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Safety Measures at Assisted Living Communities

The reasons for placing a loved one in an assisted living facility often boil down to one word: safety. When a sick or frail individual no longer can care for him or herself, the safest place may be such a community, where both medical care and physical safety can be assured.

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Assisted living communities have numerous tools – some mandated by state and federal guidelines, some by individual rules – to protect their residents. There are numerous safety concerns, but the top three are:

  • Falls.
  • Wandering.
  • Infections, including COVID-19.

Keeping residents safe while allowing them some freedom isn’t easy, and safety programs do not follow a one-size-fits-all approach, says John Mastronardi, executive director of The Nathaniel Witherell, a short-term rehab and skilled nursing care center in Greenwich, Connecticut. Each resident has a personalized care plan because “they still have a personality and preferences you want to pay attention to that can inform and drive the care plan. The crux of this is getting to the core of that person’s preferences if you possibly can, then tailoring a plan of care so that they can thrive as best they can, safely.”


The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention names falls as one of the leading causes of fatal and nonfatal injuries among people age 65 and older. In the past, those at high risk for falls were often restrained from moving, but the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services now precludes using restraints except where medically necessary.

Fall prevention begins at admittance, when the resident is screened for his or her risk of falling. The Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality also recommends rescreening quarterly, annually and when health conditions change.

To minimize risk, assisted living facilities:

  • Adjust medication to minimize side effects like dizziness and drowsiness. “We have a consulting pharmacist look at their meds, and at least monthly we try to trim them when we can,” says Dr. Elaine Healy, medical director and vice president of medical affairs at United Hebrew in New Rochelle, a senior living campus in Westchester County, New York.
  • Manage chronic and acute medical conditions carefully. Conditions like low blood pressure, Parkinson’s disease, arthritis, diabetes and many others increase fall risk. “Most falls occur near the bed and in the bedroom. They might have low blood sugar, don’t realize it, get up too fast and end up falling,” Mastronardi says.
  • Schedule bathroom breaks and other potentially unsafe behaviors. “We look at residents’ habits. If they are an early riser, we would anticipate them being active early and make sure their needs are met for eating and toileting, and engage them in activities to keep them busy and not want to move around,” Healy says.
  • Provide physical and occupational therapy. This can help residents work on balance, walking gait and strength.
  • Fix, adjust or remove environmental hazards, such as beds, walkers, flooring, furniture and clutter. For example, “We may use a raised-perimeter mattress to keep them from rolling off the bed or trying

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An ambassador and trained facilitator under Eco Femme (a social enterprise working towards menstrual health in south India), Sanjina is also an active member of the MHM Collective- India and Menstrual Health Alliance- India. She has conducted Menstrual Health sessions in multiple government schools adopted by Rotary District 3240 as part of their WinS project in rural Bengal. She has also delivered training of trainers on SRHR, gender, sexuality and Menstruation for Tomorrow’s Foundation, Vikramshila Education Resource Society, Nirdhan trust and Micro Finance, Tollygunj Women In Need, Paint It Red in Kolkata.

Now as an MH Fellow with YKA, she’s expanding her impressive scope of work further by launching a campaign to facilitate the process of ensuring better menstrual health and SRH services for women residing in correctional homes in West Bengal. The campaign will entail an independent study to take stalk of the present conditions of MHM in correctional homes across the state and use its findings to build public support and political will to take the necessary action.

Saurabh has been associated with YKA as a user and has consistently been writing on the issue MHM and its intersectionality with other issues in the society. Now as an MHM Fellow with YKA, he’s launched the Right to Period campaign, which aims to ensure proper execution of MHM guidelines in Delhi’s schools.

The long-term aim of the campaign is to develop an open culture where menstruation is not treated as a taboo. The campaign also seeks to hold the schools accountable for their responsibilities as an important component in the implementation of MHM policies by making adequate sanitation infrastructure and knowledge of MHM available in school premises.

Read more about his campaign.

Harshita is a psychologist and works to support people with mental health issues, particularly adolescents who are survivors of violence. Associated with the Azadi Foundation in UP, Harshita became an MHM Fellow with YKA, with the aim of promoting better menstrual health.

Her campaign #MeriMarzi aims to promote menstrual health and wellness, hygiene and facilities for female sex workers in UP. She says, “Knowledge about natural body processes is a very basic human right. And for individuals whose occupation is providing sexual services, it becomes even more important.”

Meri Marzi aims

White House Outbreak May Have Spread Coronavirus To Other Communities : Shots

Numerous people have tested positive after attending an event in the Rose Garden at the White House on Sept. 26 to announce the nomination of Seventh U.S. Circuit Court Judge Amy Coney Barrett to the Supreme Court.

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Numerous people have tested positive after attending an event in the Rose Garden at the White House on Sept. 26 to announce the nomination of Seventh U.S. Circuit Court Judge Amy Coney Barrett to the Supreme Court.

Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

The White House’s apparent failures to thoroughly contact trace its current coronavirus outbreak has led local health officers to take matters into their own hands.

The District of Columbia and nine neighboring jurisdictions are calling on White House staff and visitors who might be connected to the recent outbreak there to contact their local health departments.

“We recommend that if you have worked in the White House in the past two weeks, attended the Supreme Court announcement in the Rose Garden on Saturday, September 26, 2020, and/or have had close contact with others who work in those spaces or attended those events, you should get a test for COVID,” the health officers wrote in a letter shared by D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser early Thursday morning.

The authors note that this recommendation is being made based on “our preliminary understanding that there has been limited contact tracing performed to date.”

Thirty-seven White House staff and other contacts have tested positive, according to a website tracking the outbreak, citing public information such as media reports and tweets. Eleven of those positive cases are connected to the Amy Coney Barrett nomination event in the Rose Garden on September 26, according to the tracker, from which many attendees flew home to other states.

Emergency physician Leana Wen notes that, given that that event was nearly two weeks ago, it’s likely the outbreak has already sparked other infections.

“We’re not even talking about first generation spread or second generation to spread, we’re talking about third generation spread,” she says. In other words, those who were exposed at the Rose Garden could have infected others who have since infected still more people.

When it comes to tracking down all the contacts that might be connected to the White House outbreak, there are many daunting challenges, from the country’s fractured public health system to the Trump administration’s approach.

1. The White House is on federal land

There are reports of an increase in coronavirus tests in D.C., and some high case numbers in recent days, which has prompted concerns that the outbreak at the White House could be driving spread in the local area. It’s difficult to know for sure if these things are connected.

But because the White House is federal property, the job of contact tracing an outbreak on the White House grounds doesn’t fall to the District’s public health staff, it falls to the White House Medical Unit.

The open letter comes after D.C. Mayor Bowser

Minneapolis Medical Clinic Embraces Native American Cultural Healing During Coronavirus | Healthiest Communities

MINNEAPOLIS — Every morning, around 30 staff members with the Native American Community Clinic get together in an online virtual huddle.

Before the day’s duties are assigned, Elder in Residence Renee Beaulieu-Banks, a member of the Leech Lake Band of Ojibwe, starts out with a quick blessing – first in Ojibwemowin, and then again in English.

“We have conversations with spirits. We invite them to listen. We thank them, offer them tobacco for our requests and for our gratitude,” Beaulieu-Banks says. “That’s what I do in the morning. I do a request for healing. Not only for ourselves, but for the community and each other.”

Beaulieu-Banks also addresses the spirit of COVID-19, requesting that it have mercy on not only the native people, but everyone. She thanks the spirits for bringing the medical team together for this work, calling them “our warriors.” Staff members at the clinic, which provides health services to members of Minneapolis’ sizable Native American population, overwhelmingly say the introduction helps orient them and starts the day out in a “good way.”

Much of the coverage of Native Americans during the pandemic has focused on hard-hit rural reservations. But 78% of American Indians and Alaska Natives – who were either AI/AN alone or in combination with at least one other race – lived outside reservations or similar areas as of the 2010 Census, many of them in urban areas. Native residents of Minneapolis haven’t been immune to the challenges posed by COVID-19, including the mental health impacts of quarantine, isolation and financial instability.

The Native American Community Clinic in Minneapolis has been able to meet their needs not only by shifting online, but through its integration of traditional and spiritual healing into its programming.

“We’ve wanted to amplify the capacity to do integrated cultural healing into the clinic. It seems like it took forever to get here. But we’re finally here,” says NACC CEO Antony Stately, who is a member of the Oneida Nation of Wisconsin and has familial ties to the Red Lake and White Earth Ojibwe nations. “Elders are helping guide the way.”

According to census data reported by the Urban Indian Health Institute, more than 29,000 people in Minnesota’s MinneapolisSt. Paul area identified as American Indian or Alaska Native alone or in combination with any other race in recent years. That includes NACC’s neighboring Little Earth community, an affordable housing complex that claims it has about 1,500 mostly native residents. NACC serves roughly 4,500 patients a year.

Luckily, the clinic had the infrastructure for telehealth already in place before the pandemic. On April 20, two employees tested positive for COVID-19. The clinic had to basically shut down for two weeks, and the staff had to learn how to operate via telehealth – and quickly.

“We were up and running on Day One, and adjusted very fast,” NACC Chief Medical Officer Kari Rabie says. “Given our position and what we do, that’s what we do anyways. We always joke that it’s

Empire Communities Announces Partnership with Community Food Centres Canada

Vaughan, Ontario, Oct. 07, 2020 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Empire Communities, one of North America’s largest privately-owned builder-developers, has entered into a strategic partnership with Community Food Centres Canada (CFCC). Their work helps to support families struggling with food insecurity and programs that help to promote resources for accessing healthy food, the development of food skills and education promoting health and well-being. The sponsorship names Empire as the Community Partner in their innovative program, The Big Social, the CFCC’s second annual national fundraising event raising money for food programs.

“With COVID-19 affecting so many families across southern Ontario and the communities in which we build we felt that a partnership with CFCC was a cause that could directly impact and help the local families in Empire communities, specifically in Southwestern Ontario where Empire has a strong presence,” says Sue MacKay, Vice President of Marketing at Empire Communities. “Empire has long been a supporter of causes and organizations assisting with the promotion of health, education, sport and well-being, and with the uncertainties brought on by the pandemic this type of support is needed now more than ever.”

This year’s Big Social event will be completely virtual, bringing thousands of Canadians together from October 9 to 25 to host a small meal or virtual dinner party with friends and family to fundraise and raise awareness. Money raised will support community members to get access to the supplies they need to eat well and cook healthy.

“Food is an incredible tool for bringing people together. That’s what our community partners do each and every day,” says Nick Saul, CEO of Community Food Centres Canada. “Food insecurity and isolation are at an all-time high, and The Big Social provides a safe and valuable way to give back during COVID-19.”



Community Food Centres Canada ( builds dynamic and responsive Community Food Centres and food programs that support people to eat well, connect with their neighbours and contribute, through advocacy and mutual support, to a more just and inclusive Canada. With our 200+ partners, we work to eradicate poverty, food insecurity and improve the health and well-being of low-income Canadians.



Empire Communities ( is a residential builder/developer involved in all sectors of the new home building industry, including both low‐rise and high‐rise built forms. Celebrating over 25 years of building inspiring new places to live, Empire has an established tradition of creating prestigious award-winning new homes, communities and amenities and has earned a reputation for outstanding attention to detail and customer service. Since its inception in 1993, Empire has built over 20,000 new homes and condos. Today, Empire is one of the largest privately held homebuilders in North America with current communities in Toronto, Southwestern Ontario and the Southern U.S. States.




CONTACT: Daniela Tirone Empire Communities 416-627-3896 [email protected]

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MA Town-By-Town Coronavirus Stats: 23 High-Risk Communities

MASSACHUSETTS — Twenty-three communities were designated high-risk in the new town-by-town data released by the state Wednesday, up from 15 the week before. New rules announced by the state Wednesday mean that those towns, plus others that were high-risk in the last two updates, cannot move on to the next phase of reopening.

The communities were marked high-risk, or red, due to more than eight confirmed COVID-19 cases per 100,000 residents over the past two weeks.

The latest step forward reopens indoor performance venues; expands capacity at outdoor performance venues, gyms, museums, driving and flight schools; reopens more indoor activities; and permits fitting rooms to open in all retail stores. It also allows for increased outdoor gatherings at events and in public settings.

With Wednesday’s update, the following 29 communities do not qualify to move forward: Attleboro, Avon, Boston, Chelsea, Dedham, Everett, Dracut, Framingham, Haverhill, Holliston, Lowell, Lawrence, Lynn, Lynnfield, Marlborough, Methuen, Middleton, Monson, Nantucket, New Bedford, North Andover, Plainville, Revere, Saugus, Springfield, Tynsborough, Winthrop, Worcester and Wrentham.

The 11 new communities added to the list were: Attleboro, Avon, Boston, Dracut, Haverhill, Lowell, Lynnfield, Methuen, Middleton, North Andover and Springfield.

Over one-third of Massachusetts communities reported rising positive coronavirus test rates over the last two weeks and three towns reported rates above 5 percent. Statewide, the positive test rate was 1.0 percent, up from 0.8 percent in early September.

There were 510 new COVID-19 cases and 32 deaths reported Wednesday. There have been 9,242 deaths and 129,753 confirmed cases statewide since the pandemic reached the Bay State in March.

A University of Massachusetts model projects that the state’s death total could reach 9,769 by Oct. 24. That’s higher than what the closely-watched IHME projected for the state in early August, when it said the state could suffer 9,600 deaths by election day.

The latest town-by-town data showed the positive test rate over the last two weeks increased in 121 — or 34.5 percent — of the 351 communities in the state. The rate fell in 82 — or 23.4 percent — communities and held steady in the remaining 148.

Health officials say positive test results need to stay below 5 percent for two weeks or longer and, preferably, be closer to 2 percent, for states to safely ease restrictions. Three towns had positive test rates at or above 5 percent over the last two weeks: Lawrence, Monroe and Windsor.

Twenty-nine communities had positive rates between 2 and 5 percent.

The state reported 14,404 tests conducted Wednesday, bringing the number of completed tests to 4.05 million.

The data includes coronavirus cases for all Massachusetts communities, except for those with populations under 50,000 and fewer than five cases. The department said the stipulation was designed to protect the privacy of patients in those towns and cities.

The state is continuing to release town-by-town testing data, including the number of people tested, the testing rate, the positive test rate, cases and infection rates.

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Most communities in Hale County saw coronavirus count increase last week


Just about every community in Hale County reported new cases of COVID-19 last week. The majority of those cases and the reported death are reflected in numbers for Plainview.

According to the latest numbers reported to the Plainview/Hale County Health Department, 94 new cases of coronavirus were reported in Hale County last week bringing the total number of reported cases up to 1,909 since the first was announced in March. Case counts across the county are as follows:

Plainview: 77 new cases; 1,697 total cases

Hale Center: 9 new cases; 101 total cases

Abernathy: 6 new cases; 68 total cases

Cotton Center: 1 new case; 2 total cases

Edmonson: 1 new case; 5 total cases

Petersburg: 0 new cases; 36 total cases

There were also an additional 50 recoveries reported including 34 in Plainview, eight in Hale Center, six in Abernathy and two in Petersburg.

There was one coronavirus-related death reported last week and it’s reflected in counts for Plainview.

The deceased individual is a man who was 61 years or older who contracted the virus locally. The latest case report shows he was in a medical facility.

The death brings Plainview up to 51 total deaths. There have been 58 in the county including two in Petersburg and five in Hale Center.

The number of COVID-19 tests being conducted