Update: June 3, 2020
Beginning June 5th, Philadelphia and surrounding counties will be moving from the red phase to yellow in the state’s COVID-19 reopening guide.
During the yellow phase, face-to-face visits in nursing homes are still prohibited. However, we understand the difficulty of being separated from loved ones over the past couple of months. With the easing of the stay-at-home policy, we will begin scheduling window visits for households not under strict quarantine starting the week of June 8th.
For those applicable households, window visits will be held at the vestibule of our Mildred Shor Inn on the first floor. These visits must be scheduled and will occur in 30 minute increments. At the visit time, residents will be given a cell phone which will be sanitized after each use. Family members can use their own cell phones to call the phone number which will be given to them at the time of the visit.
We ask that all family members please be prompt for their visits. A strict schedule will be observed so that as many residents can see their loved ones as possible.
For those families who wish to visit more frequently, we will have a wait list. If slots are cancelled or not filled, we will call and offer those slots to those on the list.
Window visits for household D1 will occur in the household sunroom by appointment only.
Our patients and residents on households A1 and B1 are allowed to have loved ones visit at their room windows from noon until 6:00 p.m. No scheduling is necessary.
We would like to remind all visitors that climbing our secure fence, breaking into a window, or attempting to scale our loading dock is dangerous and strictly prohibited. If a gate is locked, it is for the safety and security of our residents.
As we start looking forward to the green phase of the reopening guidelines, we will share our plan for continuing to loosen visitor restrictions while keeping our residents safe. We thank everyone for their patience and support as we work through this difficult time.
We will be reaching out to all number one contacts for our residents to schedule window visits in the next few days. We look forward to facilitating the next phase!
Update: May 27, 2020
On May 21st, Abramson Senior Care Chief Operating Officer Valerie Palmieri was asked to provide testimony to an informational meeting of the PA House of Representative’s Aging and Older Adult Services Committee.
Also joining the session were Secretary of Health Dr. Rachel Levine, Executive Deputy Secretary Sarah Boateng, and Marcus Schabacker, MD, PhD, president and CEO of Plymouth Meeting healthcare nonprofit ECRI.
The Committee convened the meeting to examine the effect of COVID-19 on nursing homes throughout the Commonwealth. Valerie testified about how the virus has impacted the Abramson Residence, including the difficulties in acquiring supplies and testing kits, and on ways the state can provide support for ongoing mitigation methods. She also presented some strategies on how Department of Health surveys can be a more productive experience for long-term care facilities.
Watch Valerie’s testimony, beginning at minute 23 in the May 21st video here.
Update: May 21, 2020
Abramson Senior Care President and CEO, Carol A. Irvine, spoke with WHYY about the PA Department of Health’s reported COVID-19 numbers for Birnhak Transitional Care at Lankenau Medical Center. Click here to read the full article.
Update: May 20, 2020
Meet Lani Ebbert, Hope Kirschner, and Beth Cisler – members of our COVID Communication Team. They have been making weekly phone calls to provide required information to our residents’ responsible parties.
“It’s been so nice to be able to reach out and talk with our residents’ loved ones,” says Hope. “I have enjoyed speaking with each and every one, and hope that we are able to provide some peace of mind and connection through our calls.”
The COVID Communication Team was developed to provide families with a more in-depth, contextual look at our mitigation practices, reporting methods, and case numbers. They are another resource to answer questions and are able to talk at length about any concerns families may have.
If you are a family member of a resident and wish to speak with the team, please call 215.371.3828.
For other ongoing updates about COVID-19 and Abramson Senior Care, call our hotline at 888.212.2653.
Update: May 13, 2020
Life has changed for our seniors, just as it has for all of us. But at Abramson Senior Care, we are ensuring that social distancing does not mean social isolation. Every day, our heroic staff is not only providing extraordinary healthcare, but is meeting the emotional needs of our seniors – keeping them engaged and connected.
There is an abundance of activity here! Just this past week, residents sat socially distanced to play word games on a large screen, while others placed family video calls, enjoyed personal visits with Abramson caregivers or made flower arrangements. Our wide array of recreation activities have been modified, but the personalized attention and warmth that we infuse into every aspect of our care remain at the core of our mission.
While personal protective gear may cover a caregiver’s smile, it can never hide the kindness in their eyes. The new protocols are an adjustment, but we are committed to finding creative and loving ways to support our beloved Mothers and Fathers through this difficult time.
For more news about our activities at the Abramson Senior Care, be sure to check out our Facebook page!
Update: May 7, 2020
During this crisis, Abramson Senior Care has been diligently following all state and federal guidelines for managing COVID-19. CMS has recently issued a ruling that nursing facilities report to residents and their representatives when there are one or more confirmed cases of COVID-19 among residents, as well as viral presence in staff members.
We will continue our practice of informing residents and families under this new rule by directly calling when infections are present on their assigned household and through updates via our emergency hotline which is updated as conditions evolve.
For ongoing updates about the Abramson Residence, please call 888.212.2653.
As always, if you have questions, please call Valerie Palmieri, chief operating officer, at 215.371.3601.
Update: May 4, 2020
As we continue the fight against COVID-19, we put together this Q&A to answer some of the questions we hear most about our prevention methods. As always, if you have additional questions, both our CEO Carol Irvine and COO Valerie Palmieri are available to discuss. Carol can be reached at 215.371.1802 and Valerie at 215.371.3601.
Q: How does Abramson Senior Care use personal protective equipment (PPE) for staff?
A: PPE is extremely important for protecting not only our staff, but also our residents and patients from COVID-19. We follow all CDC guidelines on how and when PPE should be used.
Staff who are providing direct care for those patients who are COVID-19 positive are required to don full PPE. This includes wearing a face shield, an N95 face mask, gloves and gown. All work together to protect the employee from both transmitting and receiving virus droplets. All employees caring for COVID patients are fit tested for their N95 masks to make sure there is a proper seal around the face.
Staff caring for residents and patients who are not positive are still required to wear surgical masks and gloves. A face shield or goggles are optional, although many of our employees have chosen to wear one or the other.
Abramson Senior Care provides all PPE to employees. We currently have enough stocked for our needs and are continuing to acquire more as it becomes available.
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Q: How does Abramson communicate with resident and patient family members?
A: At Abramson Senior Care, we believe that when we are caring for a resident or patient, we become a team with their loved ones. As such, communication with family members is always a high priority.
Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic we are employing a number of communication methods to stay connected to our seniors’ loved ones, including:
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Q: Does Abramson Senior Care have a designated COVID-19 unit?
A: Abramson Senior Care has taken a number of steps to help mitigate the spread of COVID-19, including assigning designated COVID-19 households and clusters. Currently, we are using the following protocol:
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Q: What procedures does Abramson use when admitting new patients and residents?
A: All new patients and residents are tested for COVID-19. If a patient is admitted positive, they are placed in our designated COVID-19 unit.
If a patient is admitted with a negative test, they are quarantined on our B1 household for two weeks. At the end of two weeks, if they remain symptom free, they can choose to complete their rehab process on the B1 household or move to a long-term bed on one of our other floors.
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Q: How does Abramson Senior Care screen staff?
A: All employees are screened for symptoms and have their temperature taken before the start of every shift. Staff must report to their supervisor if they have been in direct contact with any COVID-19 positive people outside of their work duties, and if so, may be asked to quarantine at home for two weeks.
If employees need to obtain a test, they are directed to seek assistance through their personal physician or to use telemedicine which is provided at no cost through our health insurer. With a physician’s order they may obtain a test and report results to us so we may best plan for their safe return.
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Q: What is our criteria for testing residents?
A: Our criteria for testing residents has many factors, but is predominately based on symptoms and contact with the virus. All new admissions and residents and patients returning from a hospital stay are tested and may be quarantined as appropriate.
We are looking to expand our testing capabilities as kits become more available.
Update: May 1, 2020
A little something to bring a smile to your face right before the weekend!
The children in the neighborhood across the street from our Horsham campus created this amazing slideshow for our residents! Our residents enjoyed it so much we wanted to share with you all as well. As social distancing continues on, meaningful connections to the outside world, such as these, are so important.
At Abramson we remain dedicated to meeting all of our residents’ personal preferences during this time. While our activities have had to be adapted, our staff has been working hard to continue to create a vibrant community. Each household has their own recreation coordinator who is arranging one-on-one and small group activities throughout the day. From flower arranging to small group word games, our residents are staying active, engaged and creative.
As a reminder, family Skype and Facetime calls can be scheduled with Tori Crumbie, our director of therapeutic recreation, by calling 215.371.3607.
Update: April 29, 2020
Our residents at the Mildred Shor Inn are enjoying some special weekly phone calls thanks to our friends at Flyers Charities! Read the full article in the Philadelphia Inqurier here!
Update: April 28, 2020
Over the past couple of weeks, you may have seen an increase in news coverage about the impact COVID-19 has had on nursing facilities. Because of the uniquely vulnerable population they serve and how easily this virus is transmitted, senior communities remain highly susceptible. The existence of the virus within a facility is not a reflection on the quality of care within the community, but is the unfortunate reality of the insidiousness of the disease. Like so many long-term care organizations, both in the state of Pennsylvania and across the nation, we at Abramson Senior Care have been directly impacted.
From the beginning of the pandemic, we have been committed to transparency regarding how COVID-19 has affected our community. We have posted regular website and hotline updates, made our executive team available for one-to-one conversations with family members, and have reached out to those whose loved ones have been directly affected.
In order to minimize the impact on our community, we have implemented a very aggressive testing policy. To date, we have run over 150 tests. Our criteria for testing includes a variety of factors, but is predominantly based on symptoms and contact with the virus. Residents who test positive are immediately moved to a segregated COVID positive cluster. In addition, those households where an individual has tested positive are placed in isolation, and provided with heightened monitoring by our medical team for a minimum of two weeks. As tests for the virus becomes more widely available, we will continue to expand our testing capabilities. In the meantime, please know that we are taking all measures possible to prevent the spread of the virus in the building.
For those with loved ones in long-term care facilities, we understand the stress and fear you are feeling. Rest assured, your loved ones and their care remain our top priority. Our employees have shown amazing resilience, dedication and compassion in continuing to provide the high-quality care Abramson Senior Care is known for.
Our CEO Carol Irvine and COO Val Palmieri are still available to talk to families in order to answer questions or address any concerns. Carol can be reached at 215.371.1802 and Val can be reached at 215.371.3601.
Update: April 24, 2020
Our extraordinary staff at Abramson Senior Care bring their hearts, their hands, their ingenuity and their seemingly endless energy to our seniors every day. They are discovering creative and safe ways for those in quarantine to connect with loved ones. They are designing individualized recreation to keep our seniors’ spirits up. They are providing a lifeline to hope, to connection and to trust that we will get to the other side of this crisis. We are so grateful for their unending professionalism, dedication and compassion.
Update: April 19, 2020
At Abramson Senior Care, we are working hard to make sure our seniors are able to remain connected and engaged during COVID-19. Having to separate from loved ones has been difficult, but we are committed to helping our residents and their family members stay in-touch through Skype and FaceTime. If you would like to schedule a session, please call Tori Crumbie, director of therapeutic recreation, at 215.371.3670.
In order to continue creating meaningful experiences for our seniors and to provide a sense of normalcy, we have adapted many of our activities. Passover was observed with a televised Seder and services so that we could still celebrate while maintaining social distancing guidelines. Weekly Friday evening and Saturday morning services are also being televised. To brighten up our residents’ days, our dedicated employees have been delivering brownies and snacks. Arts and crafts are being done one on one and games are being played in small groups with plenty of space in between participants.
We acknowledge that this has been a troubling time for many, particularly for those who have lost loved ones, whether from COVID-19 or not, and have not been able to mark the passing in traditional ways. Our hearts are with you and we share in your loss. We also share in the hope with those who are recuperating and getting better with every passing day.
We are as determined as ever to help beat this pandemic and to still find small ways to celebrate. If you have any questions or concerns, we are always available to speak. Please call Val Palmieri, chief operating officer, at 215.371.3601, or Brenda Decker, vice president residential care, at 215.371.3668.
Update: April 16, 2020
In our efforts to continue to fight the COVID-19 pandemic, the health and wellbeing of our seniors and staff members remain our priority. Our residents are being tested as necessary, and 70% of those tested have been negative for the virus. We are determined to prevent any spread of the illness as best we can and have reserved household A1 for those who have positive test results. Additionally, households who had a resident test positive are being isolated and closely monitored by our medical team for at least two weeks.
Our nurses, aides, and all essential employees across our service lines have been committed to providing the best care to all of our seniors during this crisis. They have truly been an inspiration and we are unendingly grateful for their dedication and professionalism.
As always, for ongoing updates please call our hotline at 888.212.2653.
If you are a caregiver or senior living out in the community, we are here to provide care and support during this difficult time. Please do not hesitate to reach out if you are concerned about an older loved one or feel overwhelmed from caregiving duties. Our Care Advisors are available 24/7 at 215.371.3400.
Update: April 8, 2020
Dear Abramson Senior Care Community,
As we enter the Passover holiday, we wanted to take a moment to provide an update on how we will be marking the holiday at Abramson and how we are continuing to handle the COVID-19 crisis.
A month ago, we made the difficult, but necessary decision to cancel our annual Family Seders. While disappointing, this was done to protect our residents, their family members and our staff. It is important to us that our residents are still able to partake in this important tradition, so we will be holding a virtual Seder that residents can safely watch on their televisions. We have made sure that our residents understand why our celebration will look differently, and while they miss their loved ones, they have shown a depth of understanding and appreciation for the steps we need to take together during this time.
As this crisis continues, we have seen an outpouring of donations providing masks, gowns, gloves and other supplies. We are continuing to test more residents, and while the majority of results have returned negative, like the wider community, we are seeing some positive tests. As such, this equipment is imperative in ensuring the safety of our staff and seniors and in helping to mitigate the spread of the illness. Supplies are becoming more available, but we remain unendingly grateful for the generosity of our donors. If you are able to donate, please call 215.371.1881 or click here.
While our holiday gatherings will undoubtedly be different this year, we know that the spirit of hope and renewal will remain the same. We wish you all a safe and happy Passover.
Update: April 1, 2020
On Monday, March 30th, we learned that a resident tested positive for COVID-19. They have been hospitalized. We are working alongside the Pennsylvania Department of Health on a daily basis to help mitigate any spread of the illness. Care staff who had contact with the resident have been quarantined and the affected household has been isolated from the rest of the building. Currently, no other residents on that household have exhibited symptoms and are being monitored closely. We have reached out to those families with loved ones on that particular household and have also implemented the additional pre-cautions: All residents on the affect household will remain in their rooms. Meals will be delivered to those residents in their rooms and will be served on paper and plastic. Staff allowed on the affected household has been limited to nursing. All care, meal delivery, laundry and linen service will be handled by our CNA’s. Additionally, we learned that a patient on our short-term rehabilitation unit has also tested positive. They have been in isolation since March 13th when they returned to the unit with flu symptoms. As community spread of the virus increasingly affects the Philadelphia region, we anticipate that our campus and clients will not be spared from exposure. To that end, we have worked diligently over the past month to enact CDC guidelines, including suspending visitors, canceling all large group activities, keeping resident households separated, monitoring employee health upon entering the building, and requiring that staff use masks and gloves when on resident households. Protecting the health and safety of both the seniors in our care and our employees remains our priority and we continue to take every measure possible in this regard. We are incredibly grateful for the dedication and commitment of our employees and for the patience and understanding of Abramson Senior Care family members as we help fight this worldwide pandemic. For ongoing updates, please continue to visit our website or call our hotline at 888.212.2653.
Update: March 27, 2020
To help keep our vulnerable seniors safe and also to protect the health of our employees, direct caregivers will now be wearing FDA-approved surgical masks while providing care. Other employees who provide needed services on resident households, but not direct care, will be wearing masks that were hand-sewn by generous volunteers.
We are taking this additional protective step out of an abundance of caution and still have no known cases of COVID-19 on our campus.
Extra supplies are essential during this time as we care for our frail seniors. As a nonprofit, we expect our needs and costs to increase in the coming weeks. In addition to your financial support, our supply of isolation gowns and medical grade masks will need to be sustained. Should you have access to either of these items, please consider donating them by calling 215.371.1881. To make a donation, please click here.
As always, thank you for your patience and trust during this difficult time.
Update: March 24, 2020
Dear Abramson Senior Care Community,
We know that this has been an extremely stressful time for all. We wanted to reach out and offer reassurance that we continue to be proactive in monitoring the spread of COVID-19, including following all CDC recommendations, limiting visitors, and screening employees as they enter the building each morning. We cannot stress enough that our priority each and every day is the health and well-being of the seniors in our care and our staff members.
While we currently do not have any known cases of COVID-19 on our campus, we would like to take the opportunity to address concerns about what would happen should someone get ill. We are fortunate that our residence offers private rooms which makes it easy to isolate any patient in the comfort of their own bed. Care staff for that patient will be given full personal protective equipment and all staff are trained in proper droplet pre-cautions.
We currently have enough personal protective equipment and are continuing to receive more. Equipment is being used judiciously to ensure that we are able to maintain our supplies, while also keeping our nurses safe. For example, gloves are available for those who wish to use them, but full protective gear, including face masks, will only be used in the case of caring for a COVID-19 patient. By following this CDC guideline, we are working to maintain the appropriate level of supplies on our campus.
We understand that for family members, being separated from your loved one is extremely difficult. We thank all of you for your patience and trust as we work to keep our residents safe. As a reminder, we have made Skype chats available for all residents. If you wish to schedule a session, please call Tori Crumbie, director of therapeutic recreation, at 215.371.3670.
Update: March 23, 2020
Please read a letter about our ongoing COVID-19 response from our CEO here.
UPDATE: March 18, 2020
During this challenging time, we want to assure you that our priority is to continue to provide medical care to our senior clients who live out in the community. All of our community-based services – home care, palliative care, hospice, and bundled services – are still caring for those who need us.
We know that safety is first and foremost on everyone’s mind. Therefore, to keep our home-based clients safe, we have enacted a number of measures, including:
If you have any questions or concerns, please call:
Home Care: 215.371.3490
Palliative Care: 215.371.3550
Bundled Services: 215.371.2122
As of this time, all of our locations continue to restrict visitation.
Additionally, here are some informational resources that hope will be helpful for all:
General Information on COVID-19:
More information for older adults:
UPDATE: March 16, 2020
In keeping with the social distancing recommendations from the CDC, our Family Seders scheduled for April 8th and 9th have been canceled.
As always, please call our emergency hotline at 888.212.2653 for ongoing information.
UPDATE: March 13, 2020
We have set up a separate emergency hotline for Birnhak Transitional Care at Lankenau Medical Center.
For the most update-to-date information for that location, please call 484.328.5990.
UPDATE: March 12, 2020
We are continuing to monitor the COVID-19 situation very closely and currently haven no known cases of the virus at Abramson Senior Care. Per updated CDC guidelines, beginning today, we are adding steps to our employee screening protocol at the Abramson Residence. As employees enter the building, their temperatures will be taken before they report to their designated works areas. This added layer of precaution is to continue to protect the well-being and safety of our residents.
Additionally, as of today, our Medical Adult Day Program will be closed. Staff will continue to provide home and community-based healthcare.
Skype chats will be made available for residents at the Abramson Residence and their family members. To schedule, call Mike Hagarty, assistant administrator, at 215.371.1808.
For ongoing information, please call our emergency hotline at 888.212.2653.
UPDATE: March 10, 2020
In order to keep our residents as safe and healthy as possible and at the recommendation of CMS, as of Tuesday, March 10th, 2020 all visitation is restricted unless in certain situations, such as end-of-life. For more information, please call our emergency hotline at 888.212.2653.
Additionally, all support groups and non-essential group activities at all of Abramson Senior Care's locations are postponed until further notice. For more information, please call your regular contact for those programs.
UPDATE: March 10, 2020
As the COVID-19 situation evolves, we are working diligently to prevent the virus from reaching our resident areas on campus as there is a high fatality rate of COVID-19 in the elderly (15% or greater).
Our early interventions include:
Department of Health announced there are now 10 total 'presumptive positive' cases of COVID-19 in Pennsylvania. There is currently one case in Delaware County, one case in Monroe County, one case in Wayne County and seven cases in Montgomery County. Three of these individuals are currently hospitalized. DOH expects to see an increase in the number of COVID-19 cases in the coming weeks.
Due to our surrounding community involvement of COVID-19 cases, we are enacting more stringent methods immediately to prevent the virus from reaching our frail residents:
An emergency line will be updated daily so that families or residents can check in quickly if there are any changes to the standards we are following. The situation may change if there are additional cases in Montgomery County or should any campus resident be affected.
The emergency line number is 888.212.2653.
March 5, 2020
As we strive to provide the highest quality of care for all of our residents, clients and patients, we have and will continue to monitor the Coronavirus (COVID-19) situation very closely. On a daily basis we are involved in conference calls, webinars, and education provided by the Pennsylvania Department of Health’s Bureaus of Epidemiology, Emergency Preparedness and Response, and Emergency Medical Services; the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC); and other sources as they are available.
At this time, there are no indicated antiviral medications, and a vaccine is currently not available. Symptoms of the illness include: cough, fever, and shortness of breath. As these symptoms and the forms of transmission mimic the flu very closely, we urgently request that any individuals with these symptoms do not visit any Abramson Senior Care locations as a way of preventing further transmission of infections.
Out of an abundance of caution, we are implementing a protocol for employees that requires any overseas travel to be reported to Human Resources with appropriate follow-up. Employees exhibiting any of the above symptoms, regardless of travel, will be monitored in compliance with risk levels as determined by the CDC. In addition, any new admissions will be asked to complete CDC recommended questionnaires so that we may consider acceptance into our community. As always, we continue to clean and sanitize all of our care locations according to infection control guidelines.
As a reminder, we stress the importance of hand washing, covering your cough/sneeze, and if you show signs or symptoms of a cold or virus please refrain from spreading these infections and stay home whenever possible. As the Coronavirus situation continues, please visit the CDC website at https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-nCoV/index.html for the most up to date and accurate information. As the COVID-19 situation is changing globally from day to day, you can obtain current updates on our response by visiting the Abramson Senior Care website at abramsonseniorcare.org.
If you have any questions or concerns, please feel free to contact Peter Frome, RN, infection preventionist, at 215.371.1862 or email@example.com; or Val Palmieri, chief operating officer, at 215.371.3601 or firstname.lastname@example.org.