CVA Member Las Villas De Carlsbad Receives Emergency Preparedness Award

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CVA Member and longtime community supporter, Las Villas De Carlsbad, this month received a special award for the incredible work they are doing on a daily basis with the seniors in their care. This well-deserved award was presented by the Ready Carlsbad Business Alliance. Hear from Senior Executive Director, Charles Bloom, on why this award was so meaningful to them by clicking Las Villas De Carlsbad. Below is a post by Carolina Alban-Stoughton, Director of Communication & Engagement at the Carlsbad Chamber of Commerce, regarding Las Villas De Carlsbad and the work they do:

September 8, 2020 -- When it comes to emergency preparedness in Carlsbad, there is no doubt our senior and independent living facilities deserve a lot of praise. In charge of housing and caring for a population that’s at the highest risk of contracting and dying from COVID-19, the stakes at these facilities have been incredibly high. As of press time, there haven’t been any outbreaks of COVID-19 in any of Carlsbad’s congregated care communities. According to City of Carlsbad Assistant Director of Emergency Services and Co-Chair of the Ready Carlsbad Business Alliance, David Harrison, leaders and staffers of these communities have been under a high amount of stress and pressure since March, staying in constant communication with the City of Carlsbad Emergency Operations Center. However, according to Harrison, it was one particular facility that stood out. 

“The Las Villas de Carlsbad team, under the leadership of Charlie Bloom, has provided a positive, supportive and caring home for its residents and workplace for its staff during the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Harrison. He adds Las Villas got involved with the City from the get go. “Early during the COVID-19 outbreak, Las Villas de Carlsbad played a leadership role in assisting to define the city’s engagement with residential and long-term care facilities.”

Because of this and many other reasons, Las Villas de Carlsbad was recognized with the Ready Carlsbad Business Alliance Commitment to Emergency Preparedness Award, given every year at the Carlsbad Chamber of Commerce’s State of the Community event. 
“I was pleasantly surprised,” said Las Villas de Carlsbad Senior Executive Director, Charles Bloom. “It lifted my spirits as it did a lot of people’s spirits.”

In charge of Las Villas since 2016, Bloom said winning this award means “that the heroes that work here are recognized for the exemplary work they’ve done to keep those most vulnerable amongst us safe.”

At Las Villas de Carlsbad, caring for residents’ emotional well-being is top priority, and one of the most difficult things to do. Las Villas de Carlsbad’s culture of caring is at the center of every task carried out by the staff. However, getting to this place has had its challenges. “The hardest thing I think was changing the mindset of those that live here that they are participants in their safety when it comes to COVID-19. That they have a role to play in washing their hands more regularly. The residents have a role to play in wearing masks when they are interacting with other people, that was the difference with (disease) prior to COVID,” said Bloom adding that before COVID-19 only staff was trained in infection control. “We were the spreaders of the infection. So we would make sure we were trained and we knew what to do. With COVID we had to make sure that people that live here knew what to do as well. The training and the education of the residents was by far the biggest difference in addressing COVID-19 than any other disease.”

Bloom said the hard work the staff put into educating the residents paid off because of how they incorporated infection control into what he calls their “culture of caring.” “The culture of caring, which we are proud of, included now being safe and keeping the employees safe first, and so that they were vested in the infection control. They knew that they could take this home to their loved ones as well if we didn’t take this seriously from the onset.”

Bloom adds that the culture of caring involves carrying out every task in a way that “the health of everyone is the prime driver. And then we go ahead to be good caring staff. To be a good nurse or a good care giver or good CNA is not good enough anymore. Now you have to be one who promotes a culture of health.”

While usual interaction at Las Villas has suffered under strict public health protocols, they have managed to continue to find ways to keep residents’ spirits up. “Since early March, the facility staff has given extra assistance to its residents’ mental health to help relieve the stress of COVID-19 related isolation. Las Villas de Carlsbad leadership implemented virtual visits, hired dog walkers to support resident’s dogs so they were continued to be cared for and provided a safe environment for family members to visit with their loved ones,” said Harrison.

However, Bloom still looks forward to going back or as close as possible to pre-COVID times as there is one thing he misses the most. “Socialization, having residents come out of their apartments and once again be able to dine in and go places and enjoy the Village, and being able to once again immerse ourselves back into day to day lifestyle in the Village and allow those residents now the freedom they don’t have right now.”

For more information on Las Villas de Carlsbad, please visit them online at Las Villas de Carlsbad.