WELCOME BACK – WEAR YOUR MASK!

The Manitoba Government announced their Phase 4 Plan for safely restoring services during the COVID-19 pandemic and eased some of the limitations to indoor visits in personal care homes.

Effective 11am, July 27, 2020, a maximum of two (2) designated family care givers per resident will be allowed access to resident rooms and the courtyard. Designated family care givers are defined as family or friends who have a clearly established pattern of involvement in providing active care and support to the resident’s emotional wellbeing, health, and quality of life.

 GUIDELINES FOR IN-ROOM VISITS

To ensure the success of these in-room visits and to limit the number of visitors in the facility at any given time, guidelines are to be followed as we welcome families back into the facility while mitigating the risk of contracting the COVID-19 virus.

These guidelines will apply for the next 15 days. They will be reviewed the week of August 10th, 2020:

  • Visiting hours will be Monday to Friday from 11am to 7pm. There will be no visits on the weekend or long weekend (August 3rd 2020) due to staff vacation and limited availability to monitor and support in-room visits.
  • Where there are two designated family care givers, we ask that only one designated family care giver visit on any one given day (one visit per one person each day). Visits must occur on separate days. This is to allow for better physical distancing in resident rooms and to permit as many residents as possible to receive visitors.
  • We ask that designated caregivers avoid arriving for their visits between 3:00pm – 3:45pm to prioritize screening of staff during shift change.
  • We ask that designated caregivers visit only once daily (entering / exiting once per day) and not come and go from the facility on the same day. Only one visit per day will be allowed. There are no time limits on the duration of the visit.

All family and friends not identified as a designated caregivers will be encouraged to continue to schedule courtyard, virtual, window, or assigned area indoor visits. Note that these types of visits remain the preferred method of maintaining contact with residents during the pandemic.

IMPORTANT INFORMATION FOR DESIGNATED CAREGIVERS

Designated Caregivers are defined as the primary and secondary contact on the resident health record. At this time, only these individuals will be allowed to visit. To request a different family care giver designation, please contact the social worker responsible for your unit. All other visitors (those not identified as the primary and secondary contact) will be required to schedule a visit as per our established process or by calling or sending an email to the unit social worker or info@actionmarguerite.ca.

All Designated Caregivers will be screened upon entry. This will include:

  • Checking your temperature upon entering the facility,
  • Ensuring you have no flu or cold like symptoms. You must stay home when sick or not feeling well, even if symptoms are mild. Please watch for the following: recent onset of fever, cough, sore throat, shortness of breath, runny nose, muscle aches, fatigue, headache, diarrhea and vomiting,
  • Ensuring you have not had recent exposure to anyone testing positive with COVID-19 or awaiting these test results,
  • Ensuring you have not travelled east of Terrace Bay, Ontario,
  • Ensuring you have not had recent exposure to anyone self-isolating due to travel restrictions currently in place.

 It is the Designated Caregiver’s responsibility and duty to protect the residents, the staff and the Actionmarguerite community by following these guidelines when visiting:

  • You must remain in the resident’s room and not circulate on the unit (this includes the dining room, nursing station, other residents’ rooms or in common / public areas, cafeteria, lounges, etc.).
  • Your visit may be limited if residents are unable / do not wish to remain in their rooms during the visit.
  • You are to sanitize upon entry all resident items that you bring. Please note that pets are not allowed.
  • The resident room chair may be used for visiting with your loved one. Resident beds should not be used by any visitor.
  • You are asked to call the social worker or the nurse manager after your visit if you have concerns or questions. In the event of an emergency or if you must speak to a nurse or a HCA about a health concern, please remain in the room and press the call bell. Someone will come to see you.
  • You may take the resident for a walk in the designated resident courtyard. You must advise staff before departing the unit. Hand hygiene of the resident and the designated caregiver is required when leaving and returning to the unit. During your walk, you would be responsible to:
    • assure a distance of minimum 2 meters (6 feet) with others,
    • avoid physical contact with others,
    • avoid other public areas,
    • wear a mask at all times.
  • You may be required to assist in performing sanitization of the high touch areas in the resident’s room following your visit as an added precaution and infection control measure.

At each visit, it is MANDATORY that Designated Caregivers adhere to the following rules:

  1. Sign in with date, time, full name and phone number at time of arrival and departure (this is to allow for contact tracing in case of an outbreak).
  2. Read and participate in a brief education session (provided by staff at the entrance) on infection control requirements and strict hand hygiene (see attached brochure: Phase 4 – ICP Essential Visitors _ Proches Aidants (2020 07 27)). You will be asked to sign off that you have received this education and understand the education received.
  3. Perform hand hygiene when entering, at all points of contact and when leaving the building.
  4. Wear a mask at all times (note this will not be provided – you must bring your own mask)
  5. Travel straight to the resident’s room, avoiding any common areas or other resident rooms in the personal care home.
  6. Avoid touching surfaces in the facility or interacting closely with other residents / family en route to the resident’s room.
  7. Adhere to Public Health Advice regarding close contact (maintain a distance of 6 feet /2 meters) respiratory hygiene (wearing a mask at all times), and hand hygiene.

Actionmarguerite reserves the right to ask you to leave if these rules are not being followed, including inappropriate infection control, hand hygiene and the proper wearing of a face mask.

FINAL NOTE – TRANSITIONING TO A NEW NORMAL FOR VISITING

We know that families have not been able to visit in resident rooms since March. In the next two weeks, we expect there will be a lot of visits and more people in our facilities. This increases the potential risk of contracting COVID-19 or other types of infections.

Managing an influx of visitors and associated safety requirements will be challenging for all of us. For the first 3 days of this new reality, we request that essential caregivers use the following schedule so that we can more safely manage the re-entry of essential caregivers:

  • Monday, July 27: Spouses of residents may begin visits
  • Tuesday, July 28: Designated essential caregivers whose resident’s last name begins with A to L may begin visits
  • Wednesday, July 29: Designated essential caregivers resident’s last name begins with M to Z may begin visits

You can then continue to visit any days between Monday and Friday for the first two weeks. We hope to expand this if things go well. At the beginning, our goal is to disperse the potential number of the additional persons entering the facility to mitigate as best as possible the risk of COVID-19.

We cannot do this without the cooperation and commitment of families and staff. COVID-19 will remain with us for months, if not years. We must find a way to strike a balance between the benefits of family visits and restricting visits at all costs.

In collaboration with Public Health, Actionmarguerite will determine the need to suspend all visits in the case of a confirmed COVID-19 outbreak.

We continue to invite feedback and comments via email at info@actionmarguerite.ca. We have heard from residents, families and staff alike.   We all struggle with the moral distress caused by protecting the most vulnerable against this terrible virus and preserving all important family relationships as we support the quality of life and safety of our residents.

Charles Gagné                                                                      Marielle Lafond
Chief Executive Officer                                                         Chief Nursing Officer

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

Definitions as per Shared Health Guidelines (effective July 24 2020) https://sharedhealthmb.ca/files/covid-19-pch-visitation-principles.pdf

Visitor restrictions are directly related to the presence/transmission of COVID-19 in the province as determined by Chief Public Health Officer. In collaboration with Public Health, Personal Care Home will determine the need to suspend all visits in the case of a confirmed/potential COVID-19 outbreak in the facility or local area or upon the direction of the Chief Provincial Public Health Officer.

 “Designated family caregivers” are any persons whom the resident and/or substitute decision maker identifi­es and designates as their family caregiver. As essential partners in care, these individuals actively and regularly participate in providing care and may support feeding, mobility, personal hygiene, cognitive stimulation, communication, meaningful connection, relational continuity, and assistance in decision-making.

“General visitors” are family and friends who visit for social reasons.

“Essential Service Providers” are individuals providing essential support services as determined by the care team (e.g. Spiritual Care, OT/PT, and Speech Language).

“Non-Essential Service Providers” – individuals providing support services that are not deemed essential and can be shut down during pandemic, e.g. hairdressers, companions and volunteers.

DISPUTE RESOLUTION / APPEAL PROCESS

We will adhere to the following problem solving and appeal process in the event of a conflict or a misunderstanding related to resident and family visitation. We will address any concerns on a case-by-case basis in a timely manner.

Any dispute or concerns should be communicated to the following individuals for problem-solving per our complaint policy:

  1. Unit Social Worker (by phone or email)
  2. Unit Manager (by phone or email
  3. Director of Care (by phone or email)
  4. Chief Nursing Officer or CEO (by phone / email)
  5. WRHA – Client Relations

The final decision on visitations and access will remain with Actionmarguerite. Unit Nurses, Social Workers and Managers will have the authority to request that families comply with these guidelines. Failure to comply will result in termination of the visit and request that you leave the premises. Actionmarguerite reserves the right to deny access to visitors on the grounds of their health symptoms or non-compliant behaviour related to these guidelines. Families and visitors may appeal this decision by following the dispute resolution process outlined above. Actionmarguerite will respond to any complaint or issue within two business days of it being received.