Happy Direct Support Professional Recognition Week!

Happy “Direct Support Professionals Week”, and how fortunate we are to have such a devoted group of professionals who are dedicating their lives to providing the best support and highest quality of care possible to the intellectually and developmentally disabled individuals we serve.

Throughout this unprecedented time, you have all continued to contribute so much to the lives of our individuals.  The COVID-19 Pandemic has brought many significant challenges, not only to staff, but also to the individuals with whom you work.  Day programs, community outings, personal and social activities all took a backseat due to the threat of contracting the virus.  Yet, our direct care professionals, as well as our therapists, nurses, maintenance personnel, and administrative staff set aside personal fears and continued to come to work.  Whether you were in offices, residences, or in the isolation centers where care was required, you stepped up and provided what was needed.  Many of our other staff who could not report daily, due to health or childcare issues, continued to support our individuals through virtual contacts from mid-March through today.  Your devotion and caring for the individuals in the Life-Skills, Inc. programs has been exceptional.  I have always felt that our staff would go above and beyond to care for the individuals we serve, and during this current crisis you have more than demonstrated that fact to be true.

Thank you to all of our direct care professionals who go above and beyond each and every day – your value and importance to this corporation and to all of the individuals whom we support is beyond measure.

Sincerely,

Tom Amick
Chief Executive Officer
Life-Skills, Inc.

 

*New* Covid-19 Travel Orders

*New COVID-19 Travel Orders* – https://www.mass.gov/info-details/covid-19-travel-order

Effective August 1, 2020, all visitors and returning residents entering Massachusetts must follow new travel orders.  The Commonwealth has made great progress to slow the spread of COVID-19 and gradually re-open the economy, and all visitors have a responsibility to help keep transmission levels as low as possible.

We have updated our Life-Skills, Inc. Visitor Screening Forms to reflect these changes, and will be working closely with our employees and visitors to adjust to these new requirements upon return to the state and re-entry in to our programs.

Updated DDS Visitation Guidance & Off-Site Attestation Forms

A message from Commissioner Jane F. Ryder regarding updated DDS Visitation Guidance for residential programs, and Off-Site Attestation Form:

Forms:
Updated Visitation Guidance
Off-Site Attestation Form

Thanks to the extraordinary efforts of our residential staff, families, and the individuals we support, DDS continues to see a decline in new positive COVID-19 cases and across the state.  Based on this data and the feedback received from families regarding our Outdoor Visitation Guidance (issued June 10, 2020), DDS has revised our Visitation Guidance. 

The revised guidance is attached and includes:

    • Extending current time limits for group home visits
    • Guidance on safe physical contact with your loved one
    • Off-site visitation including home visits, effective July 3rd

These guidelines were developed with the Massachusetts Department of Public Health to ensure safe visitation.  Families choosing to take their loved one off-site must sign an attestation form to verify their understanding and compliance with health and safety guidelines that remain in effect.  All visits must be planned in advance with the provider agency.

These guidelines were developed with the Massachusetts Department of Public Health to ensure safe visitation.  Families choosing to take their loved one off-site must sign an attestation form to verify their understanding and compliance with health and safety guidelines that remain in effect.  All visits must be planned in advance with the provider agency.

These guidelines were developed with the Massachusetts Department of Public Health to ensure safe visitation.  Families choosing to take their loved one off-site must sign an attestation form to verify their understanding and compliance with health and safety guidelines that remain in effect.  All visits must be planned in advance with the provider agency.

We appreciate your commitment and cooperation as we cautiously update our guidelines.  We will always prioritize the safety of your loved ones and the staff who support them.  As such, this policy is contingent on everyone continuing to be vigilant in wearing masks, maintaining social distancing, and following the safety protocols outlined in the visitation guidelines.  DDS will continue to monitor our COVID-19 data and will revise guidance as necessary.

Again, thank you for your important and valued feedback, and your cooperation as we meet the challenges of the COVID-19 virus together.

Sincerely,

Jane F. Ryder
Commissioner