Above and Beyond
Since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, our team at The Commons has addressed it head-on with one goal: To provide for our residents’ health and safety while continuing to provide the care and service that our residents and their families expect.
We have continued to operate with the highest level of integrity and transparency to provide you peace of mind. In that spirit, here you can learn about everything we are doing at The Commons and throughout the Benchmark Senior Living organization. These actions include:
- Developing an on-campus COVID-19 task force led by Dr. Robert O'Connor (Medical Director, The Commons Skilled Nursing)
- Working closely with local government officials to share information and best practices in combating the virus and providing a safe environment across our communities.
- Collaborating with Benchmark's Coronavirus Advisory Council of leading public health minds. This team includes a former US Surgeon General, a former Secretary of the US Department of Veterans Affairs, a nationally known geriatric psychiatrist, a leading infection control preventionist and other members. The multi-disciplinary council provides expert advice and insights on ways to mitigate the virus’ impact on our campus and within our local community.
Benchmark Senior Living worked with CVS Health to provide vaccination clinics in all of our communities, as we believe the vaccine is the best opportunity for everyone to protect themselves, their families and each other from the virus.
Though it has been a challenging time for all, the future is looking bright at The Commons in Lincoln, as the majority of residents and associates have received the COVID-19 vaccine. As part of our continued effort to maintain a safe community for all associates, residents, families and visitors, we notified our associates on May 13 that they will be required to receive an FDA-authorized and/or -approved COVID-19 vaccination as a condition of employment. This requirement will apply to new hires, as well.
Same experiences, just with resident safety in mind.
We have adapted our approach to activities, dining and visitation to provide for the safety of residents and practice social distancing measures as outlined by the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC) and the Massachusetts Department of Public Health.
It is important that our residents have ability to socialize with friends and family safely and comfortably. We have put measures into place to continue to protect new and current residents, as well as families and associates. Safe socialization includes masks, social distancing and internal protocols.
At The Commons, your health and trust will always be our priority.
Enhanced Safety Protocols
- A two-day moving period that allows staff to clean and disinfect your new home before and after your belongings are moved in.
- An exclusive partnership with Wayforth, the nation’s largest move management provider, who will help you with unpacking, the placement of your belongings and follow all our cleaning and safety protocols.
- A comprehensive infection control training for all outside contractors and vendors.
Know the facts about your COVID-19 vaccination.
Do not get swept up in misinformation about the COVID-19 vaccination. Read some common FAQs and myths about the COVID-19 vaccine.
Source: Center for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC)
Do these vaccines cause allergic reactions?
Anaphylactic reactions have been reported in a small number of people who have taken the Pfizer vaccine. We are still learning more about what causing these rare but serious reactions. Once vaccinated, you will be monitored for 15 to 30 minutes to ensure you do not experience this reaction.
If you have a history of anaphylactic allergic reactions, talk to your doctor or pharmacist before receiving the vaccine. Seasonal allergies, pet allergies, etc. that do not cause anaphylaxis are not associated with allergies to this vaccine.
Do I still have to wear PPE after getting the vaccine?
You should continue to take all necessary precautions after getting the vaccine, including wearing personal protective equipment and conducting regular testing. This will continue to keep residents and staff safe.
Are there side effects?
Some people will experience symptoms that mimic COVID-19, but most are minimal and last only one or two days. This shows the vaccine is working and your body is building protection.
You may experience:
- Pain, swelling, or redness at the injection site.
- General symptoms up to two days after injection such as fever, chills, fatigue, muscle or joint pain or headaches.
Most symptoms can be managed with acetaminophen or ibuprofen (Tylenol or Advil). If you experience more severe side effects, please contact your physician.
After getting a COVID-19 vaccine, will I test positive for COVID-19 on a viral test?
Fact: The coronavirus is changing. But vaccines are designed to help the body recognize it based on multiple parts of the virus.
Myth: The COVID-19 vaccine includes a tracking device.
Fact: A video shared thousands of times on Facebook makes false claims about the products of syringe maker Apiject Systems of America, which has a contract with the government to provide medical-grade injection devices for vaccines. The company has an optional version of its product that contains a microchip within the syringe label that helps providers confirm a vaccine dose’s origin. The chip itself is not injected into the person getting the vaccine.
Myth: I’m not at risk for severe complications of COVID-19 so I don’t need the vaccine.
Fact: Regardless of your risk, you can still contract the infection and spread it to others, so its important to get vaccinated. Once the vaccine is widely available, it’s recommended that as many eligible adults as possible get the vaccine. It’s not only to protect you but your family and community as well.
Myth: The COVID-19 vaccine is unsafe because it was developed so quickly.
Fact: The vaccine is proven safe and effective. Although it was developed in record time, it has gone through the same rigorous Food and Drug Administration process as every other vaccine, meeting all safety standards. No steps were skipped. Instead, we can thank the unprecedented worldwide collaboration and investment for the shorter timeframe on the development of the vaccine itself. The clinical trails and safety reviews actually took about the same amount of time as other vaccines.
Visit the Benchmark COVID-19 response page.