Dear Friends & Family of Sherwood Care,
Isn’t it nice to see the spring finally starting to emerge? Soon our gardens will be ready for you to spend time with your loved ones. But that’s not the only piece of good news keeping us going here at Sherwood Care. Our residents are enjoying lots of fun events, and we have a good chance of a large windfall of funding from AHS!
As of today we have 2 residents in isolation, completing their 14-day quarantine as a new admission and a return from hospital. WE are happy that there are NO staff off with symptoms.
Variants of Concern:
The news continues to be dominated with the discussion around variants of concern (VOCs). Despite the increasing number of individuals receiving their vaccinations, these variants are creating some concern and there have been several news stories this week about variant outbreaks in seniors’ facilities. We initiated the rapid asymptomatic testing of our staff this week and will continue weekly. All swabs done today were NEGATIVE. Here are some things to be aware of during this process:
- If we have a resident or staff member test positive for COVID-19, that swab will be tested for variants. Because testing takes 24-48 hrs, AHS is recommending that we shut down the building for that period until we know if it is a variant and what the next steps of the process are.
- If it is a variant of concern, the affected resident and any close contacts would immediately be moved into a private room (if not in one already).
- Staff and families/DSP’s are not considered close contacts of an infected resident if they have continuously masked and followed all PPE requirements.
- Sherwood Care would be on outbreak for 28 days and during that period residents and staff will be swabbed with rapid test kits at identified intervals.
- All admissions and transfers would be on hold unless explicit written direction is received from the Medical Officer of Health.
- End of Life (EOL) visits would not be impacted by an outbreak and depending on the severity or spread in the facility, DSP visits would be supported as appropriate to the circumstances.
As always, our goal is to prevent COVID-19 in our facility, but I want to keep you aware of what is happening. If something were to happen here, we have a plan and a strategy to address it quickly, with your support and understanding.
- Outdoor Walks – This lovely spring weather has certainly began the conversation around outdoor walks. Thank you for calling ahead and letting us know that you want to use your break for an outdoor walk. At the current time, there are still some icy patches in our courtyard so we would ask that you refrain from using the courtyard until further notice. We have some water drainage issues each spring in the courtyard and it is usually alleviated in a couple of weeks time. In the meantime, please use the front and side roads next to the care centre for your walks.
- Birthday Tea – Our residents were treated to another live entertainment event for this month’s birthday tea. Over 40 of them were present as Sean Gristwood performed through live streaming technology, playing a wonderful mixture of old and recent songs that had the residents clapping, smiling, and singing along.
- Live piano music – We have opened the doors for two of our longtime volunteers who are wonderful musicians. They are here Monday-Friday playing live music over the lunch hour. Of course, they are being screened, wearing PPE, and following all of the precautions while here. The live music has certainly been enjoyed by everyone!
- Site Development Project – Sherwood Care was in the news this week, highlighting the recent capital announcement from the provincial government for continuing care, and how it impacts our plans for site development. What is unique and exciting about this article is the following quote from Minister of Service Alberta, Nate Glubish:
- “I think most of us recognize the importance of Sherwood Care in our community and the excellent care they provide to seniors in Strathcona County,” Glubish said. “In balancing the need across the province, some of the considerations that will be used in making decisions about where to allocate that money are: current and projected demand, existing capacity, and demographics. The expansion project at Sherwood Care is exciting and I have been and will continue to advocate for it.”
Vaccines are becoming available to more and more people, which is bringing the end into clearer view. It’s been a year of the virus already, but that only means we are more prepared and knowledgeable to keep on fighting. As always, thank you for being part of our team in the fight against this virus.
“ Let my teaching fall like rain and my words descend like dew, like showers on new grass, like abundant rain on tender plants.”