Information on Coronavirus (COVID-19) Learn More
Coronavirus Update

Protective Measures Continue

Updated April 1, 2020  9:27 p.m.

Living Branches may not be able to welcome visitors to our campuses right now, but residents and staff are working diligently to remain connected and support each other. 

At the present time, we have not had a resident or staff member test positive for COVID-19. It is unlikely that this will continue indefinitely, so our leadership team is preparing for what happens if that changes. We are working with state agencies and other retirement communities who have experience caring for residents with coronavirus to learn the best practices in that situation.

Our preventative measures are still in force. 

  • Campuses are closed to visitors and non-essential personnel. All group activities have been cancelled, and normal dining options have been suspended. We are strongly encouraging all residents (even Residential Living) to follow Governor Wolf's stay-at-home order.
  • We continue to screen every employee, including taking their temperature, as they report to work each day. 
  • Beginning Thursday, April 2, all Personal Care residents will receive room service for all meals.  

There are also many positive interactions happening each day. Please like us on Facebook and/or Instagram to get those updates. Also remember there are several methods to communicate with Living Branches residents, including Skype video calls and sending a message to a resident.

Please feel free to share information about sending a message to a resident with church members, school children, or others who may want to do something positive. If they don't know any Living Branches residents - that's ok. They can still send a message to "Any Resident" and we'll make sure it gets delivered to someone who isn't getting a lot of mail.

 

Message from the President/CEO

Updated March 19, 2020 4:04 p.m.

Please take a moment to view this message for residents and families from Edward Brubaker regarding our coronavirus response.

 

Commitment to Residents 

Updated March 18, 2020 6:07 p.m.

Living Branches remains committed to our residents during these unprecedented times, and to transparency in our communication with you. As of today, March 18, 2020, we do not have any residents or staff who have tested positive for COVID-19. Should that change, our team has developed response plans that we will follow accordingly. In the meantime we must all continue to work together to stay healthy and flatten the curve.

 

Changes to Dining Services; All Activities Cancelled

Updated March 16, 2020 5:01 p.m.

In accordance with directives from Governor Wolf and the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid (CMS), we are making changes to the following services at Living Branches for at least the next two weeks.

  • Beginning Tuesday, March 17, the Apple Orchard Cafe and Hearthside Bistro will be available for take-out only for Residential Living residents. Christopher’s at Dock Woods will be closed at this time. Please call the cafe or bistro to place your take-out orders. If you are unable to use take-out, please inform staff when you place your order and we will arrange for delivery.
  • Dining times in Personal Care will be staggered in order to maintain appropriate distances between residents as they dine.

  • Dining rooms in Health Care will be closed; meals will be served to residents in their rooms.

  • All scheduled activities in Health Care, Personal Care, and Residential Living are cancelled.

  • The Acorn Shop, Gifts and Treasures Shop, and Corner Store will be open so residents can purchase necessary grocery and toiletry items.

  • The beauty/barber shops will be closed.

  • Environmental services will be operating with essential services only to minimize staff time in resident homes.

We respectfully ask cottage and villa residents to limit their trips to the main building, if at all possible. If you must enter the main building, please enter through the entrance closest to your destination (Fisher if you are going to the bistro; the Welcome Center if you are going to the gift shops) so you can be screened, including a check of your temperature.

We are doing everything we can to limit our exposure to this virus. Beginning this week all staff will be screened, including having their temperature checked, at the front desk or before they report to their areas. We want to protect our residents as best we can!

You may have heard the term “social distancing” recently. This means doing whatever we can to limit our contact with other people so we don’t spread the virus, or catch the virus from them. Residents, please practice social distancing as much as you can and stay on campus, except when absolutely necessary.

Thank you for your patience and cooperation as we try to keep each other healthy. And remember to wash your hands or use hand sanitizer frequently!

 

Fitness Centers Closed; Community Tours Cancelled

Updated March 13, 2020  11:33 a.m.

For our residents:

We are complying with Governor Wolf's orders to close gyms and fitness centers for the next two weeks. Therefore the fitness centers at Souderton Mennonite Homes and Dock Woods are closed to all residents and staff. Please note that scheduled fitness classes are still being held at this time. 

For prospective residents and their families:

All Residential Living, Personal Care, and Memory Care tours have been cancelled at this time. Scheduled move-ins and admissions are still taking place. Please contact your sales counselor if you have any questions.

 

Important Update to Residents, Family Members, and Staff

Updated March 12, 2020 2:37 p.m.

At Living Branches the health and safety of residents is at the heart of all we do. The more we learn about coronavirus (COVID-19), the more we understand that the people we serve in our campuses are the most vulnerable to this virus. Therefore we are taking the following steps to protect residents:

  • As of Thursday, March 12, all Living Branches campuses are closed to visitors in all levels of care, including Residential Living. This means family members and volunteers will not be allowed on campus, although end of life situations will be addressed individually.

  • We are following guidelines from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) and and Pennsylvania Department of Health regarding infectious disease prevention in Health Care and Personal Care. Residents in Health Care will remain in Health Care; Personal Care residents can continue to use other amenities at this time, although they must eat all meals in the Personal Care dining rooms.

  • All off-campus trips and events are cancelled. Health Care and Personal Care residents are asked to only leave campus for critical appointments with health care providers, after confirming the appointment with the provider. Residential Living residents are asked to limit their trips off campus as much as possible in order to help protect the health of all.

  • Staff members will report to work as usual. Supervisors have received instructions regarding screening of any staff members who are reporting symptoms of respiratory illness. Private-duty home care aides and other health care workers will be allowed on campus, after receiving screening at the front desk which includes a temperature check. Univest banking services and visits from the Everence representative have been suspended.

  • On-campus life enrichment programs and chapel services will continue as scheduled whenever possible. We realize the restriction on visitors will have an impact on these activities and services. Funeral services will not be scheduled on campus during this time. Dining areas, gift shops and The Willows gift cart will remain open for resident and staff use, although they will not be accessible to the public.

Living Branches campuses are purposely not gated and open to the wider community. The decision to close our campuses was made after consulting with state and local health officials, our medical and infection control personnel, and much discussion by Living Branches coronavirus response team. Our primary responsibility to residents is to keep them safe, and this appears to be the best way to do so at this time.

 

A Message from the CEO

Updated March 10, 9:04 p.m.

 

Living U Classes Postponed

Updated March 9, 2020 6:40 p.m.

At Living Branches our residents are always first priority when we make decisions. Our coronavirus response team has decided to limit non-essential visitors to campus in an attempt to prevent the spread of infectious disease. This means that we are postponing Living U classes for the immediate future; this will begin with the Living U class previously scheduled for Tuesday, March 10. We apologize for the inconvenience, but must protect our residents as best we can during this time.

Everyone who has registered for March 2020 Living U classes is being contacted directly about class schedules. If you have questions, please feel free to contact Maribeth Benner, Living U coordinator, at 215-368-4438.