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Castle Senior Living

COVID-19 Update 18

By COVID-19No Comments

Dear family and friends of Castle Senior Living,

We are happy to continue to report that none of the residents at any of our Castle Senior Living communities have tested positive for COVID-19.

The Wisconsin Department of Health is still recommending we restrict all non-essential visitors to our communities. COVID-19 cases are rising locally and across the state so please remain vigilant and be extra careful.

We are now allowing scheduled outdoor visitations. Please contact your community administrator to schedule these outdoor visits. We are also looking to update our visitation policy to allow controlled, safer indoor visits. This will vary dependent on the community and is still a work in progress.

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 continue to ask everyone to please respect the safeguards that the CDC and the Department of Health have put in place to protect our residents from COVID-19. If residents have to make essential visits out into the community, please continue to sign out of the community and inform staff. We strongly encourage all residents and families to review the CDC recommendations on ”Deciding to Go-Out” before residents make essential trips outside of their assisted living community.

Thank you for your patience and understanding.

COVID-19 Update 17

By COVID-19No Comments

Dear family and friends of Castle Senior Living,

We are happy to continue to report that none of the residents at any of our Castle Senior Living communities have tested positive for COVID-19.

The Wisconsin Department of Health is still recommending we restrict all non-essential visitors to our communities. COVID-19 cases are still rising in Waukesha and Milwaukee counties so we must stay vigilant. We are now allowing scheduled outdoor visitation at all our locations. Please contact your community administrator to schedule these outdoor visits. We are also looking to update our visitation policy to allow controlled, safer indoor visits. This will vary dependent on the community and is still a work in progress.

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 continue to ask everyone to please respect the safeguards that the CDC and the Department of Health have put in place to protect our residents from COVID-19. If residents have to make essential visits out into the community, please continue to sign out of the community and inform staff, so we can account for all our residents in the event that there is an emergency and we need to evacuate the building. We strongly encourage all residents and families to review the CDC recommendations on ”Deciding to Go-Out” before residents make essential trips outside of their assisted living community.

Finally, as we approach the colder months and flu season, we strongly encourage everyone to get a flu shot. This helps protect yourself, your loved one and resources that are needed to help prevent the spread of COVID-19. If you have any questions about flu vaccine opportunities for residents, please contact your community administrator.

Thank you for your patience and understanding.

Many injuries from falls among older adults are preventable

By Senior LivingNo Comments

The statistics on fall-related injuries are quite staggering. Every 11 seconds emergency department staff across the U.S. attend to an older adult who has taken a fall. One-third of those over age 65 will fall every year.

September is “Fall Prevention Month” in Wisconsin. Our state has one of the highest death rates in the country for accidental falls – twice the national average. It’s why the mission of the Wisconsin Falls Prevention Initiative is to reduce accidental falls, fall-related injuries and deaths among the state’s older adults through community-based and preventative medical care.

How to help older adults take control before a fall:

  • Enroll in a good exercise program – This will help build balance, strength and flexibility.
  • Communicate with your health care provider – How much is your loved on at risk of falling? Be honest and share any recent incidents with professionals to assess the situation.
  • Reevaluate your medications – Are there side effects with medicines that could lead to falling more often? Consult with a doctor or pharmacist.
  • Consider your eyesight and hearing – When you can see and hear well, you’re less likely to fall. Update glasses prescriptions and have eyes checked annually.
  • Review home safety – Are there tripping hazards or low lighting in areas that should be updated? Think about installing grab bars where necessary.
  • Speak with your family – When someone takes a fall, it affects everyone in the home and extended family. Make sure they have much-needed support to keep them from harm.

Through research and planning, many Wisconsin communities have implemented fall prevention or healthy aging programs and associations. There is also a falls prevention workshop available in almost all Wisconsin counties to address the risk factors.  There is proof that the state’s program, Stepping On, has curbed the number older adults who fall each year by more than 30%. You can also learn more on how to fall-proof your home or take a self-assessment survey from the Wisconsin Institute for Healthy Aging.

Here at Castle Senior Living, Fall Prevention is a key focus due to how much it impacts the overall health and wellness of our residents. Our rooms and public areas are set up to avoid tripping hazards and prevent falls. If you have questions or concerns on how to prevent falls at home or elsewhere, we encourage you to reach out. We’re happy to provide support!

COVID-19 Update 16

By COVID-19No Comments

Dear family and friends of Castle Senior Living,

We are happy to continue to report that none of the residents at any of our Castle Senior Living communities has tested positive for COVID-19.

The Wisconsin Department of Health is still recommending we restrict all non-essential visitors to our communities. With COVID-19 cases still rising in Waukesha and Milwaukee counties, we must stay vigilant. However, as stated in our previous update we are now allowing scheduled outdoor visitation at all our locations. Please contact your facility administrator to schedule these outdoor visits.

Video calls or virtual visits are still encouraged and available! If you’d like to schedule a virtual visit, please reach out to your facility administrator.

We continue to ask everyone to please respect the safeguards that the CDC and the Department of Health have put in place to protect our residents from COVID-19. If residents have to make essential visits out into the community, please continue to sign out of the community and inform staff, so we can account for all our residents in the event that there is an emergency and we need to evacuate the building. We strongly encourage all residents and families to review the CDC recommendations on ”Deciding to Go-Out” before residents make essential trips outside of their assisted living community.

Thank you for your patience and understanding.

COVID-19 Update 15

By COVID-19No Comments

Dear family and friends of Castle Senior Living,

We are happy to continue to report that none of the residents at any of our Castle Senior Living communities has tested positive for COVID-19.

The Wisconsin Department of Health is still recommending we restrict all non-essential visitors to our communities. With COVID-19 cases still rising in Waukesha and Milwaukee counties, we must stay vigilant. However, the need to see loved ones is important and with the continued good summer weather we are now allowing scheduled outdoor visitation at all our locations. Please contact your facility administrator to schedule these outdoor visits.

In early July, we began holding virtual town halls for families of residents in order to better communicate the ever-changing situation. Our next virtual town hall will be for The Grand Hills Castle and will take place on August 26th at 3:00 p.m.

We continue to ask everyone to please respect the safeguards that the CDC and the Department of Health have put in place to protect our residents from COVID-19. If residents have to make essential visits out into the community, please continue to sign out of the community and inform staff, so we can account for all our residents in the event that there is an emergency and we need to evacuate the building. We strongly encourage all residents and families to review the CDC recommendations on ”Deciding to Go-Out” before residents make essential trips outside of their assisted living community.

If you would like to schedule a video call or an outside visit with your loved one, please reach out to your facility administrator. Thank you for your patience and understanding.

Camelot Castle: A Q & A with Antonia “Annie” Odupitan

By Senior LivingNo Comments

Antonia “Annie” Odupitan is the house manager at Camelot Castle in Greenfield. Her career story began as a teenage volunteer. With continuing education in health care, Annie hopes she can grow as an employee along with Castle Senior Living.

 

You have worked in many aspects of senior care. Could you share a bit about your journey in this field?

I started volunteering at St. Mary’s Nursing Home at 35th and Center in Milwaukee when I was 14. My aunt was the charge nurse. I used to play the card game, Kings in the Corner, and bingo with the nuns. I enjoyed learning about the ladies’ life stories. Once I was able to legally work, I became a dietary aid there. But I realized that job didn’t allow me to spend time one-on-one with the residents, so I left.

When I was 19, I worked as a live-in caregiver for three years at an assisted living facility while I pursued a bachelor’s degree at UW-Milwaukee in Information Science and Technology. Once I finished college, my husband and I agreed that I should be a stay at home mom. Over the years, I was a part-time caregiver. Once my kids went to school, I took a full-time job in the banking industry and worked as a caregiver every other weekend. My job in corporate America made me realize that I have more of a passion for health care than technology, so that led me to a full-time position as a house manager at Castle Senior Living.  My goal is to merge both my degree and passion for health care with another degree or certificate. As Castle Senior Living grows, I hope they will find a place for my future skill set.

 

What are the qualities or special skills that you bring to the job?

I am skilled in hospice care, so I can adapt to the different stages, and have empathy for the residents and families as their loved one transitions. My experience in dementia care helps me navigate through the many levels of the illness, including dementia advancement and Alzheimer’s disease. I’m a problem-solver who guides residents through the various changes to ensure that their safety and all of the activities of daily living are met.

 

What do you enjoy most about working for Camelot Castle?

The diversity of the residents. I love talking to them, learning about their past and the experiences they have encountered in their lives. It’s like getting a full history lesson every time I’m on the job.

I worked at Cambridge Castle in Milwaukee for a while and used my skills to interact with the residents affected by dementia. It’s an incredible feeling to help a resident adapt to their environment. I witnessed how my compassion and patience made them feel loved and cared for. It made me feel good knowing that I was making a difference in someone’s life.

 

What are you most passionate about at work?

I want to be more than a caregiver and employee to a resident. I pride myself on making a positive impact. I want them to know that they have a friend in me. Before the pandemic and most especially now, many do not have the opportunity to see their friends and family regularly. I’m grateful that my being there for them makes them happy.

 

Is there a project or idea that you are working on right now at Camelot Castle?

I am helping residents register to vote. This requires setting up an appointment for them to renew their identification and mailing in the proper forms in time for the November election.

 

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

As a house manager, I have learned emotional intelligence and accountability is everything.

In the past year, I’ve personally learned to live my life every day.  A family member once told me a personal story that touched me deeply. It made me rethink the way I approached life and how I was putting things off that I wanted to do once I was older. Tomorrow isn’t promised to anyone, so it’s best to enjoy life right now.

 

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

I’ve played the trumpet since I was 12 years old. I am a Certified Red Cross swimmer. I traveled a lot as a child, so I attended four elementary schools, three high schools and moved away from home at the age of seventeen to a different state. I guess that’s why I love to travel a lot, especially abroad to visit friends and family.

COVID-19 Update 14

By COVID-19No Comments

Dear family and friends of Castle Senior Living,

We are happy to continue to report that none of the residents at any of our Castle Senior Living communities has tested positive for COVID-19.

The Wisconsin Department of Health is still recommending we restrict all non-essential visitors to our communities. With COVID-19 cases still rising in Waukesha and Milwaukee counties, we must stay vigilant. We know that this is difficult, but the health of our residents and employees remains our top priority.

Last week we held a virtual town hall/Q&A for families of residents in order to better communicate the ever-changing situation and possible changes to visitation guidelines. Thank you to all who participated. We hope it was beneficial and plan to do one again in early August. Family members will be contacted when the next one is scheduled.

We continue to ask everyone to please respect the safeguards that the CDC and the Department of Health have put in place to protect our residents from COVID-19 and follow the no visitor policy. If residents have to make essential visits out into the community, please continue to sign out of the community and inform staff, so we can account for all our residents in the event that there is an emergency and we need to evacuate the building. We strongly encourage all residents and families to review the CDC recommendations on ”Deciding to Go-Out” before residents make essential trips outside of their assisted living community.

We are starting to slowly offer select hair services in compliance with DHS guidelines at all of our communities – starting as early as next week. This will be a different set up than before so keep your eye out for communication with further details.

If you would like to schedule a video call with your loved one, please reach out to your facility administrator. Thank you for your patience and understanding.

COVID-19 Update 13

By COVID-19No Comments

Dear family and friends of Castle Senior Living,

We are happy to continue to report that none of the residents at any of our Castle Senior Living communities has tested positive for COVID-19.

The Wisconsin Department of Health is still recommending we restrict all non-essential visitors to our communities. With the rapid increase in COVID-19 cases in Waukesha and Milwaukee counties, we need to stay vigilant and keep everyone safe. We know that this is difficult, but the health of our residents and employees remains our top priority.

We truly understand the desire for family members to visit loved ones and we are sensitive to the decline that can be experienced from isolation from the ones they love. That is why we are inviting families to a virtual town hall/Q & A to communicate possible changes to visitation guidelines and answer questions as appropriate. Each of our locations has a different set up due to their uniqueness, staffing, etc. so we’d like to communicate the intricacies as clearly as possible. Family members can expect to be contacted about these virtual town halls in the next few days with more details.

In the meantime, we ask everyone to please respect the safeguards that the CDC and the Department of Health have put in place to protect our residents from COVID-19 and follow the no visitor policy. If residents have to make essential visits out into the community, please continue to sign out of the community and inform staff, so we can account for all our residents in the event that there is an emergency and we need to evacuate the building. We strongly encourage all residents and families to review the CDC recommendations on ”Deciding to Go-Out” before residents make essential trips outside of their assisted living community.

Some good news! The Wisconsin Department of Health has released guidelines for onsite hair salon and barber services during COVID-19 in assisted living settings. We are working with our existing stylists and beauticians to bring back these services in a manner that is compliant with these new guidelines. We expect to have those services back soon!

If you’d like to discuss the recommendations and lobby for change you can still access the Ombudsman Program with the Board on Aging and Long Term Care by phone at 1-800-815-0015, by e-mail at BOALTC@wisconsin.gov or online at http://longtermcare.wi.gov/.

If you would like to schedule a video call with your loved one, please reach out to your facility administrator. Thank you for your patience and understanding.

A Brief Guide to Senior Living Communities

By Senior LivingNo Comments

There are many lifestyle options for senior living and services today. While it’s wonderful to consider a variety of alternatives, it can be confusing to determine the best choice for your loved one.

The following are opportunities to help guide your decision-making:

Home Care – Home care is for older Americans who want to stay at home as long as they are able with some light assistance from outside help. Caregivers can perform light housework, meals, and personal needs such as bathing, dressing, transportation and companionship. Hire a home care aide for a few hours a week or on up to 24-hour live-in care. When it comes to choosing health care services at home, look to potential caregivers for professionalism, affordability, and reputation. The people put in charge of your loved one should be well-trained, certified and experienced. They should be respectful, empathetic and compassionate about helping seniors live well in a satisfying home environment.

Independent Living – When downsizing from a home is the best choice for older Americans in good health, independent living facilities such as apartments, townhomes or condos can accommodate their physical, emotional and social needs. Independent living is considered a popular choice for seniors who are able to live on their own and want a more simplified, secure, maintenance-free place to live. Our Birchrock Castle Community offers both apartments and town homes. These apartments are private, intercom secured, with emergency alarms in bedrooms and bathrooms. An exercise room, game room and library are available, and there are monthly activities scheduled for residents who wish to participate.

Assisted Living – Assisted living facilities generally provide residents an apartment or a room in addition to several common area spaces for their recreation and visitors. At Castle Senior Living, we offer compassionate assisted living care to seniors in ten communities in the greater Milwaukee area. Around-the-clock supervision, a full-time nurse, home-cooked meals, housekeeping and laundry, assistance with personal care and medications are among the numerous services. Our activities include daily exercise, social events, day trips, and therapy sessions with animals and music to create a community-like atmosphere that feels like home.

Memory Care – Some facilities offer specialized services for people with dementia through a memory care unit, wing or floor. This option is for seniors who are forgetful and suffer from different forms of dementia or Alzheimer’s disease. At Castle Senior Living, we treat residents with such physical and mental health ailments. Situated in smaller environments, memory care programs involve a professionally trained nursing team to adapt care and cater to individual needs. These communities include enhanced security measures such as enclosed outdoor spaces, and secure entries and exits to keep residents from wandering away.

Nursing Home – If a loved one is in need of 24-hour supervision because of a progressive medical issue and there’s no primary caregiver available, a skilled care facility is considered the next highest level of health care. Full-medical staff is on site, which allows for certain procedures and therapies to be performed unlike other senior housing. Each resident is assigned to a physician, in addition to certified staff helping people in and out of bed, with meals, bathing, and getting dressed.

Consider referrals from other family and friends about their experiences and do your research. We are happy to help you with any questions you may have. Feel free to contact us! The more you know about what’s available in senior living, the greater the chances that you will find the best housing opportunity to fit the needs of your loved one.

COVID-19 – Update 12

By COVID-19No Comments

Dear family and friends of Castle Senior Living,

We are happy to continue to report that none of the residents at any of our Castle Senior Living communities has tested positive for COVID-19.

One staff member tested positive at one of our locations, (all impacted individuals and the local health department were informed immediately), but after testing the rest of the community, no residents or staff were found to be positive with COVID-19. We are now outside the critical two-week window of exposure at this community and none of our residents or staff have any signs or symptoms of COVID-19.

The Wisconsin Department of Health is still recommending we restrict all non-essential visitors to our communities, but they did recently release guidance on how Assisted Living providers can develop policies for safer visitation practices in certain situations. Castle Senior Living is currently drafting our policies and procedures for how we can offer these visits safely. This means that non-essential visitors are still restricted from our communities. We hope to have a policy in place in the next few weeks. We know that this is difficult, but the health of our residents and employees remains our top priority.

We ask everyone to please respect the safeguards that the CDC and the Department of Health have put in place to protect our residents from COVID-19 and follow the no visitor policy. If residents have to make essential visits out into the community, please continue to sign out of the community and inform staff, so we can account for all our residents in the event that there is an emergency and we need to evacuate the building. We strongly encourage all residents and families to review the CDC recommendations on ”Deciding to Go-Out” before residents make essential trips outside of their assisted living community.

Additionally, the Wisconsin Department of Health is working on guidelines for allowing ancillary services (beautician, barber, etc.) back in our communities in a safe manner. Those guidelines are now under review by the Wisconsin Department of Health. We will update you as we find out more.

If you’d like to discuss the recommendations and lobby for change you can still access the Ombudsman Program with the Board on Aging and Long Term Care by phone at 1-800-815-0015, by e-mail at BOALTC@wisconsin.gov or online at http://longtermcare.wi.gov/.

We will communicate with you as soon as we are able to adapt the Wisconsin Department of Health’s new guidelines to our communities and feel that we can safely reopen visitation. If you would like to schedule a video call with your loved one, please reach out to your facility administrator.

Thank you for your patience and have a wonderful Fourth of July.