James McPeak Says Assisted Living Workers Should Also be Eligible for NYS Healthcare Worker Bonus Program

When the state announced a special program in which healthcare employees will receive bonuses for their hard work during the COVID-19 pandemic, The Empire State Association for Assisted Living (ESAAL) noticed that those who worked at privately run assisted living facilities will be ineligible. Now, they are calling on the state to include them in the program. James McPeak, Owner, McPeak’s Assisted Living, says he is taking up ESAAL’s stance, arguing that assisted living facility employees have worked just as hard as those employed at hospitals, nursing homes and other healthcare facilities, and were absolutely essential in keeping many more of the elderly and infirm out of hospitals and alive throughout the pandemic.

On August 3, Governor Kathy Hochul announced the allocation of $1.3 billion for the program, which is being included in the 2023 state budget. The money will be used to recruit and retain certain healthcare and mental hygiene workers in an effort to increase the state’s healthcare workforce by 20% over a five-year period. Based on the number of hours worked during a consecutive six-month period, employees can earn bonuses of up to $3,000. Only those who earn less than $125,000 a year (not including other bonuses or overtime pay) are eligible.

Mr. McPeak says that, when the COVID-19 lockdown took place in 2020, the employees followed protocols that were mandated by the state Health Department and constantly communicated with each other throughout the pandemic while safeguarding the residents’ health and safety. Their efforts were recognized by ESAAL. “The staff at McPeak’s worked tirelessly and courageously throughout COVID,” he says. “This program epitomizes the disregard that our government ignores about affordable private-pay adult homes.”

Because McPeak’s is a private-pay facility, they do not accept Medicaid recipients, thereby making their employees ineligible for the bonus program. Mr. McPeak says he is always told that assisted living facilities like his are flush with cash, but that is not the case. “We are hurting just like most other small businesses,” he says. “We, and our residents, cannot sustain the increased cost of doing business in a state that continues to ignore us while providing relief to other healthcare settings. This is patently unfair.”

As COVID Restrictions Recede, McPeak’s Urges Families to Join in Celebrating National Grandparents Day

Sunday, September 11 — the first Sunday after Labor Day — will mark National Grandparents Day, a special day to honor the families’ elders and celebrate the familial bonds between the young and old. The holiday’s beginnings can be traced back to 1956 — the same year that McPeak’s Assisted Living was founded.
 
Back then, Marian McQuade, a West Virginia resident, was helping put together a celebration for seniors over the age of 80 when she noticed that the local nursing home residents were alone and had no one to visit them. From there, she sought to establish a holiday for all grandparents and those seniors who may have been forgotten by their families.
 
In 1973, West Virginia became the first state to establish Grandparents Day. Five years later, Congress passed a bill declaring the first Sunday after Labor Day to be Grandparents Day. The bill was signed into law by then-President Jimmy Carter.
 
As the population has aged, National Grandparents Day has grown in importance as more seniors become grandparents. According to the American Association of Retired Persons (AARP), there are 70 million grandparents in the U.S., an increase of 24% since 2001. The Legacy Project estimated that, in 2020, the number increased to 80 million, with 75,000 older adults ages 49-65 becoming grandparents this month.   
 
When the pandemic spread across the U.S., assisted living facilities were on lockdown and families were not allowed to visit Grandma and Grandpa. Now that the infection rate has dropped significantly, New York State has loosened its requirements. McPeak’s also lifted most of its restrictions; however, the facility still requires temperature checks at the front desk, scheduling visits in advance, and wearing a mask when walking through the facility. For more information regarding visits at McPeak’s, go to https://www.mcpeaks.com/covid-19-visitation-policy.
 
“The pandemic and social restrictions were hard on everyone but most difficult for our seniors who were most at risk for serious infection and often self-isolation,” says James McPeak, Owner, McPeak’s Assisted Living. “There’s no better time than this year to fully embrace National Grandparents Day and spend time with our grandparents.”

McPeak’s Urges Visitors to Celebrate National Grandparents’ Day Safely

Sunday, September 12 will mark National Grandparents Day, a special day to honor the families’ elders and celebrate the familial bonds between the young and old. The holiday’s beginnings can be traced back to 1956 — the same year that McPeak’s Assisted Living was founded.

Marian McQuade, a West Virginia resident, was helping put together a celebration for seniors over the age of 80 when she noticed that the local nursing home residents were alone and had no one to visit them. From there, she sought to establish a holiday for all grandparents and those seniors who may have been forgotten by their families.

In 1973, West Virginia became the first state to establish Grandparents Day. Five years later, Congress passed a bill declaring the first Sunday after Labor Day to be Grandparents Day.

According to the American Association of Retired Persons (AARP), the number of grandparents has grown since 2001, from 56 million to 70 million. By 2030, twenty percent of the U.S. population will turn 65. The AARP points out that 96% of those who are 65 years old are already grandparents.

In the past, families would come out to local assisted living facilities to visit Grandma and Grandpa, but when the pandemic spread across the U.S., visitations were not allowed. When the statewide infection rate started to drop, New York State loosened its requirements, but still demanded that visitors wear masks and test negative for COVID-19. McPeak’s is encouraging family members to follow the facility’s COVID-19 visitation policy. That includes, among other things, scheduling visits in advance, limiting visits to 30 minutes and only allowing family members ages 13 and older into the facility. For more information regarding visits at McPeak’s, go to https://www.mcpeaks.com/covid-19-visitation-policy.

“I understand that children would like to see their grandparents on this very special day, but the coronavirus has changed the way we are allowing family members to meet with their loved ones,” said James McPeak, Owner, McPeak’s Assisted Living. “We have implemented our own visitation policy to make sure our residents and their loved ones stay safe. Older people are more susceptible to the virus, so it is important that all health and safety protocols are followed to make this year’s National Grandparents Day an enjoyable one.”

McPeak’s Works with Local Pharmacy to Vaccinate Residents against COVID-19

Louise Messina Vaccination
Louise Messina, Resident, McPeak’s Assisted Living, receives the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine from a CVS pharmacy representative at the facility’s vaccination clinic on January 26.

On January 26, McPeak’s Assisted Living hosted a vaccination clinic for its residents. Representatives from CVS came to administer shots of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine to protect residents from being infected with the virus.

Long Island Advance: “Not All Heroes Wear Capes; Ours Wear Scrubs”

McPeak’s Case Manager Jennifer Turner was named as one of the 2020 Inspiration Award Winners by The Long Island Advance. Ms. Turner was recognized for constantly training its staff members on and implementing infection control procedures so that the residents did not become susceptible to the virus. The facility has been COVID-free since June. To read more about Ms. Turner’s achievements, click here.

McPeak’s Staffer Jennifer Turner Recognized As A Standout In Assisted Living

Jennifer Turner, an assistant administrator and case manager for McPeak’s Assisted Living, received the 2020 All-Star Staff Award from the Empire State Association of Assisted Living. This was reported by Greater Patchogue. To read the article, click here.

Jennifer Turner Receives 2020 All-Star Staff Award

Jennifer Turner and James McPeak
Jennifer Turner (left), Assistant Administrator/Case Manager, McPeak’s Assisted Living, poses with the 2020 All-Star Staff Award that she received from the Empire State Association of Assisted Living. She is joined by James McPeak (right), Administrator, McPeak’s.

McPeak’s Assisted Living has announced that Jennifer Turner, Assistant Administrator/Case Manager, received the 2020 All-Star Staff Award from the Empire State Association of Assisted Living. The award is given to those heroes in the assisted living community who often accomplish the seemingly impossible or are always there when they are needed the most.

Ms. Turner consistently communicated with McPeak’s staff members every step of the way during the COVID-19 pandemic. She alerted the staff of the latest guidelines from the New York State Department of Health and made sure McPeak’s followed the mandated protocols and new procedures in order to safeguard the health of the staff and its residents.

Ms. Turner joined McPeak’s in 2003 as a Receptionist. In 2006, she met the qualifications required by the New York State Health Department to become a Case Manager. A resident of Bay Shore, she earned her Associate’s degree in Business Administration from Briarcliffe College and her Bachelor’s degree in Health Care Administration from Empire State College.

“I am honored to receive this award,” Ms. Turner said. “It is nice to be recognized for the hard work that has been put in to make sure the McPeak’s continues to make the health and safety of its residents and staff its top priority.”

“We congratulate Jennifer upon receiving this award,” Mr. McPeak said. “Because of her constant communication with the staff on the latest safety protocols, McPeak’s has been COVID-free since June. Her obsession with disease prevention benefits the residents and the staff every day.”

The awards were presented in conjunction with National Assisted Living Week. Established by the National Center for Assisted Living® (NCAL) in 1995, National Assisted Living Week recognizes the role of assisted living in caring for America’s seniors and individuals with disabilities. This weeklong celebration inspires assisted living communities around the country to offer various events and activities to celebrate the residents they serve, as well as educate the public about assisted living.

McPeak’s Celebrates National Grandparents Day

McPeak’s Assisted Living is urging families to make this Grandparents Day special by visiting their loved ones living in assisted living facilities. The recent state Health Department rules are now allowing visitation at assisted living facilities once again, meaning residents will be able to see their families.

Grandparents Day, which takes place on September 13, honors the families’ elders and celebrates the familial bonds between the young and old. The holiday’s beginnings can be traced back to 1956 — the same year that McPeak’s was founded. Marian McQuade, a West Virginia resident, was helping put together a celebration for seniors over the age of 80 when she noticed that the local nursing home residents were alone and had no one to visit them. From there, she sought to establish a holiday for all grandparents and those seniors who may have been forgotten by their families.

The recent COVID-19 pandemic saw assisted living facilities prohibiting families from visiting their loved ones. Many residents experienced loneliness, isolation and depression as a result. But on July 15, 2020, the New York State Health Department allowed visitors inside and outside the facility, but with strict guidelines. Among them, facilities cannot have any new coronavirus cases within a 28-day period and must complete and pass inspections of their infection control practices. Meanwhile, visitors must provide their contact information upon checking in, undergo a temperature check, wear a mask and practice social distancing. Residents will be allowed no more than two visitors at a time, and at least one of the visitors must be 18 years of age or older.

“We urge everyone to spend time with their grandparents on this special day, but stay safe while doing so,” says James McPeak, Owner, McPeak’s Assisted Living. “Grandparents Day has more of a special meaning this year.”

News 12 Covered the Music and Memory Program Brought to McPeak’s by the Pilot Club of Patchogue, Inc.

New music program helps seniors suffering from dementia

Pilot Club Donation

A program in Patchogue is helping seniors who are suffering from dementia.

Using grant money and a matching donation, the Pilot Club purchased MP3 players for residents at McPeak’s Assisted Living facility in Patchogue.

The goal is to use the players to help improve residents’ brain function.

According to the Alzheimer’s Association, an estimated 5.7 million Americans of all ages are living with Alzheimer’s dementia in 2018.

A 2018 report from the Journal of Prevention of Alzheimer’s Disease found “objective evidence from brain imaging shows personally meaningful music is an alternative route for communicating with patients who have Alzheimer’s disease.”

The Pilot Club donated 23 MP3 players with about 100 personalized songs for each resident at McPeak’s nursing facility as part of a Music and Memory Program. The music ranges from big bands to Frank Sinatra to classical music.

This was also covered by The Long Island Advance.

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