November 24 Thanksgiving Update—Planning for a Safe Holiday

The Massachusetts Department of Health and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) have provided updated guidance for families regarding celebrating the Thanksgiving holiday with loved ones in light of the current status of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Commonwealth of Massachusetts recognizes that the holidays are an important time for all, particularly families, as people make plans to visit and celebrate. The state reminds all residents and visitors that the safest way to celebrate is to engage virtually over the Internet using tools like Skype, FaceTime, Zoom, WhatsApp and Google Duo.

August 28 Update—Planning for a Potential COVID Resurgence: Your Input Matters!

Dear families and friends,

As always, our team and I hope this email finds you safe and healthy. I am pleased to report that we continue to remain COVID-free for both our staff and residents. We continue our COVID Surveillance Testing for Employees as directed by the Commonwealth of Massachusetts Department of Public Health on a bi-weekly basis so that we can proactively maintain our COVID-free status.

As you know more than anyone, it has been a difficult few months as our center has battled with COVID-19. While the number of individuals stricken with the virus has decreased dramatically, we know that it is possible we will be dealing with another surge of positive cases in our community.

Our entire team has been at work planning for this possibility, and we would like your input as we continue to refine our strategy to keep all of our residents and staff safe. To that end, we are asking family members and residents to offer any suggestions or comments you feel may be beneficial. We hope to learn from your input what your priorities and main concerns may be.

Your suggestions are greatly appreciated. Thank you for your consideration and stay safe. Thank you and please stay safe and healthy!

Sincerely,

Michael Takesian, Executive Administrator
Fairhaven Healthcare Center
Lowell, Massachusetts

July 20 Update: COVID-free, Visitations Expanded

Our team and I hope this email finds you safe and healthy!

Please remember that the outdoor visits must be pre-scheduled to ensure safe and healthy visits for you, the residents, and our staff. It also allows our team to ensure your loved one is available and ready for your visit to make the most of your time together. These visits require appropriate PPE (masks) to be worn at all times and a social distance of 6 feet between you and your loved ones for the entirety of the visit. If these restrictions pose issues for you please keep in mind that we continue to offer other visitation alternatives like Facetime, Skype and window visits. You can schedule a visit by calling 978-458-3388 at ext. 237 or emailing us at recreation@fairhaven-nursing.com.

(Detailed guidelines are below, as a reminder.)

Other updates from our recreation team include:

  • Visits have now been extended to 30 minutes
  • Efforts are being made to determine next steps in outdoor activities – more to come in the near future

We are happy to report that we are currently COVID free! As recently directed by the EOHHS for the Commonwealth of Massachusetts we have initiated another round of Employee COVID screenings. We are awaiting the results from our Lab to see if we remain COVID free for all our front line employees. Some of our families have inquired about increasing time outdoors so we are actively trying to get people out of their rooms while maintaining the appropriate safety measures. As we continue to maintain a COVID-free status, we will hopefully be able to reduce restrictions under the guidance of the CDC and MA Department of Public Health.

We encourage any residents and family members to contact us with any questions or concerns you may have about the care we are offering. Our commitment is to be as transparent as possible and work to address any issues that arise.

As always, our team and I hope this email finds you safe and healthy. Another “thank you” for all the staff’s hard work, dedication, and compassion for all of our residents here. We remain incredibly grateful for our entire dedicated team and ask you to join me in ensuring that they are included as “Health Care Heroes” battling COVID-19.

Guidelines set by Massachusetts DPH and our center

  • All visits must be scheduled in advance and will take place in a designated area.
  • The visitor must have their temperature taken and answer simple questions prior to the resident coming out for the visit.
  • The resident and their visitor(s) must always wear a facial mask.
  • Social distancing must be maintained throughout the entire visit. This means that the resident and their visitor(s) must always be at least six (6) feet apart.
  • Person to person contact between the resident and visitor(s) is prohibited.
  • No items may be transferred between visitor(s), residents and staff.
  • The visits will be for a maximum of thirty (30) minutes.
  • The maximum number of visitors allowed at one time is two (2).
  • Visits will only be scheduled before sundown.
  • A facility staff member will be required to remain with the resident and visitor(s) at all times

Scheduling a visit

  • All appointments must be scheduled with our recreation department, by calling 978-458-3388 or by emailing recreation@fairhaven-nursing.com a minimum of 48 hours prior to visit.
  • Visitors must arrive at least 10 minutes prior to visitation for proper screening by center (at the main front entrance). All Visitors must be wearing facemask or facemask will be given before screening.

We are still offering other options for visiting with your family member such as electronic devices and/or window visits that can also be scheduled with our Recreation Department by email or by phone.

Thank you and please stay safe and healthy!!!

Sincerely,

Michael Takesian, Executive Administrator
Fairhaven Healthcare Center
Lowell, Massachusetts

When the COVID-19 pandemic subsides, we hope you'll tour our facility. Here's what you'll learn:

SCORE: On a recent Massachusetts Department of Public Health survey, Fairhaven scored 117 points out of a maximum of 132 possible points—or approximately 89% of perfection. While we're close to perfect,  we won’t stop until we are! These scores are compiled measuring seven critical areas of our healthcare operation,  versus the often criticized ‘5 Star Report’ that only measures three areas.

Interior courtyard

Blossoming shrubs in the private courtyard behind our building at Fairhaven, away from the public, where residents and rehab patients can relax in privacy.

LEADERSHIP: Our leadership team has more than 175 years of combined experience and knowledge in the Rehabilitation and Long Term Care industry.

PHYSICIANS: Unlike most Rehabilitation and Long Term Care facilities, we employ not one but two physicians to help ensure our rehabilitation patients and long term care residents promptly receive the top-quality care they deserve.

THERAPY: Whether it's physical, occupational or speech therapy, Fairhaven consistently achieves high marks from the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services PEPPER report (Program for Evaluating Payment Patterns Electronic Report). Our rankings in this prestigious and well-respected report show everyone that we are not focused on squeezing every dime out of payors; our focus is on quality care.

STAFFING: We have outstanding employees! Schedule a tour of our facility, or just stop by and see for yourself. The people we employ are truly our greatest asset. Their commitment, dedication and passion for providing quality care shine through every minute of every day.

Learn more about what sets us apart...

We're Fairhaven — The home of comfort and quality care

Fairhaven Healthcare Center is a long term care and rehabilitation facility serving the Greater Lowell area and communities north of Boston. For more than 50 years, we've had the privilege of caring for your loved ones.

Welcome! We are a 169-bed Skilled Nursing and Rehabilitation facility located just 200 yards from Lowell General Hospital. Our facility is licensed by the Massachusetts Department of Public Health, is fully accredited by the Joint Commission on Accredited Healthcare Organizations (JCAHO, today simply known as the "Joint Commission") and is an active member of the Massachusetts Senior Care Association.

For more than five decades, Fairhaven Healthcare has been consistently recognized as an integral part of the Lowell, MA community and recognized in surrounding towns north of Boston for its quality of care. Our center is committed to ensuring excellence in customer service while providing the best life experiences and clinical outcomes for all the individuals entrusted to our care.

Quality diningThank you for visiting us online and considering Fairhaven for your healthcare needs or those of a loved one. We offer a broad suite of services supported by a long-tenured, dedicated and loyal staff.

Our services include:

  • Short term post acute care
  • Long term care
  • Physical, Speech & Occupational therapy
  • Respite Care
  • Alcohol addiction services

Learn more about us...

June 8 Update: COVID-19 and In-Person Visitations

As always, our team and I hope this email finds you safe and healthy. I would like to again offer a heart-felt "thank you" for our staff's hard work, dedication, and compassion toward all of our residents here at Fairhaven Healthcare Center. We remain incredibly grateful for our entire dedicated team, and ask you to join me in ensuring they are included as "Health Care Heroes" battling COVID-19. They are doing everything they possibly can to care for those suffering while also implementing preventive measures to minimize the spread of the disease. Everyone is working hard, and their efforts do not go unnoticed.

Starting June 09, 2020, we are excited to offer in-person visits between residents and their families! In accordance with our new policy, we will be offering outdoor social distancing visit options for residents to spend time with family, friends, and loved ones. As outlined in the Department of Public Health Care Memorandum to Nursing Homes dated June 1, 2020, the following are the stipulations and requirements of this new visitation policy.

A long-term care facility may allow in-person visitation in a designated outdoor visitation space, provided that the long-term care facility implements all of the following safety, care, and infection control measures:

  • A resident who is suspected or confirmed to be infected with COVID-19 cannot be visited. A resident who has recovered from COVID-19 may be visited.
  • Prior to transporting a resident to the designated outdoor visitation space, the long-term care facility must screen the visitor for fever or respiratory symptoms. Any individuals with symptoms of COVID-19 infection (fever equal to or greater than 100.0 F, cough, shortness of breath, sore throat, myalgia, chills or new onset of loss of taste or smell) will not be permitted to visit with a resident.
  • Transport of a resident to and from the designated outdoor visitation space must be safe and orderly. At a minimum, safe transport means that the resident cannot be transported through any space designated as COVID-19 care space or space where residents suspected or confirmed to be infected with COVID-19 are present.
  • A long-term care facility staff member trained in such patient safety and infection control measures must remain with the resident at all times during the visit.
  • The number of visitors is limited to no more than two individuals. A visitor must remain at least 6 feet from the resident and attending staff member(s) at all times during the visit.
  • Staff and residents must wear a surgical face mask and visitors must wear a face covering or mask for the duration of the visit.
  • Visits with a resident in a designated outdoor space must be scheduled in advance and are dependent on permissible weather conditions, availability of outdoor space, and sufficient staffing at the facility to meet resident care needs, and the health and well-being of the resident.
  • A long-term care facility may limit the length of any visit, the days on which visits will be permitted, the hours during a day when visits will be permitted, and the number of times during a day or week a resident may be visited.

At this time, we will start scheduling in-person outdoor visitation starting June 09, 2020. The following is the information about these visitations at our Center:

  • Days for scheduling in-person visitation are coordinated through our recreation department.
  • All appointments must be scheduled with Recreation Services, by calling 978-458-3388 (ext. 237) or by emailing them at recreation@fairhaven-nursing.com.
  • Visitors must arrive at least 10 minutes prior to visitation for proper screening by center (at the main front entrance). All Visitors must be wearing facemask or facemask will be given before screening.
  • In-person visitation at this time will only have a 20-minute duration.
  • No more than two visitors during each in-person visit.
  • Visitors cannot transfer or exchange any items with residents.
  • Visitors must maintain 6 feet distance from residents and staff at all times (no physical contact).
  • To give all residents the opportunity to have visitations, at this time all residents are limited to one in-person visit per week.
  • All visitations are weather permitting. Fairhaven Healthcare Center will do its best to contact visitors if cancellatiion of scheduled visiting is required due to weather.

We are still offering other options for visiting with your family member such as electronic devices and/or window visits that can also be scheduled by email or by phone.

Enjoy your time with your loved one and please comply with these safety guidelines as listed above. If you have any questions at any time, please do not hesitate to call or email me at any time.

Sincerely,

Michael Takesian, Executive Administrator
Fairhaven Healthcare Center
Lowell, Massachusetts

June 2: To our Fairhaven Healthcare friends:

Please support nursing home residents and staff by signing the Nursing Home Ballot Initiative today. Nursing facilities are facing an unprecedented workforce and financial crisis that is being exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Nursing Home Ballot Initiative would allow voters to create a permanent and critical law requiring the state to adequately fund and support nursing home care.

We need your support in collecting 18,000 signatures by June 11, 2020 to qualify for the November 2020 ballot.

In the words of the Mass. Senior Coalition, a group of concerned citizens, residents, family members and employees whose mission is to drive the highest quality of care for those who rely on the Commonwealth's nursing homes, "there is a nursing home crisis going on." 

Take meaningful action and sign the petition here: https://www.maseniorcoalition.com/sign

Sincerely,

Michael Takesian, Executive Administrator
Fairhaven Healthcare Center
Lowell, Massachusetts

Update: Control of COVID-19 gains from expedited testing

As the unprecedented COVID-19 ("Coronavirus") outbreak continues to threaten all of us generally and healthcare facilities like ours specifically, we want residents, families and the public to know we are using all resources at our disposal to limit the spread of the virus and reduce incidence of contagion. Our efforts to date include leveraging the Commonwealth of Massachusetts' expedited testing program that gives us quicker response times, the state's new Nursing Home Family Resource Line, and the resources of both the Army National Guard and the Air Force National Guard.

Update: State DPH announces one-source family info line

The Commonwealth's Executive Office of Health and Human Services has announced the launch of the Nursing Home Family Resource Line — a dedicated phone line to connect family members of nursing home and rest home residents with the information and resources they need during the COVID-19 crisis.

May 24 COVID-19 Update:

Dear families and friends,

As always, our team and I hope this email finds you safe and healthy. As we approach Memorial Day Weekend, I would like to first take this opportunity to show respect and honor to all those military veterans who have lost their life serving our country. Our sincerest thoughts and prayers go out to them and their families.

We offer another heartfelt thank you to all the Fairhaven employees for their hard work, dedication, and compassion for our residents. We remain incredibly grateful for our entire dedicated team and ask you to join me in ensuring that they are included as “Health Care Heroes” battling COVID-19. They are doing everything they possibly can to care for those suffering and support them as they battle this disease.

I would like to begin with an update on the facility wide testing that was originally conducted 08-April-2020 and 15-April-2020 by the Massachusetts National Guard. We were able to test 100% of our residents and 96% of our staff members. This was mandated by Governor Baker and Mass DPH with a minimum testing compliance of 90%. Our center exceeded that threshold.

We feel we may be turning the corner on our center’s battle with COVID-19. As of today, we have seen almost all of our residents convert to negative and are now symptom-free of COVID-19. We are very excited for these residents, their families, and our staff.

We’ve had two infection control evaluations with Mass DPH and were told by the surveyor that she had no concerns on both tours. Our PPE inventory was substantial, and our staff was well versed in infection control policy and procedures. Over the last week we have continued to appropriately care for our residents according to the CDC guidance.

We continue to schedule consistent staffing on all our units. We also continue to follow all CDC and state guidelines and receive regular updates on new guidelines that are offered. This information is shared with our staff and additional training is continually taking place to keep us not only compliant but “ahead of the curve”.

Window Visits

Now that the weather is looking good, we ask that you contact us to get information about scheduling window visits with your loved ones. We continue to offer many ways for you to connect with your loved one. Please remember that the window visits must be pre-scheduled to ensure safe and healthy visits for you, the residents, and our staff.

Continue to use our special email address administrator@fairhaven-nursing.com to request virtual visits, ask questions or address any issues that arise. This is an incredibly challenging time and we will continue to do all we can to get through this, together.

  • Please email us your questions in advance, so we can address similar questions at one time.

Thank you and please stay safe and healthy!

Michael Takesian, Administrator
Fairhaven Healthcare Center
Lowell, Massachusetts

May 4 COVID-19 Update for Families:

Dear families and friends,

As always, our team and I hope this email finds you safe and healthy. As some states begin to ease restrictions on businesses and the general public, please note that Fairhaven will NOT be included in any of these business categories to ease restrictions.

The visitor restriction placed on us by the Department of Public Health in early March is still in effect for the foreseeable future; we will advise you when this changes. We continue to offer several ways for families to communicate with us as well as their residents through FaceTime calls, Zoom meetings, and window visits for you and your loved ones. Please let us know how we can assist you and we will make every effort to accommodate.

From the beginning of this crisis, we have implemented extensive infection control measures to protect our residents. This information will be updated on our website. As always, if you would like any details on them, please let me know.

In Massachusetts, patients and staff have tested positive in more than 300 centers. That is more than 80% of all nursing homes. Sadly, we also have had patients test positive for COVID-19. As you know, this has been extremely challenging to our staff. We are doing all we can to treat them and our thoughts are with those patients afflicted with this virus and their loved ones. We continue to monitor and care for our residents in the safest way possible. We follow all guidelines as directed by the Department of Public Health, CDC, and State and Local Health Boards.

We also continue to do all we can to protect our other residents and remain committed to ensuring the personal protective equipment (PPE) our staff needs and are in compliance with CDC and state guidelines regarding the appropriate use of PPE. We continue to secure PPE from existing and new vendors and request equipment from the state. We are satisfied with our supply and record a daily inventory of all items. We continue to work towards a supply of items that will allow us to manage safe resident practices for an extended period of time.

We are in touch daily with the Department of Public Health and our local Health Department. The state DPH will be visiting our center in the near future and we are confident that they will be impressed by the systems we have implemented to ensure safe resident care. They will review our infection control procedures as well as review our PPE, staffing allocations and all processes and procedures regarding safe resident care. We continue to follow all CDC and state guidelines and receive regular updates on new guidelines that are offered.

We may be turning the corner on our center’s battle with COVID-19. As of today, we have continued to see several residents remain symptom-free of COVID-19. We are very excited for these residents, their families, and our staff. We anticipate this number to continue to rise and we will begin to allow residents to return to their rooms. We feel this would be helpful to everyone!

I remain incredibly grateful for our dedicated team and ask you to join me in ensuring that they are included as “Health Care Heroes” battling COVID-19. They are doing everything they possibly can to care for those suffering and support them as they battle this disease.

We are fortunate that we have not experienced staffing issues due to the commitment our staff has in providing the highest quality of care to their patients, even in the most challenging times. We have increased compensation to staff in our center and continue to advertise and recruit for additional per diem staff to supplement our teams. We support our talented staff whose commitment to caring for our residents throughout this health crisis inspires us every day.

We have heard from many of you about how you can recognize our staff “Health Care Heroes.” Please let us know if you have suggestions and we will attempt to implement them.

  • Please email us your questions in advance, so we can address similar questions at one time.
  • Please call us directly with questions about your loved one.
  • We will attempt to provide you with a list of our department heads so you may direct area-specific questions to them.

Thank you and please stay safe and healthy!

Michael Takesian, Administrator
Fairhaven Healthcare Center
Lowell, Massachusetts

A letter from our Administrator during the COVID-19 crisis

We would like to urge all parties—residents, family members, supporting staff and key healthcare contacts to read the letter below from our Administrator, Mr. Michael Takesian, regarding the COVID-19 ("Coronavirus") outbreak.

From our picturesque facility near the Merrimack River and just 200 yards from Lowell General Hospital, we serve the rehabilitation and long term care needs of residents and their families in the Greater Lowell Area, northeastern Massachusetts and southern New Hampshire including Andover, Billerica, Carlisle, Chelsmford, Concord, Dracut, Groton, Haverhill, Lawrence, Methuen, Nashua (NH), Pelham (NH), Pepperell, Salem (NH), Tewksbury, Tyngsborough, Westford, Wilmington and Windham (NH).