COVID-19 FAMILY UPDATES
July 7, 2020
We would like to provide you all with some insight on how things are going at the Villa regarding Covid-19 and how we are continuing to ensure your loved ones safety while trying to ease on some of our restrictions.
The Villa is still closed to the public however, we have begun to facilitate outdoor visits as per the Department of Health and Wellness guidelines provided to us. These visits have been successful and have had a positive impact on our residents overall well-being. Any person visiting the Villa is thoroughly screened before their visit and must remain 6ft away from their loved ones, wear a mask, and practice proper hand hygiene. This way, we can ensure no person with symptoms comes onto our property to maintain residents safety as our priority!
At this time, we are easing restrictions in regards to accepting items from families. Many families have expressed wanting to bring treats for their loved ones to enjoy during their visits. We are happy to now allow families to bring in treats for their loved ones (e.g., ice cream, cookies, coffee...) as long as the items are coming directly from the store and not from home. Items being brought in from home however, will continue to be isolated for 72 hours after their arrival to the Villa as per our current practice. Should the Covid-19 situation change within our province, these restrictions may be re-implemented without notice.
Our hope is that this easing of restrictions will help our residents enjoy some of the simple pleasures that come with summertime that they are so used to enjoying.
We look forward to seeing you visiting with your loved ones this summer!
May 4, 2020
To all our family and friends,
Villa Acadienne continues to remain COVID-19 free and I wanted to let you know of our continued efforts to keep your loved ones safe.
As we learn new information about the virus, our pandemic plan is evolving and we are making changes in our home to be prepared should the time come to create a COVID-19 unit. A space has been dedicated and supplies are being secured, so that in the event of an outbreak, we will be able to respond rapidly and effectively prevent further spread.
As we head into warmer weather, our staff continue to remain vigilant with social distancing and hygiene practices outlined by the province. We continue to follow the additional safety precautions we have put in place throughout the Villa to minimize exposure from outside contaminants and prevent cross-contamination within our home. We have made changes to our meal service over the past few weeks by creating additional dining spaces, altering seating arrangements and staggering meal times, to help promote physical distancing within our home. Please know we continue to take all necessary precautions to keep our residents safe.
While our recreation programming looks different, our staff continue to spend quality time with your loved ones and to engage them in meaningful activities. Our residents miss you immensely, however, many of them are receiving great joy and comfort from connecting with you through virtual visits. If you have not had the opportunity to do so, please contact Brittney Amirault or Sarah Thompson and we would be happy to arrange a time for a chat.
As always, we continue to be here for you during this challenging time. Please do not hesitate to contact a member of our management team any time with questions, or concerns.
April 17, 2020
It’s been awhile since we’ve provided an update, and we just wanted to assure you of the precautions we have been taking over the past couple weeks to keep your loved ones safe during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Our Environmental Services team has been doing a remarkable job to ensure all resident rooms, common areas and frequently touched surfaces are sanitized three times daily. This exceeds the Public Health Agency of Canada recommendation of twice daily, but we feel it is important to take additional measures to ensure the safety of our residents and staff. We have hired some additional support services staff to assist with this task, as well as a variety of additional tasks throughout the facility.
We have assigned the majority of our staff to a specific unit in the facility. Not only does this provide the residents with consistent staffing to allow them to develop relationships and familiarity with staff, it also limits traffic throughout the building and prevents cross-contamination. We have also asked residents to remain in their units, to help decrease exposure, and our recreation programs have been modified to ensure we are practicing proper social distancing. Our residents continue to enjoy your phone calls and video chats, so please continue to do so. If you would like to schedule a time for a virtual visit or phone call with your loved one, please contact Brittney Amirault or Sarah Thompson and we would be happy to make arrangements.
Our staff are following the mask protocol dictated by the province, and are wearing surgical masks for the duration of their shifts. This provides an additional measure of protection for our residents and our staff. Staff have been instructed to change into indoor footwear upon entering the building and to come to work directly from home in a clean uniform, to decrease the spread of outside contaminants. We are actively screening both staff and residents twice daily for symptoms of COVID-19, including temperature monitoring.
We understand that it is difficult not being able to see your loved ones, and want to assure you that we are closely following all the guidelines put in place by the Department of Health and Wellness and Public Health. Members of our management team are present seven days a week to ensure we are able to respond rapidly to any changes, and to provide additional support to families, residents, and staff. Please do not hesitate to contact us at any time with questions.
March 27, 2020
As most of you are already aware, my name is Lucille Maillet and I am the CEO/Administrator for Villa Acadienne. Over the past 43 years, I have had the extreme privilege of serving the residents of Villa Acadienne. I work alongside an exceptional team of professionals who are committed to providing the best care possible to your loved ones. I am writing to provide you with an update on what we are doing here at the Villa to protect your loved ones and our staff from COVID-19 as we enter these unprecedented times.
This pandemic is impacting all of us, whether it be professionally or personally. We all know the dangers of COVID-19 and are very mindful of the impact to the vulnerable population we serve. We want to help put your mind at ease about what is going on within our facility and ensure that you are comfortable knowing we are taking this matter very seriously.
The closure of all long-term care facilities to visitors is difficult for both the residents themselves as well as you, the people nearest and dearest to them. We know that this closure means you have not seen your loved ones for a significant period of time and we want to acknowledge how difficult we know that disconnect is for everyone. The only exception we are able to make would be if a resident were to become actively palliative. In a time such as that, we understand that it is crucial to spend time with your loved ones. For the families who will be contacted to come in in these circumstances, we ask for your support as you will be required to adhere to our strict infection control measures upon your arrival.
Although many events and activities have been cancelled and you have been unable to physically come in and spend time with your loved ones, we want to reassure you that we are able to find ways for you to connect with your families. We are able to schedule Facetime or Skype dates for families who are able to do so, we encourage families to call and chat with their loved ones as often as they wish and want to ensure you never feel like a burden for calling for updates on their loved ones. Our staff are happy to keep you an essential part of their circle of care despite our closure. Recreation staff are working hard to stimulate residents and allow them to feel a sense of connection with others around them through recreation programs. Although things are not what we once called normal, please rest assured that your loved ones are being loved as if they were our own families. If you have questions, suggestions, or concerns- they are always welcomed.
We have been closely monitoring the guidelines provided by the Government of Nova Scotia, the Nova Scotia Health Authority as well as the Department of Health and Wellness and have been taking every precaution to stop the spread of this virus in our facility. Our staff are giving their 110% in abiding to these protocols both at work and in their personal lives. Everyone is making extraordinary sacrifices to stop this virus.
We hear your concerns about our staffing levels. Just like much of the province, they were an issue before COVID-19 but we have taken measures such as posting on our Facebook page that we are looking to temporarily hire anyone interested in helping us in the event of an outbreak that would affect staffing. Many members in our community are demonstrating their Acadian characteristics of helping those in need and are stepping up to help us in a time of need. The community of Clare has always taken care of us at the Villa, and for that we are grateful. Your loved ones are part of our family, regardless of a pandemic. But in times like these, we are mindful that our residents need extra love and support and we are truly honoured to be able to provide this to them.
We will continue to provide updates via e-mail and our Facebook page to ensure families are kept in the loop of what is happening at the Villa and a mentioned above, never hesitate to call and check in.
This pandemic will pass, and we will get through this together,
In light of today’s big announcement from Dr. Strang and Premier McNeil, we thought it would be an appropriate time to send you all an update.
As of July 22, 2020 the restrictions imposed on long-term care facilities within our province in regards to visitation are easing to allow for the following:
Up to 5 visitors for outdoor visits while all wearing masks, performing proper hand hygiene, and maintaining a 6-foot distance between themselves and the resident.
The resident or their Substitute Decision Maker can designate three (3) people to attend indoor visits. These visits would be completely monitored by staff and would have the same expectations regarding masking and hand hygiene as the outdoor visits. The three designated people may only visit one at a time and must remain exclusive and cannot be interchanged after they have been designated.
A brief physical touch (e.g., hug) at the beginning and end of your visit with the understanding that both the visitor and the resident will wear masks
We understand that this news is very exciting for some of you who are eager to spend more time with your loved ones. At this time, we would like to communicate to you that because the government allows for this to happen does not mean that our Home is prepared and equipped to do so. There is a lot of planning and preparation that we must do at Villa Acadienne to ensure these visits can happen in a safe environment without placing our residents or members of the care team at risk of contracting the virus. There are also many regulations that we must follow to be able to host these indoor visits to the standards set by our government.
We are however, prepared to welcome you in groups of up to five, who do not have to be exclusive, to visit with your loved ones outdoors.
We will continue to host outdoor visits, while the weather permits, to ensure you are able to spend time with your loved ones and have extended visiting time to up to one hour. We will also permit physical contact (hug or touch) hello and goodbye at your visits under the condition that both visitor and the resident are wearing a mask.
Please rest assured that we are working tirelessly to ensure that you can spend time with the ones you love most in a safe environment. You are missing them, and they are missing you all in return. We encourage you to continue to schedule outdoor visits as they have been successful to date.
If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact the Unit Lead for your loved ones unit they will be happy to help you.