Updates, How We Are Protecting Your UH Family, and How You Can Help 

Message to United Helpers’ Donors, Friends, and Volunteers
August 12, 2020

We want to share with you all that United Helpers is doing for employees and residents, our good news, and our concerns during this time.

New July 6: If you would like to be on our email list for donors, we are sending out these and other e-updates directly to you that way. Please email us if you'd like to be included.


Thank you!

Updated July 21: We are very grateful for everyone who has offered a service, bought meals or snacks for staff, shared UH's posts, and made gifts! Dozens of you, literally! We cannot thank you enough.

Be sure you read the latest kind messages of support for our UH Heroes that have been submitted via the form that pops up when you visit UH's home page.


United Helpers is still serving our community, thanks to employees

Sign that reads: 'To all our colleagues, risking your health every day to care for people in need, You Totally Rock' New July 23: Second, United Helpers’ residential clinical care at Rehabilitation & Senior Care Ogdensburg is offering all of its regular senior services.

Update August 11: Rehabilitation & Senior Care Canton still has suspended visitation and admissions, after three residents and two staff members tested positive for COVID, through the end of August.

New July 24: Through all their determination and dedication to containment, the UH Rehab & Senior Care in Canton just received word that they are rated five out of five stars in the area of quality, according to publicly reported data issued recently.

Our remaining senior services & programs and Behavioral Health & Life Skills services are all available at this time. Our Family Nurse Practitioner and therapy staff have resumed some personal visits to various UH facilities as well.

Our team is second to none, hands down. We put our heads together, we plan, we prepare, we act.


How United Helpers’ residents and staff are being affected by COVID-19

Updated August 11: UH's Rehab & Senior Care Ogdensburg has been hosting resident parades last month and this month, while also continuing to hold outside visitation, with wonderful feedback. The team has taken great efforts to provide education, structure, and supervision during these activities. Family, friends, and residents are all engaged in adhering to social distancing, face coverings, and disinfection procedures before, during, and after scheduled visitation.

New July 23: Our Day Hab participants were able to return to their daily activities and outdoor outings once again, as of today! They adapted well to wearing masks at Day Hab. This reopening was possible after extensive planning on the part of employees in UH's Behavioral Health & Life Skills. Well done, and we are so pleased for our Day Hab members!

Updated August 11: In late July, a total of three residents of UH's Canton Assisted Living program tested positive for COVID-19 and were hospitalized. Two ALP employees also tested positive and have now completed their required quarantine. The remaining (COVID-negative) ALP residents have now completed their isolation precautions. Visitation is currently suspended for the Rehabilitation & Senior Care facility in Canton only (through late August). As an additional precaution, we tested all residents in long-term care and in the ALP twice a week for two weeks; that precaution has now ended. (All employees at UHRSC Canton continue to be tested once a week, as before.)

The planning, preparation, practice, and teamwork UH employees have developed since March have been manifested through the excellent care, leadership, compassion, and teamwork that define United Helpers!

Currently, no staff at any other UH facilities have symptoms or positive test results. All other UH residents who had tested positive earlier have recovered.

UHRSC Ogdensburg is still allowing limited visitation, as are all NY nursing homes that are free of COVID-19 for 28+ days. Only 2 visitors per resident, and other rules. See their visitation plan: http://www.unitedhelpers.org/COVID. Also, read more from the Department of Health.

Updated July 6: For some residents, we've been able to resume some core services, such as dental care. And for instance, a few weeks ago, our Ogdensburg Rehabilitation & Senior Care staff assisted a family member living in Canada with crossing the border to visit a terminally ill family member. Nothing can substitute for the comfort that family brings to a resident.

Visitation to Individualized Residential Alternatives (IRAs) resumed June 19 in accord with guidelines from the Office of People with Developmental Disabilities (OPWDD).The clinical team leading our Behavioral Health & Life Skills division's activities have prepared the staff well in educating and executing pulmonary hygiene measures in addition to social distancing. Quality visitation and satisfied family members have been evident in the pictures shared on UH's social media. We love seeing how happy the residents are!

June 19: Our Independent Senior Living (ISL) facility in Canton has re-opened their dining room for meals. And the Senior & Disabled Housing division (operating complexes all over St. Lawrence County and a handful in Jefferson County) is reopening their community rooms, with a safety plan in place. People have very much missed being able to get out and visit with friends!

(To recap the journey so far: 1. In mid-July, one staff member in the skilled-nursing portion of UHRSC Canton tested positive. Residents in the relevant cottages were placed on isolation precautions. The skilled-nursing side of the Canton facility no longer has symptomatic residents or staff. 2. A staff member at UHR&SC Ogdensburg tested positive in early June, followed by a negative test result two days later. In the neighborhood where that employee had worked at that time, no one in contact with the employee developed any symptoms. 3. In late April, ten residents and two employees at UH's Lisbon IRA had tested positive for COVID-19. 4. In Canton, also in April, the resident who had tested positive for COVID-19 at our Rehabilitation and Senior Care facility completed the required isolation period. 5. The one staff member at UH Rehabilitation & Senior Care in Ogdensburg who tested positive earlier in April completed the mandatory quarantine.)


Our pandemic-related decisions and precautions

July 6: Fourth, In an effort to keep NYS healthy and safe, state and UH provisions are in place to safeguard against state-to-state transmission. These include restrictions and monitoring for anyone traveling to a state exceeding the following thresholds over a seven day rolling average:

  • more than 10 positive results per 100,000 tested, or
  • higher than a 10% positive rate within the state

Updated August 12: A state web page is available for up-to-date information on restricted states: https://coronavirus.health.ny.gov/covid-19-travel-advisory. Check regularly; the listed states change as data become available (there are 31 states, plus Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands, on the list).

Updated August 11: We still test our nursing-home staff once a week. Our staff have been so persevering in making this happen!

To date, we have taken several steps to protect and care for our residents and employees:

  • Each of our three major service lines has an Emergency Action Plan in place, which guide United Helpers as we move forward through this pandemic. Currently, we have implemented two steps of the Emergency Action Plans:
    1. Since March 10, all staff are evaluated for signs and symptoms of infection including elevated temperature, cough, shortness of breath, or other illness prior to entering a UH building.
    2. In addition,
      • since March 12, 2020, no non-medical staff have been permitted to be inside our Canton and Ogdensburg skilled nursing facilities.
      • since March 19, no non-medical staff had been permitted to visit United Helpers Individualized Residential Alternatives (IRAs)—this mandate was lifted as of June 19.
  • Updated August 11: Our Assisted Living Program in Canton remains completely isolated from the skilled-nursing portion of the Canton facility, via the fire doors being closed 24 hours a day. And once again, no non-medical visitors, staff, or family members are permitted in the ALP or in UH's entire Rehab & Senior Care facility at this time.
  • United Helpers has adhered to all guidelines recommended by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), the NYS Department of Health, NYS Office for People with Developmental Disabilities (OPWDD), St. Lawrence County Public Health and other governing agencies.


United Helpers warmly welcomes your giving

Fifth, thank you to everyone who has volunteered, made gifts, and honored often-forgotten UH frontline workers.

  • Updated August 11: We are planning an October 1 webinar about streamlined planned giving options that you can plan right now, even when you feel like you can't give right now. Stay tuned!
  • Updated August 11: Also, now more than ever, the time is right for you to make a one-time gift to United Helpers if you can. Help us care for our community's most vulnerable. Please help us supply  the continual need for protective equipment, for the safety of our staff and residents.
  • If you wish to give right away, you can give quickly by texting “unitedhelpers” to 50155 and following the prompts
  • Please watch our new webinar called "You Mean I Can Be a Hero, Too? Surprising Giving Possibilities Inspired by a Pandemic" https://youtu.be/_o7IUh0eolQ.
  • Another way to give to UH: visit the Northern New York Community Foundation (and type "United Helpers" in their "Add a Note" box)

Help us to secure the wonderful, critical mission of United Helpers for the future, for our family and friends. Now is the time to be heroic. Thank you!

United Helpers is accepting new residents

Sixth, UH Rehab & Senior Care Ogdensburg is accepting admissions for new residents at this time. As we welcome new residents into our care, we also require a 14-day isolation within the facility as a precaution. This approach has proceeded smoothly for the new residents we have accepted during these days of strict visitor limitations.

Both of our Behavioral Health clinics and all of our Behavioral Health & Life Skills programs are accepting new residents and clients as well!

United Helpers misses you!

Updated July 6: Seventh, we miss seeing all our families, our local donors, and our volunteers! We are doing all that we can to stay in touch. Our Administrators are in frequent communication with families, including web updates.

We look forward to the time when we can once again greet each other in person, in the secure knowledge of good health. Thank you for remaining in touch!

Please feel free to stay in contact, via social media, phone, or email.

If you have questions about any of the above or want to receive these updates for donors in your email inbox, please email giving@unitedhelpers.org.


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Last reviewed: Aug 12 2020, 4:28 p.m.