We have very much enjoyed welcoming families back to our home over the past few days, and the smiles and joy we have seen during these visits has been a powerful reminder that love and family play an important role not only in our physical health, but in our emotional and mental well-being as well.
Our care staff have also enjoyed spending time with residents outdoors, hearing about their visits and sharing stories about their loved ones.
One family member travelled all the way from Kingston for a visit with his loved one, and even though the weather didn’t fully cooperate, the visit was enjoyed by all.
As we continue to move forward, we want to remind our family partners that we are here to support them in visiting and staying connected with their loved ones. Each family’s needs, schedules and experiences are unique, and we are committed to working with everyone to find what works best for themselves and their loved ones. Whether that’s an in-person visit, a visit at the window, a FaceTime visit, or a phone call—we are always happy to help make these arrangements.
This past weekend, many families across the province celebrated Father’s Day with their fathers and grandfathers, and while COVID-19 continues to present challenges to how we interact with friends and family, for the first time in months, many families had the opportunity to come together in-person and visit their loved ones in long-term care.
Our community at Shelburne LTC is thankfully one of the homes that can accommodate these visits beginning June 23rd, and it has brought us great joy to know that families will be reunited very soon, without barriers to their interactions.
While we continue to work to ensure that our home remains free of this terrible virus, we would like to remind everyone of some of the requirements that the provincial government has put in place when allowing visitors into long-term care homes. These conditions include:
A home must not be experiencing an outbreak of the virus;
Only one family at a time may visit, and interactions can be no more than 30 minutes;
Visitors must complete and pass a screening questionnaire upon arrival at the home;
Physical distancing must be observed at all times during visits; and
Visitors must have had a negative COVID test within 14 days of their visit.
No food or drink is allowed during the visit
We know that families may have some questions about how to arrange and prepare for a visit. To help address some of your inquiries, we have enclosed an FAQ that we hope you will find useful.
We are extremely excited to welcome our family partners back into our home, and we are happy to support you in every way we can.
We are pleased to inform you that the Government of Ontario has now revised its directive on visitation at long-term care homes. The first phase involves allowing outside visits to occur between residents and family members at homes across the province. We know you are eager to be reunited with your loved one after several weeks of separation due to the COVID-19 virus. At the same time, we will be requesting that all visitors follow these protocols to limit the potential for exposure to the virus:
Visitations must be pre-scheduled with the home outside of mealtimes, be limited to 30 minutes in length and will be allowed if the home is not be in a current COVID-19 outbreak. The exception is for visits to a resident who is at end-of-life.
In order to promote equitable access, residents will be limited to one visit with a single visitor per week. Families should arrange amongst themselves who will visit the resident for the week.
Visitors must be able to assure home staff that the visitor has tested negative for COVID-19 within the previous two weeks and subsequently not tested positive. Please note that the home is not responsible for providing the testing.
Visitors must comply with long-term care home infection, prevention and control protocols, including proper use of face or surgical/procedural masks and use of hand sanitizer before and after the visit. While hand sanitizer will be provided at the home, visitors will be expected to provide their own masks.
With the exception of service animals, animals may not accompany a visit.
We would appreciate it if you would take a moment to review the enclosed brochure, which provides further details on protocols for outdoor visits. Please contact the home at (519) 925-3746 to discuss details of arranging a visit with your loved one or to get answers to any additional questions you may have. We thank you for your continued patience and support for our staff and residents during this difficult time.
We are excited to share with our families a number of activities we are planning for our residents in the coming days and weeks.
Sunday June 21st is Father’s Day, we plan to celebrate the fathers and grandfathers by holding a barbecue for our residents on Friday June 19th. Since COVID-19 impacted our Mother’s Day celebrations this event will also celebrate mothers and grandmothers living in our home.
In line with our focus of encouraging active lifestyles, supporting mental and emotional wellbeing in our residents, we are undertaking a gardening project. This initiative will beautify the courtyard space and help our active seniors enjoy more time outdoors. Our residents will be included in the activity, and we will be sure to share photos and highlights with our families in future updates and on social media.
As we continue to implement activities that encourage active lifestyles and support mental and emotional well-being in our residents, we want to remind everyone that we are continuing with our precautions to protect the health and safety of our residents and staff. We will continue to follow the directives and guidance from the Ontario government and medical authorities at all times.
We would like to continue to encourage our family partners to reach out to us at 519-925-3746 if you ever have any questions about the health of your loved one, or our outbreak management protocols.
We are pleased to say that over the past few weeks, our home has continued to remain free of COVID-19, and our residents and staff are doing well. Their positivity and optimism have brought our community together and made it stronger, putting a smile on our faces and hope in our hearts every single day.
Which is why, in light of this continued progress, we are making some small adjustments to our measures that we believe will help alleviate the social and emotional health challenges that come with physical distancing.
Firstly, we are continuing our efforts to support residents in enjoying time and activities outside, and as a reminder from our letter earlier this week, staff will be accompanying residents at all times and will be using PPE. Physical distancing will also be observed, and the number of people in the courtyard at one time will be restricted to help ensure this.
We are also looking to reopen our dining facilities, and we are evaluating the safest way to proceed with this effort. We will continue to follow the advice and guidance of government and medical health authorities, and we will share more details of our plan once it has been finalized.
We are also taking steps to streamline our communications with you, our family partners, to ensure that you feel informed and supported at all times. Going forward, we will continue to send twice-weekly letters and provide updates on our website, which can be found here: https://www.shelburneltc.ca/. In the event that there are any changes in the outbreak status of our home, or our measures, we will be calling families directly to provide them with updates and answer their questions.
As always, we encourage families to reach out to us at 519-925-3746 if they have any questions about the health of their loved one, or the health and safety measures we have in place in the home.
Our goal at Shelburne LTC is to create a safe environment for residents that supports all their health needs—physical, emotional and social— and we are grateful to our family, healthcare and community partners for their support and assistance in achieving this.
We want to begin today by thanking everyone, especially families, for their support over the past couple months as we have worked to address the challenges presented by COVID-19.
Your participation in our outbreak response measures has helped us successfully eliminate the virus from our home, and we are continuing to work to ensure that everyone within our community remains safe and healthy.
Beginning today, we now have a few changes that we would like to share with you. In line with the health and safety protocols set out by Wellington-Dufferin-Guelph Public Health (WDG Public Health), we are beginning to assist residents in accessing outdoor spaces to enjoy some recreational time in the nicer weather.
Staff will be accompanying residents at all times and will be in full PPE. Physical distancing will also be observed, and the number of people in the courtyard at one time will be restricted to help ensure this.
We are also installing a new swing that is wheelchair accessible, and we hope this will make for some great childhood memories for our seniors. As always, high-touch surfaces will be disinfected after each individual use.
Also starting today, we will now be testing staff at our home every week, above and beyond the mandate of the provincial government, which only requires testing every two weeks.
This will help us ensure that as the province continues with its phased re-opening, our residents, care workers and their loved ones remain safe, and that we are detecting possible health risks earlier.
As always, if you have any questions about our outbreak response measures, or about the care your loved one is receiving, please contact us at 519-925-3746, and a member of our care team will be happy to speak with you.