What’s New

Here you will find updates on what’s new at the RK MacDonald Nursing Home from upcoming events, announcements and celebrations.

Update to Visitation Policy

Family and Friends of The RK

As you are likely aware, the Nova Scotia Government announced on July 17, 2020 that long-term care facilities in the Province will be reopening to visitors. Premier McNeil highlighted that safety remains the priority during this reopening process.

The RK has allowed socially distanced outdoor visits on our grounds for several weeks. For the foreseeable future, we are keeping the outdoor visitation policy in place. As of right now, this visitation format is how we can best protect residents and staff while still allowing you to see and talk to your loved ones.

Effective Monday, July 27th, 2020 the following changes to the outdoor visitation policy will be implemented:

  • Continuation of scheduled outdoor visits that do not include touch.
  • Visitors are required to wear a non-medical mask when on the grounds of the RK. The masks may be removed during your scheduled visit as long as the mandatory 6 feet distance is maintained.
  • The maximum number of visitors per resident at one time is now five people.
  • Visitors must remain six feet from your loved one as well as the staff member supporting the visits- this will be strictly enforced.
  •  Visiting options include outside gazebo visits, fence visits, drive thru visits and virtual visits and all must be scheduled in advance.
  • As per the Public Health guidelines, all visitors must be screened, have their contact information collected, and visits must be supervised by a staff member.

Until we are able to develop further protocols and address additional issues, we are unable to further reduce the restrictions on these visits. We know you miss your family and we thank you for your ongoing support as we all work together to navigate these challenging circumstances. Safety has and will remain our top priority and we need to ensure proper procedures can be confidently put in place before we are able to open our doors to visitors.

We understand this may not be the news you were looking to receive. However, this is an incredibly difficult time for everyone involved, and we need to take steps to ensure the safety of our residents and the well-being of our staff and the organization.

If you have any questions regarding visits, please contact the Recreation Department at kim.macdonald@rkmacdonald.ca.

There is more information posted on our website. We have also posted the guidelines for “Resident Visitation, Hair Salons and Social Activities in LTC” as issued by Public Health and Department of Health and Wellness July 17, 2020. If you have any additional questions on policies and procedures currently in place, please contact: Cathy Brouwer at 902-863-2578 ext 233 and she will redirect your call to the appropriate person.

Yours truly,

Michelle Thompson
CEO

Link to original letter.


Visitation to LTC Update July 17,2020

We have been made aware of the announcement today from Premier McNeil regarding some of the restrictions being lifted for visitation at Long Term Care Homes across the province. We know that this is welcome news for many, however, we must stress that there are still several safeguards and procedures that need to be reviewed and implemented before we are able to open our doors to visitors.

Over the coming days, we will be doing our due diligence to review the requirements recently released by Public Health. Our main goal is to review the capacity of our staff to implement these changes that come with the lifting of visitor restrictions. We will have more information to share with families and the community in the coming days.

Our priority remains to keep the safety and protection of our residents, visitors and staff top of mind.

We know that you miss your family members and that they miss you as well. Our outdoor visiting policy remains in place and if you would like to speak with a staff member to set up a visit, please contact: the recreation Department at kim.macdonald@rkmacdonald.ca

We would like to thank everyone for their continued support has we all work together to navigate these challenging times.


Notice Regarding Family Visits

Please note that as of June 15th the new Family Visit Rules are available here.

We are preparing to welcome loved ones for outdoor visits beginning Thursday, June 18, 2020. There will be more information about the visits on the RK website on Monday, June 15, 2020; we anticipate the information will be added to the website between 3 & 4pm.  As the restrictions in NS and in Long Term Care loosen, RK MacDonald will be taking a very cautious approach. I know people are anxious to see one another again, but the reality of the effect of this virus on people in Long Term Care cannot be ignored; 82% of deaths in Canada related to COVID-19 have been linked to LTC facilities across the country. While as individuals we may feel our risk to others is minimal, we will be increasing the number of people on the property by up to 270 people per week if every resident has 2 visitors.

We are asking residents or their Substitute Decision Maker to designate two “in-person” visitors [must the same two people for all visits]  to visit their family member.  Window visits and virtual visits can continue for other families not identified as the “in person” visitors.

The Home will begin to facilitate outdoor visits in a couple of ways. Initially, some visits will be done as drive thru visits.  Residents will be sitting outside under a canopy and family members will enter our front roundabout driveway and remain in their vehicles. They will be 6 feet apart during the visit. Other residents will meet family members through the gates near their care areas. Again, spaces will marked off on either side of the gate to ensure social distancing is maintained. Staff will be available to assist with the outdoor visits. For some residents, it may still be best to continue to communicate with their  loved ones through window and virtual visits. We will decide this with the residents and/or family on a case by case basis. As per the Public Health Long Term Care guidelines, we feel that if physical distancing is strictly maintained, family members will not be required to wear masks (unless they choose to) in order to facilitate communication.

As the province and communities “open up”, we will regularly re-evaluate our processes and procedures and work safely and diligently to continue to connect residents and their loved ones. We are working on our procedures as well as securing human resources to support these visits to ensure they are both enjoyable and safe.

Final details will be released on Monday which will also include contact information to schedule your visit and/or speak to someone in Administration.

Thank you for your continued patience as we work through this extra-ordinary time.

Michelle Thompson


We’re on Instagram!

The RK MacDonald is on Instagram! You can follow us at www.instagram.com/rkmacdonaldnursinghome

Make sure to share or like our photos!


Covid 19 April 13, 2020 Update to the Community

Update to the Community April 13, 2020

Greetings Everyone:

I wanted to provide an update on how things are going in the facility.

We began a new masking protocol today. As per the directive from Department of Health and Wellness, staff are wearing a mask in the facility. Whenever staff are providing direct care, in the care areas, or working within 6 feet of one another (out of necessity), masks are donned. This protocol was implemented to protect residents and colleagues from a person who may have COVID-19 but have not developed symptoms yet (asymptomatic) or their symptoms are very mild (pre-symptomatic). Residents are screened twice a day for fever and any other possible signs and symptoms. Staff have their temperatures taken on arrival before their shift and are also screened for symptoms.  We are working diligently to ensure we are implementing new protocols in a timely manner. We continue to take our direction form Public Health and the Department of Health and Wellness, and work closely with the NSHA. We are grateful for their ongoing support.

On Thursday, prior to the new directive, 20 women in our Antigonish Town and County communities were recruited to make homemade masks. Over the weekend these masks were beautifully sewn and prepared for the staff to use. As a result of this new directive received yesterday, we will now offer each staff member a mask for his/her/their own use while not at work and we will keep the remaining masks in case they can be used at a later date. We are incredibly grateful for the time and effort and care that went into this project. We purchased material on Thursday afternoon and many of the masks have been delivered already. We will be posting pictures of these beautiful masks in the coming days. While these masks cannot be implemented  in the way we had planned originally, they will still be used by staff. Thank you, sincerely, for your support.

Thank you also to Kenny’s Pizza, Tim Hortons, Tareq Hadhad and Diane Roberts for the generosity and kindness offered through treats for the staff. Your generosity is greatly appreciated and very much enjoyed.

We hope you are all well. This was certainly a different Easter holiday than many of us are accustomed to. Please continue to reach out through cards, letters and the beautiful artwork! Staff encouragement is hung in the hallways for and can be  read as they enter and leave the building. Residents are receiving their well wishes also. We do keep all items in the office for 48 hours before sharing them throughout the building.

Take care everyone. Easter signifies hope and we certainly carry hope with us as we manage these uncertain times. We are very hopeful that we can soon visit safely again soon.

All the best,

Michelle Thompson

CEO R.K. MacDonald Nursing Home

64 Pleasant St, Antigonish, NS

B2G 2K9

Phone: 902-863-2578 ext 232

Email: mthompson@rkmacdonald.ca

Fax: 902-863-4437

 


CEO Update on the R.K. as of March 16, 2020

March 16, 2020 6:00 pm

Good Evening Everyone:

The facility continues to work through the information shared from Department of Health and Wellness (DHW) as well as finalizing many parts of our pandemic plan.

Updates:

Phone System– As you know, our phone system unexpectedly collapsed.  When we ordered replacement equipment, we realized we had a much bigger system issue. New equipment was ordered and is currently being programmed. We have indicated to the provider that we need that equipment on site and functional as soon as possible. We do not expect the technicians on site until the week of march 23, 2020(subject to change).  We understand the difficulty this presents especially now that all visitation to RK MacDonald has been restricted.

CareQ: As you know we have purchased a rapid notification system. The information for residents has been collected and we expect the system to be up and running by end of day Wednesday. This will allow us to notify families more efficiently of changes and where to find updates.

Communicating with your loved one: We had a staff and resident meeting today televised on channel 1885 today. This provides an opportunity for us to reach out to residents in their rooms as well as residents and staff in common areas. We reviewed the current guidelines regarding COVID-19 and the reasons for the visitor restrictions. We were able to discuss some of the interim planning we have in place and the activities we are undertaking to prepare.   We have purchased iPads for each of the care areas to facilitate video conferencing with residents. We are working through the IT pieces and hope to have more information on Tuesday.

Pandemic Planning: RK MacDonald has had a generalized pandemic plan for a number of years; it is a requirement of the LTC Licensing Requirements. We are currently In the process of overlaying the information specific to this virus to the pandemic plan. We received Long Term Care (LTC) Infection Control Guidelines today from DHW. We are doing one on one education with staff regarding infection control measures and staff are also watching educational/instructional videos to ensure everyone is updated on best practice. The staff at RK MacDonald have had this education many times before. This situation is reason for us to do a full staff refresher in advance of any cases of COVID-19 in the facility. We will continue to update the plan and processes as well as prepare for unforeseen circumstance to the very best of our ability. We have an experienced and dedicated staff here and I feel confident in our ability to make sound, practical decisions as scenarios arise. Department of health and Wellness and the Nova Scotia Health Authority are providing excellent and timely information to us. We feel connected to these partners and we are doing our very best to get the information they send out to all of you.

Michelle Thompson

CEO R.K. MacDonald Nursing Home

64 Pleasant St, Antigonish, NS

B2G 1W7

Phone: 902-863-2578 ext 232

Email: mthompson@rkmacdonald.ca

Fax: 902-863-4437

 


Closed to ALL Visitors

HEALTH/WELLNESS–First Presumptive Cases of COVID-19 in Nova Scotia; New Prevention Measures

—————————————————————–

Nova Scotia announced the province’s first three presumptive cases of novel coronavirus (COVID-19), today, March 15. The province is also taking further measures to reduce the spread of COVID-19.

The cases are not connected and are travel related. The individuals followed all the proper procedures when they started to feel unwell.

“My thoughts are with the individuals affected and I wish them a speedy and thorough recovery. Now, more than ever, all Nova Scotians must follow public health direction – that’s how we will reduce the spread of this virus in our province,” said Premier Stephen McNeil. “We need to work together to protect our most vulnerable.”

Two individuals are in the Halifax Regional Municipality and one is in Kings County. All three are managing their symptoms at home in self-isolation. Details include:

  1. a female in her 60’s, who returned to Halifax from Australia on March 8.
  2. a male in his late 50’s, who recently attended a conference in California and returned to Halifax on March 13.
  3. a male in his 30’s, who returned to Halifax on March 10 following travel throughout Europe.

Public health has been in contact with these individuals and those who have come in close contact with them are also being directed to self-isolate at home, away from the public, for 14 days.

Additional prevention measures for Nova Scotians are in effect immediately under the authority of the Health Protection Act and include:

  • long-term care facilities closed to visitors effectively immediately
  • public schools closed for two weeks following March Break (weeks of March 23 and March 30) and then will be reassessed
  • regulated child care centres closed March 17 to April 3 and then will be reassessed
  • March break camps cancelled
  • casinos in Halifax and Sydney are closed as of 12 am March 16 and bar owners can no longer operating VLT
  • anyone who travelled outside of Canada must self-isolate even if symptom-free
  • organizations and businesses must practise social distancing of two metres or six feet and keep gatherings below 150 or much smaller if possible. This applies to restaurants, bars, movie theatres and other gathering spots

Starting Monday, March 16, public health inspectors will be onsite at the Halifax International Airport and the J.A. Douglas McCurdy Sydney Airport. Work is ongoing with federal partners responsible for border security to strengthen the screening process. As well, both airports now have information on digital screens in all areas frequented by travellers.

Nova Scotians can find accurate, up-to-date information, handwashing posters and fact sheets at https://novascotia.ca/coronavirus .

Quick Facts:

  • as of March 15, Nova Scotia has completed 418 tests for COVID-19, with 415 negative results and 3 presumptive positive cases. Testing numbers are updated daily at https://novascotia.ca/coronavirus
  • the Government of Canada has issued a travel advisory asking Canadians to avoid non-essential travel outside Canada until further notice.
  • anyone who has travelled outside of Canada or has been in close contact with someone who has and are experiencing fever (above 38C) or cough should complete the online questionnaire to see whether you need to call 811. The online questionnaire can be found at: 811.novascotia.ca
  • Nova Scotia’s Health Protection Act gives the chief medical officer of health the authority to give advice to protect public health and decrease risk to public health presented by communicable diseases such as COVID-19 –the public school system will be investigating virtual schools focused on essential curriculum to ensure Grade 12 students can graduate

Additional Resources:

The Public Health Agency of Canada maintains a list of affected areas: https://www.canada.ca/en/public-health/services/diseases/2019-novel-coronavirus-infection/health-professionals/covid-19-affected-areas-list.html

Government of Canada: https://canada.ca/coronavirus

Government of Canada toll-free information line 1-833-784-4397 Nova Scotia Public Health offices: http://www.nshealth.ca/public-health-offices


Precautions of COVID-19

A message to all Residents and their loved ones re: COVID-19 Precautions

 

RK MacDonald is working closely with Department of Health and Wellness to prevent and prepare for the possibility of cases of COVID-19 in the facility. We are taking our immediate direction from the Nova Scotia Department of Health and Wellness. I write to you today to share some important information that will be enforced for the immediate future.

Effective Immediately, family members, visitors and or clients who have travelled outside of Canada in the last 14 days, are unable to visit the RK MacDonald as they have been exposed to Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19). Anyone who meets this criterion will be prohibited from entering a long term care facility. As part of the response to the spread of COVID-19, it is important that everyone helps protect those most at risk for severe illness, including long-term care residents.

If after 14 days, if you remain symptom free, you are able to return to the facility to visit.

I am asking today for you cooperation in this restriction. This restriction is in place until we receive a new directive from Department of Health and Wellness.

You can further assist by sharing this information widely with your family members and friends throughout the community to ensure that travelers refrain from visiting this facility.

Over the next several weeks, RK MacDonald will be preparing for the possibility of cases of COVID-19 in the facility. We have internal planning and procedures that have been activated.

As more information about the novel virus and directives from Department of Health and Wellness become available, we will post information to the facility website, ensuring there are appropriate links to provincial and federal authorities. The facility’s website is www.rkmacdonald.ca. I would encourage you to check this page frequently.

Please be advised we remain closed to visitors, with the exception to immediate family, due to a stomach flu. Please monitor the website for updates regarding this outbreak as well.

If  you wish to speak to someone at the fcility directly, please call 902-863-2578 ext 233 and your call will be directed to the most approiate person to address you concerns.

Thanks for your cooperation,

Michelle Thompson  CEO

Click here to view the PDF.

For more information visit rkmacdonald.ca/covid-19


Information on COVID-19

If you have travelled outside Canada in the last 14 days, you may have been exposed to novel coronavirus (COVID-19). Please DO NOT enter this facility.

As part of the response to the spread of COVID-19, it is important that everyone helps protect those most at risk for severe illness.

As always, if you are feeling unwell you should not enter this facility. Your cooperation is important and appreciated.

For more information on COVID-19, click here!


Family Caregiver Education Series: Alzheimer’s

Are you providing care and support to a family member or friend who has recently been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease or another dementia?

If so, the Family Caregiver Education Series may be for you.

Alzheimers: Family Caregiver Education Series

When: Six thursday afternoons (130PM – 330PM)

Date: April 16, 23, 30 and May 7, 14, 21, 2020

Where: Antigonish Public Library, 283 Main St, Antigonish

To Register: Call Dominic at 902-867-7683 or by email at dominic.boyd@asns.ca

There is no fee but registration is required.