What’s New

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

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.


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.

Palliative Care Front-Line Education Course by NSCC

NSCC is offering a Palliative Care Front-Line Education Course

Where: RK MacDonald Nursing Home, Second Floor Board Room, Antigonish

When: March 3rd to April 2nd
Tuesday & Thursday from 6PM to 8:30PM

Cost: $175.00 (Includes textbooks)

Contact: Business Office to register – Call 902-752-2002

Competition #:420-01-01-31- 20    Permanent Full-Time  Licensed Practical Nurse

Competition #:420-01-01-31- 20           Job Title:         Licensed Practical Nurse

  Dept.:       Nursing                             Start Date:      Immediately

Posted Date: January 31, 2020         Close Date:    February 7, 2020

Reg/Temp: Permanent                        Full/Part:        Full-time

(subject to change)

Union:   UNIFOR

Applications are accepted until 4:00 PM on the Closing Date

Opening Statement

The R.K. MacDonald Nursing Home is a Long Term Care Home to 137 Residents and employs approx. 267 staff in various Departments.

LPN Skills & Abilities Required: refer to LPN (Job) Description on website www.rkmacdonald.ca

Qualifications required – LPN at an accredited School/College of nursing.  Current license with the CLPNS (College of License Practical Nurses of NS).  Minimum of 1-year experience with Medication Administration.  Recent experience in geriatric setting preferred.  Recent experience as Team Lead or Supervisor of CCA staff/equivalent preferred.  Current CPR certification required with annual updates and annual WHMIS required.  Regular and consistent attendance is essential.

Hours of Work (Subject to change)

DDNN rotational weeks and weekends (rotations using a Smooth bank)

12 hour shifts (7am – 7 pm or & 7 pm -7am)

Salary: 23.5933 – 25.3387 (as per Union Contract Scale based on experience)

Benefits/Pension Information

Comprehensive Benefits

Pension –Yes

Vacation, holiday – Yes

Sick benefits- yes following probation period (528 for LPN)

Health Benefits – Yes

Gym Membership – Corporate Rate available

 Closing Statement Thank you for your interest in this position. Only those Applicants selected for an interview will be contacted. Typically, interviews are held within two weeks of closing date.  These are UNIFOR bargaining unit positions. Preference is given to bargaining unit employees for unionized positions. The R.K. MacDonald Nursing Home is proud to provide a smoke free and scent free environment. The R.K. MacDonald Nursing Home is committed to being a workforce that is free of discrimination, values diversity, and is representative, in all job positions, of the residents we serve. Internal applicants to apply by using the Internal Application Form, External Applicants to submit cover letter and resume to: Jacqueline Delorey HR 902-863-2578 Ext.292 Fax: 902-863-4437 or email: jobs@rkmacdonald.ca    

Disclaimer: Please refer to nursing home website for complete job posting www.rkmacdonald.ca 

Strategic Planning Update

The Rk MacDonald is proud to release the annual update to our Strategic Plan for 2019/2020.

These directions were created through a community process and capture the voices of residents, families, staff, Board members, volunteers and other community partners. We were excited to embark on this consultation process and the end result is a reflection of both our past and our collective vision for the future.

Dementia: Challenges & Rewards

Families, Friends, & Anyone Interested, please join Dominic Boyd—Education Co-ordinator from the Nova Scotia Alzheimer Society on Saturday, November 09th, 2019 at 3:30PM – 4:30PM. This education session will be held at the Rhubarb Patch.RK MacDonald - Alzheimer Society