Dear Friends & Family of Sherwood Care,
The weather has been lovely lately, and the Sherwood Park community is beginning to come alive again after a long winter. It’s so lovely to see people out walking and spending time with their families again, including so many of you going out with your loved ones! There are some valuable resources below for you to take advantage of.
As of today we have 3 residents in isolation, completing their 14-day quarantine as new admissions. There is also 1 staff member off with symptoms awaiting swab results.
Importance of Family and DSP visits: We are incredibly grateful for the time you spend with your loved one, as we know that their quality of life is positively impacted by these important connections. Thank you for continuing to respect the guidelines that are in place for the protection of your loved one while you are visiting. Despite the rollout of vaccines and the desire for restrictions to be reduced, to date there have been no updates or lessening of the restrictions for continuing care. In fact with the emergence of COVID-19 variants and a recent outbreak at an assisted living facility in Edmonton, we remain on high alert for monitoring the health and safety of our residents. Here’s a quick summary of the safe visiting guidelines:
- Hand hygiene before, during, and after visits and as directed by staff
- Continuous masking with the medical mask provided during the visit
- Eye protection
- Appropriate use of additional Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) if required with your loved one’s needs. (This will apply specifically to residents who are in quarantine during their 14-day admission period or who may be in isolation for symptoms)
- If choosing to participate in “safe touch,” following all guidelines provided (appropriate use of PPE, etc.)
- Proceeding directly to the designated visiting area (if loved one is in a semi-private room)
- If visiting in a private room, staying in this space until the visit is ended as per the pre-arranged time
- Only visiting with your loved one and recognizing that walking the hallways, visiting with other residents, staff, or family members while in the building adds to the risk of COVID-19 spread
- Signing in and out at the front entrance
- Understand that you cannot eat or drink while visiting with loved ones
Rapid testing of asymptomatic staff: As another tool in the collaborative effort to keep COVID-19 out of our facilities, AHS has provided equipment to each continuing care site to perform weekly rapid testing of asymptomatic staff. The emergence of COVID-19 variants has sparked this requirement for additional safeguards for our vulnerable population. Although our residents have received vaccines, we know that it doesn’t prevent an outbreak but hopefully reduces the severity and mortality associated with COVID-19 in our population. We are in the process of training the staff who will do the testing and plan to begin the testing the week of March 8th-12th. The test takes seconds to do and results are available within 15 minutes. If a staff member tests positive, they will need to leave the workplace, go home, and arrange for a PCR test through the AHS online booking system or 811. At this time, there is no directive to provide this same testing to the family members or DSPs coming into our facility, but we will keep you informed if that changes.
Sewing/Alteration Services available for fee:
Our Laundry department is happy to provide minor mending options as part of our laundry services fee at no additional cost. This includes sewing on buttons, mending tears, etc. If you would like other sewing done, such as hemming of your loved ones pants or creating comfort care (open back clothing) options for your loved ones, we can do these for a small fee. The cost of hemming a pair of pants or a skirt is $10.00 and the cost of modifying clothing to a comfort care (open back) option is $12.00 per item. If you would like to use this service, please speak with the front office or after hours, speak with the RN on duty.
Caregivers Support: Disability Tax Credit – free evening education session
The Canada Revenue Agency is hosting a free virtual event on March 18 at 6 pm to share information regarding: Eligibility, How to apply, How to claim the disability tax credit, and a Gateway to other government programs.
- Resident Council – Our monthly meeting was held this past Wednesday, and it was wonderful to see such a large turnout of residents. We had over 26 attendees! The residents heard from department leaders and had the opportunity to provide their feedback or concerns. This month, they heard updates from the Director of Housekeeping and Laundry, the Head Cook, the Chaplain, the Director of Resident Therapies, and myself. The residents were excited to hear that our spring menu will begin on March 29th and are looking forward to seasonal updates to our current menu.
- Outdoor Walks – I noticed that many of you took your loved ones out for a walk during your scheduled visit this week. It truly has been a beautiful week, with spring temperatures. Please let us know in advance if possible so we can have your loved one ready to head outside with you!
- Site Development Project – You may have heard the announcement this week from Premier Kenney and Minister Shandro regarding the investment in continuing care. We are happy to hear this announcement as there has been considerable advocacy work around the need for appropriate funding for our sector. In addition, there were announcements regarding capital grants for refurbishing or building of new continuing care spaces. We are very excited to hear this announcement and continue to prepare our submission to request capital dollars to redevelop our site into a Campus of Care.
As winter comes to an end, so does the era of COVID-19. We may be getting closer, but we’re not there yet. As always, I want to extend a big THANK YOU for joining our team in the fight against the virus. Not only do we need you, but (more importantly) your loved ones do. Our success is a shared victory that we can enjoy every day that COVID-19 is outside of our building.
“Spring will come and so will happiness. Hold on. Life will get warmer”