A Coronavirus Update from Kendal’s CEO & President

March 18, 2020—At Kendal the health and well-being of residents, Kendal at Home members and staff are, as always, the highest priorities, every day.

In crisis, there are many long-standing protocols and procedures in place to help support that health and well-being that are designed to prevent, control and manage infection. In practice, these protocols and procedures have proven themselves effective during innumerable flu seasons and previous outbreaks that are not necessarily uncommon in the “field of aging.” In many ways, Kendal is fortunate during this time to have the body of experience that it does and more importantly, to have awareness of, and confidence in these capabilities among residents, members and staff of all types.

Strength in our experience and expertise aside, however, the coronavirus (COVID-19) presents additional challenges all together, in part because of the higher mortality rates among older people, in part because of the rapid spread across often “unknowing” populations, in part because of the lack of a vaccine, in part because of concerns over the health care system’s ability to handle the increased demand, in part because of what is unknown.

So as much as we recognize our capacity to address this sort of crisis well, at Kendal we also acknowledge of course that this is quite different than we or anyone else has had to contend with. Consequently, our practices are changing and our means for executing them are changing along with them. Daily meetings by conference and video are the norm across all aspects of the organization. The sharing of model practices is intensified, the development of new practices is constantly underway and the planning for what may come next is a daily practice. Confirmation of vital habits around physical and personal hygiene are front and center at Kendal and in all of the people and places we touch.

Weeks ago, Kendal affiliates began taking proactive measures to adopt the latest CDC coronavirus guidelines and significantly increase communications among residents/members and their families. Likewise, restrictions endorsed by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid have been wholly adopted by Kendal affiliates along with a determination to be sure practices are maintained and constantly improved to adapt to rapidly changing circumstances. Please do regularly check each affiliate’s website for information specific to each Kendal location.

Anytime we find ourselves in crisis, or in times of great uncertainty, it’s common for us to lean on our own personally held values, to guide our judgment. At Kendal, especially now, we take great comfort in knowing that so many of us who are a part of this great System are guided by values in common. Values born of a Quaker history and articulated in Kendal’s Values and Practices for all to see. Values that call us look to one and another for guidance and inspiration. Values that demand a pursuit of something better, together.

Sometimes in moments like these, we find clarity and see ourselves at our best. This must be so. Although no Kendal affiliate as of this writing has been directly impacted by the virus, the dynamics of the manifestation of this disease are changing by the hour. Accordingly we will stay at it and provide updates on an ongoing basis.

Stay well.