Monthly Archives

December 2020

COVID-19 Update 23

By COVID-19No Comments

Dear family and friends of Castle Senior Living,

We are happy to report no additional positive cases since our last update.

We are also happy to report that seven of the eight residents with confirmed cases of COVID-19 have recovered. Castle Senior Living continues to provide additional support to these residents and their families. We also continue to support and pray for one resident who remains in the hospital.

Even with the updates above, the following are still in effect for the safety of our residents, staff and communities:

  • Visitation is currently suspended at all locations with the exception of Birchrock Castle and The Grand Hills Castle. The Grand Hills Castle is allowing staffed outside visits only. Birchrock Castle is still allowing visitation as long as visitors follow the safer-visitation guidelines. We will make exceptions for compassionate care at all of our communities. Video calls or virtual visits are still encouraged and available. If you’d like to schedule a virtual visit, please reach out to your community administrator.
  • We are working with state and local depart health departments to manage the situation. We do have access to the rapid COVID-19 test which helps with testing quickly and controlling the spread of the virus.
  • Victorian Castle, Sienna Castle and Emerald Castle are still considered to be under “outbreak status.” You only need one positive case of COVID-19 from either a resident or staff member to be considered under “outbreak status.”

COVID-19 cases remain high locally and across the state, so we ask everyone to be extra careful and remain vigilant. Please respect the safeguards that the CDC and the Department of Health have put in place to protect our residents from COVID-19.

The health and safety of our residents and staff remain our top priority. We will continue to be in communication with you as the situation evolves. One area that of good news is the FDA approval of the first COVID-19 vaccine. We continue to monitor the situation and you can find more information on Wisconsin specifics in this BizTimes article. The following is a brief description of the situation:

  • The first round of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine arrived in Wisconsin on Monday, December 14.
  • As part of Phase 1A, critical care workers, long-term care staff and residents will receive the vaccine first. However, skilled nursing facilities will be prioritized before Assisted Living Facilities in the State of Wisconsin.
  • This means that Assisted Living communities like Castle Senior Living will likely begin to receive the vaccine in January.
  • There is a partnership with the State of Wisconsin, Walgreens and CVS to effectively administer the vaccine at Assisted Living communities.
  • Castle Senior Living is registered to participate in this program and will share more information on the vaccination clinics when it is made available.

The arrival of the vaccine is good news and we should be receiving the treatments in the next couple months. Thank you for your patience and understanding. Be well and stay safe.

Caregiver marks 10th anniversary with Castle Senior Living

By Senior LivingNo Comments

Congratulations to LaDonna Savage, a third shift caregiver at Emerald Castle, who celebrated her tenth work anniversary with us earlier this year! LaDonna says caring for others is her way of life as she manages two full-time jobs while looking after her family and grandchildren. She recently spent some time with us and shared how her dedication for helping people led her to the Castle Senior Living family.

Tell us about your journey to become a caregiver?

My mom got sick in 2000, so I started looking into how to be a certified nursing assistant (CNA) or caregiver. I quit my job managing a fast-food restaurant and went into caregiving with no experience. I always served people and my community in a different way. Helping the disabled and the sick is my way of giving back.

I’m always taking care of someone. I have a husband, nine grandchildren with the nine children I had growing up in our home. I’ve also work full-time, second shift for residents at a developmentally disabled facility for 15 years along with my Castle Senior Living position. These are the people I see and serve every day.

What do you enjoy most about working for Castle Senior living at the Emerald Castle community?

I’d have to say it’s the one-on-one time and the care for residents. I look forward to seeing them each day, especially the ones that stay up when I start my shift at 11:00 pm. They call me the ‘third shift cleaning lady.’ I cook, clean, do the laundry and prep for the next day. Some residents want food, a cup of coffee or some just like to talk to me. The residents know you. You have to be sincere, have patience and compassion. It comes from the heart.

I’m glad to be a part of the team and a great company. It’s not just a job here. There’s incredible support and compassion for employees. During the time I’ve worked for Castle Senior Living, I had two house fires and our family lost everything. They were there with donations and time off until I was ready to come back. When you lose everything, it’s nice to know you have family. When my mom died in 2015, their support was beautiful. No one ever knows how far the love goes outside your family. When I returned to work, the support and love from co-workers was there.

What’s the most important thing that you’ve learned on the job in the past year?

With the pandemic, we learned to be safer and it’s important to continue to do so. As workers, we are going outside of the building. We don’t want this crisis coming into our doors.

I have a lot of patience – more than I ever thought. I learned it is my destiny to help others, to love and support them.

What do you enjoy doing in your spare time?

I like having my hair done. That’s my downtime and own time. Just for me.

Tell us something interesting about yourself that other people might not know.

The people here say I’m funny, amazing, and honest. I don’t hold back. My supervisor says I tell it like it is. Honesty is the best way. Anyone that knows me understands that no matter what I say, I never mean any harm.

What to look for when checking in on elderly relatives during the holidays

By Senior LivingNo Comments

Christmas and the New Year are those major family occasions where you may be spending more time with your elderly parents and relatives. This year is quite different with in-person visits discouraged and stay-at-home pleas from government officials to help curb the spread of COVID-19, especially as we head into the winter season.

If you are in contact with older adults these days, whether virtually or in-person, pay close attention to how they are doing and what they could be revealing to you. There are subtle signs to watch for that could indicate a possible decline in their abilities:

  • Withdrawing from normal activities – When a person is no longer showing interest in hobbies or tasks such as housecleaning and paying bills on time.
  • Unsteady on their feet and overall slowing down – A loved one’s movements are becoming delayed, which is unlike their usual pace, and they admit to falling at home.
  • Appetite and weight loss – For someone who once loved to cook and eat, little to no appetite and a visual weight loss are concerns that should be addressed.
  • Sleep – A change in routine where someone is sleeping more during the day and awake at night.

Investigate by asking questions of your loved one to possibly learn why this may be happening. If this does not generate much of a response or lead to any significant conclusions, a doctor’s visit is the next recommended step.

Discussing these issues is never an easy task for children of elderly parents. If you find yourself in this situation, consider the guidelines from a blog we posted this time last year, Approaching Difficult Conversations with Mom and Dad. And know that the team here at Castle Senior Living is always open to provide insight and resources if you have questions or concerns.

COVID-19 Update 22

By COVID-19No Comments

Dear family and friends of Castle Senior Living,

As we reported during our last update, we have had eight confirmed cases of COVID-19 in three of our Castle communities. We’re doing all we can to bring added care to these residents and their families. However, we are happy to report that we have not had another resident test positive since that time. We have had two additional staff members test positive for COVID-19, but our thorough contact tracing shows that they had contact only with those who already had COVID-19 and thus there was minimal exposure in the two-week infectious period.

For the safety of our residents, staff and communities, the following are still in effect:

  • Visitation is currently suspended at all locations with the exception of Birchrock Castle and The Grand Hills Castle. The Grand Hills Castle is allowing staffed outside visits only. Birchrock Castle is still allowing visitation as long as visitors follow the safer-visitation guidelines. We will make exceptions for compassionate care at all of our communities. Video calls or virtual visits are still encouraged and available. If you’d like to schedule a virtual visit, please reach out to your community administrator.
  • We are working with state and local depart health departments to manage the isolation and quarantine of infected and exposed individuals at each location. We do have access to the rapid COVID-19 test which helps with testing quickly and controlling the spread.
  • Victorian Castle, Sienna Castle and Emerald Castle are considered to be under “outbreak status.” You only need one positive case of COVID-19 from either a resident or staff member to be considered under “outbreak status.”
  • All of the residents at The Grand Hills Castle that had potential exposure have tested negative for COVID-19. The previous “outbreak status” for The Grand Hills Castle has ended.

COVID-19 cases remain high locally and across the state, so we ask everyone to be extra careful and remain vigilant. Please respect the safeguards that the CDC and the Department of Health have put in place to protect our residents from COVID-19.

The health and safety of our residents and staff remain our top priority. We will continue to be in communication with you as the situation evolves. One area that we hope to be able to communicate with you soon is the topic of a COVID-19 vaccine. We don’t have any information at this time, but are monitoring the situation closely and will keep you informed.

Thank you for your patience and understanding. Be well and stay safe.