on Monday (18th) to administer the second dose (booster) of the COVID-19 vaccine to residents and team members.

If you have any questions or concerns, please contact Melanie Ripley, Director of Nursing, at 330-893-3200, ext. 1300.

Sincerely,
Rob Aneshansel
VP of Operations/Executive Director
 



January 8, 2021

This letter is being sent to keep you informed about recent developments here at Walnut Hills regarding COVID-19.

Our most recent round of testing this week resulted in one new COVID-positive resident at the Nursing Home and three new COVID-positive team members at the NH. We will be testing all NH residents and team members again on Monday, January 11th, and we will test once a week for 14 days, as required by the Ohio Department of Health.  

Walnut Hills follows HIPAA laws and does not identify or comment on the health of specific residents.  Rest assured, if we need to contact a family member with updates about a specific resident, we will reach out directly. 

We have implemented several safety measures designed to protect our residents and team members. These include a no visitor policy, enhanced health screening of residents and team members, weekly testing of team members and residents, isolating residents with symptoms/positive COVID test results, sending team members with symptoms home to quarantine, and other measures with the guidance from federal agencies, such as the Centers for Disease Control.  We have notified our department of health and will continue to work with them to monitor our active case(s).

We also want to let you know that Walgreens will be returning to the Nursing Home on January 18th to administer the second dose (booster) of the COVID-19 vaccine to residents and team members.

If you have any questions or concerns, please contact Melanie Ripley, our new Director of Nursing, at 330-893-3200, ext. 1300.

Sincerely,
Rob Aneshansel
VP of Operations/Executive Director 

 


 

December 10, 2020

This letter is being sent to keep you informed about recent developments here at Walnut Hills regarding COVID-19. We have been testing both team members and residents once a week. Our most recent round of testing this week resulted in no new COVID-positive residents at the Assisted/Catered Living building and no new COVID-positive team members at the AL/CL building. Our latest testing also resulted in no new COVID cases among residents or team members at our Nursing Home.  

Walnut Hills follows HIPAA laws and does not identify or comment on the health of specific residents. Rest assured, if we need to contact a family member with updates about a specific resident, we will reach out directly. 

We have implemented several safety measures designed to protect our residents and staff. These include a no visitor policy, enhanced health screening of residents and staff, weekly testing of staff and residents, isolating residents with symptoms/positive COVID test results, sending staff with symptoms home to quarantine, and other measures with the guidance from federal agencies, such as the Centers for Disease Control.  We have notified our department of health and will continue to work with them to monitor our active cases.

Thank you for your continued prayers and support as we partner to provide our residents with the best care possible. If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact Teresa Yoder at 330-893-3200, extension 1351, or Melissa Klintworth at extension 1356.

Thank you,

Rob Aneshansel
VP of Operations/Executive Director 

 


 

November 17, 2020

Our team continues to work every day to provide personalized and quality care for your loved one. Your loved one is and always will be family to us here at Walnut Hills, so our team is going above and beyond to care for them not only physically, but also socially, mentally, and spiritually. It truly is a calling for our team members to serve and care for our residents, and it is a privilege we do not take lightly.

While our outstanding team members are our number one asset, we would not be able to successfully provide care and services without all of the support we are receiving from our residents’ families and the surrounding community. Last Thursday, our team and residents were blessed and encouraged by a Drive-by Prayer Circle by our own independent living residents. We had almost 30 cars circle the Nursing Home and then the Assisted Living building, and right after 12 noon the IL residents stopped and prayed for our residents and their families, our team members, and the Walnut Hills organization. What a beautiful sight it was!

A group of individuals from the greater community has organized a blessing for our team members who are working 24/7 to provide excellent care to your loved ones. In recognition of their tireless efforts, the group is blessing each one of our (160) team members with a voucher for a carryout meal for four at Der Dutchman Restaurant. The group is accepting donations to help fund the project. If you are interested in giving, please see the information at the end of this letter.

For the week ending Saturday, November 14, we did have some new positive COVID cases among residents and team members at the Nursing Home and Assisted Living building. We currently have six (6) active cases of COVID among residents at the Nursing Home and no new active COVID cases among residents at Assisted/Catered Living. We are continuing with weekly testing as symptoms dictate. We have many residents at both buildings who recovered from COVID this past week and moved back into their rooms. We have a total of eight (8) team members who are currently isolating and recovering at home following positive COVID test results.

Walnut Hills is posting regular COVID-related updates, including the latest number of cases on our website. When you visit the website, click on the orange bar at the top, and then scroll down to find Walnut Hills.

Holiday Time

As we enter the holiday season, we understand how much you want to see your loved ones. Based on information from local hospitals and physicians and recommendations from the Ohio Department of Health (ODH) and the Center for Disease Control, we are asking that you do not take your loved one off campus. Holiday celebrations with family and friends have the potential to be devastating to residents and team members on our campus. Please remain diligent in protecting your health and the health of your family. Should you decide to take your loved one off campus for the upcoming holidays, we ask the resident to begin a 14-day quarantine upon return to campus. Please understand that this precaution is recommended by ODH to help us protect other residents on our campus.

Our team will do everything we can to make the upcoming holidays special for our residents, with proper precautions and safety measures in place. While in-person visits are not possible at this time, we do have several alternative ways to help you connect with your loved one.

  • Phone calls – You can call in anytime, and we can assist to coordinate privacy and ease of visiting.
  • Cards, gifts, and care packages can be dropped off at the front entrance. The tables are checked regularly, and our team will deliver the package to your loved one as soon as possible. 
  • Window visits can be set up. We suggest shorter visits and coordinating these with our team.  Please remember that the window needs to remain closed, and both parties will need to use their own phones.
  • Skype or Facetime calls are encouraged. We can assist in setting up these virtual visits with you.
  • Also, if you have a message or photo(s) you would like to share with your loved one, you can send them to blessings@walnuthillsliving.org, and we will print them out and share them with your loved one.  

We want to hear and address any questions or concerns you have as quickly as possible. Please reach out to me at the Nursing Home at 330-893-3200, ext. 1306, or rob.aneshansel@walnuthillsliving.org. At Assisted Living, please contact Teresa Yoder at ext. 1351 or teresa.yoder@walnuthillsliving.org or Melissa Klintworth at ext. 1356 or melissa.klintworth@walnuthillsliving.org

Thank you for extending grace as we navigate these challenging times.

Sincerely,
Rob Aneshansel
Executive Director

P.S. If you are not already receiving these updates via email and would like to receive the updates more quickly (via electronic means), please contact us with your email address. 

Information on the Walnut Hills Employee Appreciation Trust (WHEAT)

One practical way to help support the Walnut Hills team is by helping provide a carryout meal for each team member and his/her family. Funds donated to WHEAT will be used to help pay for those meals.

Anyone interested in contributing to the fund can send a donation to Berlin Mennonite Church at P.O. Box 217, Berlin, Ohio 44610. The check should be marked with WHEAT in the memo line and should be made payable to Berlin Mennonite Church. 
 


November 10, 2020

Thank you for the support and prayers you have offered our team during this pandemic. The personalized care and individual attention to each resident is our top priority. Your loved one is and always will be family to us here at Walnut Hills.

On a daily basis, our team members work to provide the quality of care you expect from us while also providing transparent communications. We have been sending these communications weekly, and we plan to increase updates, if necessary. We want to hear and address any questions or concerns you have as quickly as possible. Please reach out to us by phone or email using the contact information at the bottom of this letter.

Over the upcoming week, we will be strategically focusing on:

  • Offering more choices at meal time
  • Deep cleaning of all rooms
  • Complete bed linen changes
  • Scheduled tub baths or showers for all residents

For the week ending, Saturday, November 7, we had several new positive COVID cases among residents and team members at both the Nursing Home and Assisted Living building. We currently have three (3) active cases of COVID among residents at the Nursing Home and 11 active COVID cases among residents at Assisted/Catered Living. Residents are recuperating and moving out of the isolation units, as appropriate. We also have a total of 13 team members who are currently isolating and recovering at home following positive COVID test results.

Below are some of the protocols we have in place:

  • We are testing both residents and team members weekly, so we can try to keep the virus from spreading further.
  • We have set up isolation units at both buildings to care for residents with COVID.  Team members who are positive for COVID and are showing no signs or symptoms are able to work in the isolation units.
  • We have increased liquids to all COVID-positive residents and other residents not feeling well.
  • We have suspended all congregate activities, including meals and activities, and all residents are quarantining in their rooms/apartments.
  • We are working closely with our facility physicians and residents’ physicians to help our residents recover from the virus.

Visiting your loved one

A top concern for families is making sure that their loved one is not being socially isolated. Let us reassure you that our team is going beyond the call of duty when interacting with each resident. Yes, care is the top priority, but for us “caring” is just as important.

There are several ways for you to stay engaged while we work through our quarantine:

  • Phone calls – You can call in anytime, and we can assist to coordinate privacy and ease of visiting.
  • Window visits can be set up. We suggest shorter visits and coordinating these with our team.  Reminder that the window will need to remain closed, and both parties will need to use their own phones.
  • Skype or Facetime calls are encouraged. We can assist in setting up these virtual visits with you.
  • Also, if you have a message or photo(s) you would like to share with your loved one, you can send them to blessings@walnuthillsliving.org, and we will print them out and share them with your loved one.  

A reminder, Walnut Hills is posting regular COVID-related updates, including the latest number of cases, to our website. When you visit the website, click on the orange bar at the top, and then scroll down to find Walnut Hills.

Also, if you are not already receiving these updates via email and would like to receive the updates more quickly (via electronic means), please contact us with your email address. 

If you have any questions, please contact me at the Nursing Home at 330-893-3200, ext. 1306, or rob.aneshansel@walnuthillsliving.org, or at Assisted Living, please contact Teresa Yoder at ext. 1351 or teresa.yoder@walnuthillsliving.org or Melissa Klintworth at ext. 1356 or melissa.klintworth@walnuthillsliving.org

Thank you for extending grace as we navigate these challenging times. We ask for your continued prayers for our residents and their families and our team members and their families. 

Sincerely,
Rob Aneshansel
Executive Director

 


October 23, 2020

Walnut Hills Logo

 

 

We are blessed to work and live in an area that constantly reminds us through its beauty of God’s creativity, omnipotence, and faithfulness. As the pandemic continues, levels of anxiety and stress are increasing for our residents and team members. But we know God is with us, and we are trusting that He will sustain us.

The number of COVID cases in Holmes County has been growing significantly over recent days/weeks, and there is significant spread of the virus in our area and throughout the state.

Since the beginning of the pandemic, we have been working diligently and proactively to prevent Coronavirus at Walnut Hills. Even with our best efforts, we have had residents and team members at our Nursing Home and Assisted Living test positive for COVID-19. We now have designated areas in both buildings that are serving as isolation units, and any residents who test positive for COVID are being cared for in those units.  

We have notified our local department of health and will continue to work with them to monitor any active cases.

We are testing team members and residents, with the frequency determined by the Ohio Department of Health and Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS).

Due to the positive cases in our congregate buildings, we are asking residents to stay in their rooms or apartments. We have suspended communal dining, activities, beauty shop services, and indoor and outdoor visitations. We will evaluate and hope to get back to some of these activities as soon as we can do so safely. 

We appreciate your patience and grace as we continue to navigate these unchartered waters and as we work hard, with the Lord’s help, to give our residents the best care possible.

We welcome your prayers for health, wisdom, guidance, peace, protection, strength, and endurance.

Sincerely,
Rob Aneshansel
Executive Director/VP of Operations
 


October 20, 2020

This letter is to inform you of recent developments at Walnut Hills. We have been working diligently and proactively to prevent the Coronavirus. However, we have had residents and team members at our Nursing Home test positive for COVID-19. Walnut Hills follows the federal HIPAA policy and does not identify or comment on the health of specific residents or team members. Rest assured, if we need to contact a family member with updates about a specific resident, we will reach out directly. Prayers for our residents and team members would be appreciated.

We have notified our local department of health and will continue to work with them to monitor any active cases.

We have adopted a number of measures designed to protect our residents and team members, including COVID testing of residents and team members on a regular basis, with the frequency determined by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS). We continue to allow no outside visitors in our communal buildings, we continue to complete frequent health screening of residents and team members, all team members are wearing a face mask, we are sending team members with symptoms home to quarantine, and we are following other measures with the guidance from federal agencies, such as the Centers for Disease Control.

If you have questions, please do not hesitate to contact Deb Hershberger, RN, at 330-893-3200, extension 1311, Linda Hamsher, RN, at Extension 1312, or me at Extension 1306.

Thank you,
Rob Aneshansel
Executive Director

 


October 16, 2020

This letter is to inform you of recent developments at Walnut Hills. We have been working diligently and proactively to prevent the Coronavirus. However, we have had two team members at our Nursing Home test positive for COVID-19. Walnut Hills follows the federal HIPAA policy and does not identify or comment on the health of specific residents or team members. The team members quarantined immediately. The team members are in isolation and are recovering. Prayers for the team members would be appreciated.

We have notified our local department of health and will continue to work with them to monitor any active case(s).

We have adopted a number of measures designed to protect our residents and team members, including COVID testing of team members on a regular basis, with the frequency determined by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS). We continue to allow no outside visitors in our communal buildings, we continue to complete frequent health screening of residents and team members, all team members are wearing a face mask, we are sending team members with symptoms home to quarantine, and we are following other measures with the guidance from federal agencies, such as the Centers for Disease Control.

If you have questions, please do not hesitate to contact me at 330-893-3200, Extension 1306, or Marcus Emler, Director of Healthcare Services, at 330-893-3200, Extension 1300.

Thank you,
Rob Aneshansel
Executive Director 


October 13, 2020

Autumn is a beautiful time of year in Walnut Creek. While we enjoy the splendid colors of the foliage on our campus and delicious pumpkin desserts and apple cider, we realize that the fall season also brings cooler temperatures, which means finding warmer, more comfortable options for our residents to visit with their loved ones.

We have worked hard to finalize plans, and we started offering indoor visitation opportunities on October 12th at both the Nursing Home and the Assisted Living community. As with the outdoor visitations, there are many guidelines we must follow and many safety measures we must consider.  

Please read the information below carefully, as some of the guidelines are the same as they were with the outdoor visitation, however, some of the guidelines are different.

Guidelines for indoor visitation at Walnut Hills – Nursing Home and Assisted Living:

  1. All indoor visitations will be at designated, scheduled times. Each visit will be 30 minutes in length.
  2. There is a limit of two (2) visitors per visit.
  3. All visits will require social distancing of at least 6 feet between visitors and residents. These are no-contact visits.
  4. All visitors must sign in and provide contact information. All visitors will be screened for signs and symptoms of COVID-19 (including temperature). If you have been in contact with anyone who is COVID-positive, you will not be able to visit.
  5. All visitors must use the provided alcohol-based hand sanitizer before and after visitation. Hand hygiene stations will be provided.
  6. All visitors must stay in the designated visitation location for the entire visit. Visitors are not permitted to go to any other area of the building(s).
  7. Residents will be asked to wear a face mask during visitation, if they are able to comply.
  8. All visitors must wear a face mask (provided by Walnut Hills) at all times during visitation.
  9. Per the Ohio Department of Health, there is no age limit for visitors for the indoor visitation. Please note, if you choose to bring a child with you for an indoor visit, the child must stay with you the entire time, the child must maintain at least 6 feet social distancing from the resident, and the child must be able to wear a face mask during the entire visitation. Special family circumstances may be approved by the Vice President of Operations.
  10. All areas where residents and visitors sit will be wiped down with an approved anti-viral disinfectant between visitations.
  11. We will have adequate staff to help with transporting residents and wiping down visitation areas after each visit. Visits will be monitored by staff members and/or cameras.

Family members interested in scheduling a visitation with a resident at the Nursing Home should call 330-893-3200, extension 1301, during business hours (Monday through Friday, 8:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.).

Family members interested in scheduling a visitation with a resident at Assisted Living or Catered Living should call 330-893-3200, extension 1350, during business hours (Monday through Friday, 8:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.).

When you call to schedule your visit, we will provide you with more detailed instructions on where to go and what to do when you arrive on campus for your visit.

Please keep in mind that if we experience a positive case of COVID with a resident or a team member or a spike in the number of cases in the county, visitation will need to be discontinued. Visitation may need to be stopped and started again with little notice per the requirements.

The precautions and procedures listed in this letter follow the guidelines from the Ohio Department of Health.

If you have any questions, please reach out to me at extension 1306 or Marcus Emler, Director of Healthcare Services, at extension 1300.

Thank you again for your patience, grace, and understanding as we work hard to keep everyone safe while providing needed visitation and connections.

Sincerely,
Rob Aneshansel
Executive Director/VP of Operations

 


September 14, 2020

As part of our CROFT Values, we have maintained transparency with you regarding anything which may impact you or your loved one. To that end, we wish to share with you that under the new CMS requirements, we have been required to test our team members twice per week. During this new round of testing, we had a team member with a positive test result of COVID-19. The team member continues to be asymptomatic, showing no symptoms, and feels fine.

The risk of exposure for residents is also low, as the team member wore a mask the entire time and exercised proper hand sanitation.  

At this time, according to the CDC guidance, we will have all nursing home residents tested as a precautionary measure. We are required to follow this guidance and know you would want us to protect your loved ones. Please know that we do not currently have any residents who are displaying signs or symptoms of COVID-19.  

Also, in accordance with CDC guidance, we must cancel all nursing home family visitation until 14 days have passed with no positive tests results. Once that occurs, we will be able to resume visitation, if no new positive results occur.

We will continue to monitor our residents for signs and symptoms and will retest as recommended. We hope you understand our primary focus is to provide for the health and safety of your loved ones and our team members.

As always, we appreciate your prayers for strength and guidance for our residents and team members as we continue to provide excellent, compassionate care to your loved ones. If you have any questions, feel free to contact me or Marcus Emler at (330) 893-3200. 

Sincerely,
Rob Aneshansel
Vice President of Operations
 


August 14, 2020

Greetings! I would like to share another challenge with you this week. I recently read a short piece from a pastor who encourages us to write our own headlines. The pastor shared his frustration with the current world situation and how he felt this is his “new normal.” He then met an 87-year-old gentleman who lived through polio, diphtheria, and Vietnam protests. The pastor suggested to the man that 2020 must be especially challenging for him. The man seemed surprised and said “no.” Then the man added:

“I learned a long time ago to not see the world through the printed headlines. I see the world through the people who surround me. I see the world with the realization that we love big. Therefore, I choose to write my own headlines (like ‘Husband Loves Wife Today’ … ‘Family Drops Everything to Come to Grandma’s Bedside’ … and ‘Old Man Makes New Friend’). ”

May these words from this 87-year-old man challenge and encourage you.

May your spirit be renewed, and may you choose to write your own headlines.

– Paula Miller, Community Relations Coordinator 

Updates

At the time this update was published, the Holmes County Health Department is reporting 331 cases of COVID-19 in Holmes County, with 32 hospitalizations and seven deaths (accumulative). In neighboring counties … Tuscarawas County is reporting 802 cases, and Wayne County is reporting 567 cases.

Walnut Hills is now testing team members for COVID every two weeks. This is a requirement of the Ohio Department of Health. We conducted our first round of retesting on August 10th. This testing is now being conducted by our own Walnut Hills’ team members, and the tests are then sent out to labs for processing. We are hopeful that results from the latest round of testing will come back favorable.

We continue to work at meeting the requirements to start offering outdoor visitation for Nursing Home residents and their families. ALL team members must be tested prior to beginning outdoor visitations at the Nursing Home, and there are a few more safety procedures we need to get in place. Stay tuned. 

Outdoor visitations at Assisted Living are going well. All outdoor visits at Assisted and Catered Living must be scheduled during business hours with the Business Office at extension 1350.

Reminders

If you are dropping off or picking up something from the Retirement Home, we ask that you wear a face mask when doing so. This is to help protect our team members who are coming to the door to assist you.

If you are walking or riding a golf cart or bicycle around our campus, we ask that you wear a mask or at least carry a mask with you, so you can put the mask on when you approach others who are also out and about. 

Thank you for your support and prayers.  If you have any questions or need anything, please let us  know.             

— Teresa Yoder, Director of IL & AL Services
— Paula Miller, Community Relations Director
 


July 17, 2020

Walnut Hills will begin offering opportunities for outdoor visitation at our Assisted Living facility on Tuesday, July 21st. The outdoor visits will take place in designated areas around our building and will take place at scheduled times. The 45-minute visits will be scheduled on an hourly basis between 9:00 a.m. and 6:00 p.m. on weekdays only. The visits are limited to family members and POAs of residents, and there is a maximum of three (3) visitors at a time for each resident.

All of the precautions and procedures listed below follow the guidelines from the Ohio Department of Health. If you would like more information or would like to see the specific orders from ODH, you can visit https://coronavirus.ohio.gov/wps/portal/gov/covid-19/healthcare-providers-and-local-health-districts/Public-Health-Orders/

Guidelines for outdoor visitation at Walnut Hills Retirement Home: 

  1. All outdoor visitation will be at designated, scheduled times.
  2. All visits will require social distancing of at least 6 feet between visitors and residents. Partitions will be used to indicate 6-foot distances at each location. These are no-contact visits.
  3. We will have adequate staff to help with outdoor transition of residents and wiping down visitation areas after each visit. Visits will be monitored by staff members and cameras.  
  4. Residents must have the ability to safely transition from their room to a designated outdoor visitation area.
  5. All visitors will be screened for signs and symptoms of COVID-19 (including temperature) and must sign in and provide contact information. If you have been in contact with anyone who is COVID-positive, you will not be able to visit.
  6. If you are traveling a distance to visit a resident, please check the Walnut Creek weather forecast prior to leaving. You may wish to reschedule if it is calling for rain. 
  7. All visitors must use the provided alcohol-based hand sanitizer before and after visitation. Hand hygiene stations will be provided, and someone will be available to demonstrate proper use, if necessary.
  8. All visitors must stay in the designated visitation location.
  9. Residents will be asked to wear a face mask during visitation, if they are able to comply.
  10. All visitors must wear a face mask at all times during visitation. We ask that you provide your own face mask.
  11. Visitation is restricted to children 12 years of age or older. Visitors with children must be able to manage them, and children must be able to wear a face mask during the entire visitation. Special family circumstances warranting children under the age of 12 to visit may be approved by the Vice President of Operations.
  12. All areas where residents and visitors sit will be wiped down with an approved anti-viral disinfectant between the visitations.

Family members interested in scheduling an outdoor visitation with their Assisted Living or Catered Living resident are asked to call us during business hours (Monday through Friday, 8:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.) at 330-893-3200, extension 1350. When you call to schedule your visit, we will provide you with more detailed instructions on where to go and what to do when you arrive on campus for your visit.

Thank you again for your patience and support.

Sincerely,

Melissa Klintworth                                          Teresa Yoder
AL Nursing Manager                                      Director of AL & IL Services


July 15, 2020

You may have heard that Governor Dewine recently announced skilled nursing facilities can start opening for outdoor visitation on July 20th. The outdoor visitation will NOT be starting at the Walnut Hills Nursing Home on July 20th. The Governor and the Ohio Department of Health said the outdoor visitation can only be provided when all safety standards can be met. One of the key requirements is that the COVID-19 testing of all our Nursing Home team members must be completed by the Ohio National Guard before we can start offering the outdoor visitation to families. The National Guard has not yet been to Walnut Hills for the COVID testing. While we wait for testing to be completed, our team will be working to get some safety procedures and precautions in place, so we can prepare to offer a safe outdoor visitation experience.     

While you await the start of outdoor visitation, we encourage you to continue to visit your loved one with phone calls, Facetime or Skype calls, and window visits. If you are making a window visit with your loved one, please do not ask the resident to open the window. The visit/conversation must be conducted using a telephone on both ends, and the window must remain closed. Also, when you come to campus to make a window visit, we ask that you bring a face mask to wear, as there is potential for you to come in contact with other visitors or residents who may be out walking.

We know some people are anxious for Walnut Hills to offer outdoor visits with loved ones at our Nursing Home. We will be working hard to meet all the requirements. Our number one priority is the health and safety of our residents and team members.

We will communicate with you when a date has been set for outdoor visitation at our Nursing Home, and at that time, we will also provide information on scheduling a visit and the safety protocols that must be followed during the visits. 

Thank you for your continued prayers and support. 

Please do not hesitate to contact us should you have further concerns or questions.

Sincerely,
Rob Aneshansel
Executive Director 


July 1, 2020

We are writing to keep you informed of recent developments here at Walnut Hills. Although we have been working proactively to prevent Coronavirus on our campus, this week, one of our Independent Living residents tested positive for COVID-19.

Walnut Hills follows HIPAA policy and does not identify or comment on the health of specific residents. I can confirm that this resident is in self-quarantine and is currently recovering at home. I can also assure you that this resident has not been inside our Nursing Home or Assisted Living building.  

We are working closely with the Holmes County Health Department to monitor the resident, and our team is providing support to the resident to help navigate the recovery. From the information we have at this time, it appears the positive diagnosis was a result of community spread of COVID-19.

At Walnut Hills, we prioritize the health and well-being of our team members, our residents, and their families, and we have adopted a number of safety measures to protect them all. We continue to encourage team members and our Independent Living residents to practice social distancing, wear a face mask, avoid groups of 10 or more, and wash their hands frequently when on campus and out in the community. In addition, our CROFT Values (Creativity, Respect, Openness, Fairness, and Teamwork) guide us as we engage with each other to determine the best course of action.  

Thank you for your continued prayers and support as we partner to provide our residents with the best care possible. Should you have questions, please do not hesitate to contact me at extension 1306, Teresa Yoder, Director of IL & AL Services, at extension 1351, or Marcus Emler, Directory of Health Care Services, at extension 1300.

Sincerely,

Rob Aneshansel
Executive Director
Vice President of Operations


 

June 12, 2020

Greetings!

As we continue to navigate this pandemic and tackle all of the challenges that have come with it, we want to encourage you to look for the positives. There are so many good things happening here at Walnut Hills. These good things are happening because of our outstanding team and you, our caring residents. It is easy to get “down” during this time, but we challenge you to look around for those positives and express gratitude for them. Gratefulness can be very therapeutic during times of stress and anxiety. As you look for and find these good things and positives, please share them with us. You can email them to blessings@walnuthillsliving.org. Your expressions of gratitude (even in the little things) are a great encouragement to us and the entire Walnut Hills team.

THANK YOU to all of you who participated in the Drive-By Parade on Monday, June 8th. What a great start to our week! We appreciate you sharing your time and making a few rounds around our Nursing Home and Assisted Living building. The parade really did make the day for many of our residents. Some are still talking about what a great event it was and what a fun time they had! We have also received many comments of gratitude from residents’ families, as you filled a void that they are not able to due to pandemic-related restrictions. We are so thankful for your support and your willingness to help out.

Updates

As of the time this update was published, the Holmes County Health Department is reporting 76 cases of COVID-19 in Holmes County, with four hospitalizations (accumulative) and three (3) deaths. In neighboring counties … Tuscarawas County is reporting 403 cases, and Wayne County is reporting 302 cases. As these numbers continue to rise, we highly encourage you to take precautions — social distancing, wearing a mask, washing our hands, and avoiding groups of 10 or more — both here on campus and while you are out in the community.

Information

  • We continue to work on a safe plan for the mulching around your homes in The Commons and The Meadows. The COVID-19 pandemic presents extra challenges for this project, and we must continue to look at our number one priority — keeping our residents and team members safe. As we determine details of how the mulching will occur, we will get the information to you.
  • Adopt-A-Highway program … We have scheduled our trash pick up for Tuesday, June 16th. We will meet at the RH front entrance at 9:00 a.m. We could use a few more volunteers. If you would be interested in helping with the trash pick up, please call Teresa or Lisa at extension 1350.

Updates

As you may have heard, the Governor issued guidelines for outdoor visitation for Assisted Living communities, and some communities have opened up to outdoor visitation. Walnut Hills is working to put procedures in place to provide safe outdoor visitation at Assisted Living. We hope to have the safety procedures in place later this month, so we can begin offering this option for Assisted Living families. Visitation opportunities at skilled nursing facilities will come on a slower timeline. Stay tuned for updates. The “No Visitors” policy does remain in effect for both the Retirement Home and the Nursing home. We continue to ask that you do not come in and out of those buildings, and we continue to encourage you to not allow outside visitors in your homes at The Commons and The Meadows.

Thank you for all of your support and understanding. If you have any questions, please let us know.

— Teresa Yoder (Director of IL and AL Services)
— Paula Miller (Community Relations Director)
 


June 5, 2020

Dear Walnut Hills Assisted Living Families,

We hope this letter finds you in good health and enjoying the warmth of June.

Our team continues to work intentionally to keep your loved one safe and healthy and to provide social, physical, and spiritual activities to meet their needs. Keeping up with the ever-changing guidelines from the Ohio Department of Health and other regulatory agencies has been quite the challenge, but we feel our team has been meeting the challenges head on with our CROFT Values of Creativity, Respect, Openness, Fairness, and Teamwork.  

The reopening of our Dining Room at Assisted Living this week has gone very well. The residents have been very happy to return to the Dining Room to eat at a table and on real dishes. We have tried to make the experience special for the residents by playing music and sharing encouraging words. By the time you receive this letter, all of our Catered and Assisted Living residents will have had their first opportunity to dine in the Dining Room for the noon meal.

As you may have heard, Governor Mike Dewine has issued guidance for outdoor visitation for Assisted Living Communities. The guidance for how that can occur came out earlier this week. One of the most important guidelines was to only provide outdoor visitation when safety standards can be met. To that end, the team at Walnut Hills will work to put procedures in place to provide safe outdoor visitation. Outdoor visitation will include guidelines such as taking temperatures of all visitors, maintaining social distancing, and wearing face masks. These visits will also occur at scheduled times with time limits in order to allow for all residents to receive a visitor. We will also most likely have a limit on the number of visitors at any given time. We know it has been difficult for both you and our residents to not be able to visit face-to-face during this pandemic. We ask for your patience, as we work to provide safe visitation opportunities on a timeline which is appropriate for everyone. You will, of course, receive additional information from us with more details on the timeframe, process and guidelines.

A reminder … If you come to drop off a care package or other items or come to pick up something from your loved one, please do not enter the building. We ask that you ring the doorbell located outside at the main entrance, and someone will come out to assist you.   

We also want to let you know that Melissa has been conducting many Teledoc and digital appointments with some of our residents and their physicians. She reports these appointments have gone well. This is a great option that allows residents to get the medical assistance they need without having to leave the building. If you would like assistance setting up a Teledoc or digital appointment for your loved one, please contact Melissa at extension 1356. 

Thank you for allowing us to care for your loved one. We ask for your continued prayers as we continue to navigate this challenging time.

If you have any questions or need any assistance with anything, please contact Melissa or Teresa.

Sincerely,
Rob Aneshansel
Executive Director


June 1, 2020 

Walnut Hills has been working diligently and proactively to prevent COVID-19 on our campus. However, like many other long-term care communities similar to ours, we now have a confirmed case of the virus. A team member at our Nursing Home has tested positive for COVID-19. 

Walnut Hills follows the federal HIPAA policy and does not identify or comment on the health of specific residents or team members. The team member has not worked at Walnut Hills for one week and is recovering at home. We have notified the Holmes County Health Department and will continue to work with them to monitor any active case(s).

We have adopted a number of measures designed to protect our residents and team members. These include a "no visitor" policy, enhanced health screening of residents and team members, all team members wearing face masks, isolating residents with symptoms, sending team members with symptoms home to quarantine, and other measures with the guidance from federal agencies, such as the Centers for Disease Control.  In addition, our CROFT Values (Creativity, Respect, Openness, Fairness, and Teamwork) guide us as we engage with each other to determine the best course of action.  

Thank you for your continued prayers and support as we partner to provide our residents with the best care possible.  Should you have questions, please do not hesitate to contact me at 330-893-3200, Extension 1306, or Marcus Emler, Director of Health Care Services, at 330-893-3200, Extension 1300.

Thank you,
Rob Aneshansel
Vice President of Operations


May 29, 2020

We would like to share that while we have no positive cases on campus at this time for residents or team members, we do have one resident in healthcare who is being tested.  When we know the outcome of the test, we will share that information.
 


May 26, 2020

We continue to have no cases of COVID-19 for residents or team members on our campus.  We are also not awaiting any test test results.  We thank you for your prayers and support.
 


May 18, 2020

We continue to celebrate our status of no positive cases of COVID-19 on the Walnut Hills campus.  Thank you to our team members who have been so diligent in making sure our residents stay safe and healthly. 
 


May 7, 2020

Dear Families,

It is hard to believe it has been eight weeks since our world changed in a way we couldn’t have imagined. While the weeks have been filled with challenges and much of the pandemic is unpredictable, one thing we can say has not changed is the quality of the care our Walnut Hills’ team has provided every day and night.

We are blessed to have such a compassionate, dedicated group of individuals providing care to the older adults you have entrusted to Walnut Hills. With so much negative media attention on long-term care facilities, we are so pleased with all of the positive things happening on our campus.

We are very thankful for the creativity, openness, and teamwork that have been demonstrated by our team during this time. Meeting the physical, social, spiritual, and mental needs of our residents is even a bigger challenge during this pandemic, but our team has risen to the occasion. From sharing creative ideas for activities to meet the residents’ needs to being open to new ways of providing our services to adhere to state guidelines to team members working together to provide high-quality care.

This outstanding care has once again been affirmed by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services. CMS has awarded Walnut Hills with another 5-star overall rating following a recent review of all nursing homes in Ohio. Walnut Hills also received a 4-star rating for staffing.

As far as a specific COVID-19 update, there are no cases of COVID-19 on our Walnut Hills campus. The Holmes County Health Department reports six total confirmed cases, with two hospitalizations (accumulative), and one death.

As Ohio businesses start to reopen, Walnut Hills continues to encourage team members to only go out when necessary and to wear a mask when they must go out. The team members’ diligence with these precautions has helped keep your loved ones and our team healthy and safe, and we believe continuing to exercise caution will maintain this level of safety for our campus.

The restriction on visitors to Walnut Hills is still in place. We do not have an indication of when the Ohio Department of Health and other state organizations will allow the restrictions to be relaxed. The Walnut Hills campus will be taking a conservative approach to reopening to visitors. We are currently working on a plan to implement when restrictions are lifted at long-term care facilities. We will provide details of that plan when that time comes.  

Thank you for your support of Walnut Hills and for entrusting your loved one to our care. It is a privilege we do not take lightly. We appreciate your continued prayers and support as we partner to provide our residents with the best care possible. 

Please do not hesitate to contact us should you have further concerns or questions.

Sincerely,

Rob Aneshansel
Executive Director 

P.S. If you have not already done so, please send your email address to Paula Miller, Community Relations Director, at paula.miller@walnuthillsliving.org The email addresses will be added to our list for our new PhoneTree, which will allow us to provide timely updates.


May 1, 2020

Status of COVID-19 testing, for residents as well as team members will be updated here weekly.  Should there be a positive test result, the updates will be daily so you can stay informed.  We will always communicate test results directly with the designated family members.  We will also communicate directly regarding any exposure to COVID-19. 

Walnut Hills Retirement Community      
Residents Independent Living Assisted Living Healthcare  
Testing 0 0 0  
Negative Tests 1      
Positive Tests        
Recoveries        
Deaths        
Number of Off Campus Residents in COVID Unit      0  
Number of Campus Residents in COVID Unit*      0  
         
*COVID Unit is located in our healthcare setting.  A resident indicated as IL or AL will come from that area of campus into the COVID Unit in our healthcare setting.
         
Team Members Independent Living Assisted Living Healthcare Serves Multiple Areas of Campus*
Testing 0 0 0 0
Negative Tests        
Positive Tests        
Recoveries        
Deaths        
*This means a team member who may work in two different areas of campus or may serve residents in two areas of campus.  An example would be a Dietary, Housekeeping, Maintenance or Management Team Members who serve multiple areas of campus.

March 24, 2020

We are recommending that no resident leave our healthcare or assisted living areas except for emergency medical services.  Should a resident leave campus, it may impact our ability to provide care for them at Walnut Hills. Our Medical Director also supports our recommendation as well. Any time an assisted living or healthcare resident leaves our campus, they risk exposure to COVID-19. 

This recommendation does not apply to our independent living residents. However, the Govenor has implemented a stay at home order which restricts travel for non-essential reasons. Therefore, independent living residents should practice self isolation and restrict visitors from their homes.

While we understand that this is a difficult time to be apart from your loved one, it is for the protection of your family member as well as all the other residents on our campus. 

Thank you for understanding and patience. 


March 16, 2020

As a precautionary measure to protect our residents and in response to the 2019 Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) we have canceled all public events on each of our campuses. Please keep an eye on our Facebook page and/or website for additional updates and information on when we will reschedule these events. 

For additional information about the prevention of COVID-19, visit https://www.cdc.gov/…/2019-…/about/prevention-treatment.html.

We thank our visitors and residents for their cooperation with these temporary protocols and for your understanding as we work to ensure the safety and well-being of all who live in, work at and visit our communities.
 


March 13, 2020

To all Walnut Hills families and visitors,

Effective today, we are limiting visitors to the Nursing Home, Transitional Care Unit, and Assisted Living buildings at Walnut Hills. Limited visitation means no visitors will be allowed to come into our facilities, except for end-of-life and emergency situations. We will be screening all vendors and other support personnel for essential visitation.

These limitations are being put into effect based on recommendations from the CDC and CMS.

Our number one priority at Walnut Hills is the well-being of our residents. We understand this is a potential hardship for families and residents, but we must be vigilant about protecting this vulnerable population.

We appreciate your understanding and will keep you informed of further updates. If you have any questions, please call us at 330-893-3200.


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