LVB: Fellowship Community has a few different residential options. Tell me more about them and how they work together.
McMahon: We offer a continuum of care including independent living, personal care, memory support, short-term rehabilitation, and skilled nursing.
Our independent living residents have the option of enjoying a spacious townhome or a well-appointed apartment with the ability to create their own lifestyle. They may choose to join in campus activities, work out in our wellness center, create in our woodshop, participate in activities by our pastoral care department or learn something new in our lifelong learning programs.
Personal care is designed for people who need assistance with medication management or other activities of daily living. They can still come and go as they please with the comfort of knowing there is someone available 24/7 if they need help.
Our memory care unit focuses on keeping our residents safe and happy, and every staff member has been certified in dementia care.
Skilled nursing is designed for people who have advanced care needs and short-term rehab provides excellent physical and occupational therapy to bring people back to their personal best.
The advantage of living on a continuing care campus is that all of the services are right here. If you’re an independent living resident and have a knee replaced, short-term rehab is on campus. If you have a spouse with dementia, they can reside in our memory care unit and you can spend every day with them knowing that they are well cared for by trained staff.
LVB: There have been many changes in the care industry since the pandemic. How has Fellowship adapted?
McMahon: We developed a special COVID unit for our positive residents staffed by a team who volunteered to care for them during isolation to prevent the spread of the pandemic.
We improved our indoor air quality, installed automated visitor check-in kiosks, and increased our supply of PPE and testing supplies.
Vaccines and boosters were offered on campus for our residents, employees and their families and continue to be available today.
Using varied technologies really helped us stay in constant communication with our families, residents and employees through videos, social media, virtual platforms, and automatic phone calls.
Most importantly, we never lost sight of the need to take care of our employees and residents so that they felt safe here and acknowledged for the physical and psychological hardships they endured.
LVB: Do you still have ongoing challenges? What are they?
McMahon: We continue to face workforce recruitment challenges. Maintaining competitive salary and benefit packages for staff retention is also a priority. We focus on our workplace culture which is rooted in our mission and values. We want to always be a place where people feel valued and respected. We strive to attract and retain staff who understand and will advance our caring and compassionate culture. We are also closely watching the proposed changes to the pending skilled nursing regulations related to staffing minimums. As we currently staff much higher than the Federal and State requirements, the workforce shortage may make compliance difficult depending on what level is set as the new standard.
We must adhere to continued compliance with vaccination, masking and reporting mandates for skilled nursing and personal care that are ever-changing considering the decreasing restrictions for the public and declining case counts in the Lehigh County.
Lastly, we are facing a challenge related to funding skilled nursing care for residents who have exhausted their savings. Reimbursement for this care through the Medicaid program is significantly lacking. We need support from our legislators on this critical issue.
LVB: What do you want for the future of Fellowship Community?
McMahon: My goal is to have Fellowship Community be the first place seniors come to when they want a wonderful retirement place to live. I would like to continue to have a happy and committed workforce that understands our mission and fits our value-driven culture. I would love to be able to expand our campus to serve more people in the future.