What’s New

Visitation Overview – September 17th, 2020

Please see the following information about the visitation that begins next week.

Prior to all visits, visitors must be screened using the provincial screening tool. This screening is a mandatory requirement from the Department of Health and Wellness & Public Health.

It is imperative that all visitors stay away from the RK MacDonald with the slightest cold or flu-like symptoms in order to support the safety of all.

Please click here to view the whole document.

Visitation Rules – Sept. 9th, 2020

Dear Family and Friends of RK MacDonald Nursing Home:

As you are aware, another announcement was made Tuesday regarding visitation in Long Term Care facilities in Nova Scotia.

We received the confirmation of these changes and accompanying regulations mid-afternoon on Friday, September 4, 2020.

We are in the process of organizing our resources to ensure that we follow the regulations as mandated to each facility. This will include reaching out to Residents and Substitute Decision Makers to identify designated care providers by the end of the week.

We are also in the process of developing a required education/training program for visitors as well as working through the directive details to ensure we have resources to pre-screen all visitors by phone prior to their visit. We are in the process of developing and ordering the necessary signage, developing the required education/training program and ensuring we have adequate hand washing/ hand sanitizing supplies and procedural masks for everyone.

Given the volume of people and the requirements to pre-screen and the cleaning that is mandated after the visit, we will begin with designated visitation times in care areas and for larger care areas, visitation for designated bed and room numbers as we need to take into account the double occupancy of many rooms as well as the requirement for physical distancing. This means that our capacity to support these visits will most likely translate to a weekly visit for one designated care provider in addition to the indoor/outdoor/virtual visits that are already occurring.

At this time, we are asking designated care providers to support their loved one’s well being by participating with preferred activities during visiting hours.

We will not be able to start visitation on Friday, September 11 as announced but are working diligently to get the necessary requirements and resources in place to support visitation as soon as possible. We know you are anxious to be with your loved ones and we are looking forward to having you back as well. We cannot permit visitation however, until all criteria in the directive are met and we determine how best to use our existing resources to support these enhanced visits.

We will continue with the visits-indoor, outdoor and virtual- booking through the Recreation Department.

We will have more information soon about how we can support the designated care provider and the role within the Home.

In the coming days, either the Resident or the Substitute Decision Maker will be contacted to identify two potential designated care providers. Emails and phone numbers will be collected for these individuals.

While the announcement is exciting, there are many logistics and considerations that must be met by the facility. We have included the document on the website for you to read if you would like.

Thank you for your continued patience.
Michelle Thompson

CCA (Continuing Care Assistant) Career

INTERESTED IN A CAREER AS A CCA (Continuing Care Assistant)?

Check us out!

We have immediately vacancies for this valuable role.

The Home is a rich and vibrant community that recognizes and appreciates the uniqueness of every person who lives and works here.  This uniqueness of spirit and character drives the life plan for our residents.  We strive to provide the best possible care and services to our clients and as a result, we are looking for people who genuinely care.

We are looking for candidates to fill vacancies who:

  • Have an interest in being a caregiver in a Health Care Environment
  • Is kind, caring and compassionate
  • Value’s align with the Core Values of the R.K. MacDonald Nursing Home (C.A.R.E.S.)
  • Always wanted to become a Continuing Care Assistant
  • Is interested in working as part of a friendly, supportive and skilled team specifically in a Long Term Care setting
  • Worked in other careers or in the Home and looking for a rewarding Career Change
  • Is a PCW (PSW,HSW) currently working to have your credentials and skills recognized and want to be employed while working towards certification as a Continuing Care Assistant (CCA)
  • Do not hold a CCA certificate, but have been working in the role of a Personal Care Worker; Home Support Worker’; Long Term Care Assistant and other classifications
  • Are a graduate from a related Health and Human Services program such as : Social and Community Support; Social Services; Community Residential Worker; Human Services Worker; and are interested in obtaining your certification as a Continuing Care Assistant.

We can offer you:

  • Provide and invest in in-house education, employment opportunity, clinical mentorship, and assistance to collaborated with the PLAR (Prior Learning Assessment Recognition) Program at Health Association Nova Scotia (HANS) with support of DHW to support candidates to becoming Continuing Care Assistants – (Train and Work)
  • Comprehensive Benefit package including Pension contributions (NSHEPP), Vacation, Holiday, Sick benefits (upon completion of 528-hrs. probation period. Health Benefits: Health, Dental, Travel, life and Corporate rate to Good life Fitness.

If this sounds like you:

You can express your interest by submitting your cover letter and resume outlining your desire to become a CCA online at jobs@rkmacdonald.ca to the attention of the Human Resource Coordinator, R.K. MacDonald Nursing Home, 64 Pleasant Street, Antigonish NS. B2G 1W7

Update to Familys about New Visitation Rules

Dear Family and Friends of R.K. MacDonald:

Yesterday Dr. Strang and Premier MacNeil announced some changes to visitation in LTC facilities. We will be implementing the changes over the course of the next week. Many people have their visits booked next week and we will carry on with those visits as planned. If after reading the new guidelines you wish to consider an indoor visit, please reach out to Recreation. We will be hosting these visits in a designated area within the Home which we are setting up over the next couple of business day.

You will now be able to greet your loved one and say goodbye to your loved one with a brief hug or handshake providing you perform hand hygiene before and ensure you are wearing a mask. If hand hygiene is not performed or the mask is removed during the contact, the facility must reach out to Public Health for advice and direction related to potential isolation requirements, COVID testing requirements etc.

The new rules are as follows:

On-site visits are intended to support the emotional well-being of residents and are limited to the following restrictions:

  • One (1) identified family/social visitor, per resident, per visit for indoor visitation.
  • Up to five (5) visitors, per resident, per visit for outdoor visitation.

The following is an excerpt from the document “Guidelines for Visits, Hair Salons and Social Activities” we received yesterday after the announcement from Public Health and the Department of Health and Wellness. A copy of the full document is available on the website.

The approach for visitation (indoor and outdoor) are as followed :

  • Visits will be scheduled in advance between the visitor and facility. The number of visitors allowed within the facility will be guided by the level of risk for COVID-19 in the facility and Province, and will be limited to effectively support physical distancing practice while supporting meaningful social connection with the resident.
  • Staff must receive visitors in the designated waiting area upon arrival and accompany them to the designated visit area either on the grounds of or within the facility. Visitors should be received at the door or entrance to prevent the introduction of COVID-19 into the facility, if possible.
  • Staff must screen all visitors for signs and symptoms of COVID-19 using the pre-screening tool (Appendix D). Visitors with signs or symptoms of COVID-19, as well as those in self-isolation or quarantine as required by Nova Scotia Health Protection Act Order, will not be permitted to visit.
  • Staff must instruct visitors to perform hand hygiene, practice respiratory etiquette, abide by physical distancing, and wear a mask during their visit. For outdoor visits only, once a visitor and resident are at the outdoor visiting area, if physical distancing can be maintained, the visitor’s and/or the resident’s mask may be safely removed, if the mask is negatively impacting communication. However, due to a number of factors dependent on individual facilities, staff, visitors and residents, the safety of this must be determined at the facility level. This can be done on a visit by visit basis, or through a facility-specific protocol on mask removal.
  • Staff must sign in and sign out all visitors using the facility’s established visitation log.
  •  Staff must direct visitors to the designated visitation space, check in periodically to ensure that restrictions are followed, and will accompany visitors in their exit from the facility immediately after their visit.
  • Staff must assist the resident with proper hand hygiene before and after each visitation.
  • Any furniture and surfaces used in visitation areas will be cleaned and disinfected as per NSHA Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19): Infection Prevention & Control for Long-Term Care Settings at the end of each visit. Time should be scheduled between visits to allow for cleaning and disinfecting and supporting in the movement of residents to and from the visiting areas.

It is important that facilities are able to provide safe oversight for visitation, which includes the provision of adequate staffing to provide visitor pre-screening at time of booking and screening upon arrival to facility, education on necessary Infection Prevention and Control procedures, monitoring of visitation, and sanitization of visiting spaces.

If families choose an Indoor visit- both the resident and the family member must wear medical grade masks and remain 6 feet apart for the duration of the visit. One will be provided for you.

If the visit is conducted outside, the resident and visitor may remove their masks providing physical distancing is maintained.

The full guidelines are posted on the website for people to read and review. I would encourage families to review these guidelines.

You will continue to book visits through the Recreation Department, as you are already doing and you can indicate if you would like to have an Indoor or outdoor visit based on the guidelines noted above. Indoor, outdoor, fence and virtual visits remain available.

Thank you for your continued cooperation as we work to uphold and implemented the guidelines outlined by Department of health and Wellness and Public Health.

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

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

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

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