Sunday, January 11, 2021 9:30 p.m. - It has been an eventful few weeks since Christmas, both at HillHouse and politically. On January 4th we began biweekly covid testing for all staff and that will continueuntil DHHS guidance changes. HillHouse expects to hear from Guardian LTC Pharmacy this week about our covid vaccine clinic date, which we so hope will be this week or next. We understand from news reporting that the vaccines are in the state, but the roll-out has been slower than expected. This Sun Journal article today is informative.
We currently have half of our 90 staff who have agreed to get the vaccine. Of course, we would like this number to be higher, but it is consistent with what has been seen across health care settings nationwide. Vaccine confidence is low as public health messaging targeted specifically to direct care workers has been lacking. We have encouraged family members to send letters of support to our staff and convey the sense of urgency that truly exists for families.
Covid is still rising around Maine and as a result residents must still refrain from all group activities. All staff continue to try and spend extra time with residents for socializing, but quiet days coupled with cold winter weather is challenging. We urge families and community members to reach out with cards and letters.
Mary Lou Ciolfi, JD, MS, HillHouse's former Administrator, holds adjunct faculty positions at the University of New England and the University of Massachusetts, Amherst and teaches courses in Health Policy and Aging Politics, Policy & Law. She has particular interests in Ageism, Social Isolation and Loneliness in Older People, and End-of Life Care