Family Update May 7
On behalf of all of us at St. Michael’s Long Term Care Centre, we extend a sincere Thank you to each of you for the support you have provided over the past eight weeks as together we have been dealing with the drastic changes caused by the Covid-19 pandemic. To date, no Residents or staff at St. Michael’s have tested positive for Covid-19. We could not have achieved this without your assistance and support – particularly with the social distancing you continue to practice.
We know how difficult this has been for everyone, especially the Residents. All along our goals have been to provide as healthy and safe a home as possible for the Residents living at St. Michael’s and the staff who the Residents rely upon to help them with their care.
Within our home this has involved:
- Assisting Residents to practice social distancing
- Diligently performing frequent hand hygiene before and after each Resident encounter and each time we entered or left a Resident Room
- Increased cleaning of high touch surfaces and Resident equipment
- Mandatory screening processes for Staff and Residents to detect early warning signs of illness developing and immediate isolation to prevent transmission to others
- Continuously wearing masks when in close proximity to Residents; and
- Engaging Residents in 1:1 conversations with many staff pitching in to help keep Residents and families connected through phone calls and digital visits
Now as we move into the next phase of our response to this pandemic our focus will be on achieving a better balance between maintaining a safe environment for everyone while enhancing the quality of life for Residents and their families.
A key initiative to help us attain this will involve the introduction of safe outdoor visits between Residents, their Designated Essential Visitor (DEV) and, if desired, one additional visitor. We know your presence and the conversations you will share while enjoying the outdoors will go a long way in helping to improve the life of your loved ones. Please note that we may need to modify our original processes as we gain experience and hear your feedback.
We ask you to please remember we are working to coordinate these visits within our existing resources and will do the best we can. We have dedicated staff who have been very accommodating and we are doing the best we can within the resources available to us.
Beginning Wednesday, May 13, twenty (20) minute scheduled in-person visits will take place Monday – Friday in the St. Michael’s Family Garden (which we share with Residents who live in Millennium Pavilion). With time, we will consider our ability to add in-person visits on the cafeteria deck and possibly another outdoor patio area between the green and red pod area. Given the
anticipated high level of interest in this type of visiting we will need your support adhering to time limits so staff can assist Residents to reenter their home and ensure table tops and chair surfaces in the garden and patio areas are cleaned and disinfected to prepare for the next group of visitors and Residents.
Physical distancing, good hand hygiene and continuous masking during the outdoor visits are three vital steps you will need to practice to help prevent COVID from reaching the Residents. Even though it will be natural for you to want to touch and hug your loved ones, please do not. You will need to resist this to ensure their safety and the safety of others. As well, it will be important that you not bring and share any food/drinks or give items to the Residents. While these measures will feel restrictive, they are vital to preventing a CONFIRMED COVID OUTBREAK. We need your help more than ever now not to lose the level of safety that has gotten us to where we are today.
To begin, we will schedule one in-person visit per week for each participating Resident. The Residents, or their Alternate Decision Makers, are being contacted to confirm:
- do they wish to book outdoor visits
- who will be the Resident’s Designated Essential Visitor and our contact to schedule outdoor visits
The Designated Essential Visitor will review the schedule and inform us of their availability to book a visit. We will also need to know in advance any special needs that we need to take into consideration (wheelchair/walkers, blindness, difficulty hearing, etc.). To be fair to everyone, the names of participating Residents will be drawn at random and visits will be assigned to the first available time period that aligns with availability of the DEV as shared with us. (Note: the less restrictive your availability will likely influence how long you wait for your first visit).
We have entered a new season and we have more experience with measures we can take with personal items entering our home. If there are special items (new clothing, preferred foods/snacks/drinks, personal necessities – special shampoo etc., a cell phone or other technology device) that you want to give your loved one, please know we will assist you to make arrangements for how the items can safely enter our home. Please contact the Case Manager of the unit or myself with your requests.
Please feel free to contact us if you have any questions or comments. Once again, thank you for your support and understanding.