Sena Kean

Patty Pratt, resident at Sena Kean Manor, holds up a sign with a message to her loved ones.

SMETHPORT — During the COVID-19 pandemic, staff at Sena Kean Manor have been working diligently to make sure residents are safe, entertained and able to stay connected to loved ones and the community.

The facility recently started posting pictures on their Facebook page of residents holding signs with handwritten messages to their loved ones. Many residents wanted people to know they are safe and a common theme was reminding community members to wash their hands.

Heidi Scrivo Passmore, director of business development, said they obtained the idea from another facility in the state.

“We thought it would be a great way for the residents to share a personal message with their family and friends, while allowing the families to see their loved one and know they are alright,” she explained. “We also thought it would give our residents an additional form of entertainment and provide an additional activity for them to participate in.”

Passmore noted staff at the facility are working hard to engage residents individually or in groups of two or three.

“We are playing cards, doing puzzles, special arts and craft projects,” she said. “We are delivering special treats to their rooms and we have a coffee/drink cart that goes around a couple times a day.”

In addition, staff is helping residents call home so they can speak to their families. Some family members have even stopped by to get a glimpse of their loved ones.

“We have family members that have stopped and peeked in a window to see their loved one,” Passmore said. “On Saturday, we opened the window enough for an “I love you” exchange.”

To keep residents safe and healthy, the facility is requiring all staff to sign-in when they arrive and complete a screening tool related to any exposure or health issue. In addition, they must also take their temperature before starting their shift.

“We then have nurses assigned each shift to monitor for any change in condition of a staff member,” Passmore explained. “We are closely monitoring the health of each of our residents and taking their vitals, including temperature every day. However, if a resident would present with any sign or symptom of illness, they are moved to a private room when available and monitored more closely.”

The facility’s infection preventionist is also in daily contact with the Department of Health and is “continuously monitoring updates, recommendations and guidance from The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services and The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.” Passmore said they regularly receive updated information from the aforementioned centers, at times hourly.

Until further notice, the agency is requesting that all visitors refrain from visiting to ensure the safety of the residents.