Now accepting in-person visits at most homes: Learn More - Vaccine Info

Frequently Asked Questions

Frequently Asked Questions2020-09-17T12:28:06-05:00

Frequently Asked Questions

What activities are available?2018-09-07T13:20:07-05:00

We have a great activity departments that try to find something for everyone. Whether it is Bingo, a Wii bowling tournament or just reminiscing, there are plenty of activities for everyone to do.

Is it better to get natural immunity to COVID-19 rather than immunity from a vaccine?2020-12-22T14:38:22-06:00

No. While you may have some short-term antibody protection after recovering from COVID-19, we don’t know how long this protection lasts. Vaccination is the best protection, and it is safe. People who get COVID-19 can have serious illnesses, and some have debilitating symptoms that persist for months.

Can my child get vaccinated for COVID-19?2020-12-22T14:35:39-06:00

No. More studies need to be conducted before COVID-19 vaccines are recommended for children aged 16 and younger.

Will the shot hurt or make me sick?2020-12-22T14:39:47-06:00

There may be side effects, but they should go away within a few days. Possible side effects include a sore arm, headache, fever, or body aches. This does not mean you have COVID-19. Side effects are signs that the vaccine is working to build immunity. If they don’t go away in a week, or you have more serious symptoms, call your doctor.

Can I still schedule an outdoor visit?2021-03-03T15:08:28-06:00

Yes, you may. Whenever possible, we will try to facilitate outdoor visits. These visits will depend on the weather, health of the resident, and the facility’s and local community’s outbreak status. We will provide a space for these visits, such as a patio, tent, or courtyard whenever possible.

How can I stay connected with a resident if I am unable to schedule a visit?2021-03-03T15:08:26-06:00

We are still accommodating virtual visits and can assist you in connecting with your loved one via phone, Facebook Live, Zoom, Skype, FaceTime, and other virtual or social media platforms.

Why are there various requirements for long-term care visitation while other establishments (gyms, restaurants, salons, etc.) do not have to abide by many of the same rules?2021-03-03T15:08:31-06:00

During the COVID-19 pandemic, long-term care facilities, including skilled nursing facilities and assisted living facilities, have strictly limited visitation to help prevent the spread of COVID-19 among residents whose ages and health conditions make them especially vulnerable to the illness. The mitigation efforts and the limited visitation guidance are in place to keep our vulnerable populations safe during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Why are you asking for my contact information?2021-03-03T15:08:53-06:00

As a precaution, we are ensuring contact information for family members and Resident Representatives are up-to-date should we need to contact you or if contact tracing becomes necessary.

How should mail be addressed and where is the facility located?2018-08-30T15:47:17-05:00

Answer: Please be sure to include the resident’s first and last name when sending mail to our facility. All personal mail is delivered unopened to each resident. Upon resident or family request, helpful staff or volunteers can assist with opening and reading mail.

What is Skilled Nursing Care?2018-08-30T15:48:11-05:00

Answer: Skilled Nursing Care is appropriate when the patient needs ongoing nursing intervention and supervision following an illness or a chronic condition. It is also appropriate for short-term intensive physical, occupational or speech rehabilitation therapy. The patient’s care is under the direction of a physician.

Do you offer tours?2018-09-07T13:19:35-05:00

Yes! Our staff can give you and your family a tour of our facility at anytime. Making a decision to move a loved one into a facility is difficult, but seeing our great nurses at work can help reassure you.

Should I get vaccinated for COVID-19?2020-12-22T14:35:56-06:00

We strongly recommend you get vaccinated. The vaccine will help protect you from getting COVID-19. If you still get infected after you get vaccinated, the vaccine may prevent serious illness. By getting vaccinated, you can also help protect people around you.

Can personal items or valuables be brought into the facility?2018-08-30T15:46:48-05:00

Answer: Residents and families are encouraged to personalize their room with pictures, plants, mementos, and other items to make for a homey atmosphere. A favorite chair should be of a vinyl or leather type material. We discourage residents from keeping valuable items, such as expensive jewelry and large sums of money, in their rooms. The facility cannot take responsibility for such items. Some residents with varying degrees of dementia may not recognize the value of an item and may unintentionally discard or misplace it.

What tools are offered to interact with loved ones, and still keep them safe?2020-04-06T13:45:49-05:00

We understand that due to these restrictions communication has been limited, but we have introduced other ways that you can interact with your loved ones, and still keep them safe. These communication tools include:

  • Skype
  • FaceTime
  • Writing Letters
  • Facebook Messenger
  • Facebook Video Chat
  • Facebook Video Messages

We’re here to help with any of these tools to keep you in touch with your loved ones. If you’re not already, follow us on Facebook for updates on the activities we’re doing daily to keep our residents active and busy during this “Shelter in Place” initiative.

If I already had COVID-19 and recovered, do I still need to get vaccinated?2020-12-22T14:35:44-06:00

Yes. CDC recommends that you get vaccinated even if you have already had COVID-19, because you can catch it more than once. While you may have some short-term antibody protection after recovering from COVID-19, we don’t know how long this protection will last.

How do I report problems or bad reactions after getting a COVID-19 vaccine?2020-12-22T14:41:22-06:00

I am encouraging all recipients who receive the vaccine to enroll in v-safe. This is a smartphone tool you can use to tell CDC if you have any side effects after getting a COVID-19 vaccine.
If you report serious side effects, someone from CDC will call to follow up. I will give you instructions for how to enroll.

How much clothing should I bring?2018-08-30T15:46:42-05:00

Answer: We recommend at least seven complete outfits. Appropriate clothing is usually considered to be slacks, shirts or tops, dresses, sweatsuits, sweater, nightgown/sleepwear, and underwear. Shoes or slippers should have nonslip soles. As a general rule, clothing should be roomy and have large enough openings that they can be put on and removed with a minimum of stress to both the resident and the clothing. 1. Personal laundry service is provided by the facility. 2. Clothing should be machine washable and dryable. 3. Each item of clothing should be indelibly marked with the resident’s name (first initial and last name). 4. Families should expect to assist in maintaining the resident’s wardrobe.

Can the vaccine give me COVID-19?2020-12-22T14:35:49-06:00

No. None of the COVID-19 vaccines currently authorized for use or in development in the United States use the live virus that causes COVID-19. However, it typically takes a few weeks for the body to build immunity after vaccination. That means it’s possible you could be infected with the virus that causes COVID-19 just before or just after vaccination and get sick

Are there long-term side effects from COVID-19 vaccine?2020-12-22T14:41:24-06:00

Because all COVID-19 vaccines are new, it will take more time and more people getting vaccinated to learn about very rare or possible long-term side effects. The good news is, at least 8 weeks’ worth of safety data were gathered in the clinical trials for all the authorized vaccines, and it’s unusual for vaccine side effects to appear more than 8 weeks after vaccination.

Is it safe to get a COVID-19 vaccine if I have an underlying medical condition?2020-12-22T14:37:45-06:00

Yes. COVID-19 vaccination is especially important for people with underlying health problems like heart disease, lung disease, diabetes, and obesity. People with these conditions are more likely to get very sick from COVID-19.

How is Petersen Health Care helping to protect residents, visitors & associates?2020-04-06T14:34:19-05:00

Due to the evolving situation with Covid-19 and under the guidance of the CDC, we are taking every effort to keep our community safe and healthy. The Coronavirus is being increasingly reported across the nation and the latest information received confirms that more cases in downstate IL have been reported.

  • All essential healthcare employees will continue to be allowed following CDC guidelines for entry.
  • Anyone entering will be required to check in to be screened and answer the questionnaire.
  • We will continue to use social distancing guidelines for all activities and meals.
  • Those who are ill or require special healthcare needs will dine in their apartments.
  • The use of our entire community including the dining room and all of our common areas are limited to residents only- for meals, meetings, card games, social clubs, coffee & doughnuts etc.
  • We have increased sanitizing efforts within the facility.
  • All community sponsored outings have been postponed.
  • In urgent situations where a visitor is required, we are asking that all visitors check in with our nursing staff upon entry.
  • A screening tool has been provided to our Directors to use as a questionnaire if any person is showing any signs of illness.
  • It is recommended that any routine doctor’s visits be postponed.
  • No one under the age of 18 should be permitted into the facility.
  • Please check with your local event sponsors before heading out – because many (most) public events and gatherings have been cancelled- i.e. sporting events,  Catholic Masses, schools, fundraisers, etc.

We are prepared to implement additional restrictions as recommended by the CDC and Illinois Dept of Public Health. We are confident this will be only temporary, but the safety of everyone is our goal. As the situation changes, we will continue to keep families updated.

Thank you all for your continued support and patience during this unprecedented time.

If I am not sure of the care and services available for my family, what should I do and who should I call?2018-08-30T15:47:22-05:00

Answer: Making the decision as to how much care is needed can be difficult. That’s why seeking a physician’s assistance, along with counseling by qualified professionals, is appropriate. At Petersen Health Care, we have experienced staff available to help make an assessment and discuss your options with you and your family. By doing so, we can help you determine the best facility for your situation and care level. In addition, our staff is able to help you with any necessary paperwork and financial information.

I just need a break for a few days for caring for my loved one. Can you help?2018-09-07T13:20:44-05:00

Yes! We offer respite care for short-term residents. Every respite resident receives the same great 24-hour care and amenities that our long-term residents receive. Contact us today to learn more about how we can help.

What is Intermediate Care?2018-08-30T15:48:11-05:00

Answer: Intermediate Care is appropriate for persons who may need some nursing intervention, but not on a continuous basis. Rehabilitation programs, activities and personal care assistance are available, and the care is provided under the direction of a physician.

How does an Assisted Living Facility differ from a Nursing Home?2018-08-30T15:48:10-05:00

Answer: Nursing homes are designed to care for individuals who are unable to care for themselves and have numerous healthcare requirements. Assisted living facilities are designed to help persons who are able to care for themselves except for a few everyday activities. Their goal is to create an environment for each resident to maintain his or her independence for as long as possible. They offer help with activities of daily living (ADLs), such as: preparing meals, bathing, taking medications, dressing and performing household chores. In addition, our assisted living facilities may also be appropriate for those who may be experiencing some memory problems which interfere with their ability to manage ADLs on a regular basis. Some facilities are even licensed to offer multiple levels of care, while others may only offer one level.

How do I know if COVID-19 vaccine is safe?2020-12-22T14:40:51-06:00

All COVID-19 vaccines were tested in clinical trials involving tens of thousands of people to make sure they meet safety standards and protect adults of different ages, races, and ethnicities. There were no serious safety concerns. CDC and the FDA will keep monitoring the vaccines to look for safety issues after they are authorized and in use.

Why do I need two COVID-19 shots?2020-12-22T14:38:54-06:00

Currently authorized vaccines, and most vaccines under development, require two doses of vaccine. The first shot helps the immune system recognize the virus, and the second shot strengthens the immune response. You need both to get the best protection

It all seems so confusing! How can you help with that?2018-09-07T13:21:50-05:00

Admitting a loved one can be extremely overwhelming to family members.We take the time to talk to  you and simplify the process.  Whether it is respite care, short-term Rehab-to-Home therapy, long-term care, specialized Alzheimer’s care or any one of our many other options. We are here to help care for your loved one.

Do you accept Medicaid as a payer source?2018-09-07T13:19:05-05:00

Yes! We can even help you apply for Medicaid. We also take Medicare A, many insurances and private pay.

Reasons We are Restricting Individuals from Entering our Grounds2020-04-17T09:28:48-05:00

The current COVID-19 outbreak situation means that it is critical that we take every precaution possible. We must prevent this virus from entering our community. Protecting our residents’ health and safety is our top priority.

The CDC has done a careful review of the death rate in the elderly, especially those with dementia or chronic diseases. Experts are recommending we take action to limit individuals from entering our building and to ensure sick employees stay home.

There is a risk that people who appear healthy will enter our communities and infect residents. Studies of past viral epidemics where recommending prevention was delayed were not effective. These studies show that the sooner we limit interactions with each other and wash your hands frequently virus spreads more slowly.

These facts have led many to recommend severe limitations on visitors. This describes why we have taken this action now.

We hope this explains to you why we are asking people to limit their visits. This may prevent you from physically seeing your family member or friend. Our residents’ health and safety are our top concern. We are committed to doing everything we can to protect them.

Please feel free to contact your local facility with any questions. Please make sure we have your latest contact information. Thank you for supporting these efforts.

Early data shows that

  • The mortality rate for people over 80 in the general population is 15% in China.
  • The World Health Organization report estimates the mortality rate at 21.9% for those over the age of 80.
  • At the nursing home in Washington state, there have been 50 residents who have tested positive for the COVID-19 virus. As of March 9, 2020, 19 of those have died. This is a high death rate.
What does Medicare pay for and what does Medicaid cover?2018-08-30T15:47:19-05:00

Answer: Medicare is federal health insurance for every American 65 years of age or older. It covers acute episodes, such as hospitalization and rehabilitation after leaving a hospital. Like all insurance policies, it does not cover all the expenditures. That’s why many will purchase supplemental or “Medigap” insurance to cover copayments and deductibles. In addition, this supplemental insurance can be used to pay for non-covered expenditures such as prescriptions. In general, Medicare does NOT pay for long-term care – either in nursing homes or in an assisted living community. For more information on Medicare, please visit the Medicare website at Additional information on Medicare and Medigap is also available from SHIIP. Medicaid is a state-managed healthcare and long-term care program for the financially needy. Typically, those with low income and very few assets are eligible for Medicaid. In most states, Medicaid will pay for nursing home care and some have the option of remaining in their homes and receiving in-home services. For more information, please visit the Medicaid website at