May 11th, 2020
Dear Residents and Families,
I realized, as I was listening to Governor Newsom today, that the landscape is changing again. We are just catching our breath from preparing for the onslaught of the COVID 19 pandemic and deciding the right course of action for our communities. It was a hard decision to allow no visitors and we were distressed about the pain that it created. Sourcing Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) during the first rush was a mad dash and now we are tasked with thinking about some of the shelter-in-place requirements being relaxed. These past 8 weeks have been a wild ride.
I just want to tell you that our philosophy is to support and execute on the practices that best protect all of our residents and staff. This requires the participation of everyone---and a sense of community that goes beyond what we are used to. In that idea is a gift of caring and a continued personal sacrifice---to keep ourselves, plus all of our neighbors and caregivers safe.
You may not know this, but I am 65+ years old and am being treated for cancer and have been under treatment for the past 7 years. Due to this treatment, I am significantly immuno-compromised and this makes me understand all too well the risk that our residents face. My wife & I also have some very close friends and family members living in our communities. We try to take special care of everyone without favoring them---but knowing they are there sharpens our awareness of the situation. This is clearly, without a doubt, the toughest time I have personally experienced in 25 years of my service to the senior community.
With this new news, I am sure everyone will be ready to run outside to hug the closest person and return to normal life, but sadly we still have an insidious and relentless virus that preys upon the weakest of us. And that means that we will be the last to be released to enjoy the many benefits of our California lives. On a daily basis, we will be looking for the right timing to make available socially-distanced outside visits with family, open-air exercise programs, and other social activities that begin to feel like proper human contact. But we will be doing it all very thoughtfully and carefully. Masks will for sure be required---and maybe gloves. We will keep on encouraging everyone to respect larger distances than the CDC requires. We need to be sure that staff are safe and we will continue to take precautions long after some of our friends might do otherwise.
Once again, our priority is keeping residents and staff safe. We are aware that things are changing. But this phase II that is described in the news is for the healthiest of the Los Angeles population. Sadly, we still need the greatest level of protection. Please be patient. We are being thoughtful and deeply appreciate your cooperation. As time and new information allows, we will be able to relax some precautions without compromising our communities' well-being. Leaders at your community will update you as to the plan and will alert you as things change. Thank you for being a part of our community.
Respectfully (and wishing you and your families good health and spirits),
Garrett Loube (President of DHS)