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

November 24, 2020
Message to Donors, Friends, and Volunteers

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.

Would you like to receive email updates too? Please send us your email address if you'd like to be included.


Thank you!

Updated Nov. 18: We are very grateful for everyone who has offered a service, bought meals or snacks for staff, shared UH's posts, and made gifts! This month, we are still receiving generous items and gifts to help with the fight against COVID! 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. The messages just keep coming! New well wishes have been posted as of November 18.


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 Nov. 24: All Behavioral Health & Life Skills services are available at this time. Our Family Nurse Practitioner and therapy staff continue some in-person visits to various UH facilities as well.

Applications for admission to our Rehab & Senior Care facilities are being accepted but final admissions and move-ins are on hold.

In spite of all the challenges, through determination and dedication to containment, the UH Rehab & Senior Care in Canton recently received word that they are rated five out of five stars in the area of quality, according to publicly reported data issued recently.

Our team is second to none, hands down. You can feel proud of your connection to UH.


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

Updated Nov. 24: On November 22 and 23, we learned that several staff and residents at UH's Rehab & Senior Care in Ogdensburg tested positive for COVID-19. Due to this development and because community spread in our area is at its highest level, we are closing our Rehabilitation & Senior Care complexes in both Canton and Ogdensburg to all visitation for at least 14 days.

Note: All NY nursing homes that are free of COVID-19 for 28+ days allow for visitation. See UH's visitation plans and facility updates: http://www.unitedhelpers.org/COVID. Also, read more from the Department of Health.

Visitation is still up and running at UH’s Behavioral Health & Life Skills Individualized Residential Alternatives.

Updated Nov. 24: During the month of December, the Society office will be celebrating UH employees with drawings and giveaways all month long! If you'd like to give a high-quality prize that would brighten the holiday season for a hard-working UH employee, please contact us. Thank you!

Updated July 23: Our Day Hab participants have returned to their daily activities and outdoor outings once again! 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!

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

Updated July 6: For some residents, we've been able to resume some core services, such as dental care. Also, 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!

Updated August 13: 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) have reopened their community rooms, with safety plans in place.

(To recap the journey so far: 1. In late October, two asymptomatic employees tested positive at UH Rehab & Senior Care Canton. Those employees are now negative. 2. In mid-September, Canton and Ogdensburg Rehabilitation & Senior Care facilities had employee positives. 3. On 9/5, UH was notified that two staff members at United Helpers Rehabilitation & Senior Care Canton had tested positive. 4. In late July, three residents of our Canton Assisted Living program tested positive for COVID-19 and were hospitalized. Two ALP employees also tested positive and completed quarantine. All remaining ALP residents completed isolation precautions. Visitation was temporarily suspended for the Rehabilitation & Senior Care facility in Canton. 5. 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 at the time. 6. 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. 7. In late April, ten residents and two employees at UH's Lisbon IRA had tested positive for COVID-19. 8. 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. 9. 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

Updated Nov. 24: Fourth, we still test our nursing-home staff once a week. Our staff are truly dedicated.

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 Nov. 24: The Assisted Living Program (ALP) remains separated from the skilled-nursing side of the UHRSC Canton facility, with fire doors between the two areas of the building remaining securely closed at all times. No visitation is permitted 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 welcomes your giving

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

  • Updated Nov. 24: Please support UH now if you haven't yet this year. Especially now that we are into flu season and more folks exhibit symptoms that require time and testing to interpret, 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 constant 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
  • New Nov. 23: During the month of December, the Society office will be celebrating all UH employees with drawings and giveaways all month long! If you'd like to give a high-quality prize that would brighten the holiday season for a hard-working UH employee, please contact us. Thank you!
  • 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

Updated Sep. 24: Sixth, both of our Behavioral Health clinics and all of our Behavioral Health & Life Skills IRAs and programs are accepting new residents and clients.

United Helpers misses you!

Updated Nov. 3: Oh my goodness, how we miss you. We miss those days when you could visit freely. We are doing all that we can to stay in touch, and to offer limited visitation opportunities for you and your family, when state policies allow. Our Administrators are in frequent communication with families, including web updates.

Thank you for remaining in touch! Please follow all of UH's communications and outreach, 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: Nov 24 2020, 3:18 p.m.