A Note from our CEO 20 Mar 2020
A prospective marketing guest recently asked “What proactive things is Blue Skies doing to keep their residents safe from contagious diseases like the current coronavirus epidemic? Although I can’t personally answer every question that comes in, I wanted to answer this question because I’m passionate about the issue. Blue Skies employees work extremely hard every day to keep our residents safe and secure. During crisis like the coronavirus, I think you are better off in a senior living facility like Blue Skies of Texas.
In 2009, as a result of Novel H1N1 virus, BST developed an impressive Influenza Preparedness and Response Plan. That document lays a firm foundation for our response to Coronavirus (COVID 19). The plan includes a four tiered alert system (Green, Yellow, Orange and Red), directing specific action based on: 1) presence of influenza outside of the United States; 2) presence of influenza inside the country; 3) presence within the Blue Skies community and finally; 4) uncontrollable or untraceable influenza within Blue Skies community. The core elements of the plan include prevention, monitoring, transmission-based precautions, reporting, staff assignments, containment, and communication. This plan is the basis for our response to the Coronavirus (COVID 19).
What will you see today at BST? You’ll see lots of disinfecting and cleaning by our staff, our dining venues have modified operations to provide delicious take out options for meals, and signs are posted at each entrance alerting residents to wash their hands, try to not touch their faces, respect social distances, and use alternate handshaking approaches (e.g., elbow bumps). Our employees are screened each morning to ensure they are safe and free from illness before they interact with residents. You’ll also see lots of hand sanitizers.
We continually monitor information from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), the Centers for Medicaid and Medicare Services (CMS), the Texas Department of Health and Human Services and the San Antonio Metro Health. If you lived at BST today, you would receive email communication about everything we are doing to keep you safe or you could pick up a hard copy of the information at our 24/7 concierge desk. You would also see video updates on our internal TV channel keeping you posted on the latest information. But there are even more benefits to living at Blue Skies of Texas.
At Blue Skies of Texas, you have added protections during cold and flu season or when something unusual like Coronavirus strikes. We have medical providers on-site, so you don’t have to travel downtown to see a doctor. You can have your prescriptions filled and delivered to Blue Skies (from the military pharmacy at Lackland AFB or from a civilian pharmacy). Meals can be delivered to your door. There are Courtesy officers (COs) on duty at BST 24/7 and Acadian Ambulance, who services our area, has a rest location on one of our two campuses significantly reducing response time. Of course, we are limiting the size of gatherings in accordance with recent recommendations from health professionals. In addition, our staff, from housekeepers to maintenance personnel and staff are trained to observe changes in our residents and to notify the appropriate staff. This is what we’re doing today.
BST is also ready for what might happen. We are prepared to deliver three meals a day to each resident if necessary and isolate residents if necessary. We have plans that help us deal with a variety of expected and unexpected scenarios. All this information focuses on the response to what could happen. I haven’t even touched on what happens every day.
With over 70 different clubs and organizations, there is a lot to do at Blue Skies. Our residents will tell you they are busier now than ever before. They are surrounded by friends and have a wide variety of engagement opportunities from physical activities like swimming, biking and Zumba to fun activities like mahjong, bridge, pool or painting.
We are a full-service Continuing Care Retirement Community (CCRC)/Life Plan Community (LPC). That means we have the full spectrum of senior living options: independent living, assisted living, skilled nursing, memory care, our newly added skilled nursing facility at the memory care level, and hospice. We are recognized industry wide for our quality. There are only 176 CARF accredited senior living facilities in the U.S. and only three in the state of Texas. CARF is the accrediting agency for senior living in the U.S. BST is two of the three CARF accredited facility in Texas (our East and West campuses are accredited separately). We are consistently ranked in the top 20% of all skilled nursing facilities in San Antonio by the Centers for Medicaid and Medicare Services, we were chosen as the Best Nursing Homes in 2019-2020 by U.S. News and World Reports and we have a Gold rating from Charity Navigator. Blue Skies of Texas is a highly rated and well-respected senior living option.
You can tell I’m passionate about Blue Skies of Texas. I think it is a wonderful place that provides a safe and secure place to live.
If you are interested in finding out more about Blue Skies, please call us at 210.568.3200.
Darrell D. Jones
Lt Gen, USAF (Ret)
President and CEO
Blue Skies of Texas