What’s New

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

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

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