COVID-19 Coronavirus Guidance

Hebrew SeniorLife is focused on reducing risk for our patients, residents, and staff.

Hebrew SeniorLife is actively responding to the COVID-19 coronavirus outbreak. As always, our number one priority is protecting our patients, residents, and staff. This page will be kept updated with the newest information for the seniors we serve, their families, and their loved ones.

COVID-19 is present on some of our campuses and we are working directly with the families of those who are impacted to keep them up to date about their loved one's condition. Hebrew SeniorLife's occupational health team is also closely monitoring employees who have tested positive for the virus. Our hearts are with the seniors, families, and employees who are being affected by COVID-19.

For location-specific information, please view the following COVID-19 guidance pages: Hebrew Rehabilitation Center, NewBridge on the Charles, NewBridge Assisted Living, Orchard Cove, Center Communities of Brookline, Jack Satter House, Simon C. Fireman Community.

Hebrew SeniorLife’s Current Policies

We are currently restricting visitors to all of our campuses, which includes, but is not limited to, family members and non-approved private duty aides.

Anyone entering our campuses, including all employees, will be asked about signs and symptoms of illness and physically screened for a fever of 100.4o Fahrenheit.

As of April 3, 2020, we have implemented a self-shelter at home directive across all five of our senior living campuses. Significant supports and services are available for residents throughout the shelter at home period. Employees and volunteers are delivering meals, making daily wellness calls, organizing programs by phone and in-house television, packaging and delivering groceries, sorting mail, coordinating laundry, picking up essential supplies, dog walking, and more.

In addition to these actions, we’ve bolstered our already strict infection prevention and control protocols with increased cleaning of high-touch areas, cancellation of self-serve and many communal dining options, and cessation of group programming. We are actively expanding virtual programming, video chat capabilities, and other efforts to fight social isolation in the seniors we serve.

We deeply appreciate your partnership in keeping our patients, residents, and employees safe.

Senior care organizations can find downloadable protocols, policies, and tools on our COVID-19 Resources for Senior Care Organizations page.

Frequently Asked Questions

Across HSL, we follow strict infection prevention and control protocols to minimize exposures to any airborne virus. We regularly ensure our health care personnel are properly trained and capable of implementing infection control procedures and ensure they understand, and can adhere to, infection control requirements. We also work closely with the state and federal regulatory agencies – including the Massachusetts Department of Public Health (MADPH) and the Centers for Disease Control (CDC). With abundance of caution in this dynamic environment, we are proactively taking steps to protect our vulnerable seniors, employees, families, and friends. Among these steps is the activation of our Emergency Response Internal Control Center, where decisions about COVID-19 are being made around what is best for our seniors and our community. We will update our community on a regular basis as necessary to ensure transparent and ongoing communication with the families of seniors in our care, as well as employees, friends, and others.

Staff at Hebrew SeniorLife have the personal protective equipment (PPE) needed to follow clinical requirements issued by the Centers for Disease Control. We have a dedicated PPE Quality Control Team focused on procuring PPE, ensuring that it meets clinical standards, and closely managing our inventory. We are exploring all avenues for securing PPE to maintain our supplies and are very grateful to have received several generous in-kind donations from supporters in the community. PPE includes masks, gloves, gowns, face shields, goggles, and more.

Notifying family members and caregivers of a change in a loved one’s condition in a timely manner is part of our standard policies and procedures. Additionally, please visit this page often for more general information about HSL’s proactive approach to COVID-19.

At Hebrew Rehabilitation Center, we have strong infection control procedures in place and follow aggressive protocols to isolate any patient exhibiting airborne illness symptoms. We have the ability (and have done so in the past) to close certain wings in our buildings where there has been an outbreak of the flu. We are taking care not to have clinical staff rotating between different floors or households, and have cancelled group activities for patients. We’ve also opened two special COVID-19 units, one each on our HRC-Boston and HRC-Dedham campuses, to isolate patients who test positive for the virus.

Residents in our senior living communities are already being asked to self-shelter at home, meaning that they should not be leaving their apartments. This will limit the number of residents exposed should anyone should have symptoms of COVID-19. If a resident is experiencing symptoms, we ask them to remain in their apartment, notify management at their community, and contact their primary care physician for medical advice.

HSL can provide COVID-19 testing for patients when our on-site medical providers feel that it is warranted. Tests are being processed through Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, which can provide results in a day or less.

Videochat for residents and patients is happening across our organization, with new opportunities rolling out daily to more and more of the seniors we serve. Virtual programming through closed circuit television and telephones has also begun, and is expanding daily. We are working to launch volunteer programs to connect youth volunteers via telephone to residents and patients for regular check-ins. And our own staff members have been redeployed to provide additional rounds of check-in calls to monitor resident well-being and needs. To see stories about what’s happening in our communities, follow Hebrew SeniorLife on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn.

Additional Resources

How You Can Help

An older woman sits on a bench outside Orchard Cove in Canton, MA.

Donate to our COVID-19 Senior Response Fund

This health care crisis is putting our most vulnerable seniors at risk. Gifts to HSL’s COVID-19 Senior Response Fund will provide funding to purchase personal protective equipment, increase staffing, do food deliveries, and expand technology to help patients and residents ward off social isolation. Please give today to meet an urgent and growing need.

Donate Now
A young boy sits at a table working on an art project.

Send Cards and Pictures

We’re doing everything we can to help our patients and residents fight off feelings of isolation while visitation is suspended at our campuses. We invite children to send letters, cards, and drawings that we’ll distribute to show patients and residents that we’re thinking of them. Please send these items to Lynda Bussgang, 5000 Great Meadow Road, Dedham, MA 02026.

A nurse at Hebrew Rehabilitation Center in Boston reaches for supplies on a cart.

Encourage Our Employees

Our incredible team is working around the clock to support patients and residents through this crisis. The work is harder than ever, but HSL employees are meeting the challenge – and then some. Keep their spirits up by making posters with words of encouragement. Please send them to Lynda Bussgang, 5000 Great Meadow Road, Dedham, MA 02026.