What’s New

June 1st Update to Visitation Rules

Good Afternoon All:

There have been a few important changes to visitation.

Designated Care Providers:

Effective Wednesday, June 2 at 11:00 am-:

  • DCPs can visit daily between 11:00am and 5:00pm.
  • Both DCPs can now visit together regardless of where they live.
  • DCPs are deemed essential and can visit from anywhere in the province.
  • DCPs continue to be screened as they have been in the past when they come for their visit.

Outdoor visits will resume.

We will resume outdoor visits for residents who are fully vaccinated on Friday, June 4, 2021.

  • Outdoor visits will be hosted in the gazebo on Fridays and Saturdays from 10:30 am-5:00pm.
  • Residents can have 3-5 visitors- friends or family during their visit.
  • Visitors over the age of 2 years must wear a mask.
  • Visitors who are wearing a mask do not need to physically distance from the resident- this means you can give your loved one a hug and sit closer than 6 feet apart while you visit. Your nose and mouth must be covered by your mask during the entire visit.
  • If you remove your mask to communicate with your loved one, then you must remain 6 feet apart.
  • Visitors will be screened at the time of their visit in the gazebo by staff prior to the visit.
  • Do not visit if you have a fever or cough, cold or flu symptoms or if you or someone in your home is required to self-isolate or awaiting a COVID test result.
  • Your visit will be supported by a staff member and we ask that visitors be respectful and follow the rules.

Outdoor visits must be booked by emailing rkmacdonaldnursinghomevisits@gmail.com or by calling 902-870-3458.

Hairdressers

  • Licensed hairdressers can resume services to residents who are fully vaccinated on Wednesday, June 2, 2021. Hairdressers must wear a medical mask.

 

Visitation Update – March 31st, 2021

Dear Family and Friends of RK MacDonald:

Please see the following update regarding our visitation restrictions. You will notice that there is an updated email address and phone number in order to book Indoor visits.

  1. DCPs may visit in the room with the resident on their regularly scheduled days- Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday downstairs and Wednesday, Friday Sunday on second floor. Visitation hours are from 11:00am-5:00pm. DCPs who live in the same home may visit together, otherwise, visitors are unable to visit at the same time. This is unchanged.
  2. There are no restrictions on DCP visits related to geography. If travel restrictions are implemented in the province, we will revisit this.
  3. Family and friends may visit with residents in the Chapel on Tuesdays and Thursdays. These visits must be pre-booked. There can be up to 3 people in each group visiting with a resident in the chapel. Both the resident and visitors must wear masks and remain 6 feet apart. Visits can now be made by phoning 902-870-3458 – and email is rkmacdonaldnursinghomevisits@gmail.com
  4. Residents are able to go for a drive with their DCP. There can be no stops including drive thrus or driveway/parking lot visitations with others. DCPs must wear masks at all times during the outing.

DCP visits:

Ideally DCP visits will occur in residents rooms, or in one of the gardens- weather permitting, however we know that for some residents, meaningful visits require that DCPs walk with Residents in common areas. The necessity of this is to ensure that we can accommodate social distancing between DCPs and residents. DCPs must wear their mask at all times, cannot eat or drink with their loved one, and the bedroom doors must remain open. PLEASE do not visit if you have a new cough or fever, or have any cold symptoms- rather book a COVID test, and reschedule your visit once your COVID test has come back negative and your symptoms have resolved.

Drives:

Please pre-book your drives as before with the staff at the screening desk.

While we are encouraged and hopeful now that many of us are vaccinated, we still have residents, staff and DCPs who are new to the community and not yet vaccinated or have a medical reason that does not allow them to be vaccinated. I understand that the restrictions are wearisome for many, but the cost of letting our guard down is far too high. We must continue to work together as a community and adhere to Public Health measures.

Public Health measures keep us all safe. Please socially distance from other residents and DCPs, keep your nose and mouth under your mask, use your hand sanitizer often and please DO NOT VISIT if you have cold symptoms or have been around somebody waiting for a COVID test/ is symptomatic.

We will be in touch very soon to get the second consent for resident vaccination from the Substitute Decision makers in preparation for the second dose of vaccine. We plan to give the vaccine to residents on April 14, 2021.

DCPs will receive their second dose of vaccine on April 17, 2021. We will be calling soon to book your second appointment.

Michelle Thompson
CEO R.K. MacDonald Nursing Home
64 Pleasant St, Antigonish, NS
B2G 2K9
Phone: 902-863-2578 ext 232

Designated Care Providers Notice – Feb 26 2021

To: RK MacDonald Nursing Home – Designated Care Providers

We all know COVID-19 is never far away and we need to continue to be extra vigilant as we await vaccination for our residents. In response to growing concerns pertaining to the additional COVID-19 related restrictions being  applied to Halifax, Hants and Lunenburg Counties, the RK requests:

  • Those DCP’s and Chapel visitors that have travelled to Halifax, Hants or Lunenburg County within the past 10 days are asked to please get tested and await test results before visiting the Home
  • Those DCP’s that live in Halifax, Hants or Lunenburg Counties are asked to not visit the Home until the present restrictions on those Counties have been lifted by Public Health.
  • Exceptions for compassionate reasons will continue to be addressed on a case by case basis
  • Offsite outings for non-medical/dental reasons are discontinued for two weeks

Updates can be reviewed at: https://novascotia.ca/coronavirus/

 

Christmas Visitiation – Dec. 17th, 2020

Christmas Visitiation – December 17th, 2020

Dear Friends and Family of RK MacDonald,

Yesterday, Dr.Strang made an announcement regarding LTC visitation in Nova Scotia. As he mentioned, each nursing home will implement the new directives according to their resources. We will be implementing the following visitation effective Monday, December 21, 2020:

Designated Care Providers

  • Increase visits to two Designated Care Providers for residents on the assigned days of the week. (Tanglewood, Thistledown and Cobblestone-Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday from 11:00am-5:00pm and Martha’s Inn and MapleRidge/Brambleberry Wednesday, Friday, Sunday from 11:00am-5:00pm)
  •  If both DCPs live in the same home, they may now visit their loved one together.
  • Designated Care Providers must complete the Infection Prevention and Control education prior to visiting their loved ones, if they have not already done so.
  • If the DCP for your loved one has changed, please contact Kim MacDonald at 902-863-2578 ext. 245 or Michelle Cleary at ext. 256
  • Masks must be worn (always covering the nose and mouth) at all times during the visit- no exceptions; family members are not able to eat or drink with residents during the visit
  • Bedroom doors must remain open for entire visit
  • We ask that DCPs socially distance from other residents and visitors during their visit

Indoor Visits

Indoor visits may resume in the Chapel. These appointments must be booked through recreation as before. (kim.macdonald@rkmacdonald.ca or at 863-2578 ext.245)

  • Visitors must wear a medical mask for the duration of the visit- the mask must cover the nose and mouth and cannot be removed to eat or drink
  • A brief hug is allowed at the beginning and the end of each visit.
  • Appointments must be monitored by staff for compliance of Public Health measures
  • Indoor visits are available December 21-23 and December 28-30 over the holiday period. Visits in the new year will begin the first week of January

Offsite visits

There will be no offsite visitation permitted over the holiday season.

Christmas Visitation

Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, DCPS from all care areas may visit between 11:00 am-5:00pm. Ideally, one DCP would visit one day and the other DCP would visit the opposite day, or one DCP can visit both days. While we want to provide opportunity for visits, we also need to be aware of the congestion in the home and number of visitors in addition to staff and resident. We also ask that visitors socially distance.

We will return to the regular DCP visitation schedule on December 26 as noted above.
While the visitation has resumed, we must continue to be vigilant protecting residents and staff from COVID-19. Please do not visit if you have any cold symptoms, been in contact with anyone waiting for a COVID-19 swab or results, or have travelled outside the Atlantic Bubble in the past 14 days.

We are asking that as a regular visitor here, you adhere strictly to the current provincial restrictions over the holiday season.

IN the New year, we will be sharing information with you regarding the Regional Care Unit and our COVID-19 response in the event we have a resident test positive for COVID-19. We will also share details regarding immunization plans as soon as they are available.

Despite the restrictions and reduced gathering sizes, may you enjoy the company of friends and family virtually if you can’t all be together. May the holiday season bring you hope and here’s to a healthy and COVID-19 immune 2021.

 

Updated Visitation Restrictions – Dec. 2nd, 2020

Yesterday Dr Strang announced that Designated Care Providers (DCPs) will be reduced to one (1) person in LTC facilities from two (2). Effective tomorrow, December 3, 2020 DCP visits will only be allowed for one (1) person. This person must be identified by either the resident or Substitute Decision Maker (SDM). The SDM should call 902- 870-3458 between 9:ooam and 5:oopm to provide the name of the DCP allowed to visit.

The restriction is in place to reduce the number of potential exposures in the facility and therefore will not be changed on a regular basis.

The DCP is also the only person who can take the resident out for drives. The rules for drives are unchanged.

In addition, Dr Strang made it very clear, that travel into and out of the restricted areas of HRM should be reduced to essential travel only. This was defined as necessary travel for work, school/education or medical appointments. Given that definition, visits will be restricted to compassionate visits only for family members living in the affected areas of the Halifax Regional Municipality. Residents loved ones should be pre-screened prior to travelling to ensure they are able to visit the Home.

Thank you,

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

Visitation Rules – Nov. 25th, 2020

November 25th, 2020 Update:

Dear Friends and Family of RK MacDonald:

Public Health has confirmed we are into the second wave of COVID-19 in Nova Scotia. As predicted by other parts of the country and the world, the virus numbers increased quickly. Public Health has introduced new restrictions and guidelines for the province as well as LTC facilities. We are asking for your cooperation to protect residents and staff from COVD-19. The more diligent we are now, the greater the likelihood that we can prevent further restrictions before the holidays.

  1. All indoor visits will stop effective midnight tonight.
  2. Designated Care Providers are still able to visit, however we are asking that DCP’s who are from within the restricted areas in Halifax refrain from visiting until December 9, 2020- we will re-evaluate at that time.
  3. If you are a DCP from Halifax, we expect that you will adhere to the restrictions as per your region should you continue to visit.
  4. We are asking DCPs to limit offsite drives with residents until December 9, 2020. We will re-evaluate at that time.
  5. We ask all DCP to consider their degree of risk before coming to the Home. As always, we are able to answer questions and have a conversation with you regarding your risk if you would like to speak to someone directly. Please call us at 902-863-2578 ext 233 and Cathy or
  6. Jennifer will direct your call to the appropriate person.
  7. Please notify us prior to your visit if you have been at one of the exposure sites listed in the daily advisories from Public Health.

When you visit the facility:

  • Non-medical masks are required on the property as we are a public place; this is part of the Public Health order. DO NOT come to the door of the Home unmasked.
  • Your nose and mouth must remain under your mask at all times. Do not pull your mask down to speak to others.
  • Brief hugs are allowed if visitors are wearing a medical mask. Any resident exposures to visitors not wearing masks must be reported to Public Health and may result in a resident being isolated and the visitor be swabbed for COVID-19.
  • Bedroom doors are to remain open during visits.
  • Visitors are not permitted to eat, drink or smoke with the residents during the visits.
  • While most residents are able to enjoy visits with family in their rooms, other residents may require that their family member visit with them as they walk outside of their room. We ask for visitors’ patience and understanding if alternative visits are required for some residents.
  • Wash your hands, socially distance form staff and residents wherever possible, wear your mask, practice good cough and sneeze etiquette, keep gathering limits to 10 people.
  • PLEASE DO NOT VISIT if you are feeling unwell. Do not visit if you have a fever or a new or worsening cough or two of the following symptoms- sore throat, runny nose, headache, shortness of breath

Car Rides – as noted above, we are asking that DCPs consider suspending drives with residents until December 9, 2020. In the event that a resident goes off site in a car for an appointment or drive the following must be followed:

  • Absolutely no home visits and no stops (including drive thru visits) during the outings.
  • Only the designated care provider can take the resident for a drive.
  • No one else can be in the car with the DCP and the resident- including meeting other family members and friends for a quick visit.
  • The DCP must wear a mask during the drive. A medical mask will be provided for your outing.
  • The DCP must come in for screening prior to the drive.

As Dr. Strang has said on many occasions in other contexts, please “stop looking for loopholes” when you visit or take your loved one out. The “rules” are in place to ensure residents and staff are safe and that residents and families can continue to visit. We have added front door screeners and housekeeping staff, but each person has a responsibility to follow the rules. We know the devastating effects of COVID 19 in Long Term Care facilities and these rules are in place to prevent the virus from entering the Home.

We are very hopeful that this recent increase in cases will resolve quickly and we will be able to reopen as a province and enjoy the Atlantic Bubble once again.

I also want to reassure you that we are reviewing plans and protocols, meeting daily as a staff and following guidelines to prepare our facility in the event that we do have COVID exposures or positive COVID cases. We are committed to doing our utmost to prevent and control an outbreak in our facility.

Click here to read the full guidelines.

Sincerely,
Michelle Thompson CEO

New Visitation Changes – November 20, 2020

Dr. Strang made some changes to LTC restrictions today during the press conference at 1:30pm. A full directive will be received by facilities early next week, however effective Monday, November 23, 2020 the new restrictions will be implemented. Please see an excerpt from the provincial communication we received today:

Based on the latest available scientific evidence and expert opinion about COVID-19, the following changes will be implemented effective November 23, 2020.

  • Off site visits with family will be suspended province wide.
  • On site gatherings in Central Zone will be reduced to up to 5 people (including residents and staff) will be permitted.

All other previous changes will continue:

  • Indoor and outdoor visits will continue in LTC facilities.
  • LTC facilities permitted to use buses to take up to 10 people for “sightseeing” drives.
  • Designated caregivers will be able to continue to visit their loved ones and may also be Designated Drivers for the purpose of taking a resident out of the facility for a “sightseeing drive”, but no stops allowed. Masks must be worn by the DCP.
  • Any off-site medical appointments will continue, as will sightseeing trips on buses.
  • Zones outside of Central will continue to have on site gatherings for up to 10 people (including residents and staff)

Please note that additional guidelines and directives will be updated and released next week.

As the numbers rise in the province, our diligence is necessary to keep LTC residents safe and the facilities open to visitors. The Public Health measures are essential for all of us. The restrictions noted above are mandatory. Any residents taken off site and who leave the car, have people other than their DCP in the vehicle or if the DCP is not wearing a mask, will have their sightseeing drives suspended until such time that the DCP can develop a code of conduct with administration.

As we receive more information next week, we will share it with you.

Thank you in advance for your cooperation.

Sincerely,
Michelle Thompson CEO

New Visitation Changes-November 20, 2020

Dr. Strang made some changes to LTC restrictions today during the press conference at 1:30pm. A full directive will be received by facilities early next week, however effective Monday, November 23, 2020 the new restrictions will be implemented. Please see an excerpt from the provincial communication we received today:

Based on the latest available scientific evidence and expert opinion about COVID-19, the following changes will be implemented effective November 23, 2020.

  • Off site visits with family will be suspended province wide.
  • On site gatherings in Central Zone will be reduced to up to 5 people (including residents and staff) will be permitted.

All other previous changes will continue:

  • Indoor and outdoor visits will continue in LTC facilities.
  • LTC facilities permitted to use buses to take up to 10 people for “sightseeing” drives.
  • Designated caregivers will be able to continue to visit their loved ones and may also be Designated Drivers for the purpose of taking a resident out of the facility for a “sightseeing drive”, but no stops allowed. Masks must be worn by the DCP.
  • Any off-site medical appointments will continue, as will sightseeing trips on buses.
  • Zones outside of Central will continue to have on site gatherings for up to 10 people (including residents and staff)

Please note that additional guidelines and directives will be updated and released next week.

As the numbers rise in the province, our diligence is necessary to keep LTC residents safe and the facilities open to visitors. The Public Health measures are essential for all of us. The restrictions noted above are mandatory. Any residents taken off site and who leave the car, have people other than their DCP in the vehicle or if the DCP is not wearing a mask, will have their sightseeing drives suspended until such time that the DCP can develop a code of conduct with administration.

As we receive more information next week, we will share it with you.

Thank you in advance for your cooperation.

Sincerely,
Michelle Thompson CEO

Update on Family Visitation Rules

November 10th, 2020

Dear Residents, Friends and Family Members of R.K. MacDonald

As we continue to learn to live with COVID-19, I am reaching out today to remind everyone in the R.K. Community that we need to practice Public Health measures and follow visitation rules strictly.

For many of us, COVID-19 may just be a mild illness if we contract it, but we know from the experience in our province, the country and the world that COVID-19 has significant impacts in Long Term Care.

As a facility, we continue to follow all infection prevention and control practices, we have hired additional staff to screen visitors, assist with visits and we have also increased cleaning throughout the Home. These are all important steps, but these steps prevent the spread of illness. Our main goal is to keep COVID-19 out of the facility altogether. Given the recent spike in cases in Nova Scotia, we must work together to ensure the risk of exposure is minimal to residents and staff.

We are asking families to strictly abide by the visitation rules:

  • A non-medical mask must be worn to the door of RK MacDonald. Once inside, a medical mask will be provided for your visit.
  • Please wear a non-medical mask on RK grounds even if you are simply dropping something off at the door.
  • Good hand hygiene is essential.
  • Please answer all screening questions truthfully. If you are feeling poorly in any way, please reschedule your visit.
  •  If you have been in contact with anyone outside the Atlantic Bubble within the last 14 days, please call the Home for advice before you visit. This includes rotational and essential workers.
  • If you have someone in your home who has traveled from outside the Atlantic Bubble, you and your family must self-isolate for 14 days with that person.

Offsite visits

Offsite visits are of particular concern for us from an exposure perspective. We are watching the cluster of cases in Halifax very carefully and working closely with Public Health as well as discussing the situation with other Long Term Care administrators.

The following rules must be strictly adhered to:

  • All people who accompany the resident in the car should come to the facility for COVID-19 screening.
  • All people in the car must wear a non-medical mask while in the car. Residents can wear a mask but it is not mandatory
  • While in your home, you must not have more than 10 people (including the resident).
  • As above, if you have someone in your Home who is from outside the Atlantic Bubble, you must self-isolate and the resident cannot visit in your home.
  • If you have someone in your home who has travelled outside the Atlantic Bubble as an essential or rotational worker, please discus with the screening staff at RK MacDonald.
  • If you or anyone else involved in the visit has any cold symptoms, please reschedule the visit.
  • During your visit, we ask that you socially distance as much as possible, when this is not possible, we ask that you wear a mask.

The Public Health measures and the visitation rules and restrictions are enforced by staff, but they are not created by staff. We have seen an increased level of sarcasm and incivility towards staff by some visitors related to the visitation rules and restrictions. We have also had to speak to a number of visitors about following the visitation rules specifically related to the proper wearing of masks and visiting with other residents throughout the Home. In addition, we have been made aware that some offsite visitation rules have not been followed. Any visitors who are rude or unkind to staff or repeatedly not following the visitation rules will have their visits suspended until such time that these folks can work with Administration to agree on a code of conduct while on the premises or during offsite visits.

We are all trying to navigate these difficult times and we need to continue to work as a community to protect residents and staff from COVID-19. There is no vaccine to prevent COVID-19 and there is no treatment for the virus if it is contracted. We cannot underestimate this virus in our community and the impact it could have at R.K. MacDonald.

I understand that COVID-19 has been incredibly difficult for everyone- residents, families, staff, our community. I also understand many of us are tired of COVID-19 but as the physicians from the World Health Organization have said, the COVID-19 virus is not tired; “the only goal of a virus, is to infect people to make more virus.” COVID-19 is far from behind us.

What we do as individuals matters. We are counting on each other to follow the rules, take the Public Health measures seriously and follow the visitation rules strictly.

If you have any questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to call me at 902-863-2578 ext 232 or email me at michelle.thompson@rkmacdonald.ca

Sincerely,
Michelle Thompson
CEO

Guidelines – Off Site Visits with Family

Dear Friends and Family Members of RK MacDonald Nursing Home:

As you know, residents are now able to go offsite and spend time in family homes.
While cases are minimal in Nova Scotia and for some, it feels restrictions remain strict, it is imperative that we all continue to adhere to the Public Health measures. As a community, we are depending on each of you and your families to keep R.K. MacDonald residents and staff safe. We all have to trust one another to follow the same rules and be diligent in adhering to Public Health measures: washing hands frequently, wearing a non- medical mask when social distancing is not possible, staying 6 feet apart from others whenever possible (social distancing), good cough etiquette, cleaning high touch surfaces, not touching your face with unwashed hands. We all have the ability to keep our loved ones and ourselves safe.

The new outings/visits will take effect Thursday, October 1, 2020 at RK MacDonald. There are a few things family must do prior to taking their loved one out.

Click here to read the full post!

Full Guidelines can be found here.