Last Updated on May 17, 2020

THE RECORD OF THE CHARLESTOWN RESIDENTS’ COUNCIL
(web version)

April 7, 2020
Residents’ Council Website: ccicharlestown.org

The April 7, 2020 Residents’ Council meeting was canceled because of COVID-19. We are issuing the written materials prepared by the Residents’ Council to inform residents of council activities in March 2020. The Council March minutes were approved by email and phone. 

REPORTS—EXECUTIVE TEAM

PRESIDENT’S REPORT (Anne Erfle): 

Mission Moments

Hundreds of residents, staff, family members, and friends enjoyed the week-long Winter Putterland events. The Erickson Values were evident, as residents and staff united to make sure the entire Charlestown family had an opportunity to putt around the 18-hole miniature golf course. All those participating demonstrated respect and caring, diversity, friendliness and enthusiasm, responsibility, excellence, and teamwork.  

Many volunteers helped with the initial planning and developed the course. Others enthusiastically welcomed guests and motivated participants to contribute to the fundraising efforts for Benevolent Care.  

Ellie DePietro stood out as one individual who took responsibility for three of her friends during the Intercommunity Golf Tournament. She led them around the course, sought after their balls, and assured that they were safe getting in and out of the course obstacles. She even brought a portable chair to give her friends a place to sit while waiting for their turn at each hole. But she was only one of many who made this event a success.  

And to highlight the week, the residents of Continuing Care had a morning of fun on the course. This would not have been possible without the individual chaperoning of the many residents, staff, and Corporate Office volunteers who shadowed each Continuing Care resident through the course. This day highlighted the true meaning of The Erickson Way and promoted Harmonious Community living. Let’s salute all of the Mission Moments honorees.  

VICE PRESIDENT’S REPORT (Walt Howe): No report this month. 

SECRETARY’S REPORT (Hope Tillman):

The proposed changes to the Residents’ Council Bylaws were approved by the Council unanimously. 

Now that it is approved, the Bylaws document and list of changes will be distributed to the residents this summer for vote at the August Residents’ Association meeting. The Policies and Procedures Manual revised document was also adopted unanimously and now replaces the earlier document.

TREASURER’S REPORT (Ron DeAbreu): 

 The closing balance of the Council account at the end of February 2020 was $2,602.84. Expenditures in March totaled $286.06. No income was received this month. Thus, the account balance at the end of March was $2,316.78.

Due to the suspension of all activities for residents as a result of the coronavirus outbreak, the Residents’ Association dues collection campaign, scheduled for April, has been postponed until later in the year. 

REPORTS—COMMITTEES

BENEVOLENT CARE (Jean Eichenlaub, Chair): 

There was no meeting in March. 

Patti Santoni from Philanthropy sent an update from the March Foundation Meeting as follows: At the March meeting, the Benevolent Care Foundation Board unanimously approved moving forward with a new “Family Engagement” strategy. The next step is to create a multi-step strategic plan and present this to the Board at the next meeting.

COMMUNICATIONS (Dick Crebs, Chair):  

 No meeting was held. The Website Subcommittee met via Zoom online and discussed additions to the website: revised front page with Announcements and Coping with COVID-19 sections at the top. Residents are encouraged to submit material for that section. The next meeting of the Communications Committee will be held online via Zoom. 

CONSERVATION (Anna Marie Ciarrocchi, Chair): 

Due to the coronavirus, the Conservation Committee did not meet. However, for the same reason, the Administration has suspended recycling during this crisis. Next Meeting: April 21, 2020, at 2 pm, via Zoom (if it is necessary). Meetings will resume when the coronavirus is over.

DINING SERVICES (Bob Caulfield, Chair): 

Due to the COVID-19, our Committee did not meet as scheduled in March. However, all subcommittees had already met for the month of March, and their minutes were approved by email. The April committee meeting has been canceled.

FINANCE (Joan Green and Pat Rudolph, Co-Chairs):

 The Finance Committee met via Zoom on March 31. Twelve persons participated.

Our primary goal was to begin a dialogue of possible suggestions to submit to management for consideration in the 2021 budget. We first reviewed the 2020 suggestions. Management has addressed many of the suggestions, such as the installing of guard rails along the left side of the Loop Road from Erickson Way to the cemetery and putting railing between Brookside and Edgewood. The Nature Trail erosion problems and the refinishing of the stage floor are on hold for now but will be done if the budget allows. We agreed to re-submit 2020 suggestions that were not addressed as well as add new ones. Prior to completing, we will seek suggestions from other Council committees and residents.

Eric stated that our capital work has, for the most part, been placed on hold due to the use of outside contractors. The attention is now directed towards the needs for protecting the community from the coronavirus. He stated that there will be an impact on the operating expenses and operating revenue due to the additional dietary and overtime needs.

Our attention was then turned to the occupancy for February. Eric reported the February occupancy rate has been strong, meeting or exceeding predictions. There were 15 persons receiving benevolent assistance.

We will meet again on April 22 at 9 am. either via Zoom or, hopefully, in Brookside Classroom 2.

GROUNDS (Eugenia High, Chair):

 The Grounds Committee did not meet in March. All meetings are canceled until further notice.  

The Grounds Committee’s article, “The Scenic Setting We Call Home,” appears on page 3 in the April Sunburst. It presents some historic facts, mentions a few of our natural and human-constructed assets, and initiates awareness of our three rooftop gardens. The Committee looks forward to meeting after the conclusion of the current COVID-19 crisis.

HEALTH SERVICES (Lois Kimber, Chair): 

Guests at this meeting included Nathan Blumberg and Heather Sheridan, Assistant Executive Directors, and some members of the Residents’ Council.

Flu cases have been decreasing over the past 2 weeks as of 2/29/2020. Influenza A is most prevalent now. There have been 34 million cases in the U.S., 350,000 hospitalizations, and 13 pediatric deaths. 

COVID-19 symptoms continue to grow in the U.S. 

Nathan and Heather are the Lead Emergency Preparedness team. They have daily calls with 200 other Erickson Corporate Partners. There is high touch cleaning two times per shift including door handles, railings, and elevator railings. Additional questions have been added to the Away Form including where you are going and how you are traveling. We are assured that Purell is greater than 60% alcohol. Administration is looking into a cleaner to wipe down menus.

HOUSEKEEPING (Jane Amtmann, Assistant Chair): 

 The Housekeeping Committee meeting scheduled for March 20, 2020, was canceled due to the coronavirus and the ongoing mandate of social distancing.

The housekeeping inspectors sent in their reports via email and snail mail and found hallways that needed vacuuming in Parkview, St. Charles, and Chapel Court. Many wood floor areas need mopping. The stairwells are in need of cleaning, along with baseboards and shelves. The inspectors understand that during this crisis our utility workers have been called on to perform other duties by management and cannot always get to all their routine cleaning jobs. Our hope is that after this crisis passes, we will get back to normal.

Committee members responded to the article to be placed in the Sunburst for May concerning trash being left in public areas and alcoves. The group agreed to allow their names to be added to the article. The thought was that their neighbors will know who is inspecting their hallways and will feel better calling them if they see a problem that has been missed by the inspectors.

LEGISLATIVE/POLITICAL (Seldra Funk, Chair):

The Legislative/Political Committee held its meeting on March 11, 2020, with 18 people attending. This committee is charged with annually preparing a listing of ways for Charlestown residents to contact elected officials at the national, state, and local levels. This list of 2020 Elected Officials was distributed and is now available on bulletin boards and on the ccicharlestown.org website. Also, an article, distributed to committee members, has been published in the March/April issue for the National Continuing Care Residents Association (NACCRA). Ann MacKay submitted this article which tells about our January 2020 Candidates Forum.

Bill Miller prepared a letter to be submitted to Baltimore Councilman Tom Quirk regarding the critical need to replace the water lines on Maiden Choice Lane. Both the Legislative/Political Committee and the Residents’ Council have unanimously approved this letter. Because of the immediate turmoil over coronavirus, it was decided to postpone sending the letter for a few weeks.

A major topic for this meeting was the 2020 Elections. Discussions centered on qualifications for federal offices, lists of all candidates who will appear on the April 28th ballots, early voting, and absentee ballots.  UPDATE: Plans for the April 28th election have changed since this meeting because of the coronavirus outbreak in Maryland. We will update residents with Channel 972 notices and with bulletins throughout the campus when the revised plans for Maryland’s elections are confirmed. 

Another subject for this meeting was Tracking 2020 State Legislation. Committee members commented on the content/progress of the 25 bills that they are tracking during this year’s session.  UPDATE:  The General Assembly was abbreviated by three weeks and the 2020 session has ended. Nine of the bills being tracked by committee members did make it to the Governor’s desk for signature. The status of the 25 bills can be found on ccicharlestown.org under Track Maryland Legislation.

Carolyn Decker then explained about MVA legislation that allows anyone with a Maryland vehicle title to designate a vehicle beneficiary. This designation results in the designated vehicle not considered as part of an estate, so the vehicle can be easily and quickly transferred to the beneficiary.

The date for the next meeting of the Legislative/Political Committee has not been determined.

MAINTENANCE & ENGINEERING (Jackie Graham, Chair): 

The March meeting was canceled. General Services Updates were provided by Chris Caldwell, General Services.

  • We are still waiting for a report from Otis concerning elevator #2 in bldg. 7 and the elevator near the Fireside.
  • New heating and AC are scheduled for Building #2.
  • Stage renovations are still scheduled for this year.
  • Elevator mirror issues are being reviewed.
  • Work to install an automatic door at Terrace access to the patio will begin within the next 5-6 weeks.
  • Work orders have been placed for ceiling tiles and lighting issues in Brookside.
  • Structural floor issues on bridge connecting Buildings 7 to Bridges 8 & 9 and the areas around the Terrace Patio are being discussed with the floor vendor.

NOMINATING AND ELECTIONS (Anna Marie Ciarrocchi, Chair)

Residents are encouraged to contact any Committee member any time to suggest good candidates. Members of the Committee are Anna Marie Ciarrocchi (Chair), Bernice DeBels, Bob Caulfield, Louise Dempsey, Pat Kasuda, Anthony Kowalski, Wendel Thompson, and Hope Tillman (Assistant Chair). The Committee, which meets every other week in closed meetings, will meet again on April 2at 3:00 PM via Zoom online.

RESIDENT LIFE (Sam Cushman, Chair): 

The Resident Life Committee of the Residents’ Council did not meet in March due to the coronavirus epidemic/pandemic. In view of the likelihood of a continuing lockdown, as we all make a serious effort to prevent the coronavirus from entering the Charlestown community, a Resident Life Committee meeting will be held using Zoom technology sometime during the week of April 6. 

SAFETY & SECURITY (Janet Allan, Chair): 

Safety & Security met on March 10 with 10 members, the Residents’ Council Vice President; Reyn Giese, Security Manager; and Craig Nelson, Assistant Security Manager.

The Falls Prevention Program was updated. A multi-unit team (Sherry Parrish, Medical Center, Security, Outpatient Rehab, Safety & Security Chair, Health Services Committee Chair, and Bill Miller representing the Parkinson’s Support Group) met and approved a tentative calendar of year-long events focusing on Falls Prevention. There will be a major focus on balance assessment and training since 80% of falls at Charlestown involve loss of balance in the home. With part of the $25,000 gift from Jim Davis, owner of Erickson Living, Charlestown has purchased QTUG, a falls assessment program. It is currently in use at the Fitness Center and Outpatient Rehab.

Per a recommendation from the 2020 Firearms Safety Report, Janet Allan, Sam Cushman, Lois Kimber, and Anne Erfle, met with Sherry Parrish to learn how residents with cognitive impairment are identified and helped to live successfully at Charlestown. Residents are identified through various means such as staff and family referrals, health visits, or incident reports. Key staff members meet daily during the week to review the previous day’s incident reports and make plans to address resident issues.  

COVID-19 virus: Donna Ferrara who was at the Health Services Committee meeting in the morning in which Nathan Blumberg discussed virus prevention at Charleston informed the members about key points. 

Security had to leave the meeting early. Unanswered questions will be addressed in the next meeting.

June is National Safety Month. The Committee agreed to again provide safety information, specifically on Falls Prevention and Scam Avoidance at the Terrace, Fireside, and Cross Creek.