Thursday, December 24, 2020 8:30 p.m. - We are all working hard to maintain a tricky balance between being excited and energetic for the holiday and pressing the urgency to staff of being extra cautious at Christmas family gatherings. In the interests of keeping HillHouse safe from covid, we have asked staff to refrain from gathering with people outside their households or if they do gather, to be as careful as possible keeping masks on, maintaining physical distance, and practicing good hand hygiene. We have posted family cards and emails urging caution and expressing gratitude for staff efforts.Our HillHouse Heroes #SaveOurResidents campaign is underway and we have hung these posters throughout the building. We have heard from Guardian Long Term Care Pharmacy that skilled nursing facilities will be vaccinated before assisted living, so HillHouse will likely be scheduled for the covid vaccine clinic in mid-January. This depends, of course, on the supply of vaccine to Maine. As of this writing, supplies are less than requested and expected and there is uncertainty about how this will impact administration of the vaccine around Maine’s long term care facilities.
In the meantime, however, we are urging staff to read about vaccine safety and we have posted information and provided links to the CDC website. Many staff are concerned; despite the scientific community’s evidence of vaccine safety, there is so much disinformation on social media that people are easily caught up in it. We will continue to seek out ‘trusted others’ who can convincingly convey the message of vaccine safety for direct care workers. This fascinating podcast from MedPage highlights the troubling efforts that the anti-vax community has made to undermine confidence in the convid vaccine. mlc
Mary Lou Ciolfi, JD, MS, HillHouse's former Administrator, is currently a Senior Program Manager at the University of Maine Center on Aging and Co-Director of the Consortium for Aging Policy Research and Analysis (CAPRA). She holds an adjunct faculty position at the University of New England and the University where she 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.