As of today, the number of confirmed COVID-19 cases in Canada reached 943 and numbers are increasing rapidly. (Source: CTVNews.ca)
Additionally, a large number of confirmed cases have involved working adults. Yet many of the severe and critical cases involve individuals more than 70 years of age. That is why so many seniors' homes have closed access to visitation.
At Lynn Valley Care Centre, a senior's home in North Vancouver, seven residents have died as a result of a COVID-19 outbreak in their community. (Source: NSNews.com)
In response to the continued spread of the virus effective immediately, AgeCare is further restricting visitation in our communities. Only one visitor, who is attending to a resident who is dying, is allowed into our AgeCare communities. For this exception, sign-in & completion of an exposure checklist is still required.
These additional visitor restrictions are being taken in order to further protect residents, who are most vulnerable against the risk of severe illness, hospitalization, and even death if they contract COVID-19.
We must act now to lessen any exposure. Even one case of COVID-19 in one of our communities is one too many.
"We don't need to flatten the curve, we need to plank it," insists Dr. Theresa Tam, Canada's Chief Public Health Officer, regarding the steep growing curve of the confirmed COVID-19 cases in Canada. (Source: macleans.ca)
We understand this is a stressful and challenging time for everyone, especially our residents and their families, but the first priority must be controlling the spread of the virus and protecting residents.
What AgeCare Will Continue to Do
While our care teams cannot take the place of your visits, we want to reassure you that our priority is the safety and well-being of our residents.
All our team members, regardless of their role, are taking extra time with residents to provide additional comfort and support - making Moments that Matter.
To prevent feelings of isolation during this time, recreation will provide plenty of resident engagement and programming opportunities for your loved one. These programs are being held in the individual neighbourhoods, with less than 10 attendees with a safe distance between them.
Care teams, including Recreation and Social Work, will also be working together to increase personal check-ins with residents - to support your loved one's physical and emotional well-being.
How to Stay Connected with Your Loved One
Social distancing doesn't mean isolation. There are other ways to stay connected with your loved one, including:
- Technology: Connect with Skype, Apple FaceTime, email, or social media. Using Technology to Connect with Your Loved Ones (PDF). Please contact your community directly as the recreation team can assist with this.
- Resident's Personal Phone Line: If your loved one does not have a phone line in their room, we can help you get one. Please contact your community directly to sign up for this service.
- Write a Letter: Bring your letter to reception and we will deliver - and read it, if needed - to your loved one.
Resident Personal Laundry & Supplies
As previously communicated, we understand that there are common supports that our families provide, such as personal laundry and supplies. We want to work with families and loved ones to ensure that these supports can continue while keeping everyone safe.
Resident Personal Laundry
Each community has a designed pick up and drop off location for resident personal laundry. AgeCare Staff will be contacting family members to confirm their designated pick up and drop off day/time. If you prefer, we can sign your loved one up for personal laundry services. Please contact your community directly to sign up for this service.
Resident Personal Supplies
A member of your care team will reach out to you by phone if your loved one needs any personal care items - such as nail care or personal hygiene items. Please bring these items to the reception desk, labelled with your loved one's full name. Staff will deliver these items on your behalf.
We recognize that this is an evolving story, and our commitment to all of you is to provide you with up-to-date information as it becomes available.
We will continue to communicate new information on our website (agecare.ca/coronavirus), sent out to our email lists (agecare.ca/signup), and shared on our dedicated COVID-19 phone line (403) 351-8984.
Thank you for your understanding as we all work together to keep everyone in our communities safe and well.