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COVID-19 Protocols and Updates

(Updated July 27, 2022)

**We require all employees, visitors, onsite volunteers, and vendors to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19.** 

Since 12/26/21, 61 team members, 14 residents, and 2 program participants have tested positive for COVID-19. COVID-positive employees are required to self-isolate at home until the clinical team determines there is no risk of spreading the virus to others. Positive residents self-isolate in their apartment and are monitored for symptoms; program participants self-isolate at home. We continuously monitor Memory Support and Assisted Living residents for COVID-19 symptoms and encourage Independent Living residents to report symptoms to the front desk as soon as possible and isolate themselves in their apartments if they are not feeling well. 

Staff and residents are tested twice weekly until we achieve 14+ days in a row with no positive cases. Then our routine staff testing is conducted once a week. This testing rate is based on CDC Community Transmission by County.  All employees are required to report any COVID-19 symptoms prior to every shift. The clinical team then tests them and determines whether they may work or not.

Independent Living residents who experience COVID-19 symptoms are asked to notify the front desk immediately; tests will be given to them as quickly as possible. Assisted Living and Memory Support residents will continue to be monitored for symptoms. If symptoms arise, appropriate testing will occur, followed by proper protocols. 

Residents are strongly encouraged to wear a mask when around others on campus. Employees are required to wear a mask when around others on campus.

In-Person Visits:  The Tennessee Department of Health (TDOH) is no longer providing COVID 19 visitation guidelines. Instead, we’ve been advised to use the federal Centers for Medicare Medicaid Services (CMS) guidance as a reference for best practices on community-specific protocols to keep residents safe. Our clinical team and medical consultant have created the following in-person visitation protocols, which are currently in effect:

  • Friends and family are permitted to visit residents anywhere on campus.
  • All visitors must prove they’ve received full COVID-19 vaccination (2 doses of the Pfizer or Moderna vaccine or 1 dose of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine).
  • Visitors must sign in at one of the kiosks located near the front desk, during which, they will be screened for COVID symptoms, receive a digital temperature check, and confirm full vaccination.
  • Visitors are required to wear a surgical mask. This type of mask will be provided to visitors who are unable to bring their own.

Additional Updates:

  • New residents are required to be fully vaccinated prior to moving in.
  • Group activities for independent and assisted living residents have capacity limits and a mask and social distancing requirement. 
  • Abe’s Garden Community Group and Abe's Garden Club members are required to be fully vaccinated.
  • Please note: These protocols will be re-evaluated frequently and adjusted as needed. 

If you have questions or need anything, please contact Beverly Theis, LCSW, at btheis@abesgarden.org or  615-997-3038.

Critical or End-of-Life Situation: If there is a critical or end-of-life situation, please notify Donna Finto-Burks (dfinto-burks@abesgarden.org) so we can be of assistance.

Protecting Residents: We are taking every precaution to protect your loved ones and our team members. We know that you and your loved ones are depending on the Abe’s Garden Community team and we deeply appreciate your continued trust. If you have concerns regarding your loved ones, please let us know.  We are fortunate to have an array of resources to assist them and will do our best to meet their needs. Abe’s Garden Community leadership team members are continually consulting with our physician and nursing partners, as well as respected colleagues, and the entire Abe’s Garden Community team is on the same page regarding enforcing restrictions. 

To prevent the spread of COVID-19 and maintain health and social connections, we recommend that independent and assisted living residents continue to:

  • Maintain 6 feet physical distancing
  • Properly wear a mask over nose and mouth at all times outside of their apartment
  • Exercise and walk in the courtyard
  • Limit elevator capacity to 2 people whenever possible
  • Wash hands frequently with soapy water for at least 20 seconds each time

Disinfecting Campus: We remain diligent about cleaning and disinfecting all areas of the community on a frequent basis and are using CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) recommended cleaning supplies. Abe’s Garden Community team members use Clorox 360 machines to disinfect the campus. This innovative and very effective cleaning technology helps prevent the spread of a variety of illnesses. The use of the machine is one of the numerous strategies being implemented to keep everyone on campus as safe as possible.

Text Updates: To more effectively keep primary family member contacts and team members updated, Abe’s Garden Community has partnered with Dialog Health to implement two-way, critical information, text messaging. If you are a member of one of these constituencies, you should have received an introductory text from AGPM. If you haven’t received an introductory text and would like to opt in or are an independent or assisted living resident who would like to opt-in, please call 615.997.3026. Primary family member contacts are responsible for sharing relevant updates with other family members.

In-Home Care Option for Independent and Assisted Living Residents: The in-home care team offers a level of support that provides the following services for $20 a day. It includes medication reminders, two daily check-ins, safe living checks, and monthly wellness assessments. To schedule, contact Kylie Stratton at 629.800.5295 or kstratton@abesgarden.org.

Home 4 Care Engagement Tool: We’re excited to offer a new engagement tool as an additional way to interact and engage our memory support residents. The Home 4 Care app was developed by the Hearthstone Institute specifically for individuals with dementia. It’s an interactive tablet program loaded with nearly 2,000 pieces of engagement content including books, artwork, music, travel, and trivia. This new technology is currently being offered exclusively to Abe’s Garden Community! Our Life Engagement Coordinators recently started facilitating the use of Home 4 Care with residents and we’ve already seen several successful interactions.

Exiting the Community: Each time a resident leaves the building, they will be asked to sign out and will have their temperature taken upon their return.

Hospital Overnight Stays: If your loved one goes to the hospital for any illness or injury, they are required to sign out at the front desk before leaving the building and contact Donna Finto-Burks prior to returning.

Groceries: Grocery outings have resumed for independent or assisted living residents. Please check channel 100, Community Buzz, and activities calendars for times.

Independent and Assisted Living Cart Store: A cart store is available once a week for independent or assisted living residents needing household items including, but not limited to, toilet paper, deodorant, soap, toothpaste, laundry pods, dish soap, and paper towels. Please check channel 100, Community Buzz and activities calendars for times.


Bill Purcell, son of resident
"Abe’s Garden® really is a world class, cutting-edge, special, loving warm place. When my mother needed that very thing, it was there."
Industry Professional
“I was thoroughly impressed with the community [after taking a tour], yet I was even more impressed with your focus on continual learning and improvement.”
The Club Participant’s Wife
“The music instruction piece is very well done, and I commend Abe's [Garden] for creating it. I am also grateful for the incredible opportunities that [my husband] has every week day at Abe's.”