Family Visitation

January 14th, 2022 Update:


Please note that due to the prevalence of COVID-19 in our local community and provincially, the Home remains closed to all visitation, including Designated Care Givers. For families with a loved one receiving palliative care, compassion visits are readily available with a limit of ten (10) family members.

The home is updating our risk assessment pertaining to visitation and reopening to visitation will be reassessed on Jan. 31, 2022.

Thank you for your ongoing support during these very challenging times.

Terry MacIntyre CEO

November 20th Update:

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.

Michelle Thompson CEO

Guidelines for Resident Visits with Family in their Homes for Long Term Care Facilities in Nova Scotia

September 28, 2020

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:

  • Your outing must be pre-booked with staff. We ask that you book the date and time of pick up and approximate time of return at least two (2) days in advance. This allows staff to ensure the resident is prepared for the outing-including taking any accompanying medications and/or supplies on the outing.
  • Staff cannot assist residents in and out of cars. This means that only those residents who can transfer independently or with minimal assistance from family can travel in private cars. Those folks with higher mobility needs (two person assist or who require a mechanical lift) are at a very high risk of falling and/or injury if transferred into a car and it places the people who are transferring the residents at high risk of injury. Options for residents with limited mobility include Antigonish Transit (902-867-0411).
  • The documentation from the Department of Health and Wellness indicates that anyone in the car with the resident must wear a non-medical mask. Residents will be provided with a medical mask, however wearing this is encouraged but not mandatory.
  • We ask that there are limited number of people in the vehicle during transportation.
  • The vehicle must have high touch surfaces disinfected prior to the resident travelling in the vehicle. Please see the tip sheet regarding how best to do this. Please be advised some cleaners can damage car interiors therefore it is important to pay special attention to the disinfectants you choose.
  • The driver and vehicle occupants must be screened prior the planned outing.
  • While out, family members must wear a non-medical mask any time they are within 6 feet of the resident, practice good hand hygiene and cough etiquette, ensure high touch surfaces are wiped in advance of the visit, and that gathering sizes be strictly adhered to(less than 10 people including the resident).
  • Anyone who has travelled outside the Atlantic bubble in the 14 days prior to the resident’s visit, including those who have had work related travel, must not come in contact with the resident. Residents in contact with people from outside the Atlantic Bubble may be placed on isolation for 14 days; this will be done in collaboration with Public Health.
  • Please cancel your visit/outing if you are experiencing any cold or flu symptoms.

How do I book an appointment?

If you would like to take our loved one out, please call 902-870-3458 between 10:00 am and 6:00pm daily. This line is staffed daily; however, the person answering the calls is also supporting Designated Care Providers and running errands to the care areas. If no one answers, please leave a message and someone will return the call. Your name, number date and time of visit will be taken. Either the ward clerk or the RN/LPN will return your call within 24 hours to discuss and/or confirm your outing.

It is encouraged to book your visit well in advance to allow the logistics to be taken care of. If you require alternative transportation using community transit options, please reach out to them first to learn more about their availability and cost of transfer prior to calling the facility.

Are residents able to go to public places?

Not at this time. If you and your loved one go for a drive, we ask that residents do not visit public places such as restaurants, stores, etc. At this time visits are only in private homes where gathering limits are strictly observed.

Full list of guidelines are available here.


Visitation Overview for Residents, Family Members and Staff – 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 see the attached overview of visitation options:

Outdoor Visits

Gazebo and Fence Visits:

  • All visits Scheduled through Recreation.
  • Up to five (5) visitors can attend the visits.
  • A brief hug or handshake at the beginning and end of the visits is allowed, however the visitor must be wearing a mask
  • Residents and visitors must maintain physical distance of six (6) feet during the visits
  • During the visits, neither the visitor or resident require a mask as long as physical distancing is maintained.
  • The visit must be monitored by a staff member.

Indoor Visits:

  • All visits scheduled through Recreation.
  • The Resident or Substitute Decision Maker can identify three (3) people who can visit the resident indoors.
  • These visits will not happen in the care area.
  • Only one visitor is permitted per visit.
  • A brief hug or handshake at the beginning and end of the visits is allowed, however the visitor must be wearing a mask
  • Both the Resident and Visitor must wear a medical mask for the duration of the indoor visit.
  • If the Indoor visitor is also the designated care provider, the resident will not be required to wear a mask during the Indoor visit.
  • Physical distancing of six (6) feet must be maintained for the duration of the visit.
  • The visit must be monitored by a staff member.

Designated Care Providers:

  • Residents or the Substitute Decision Maker (SDM) can identify two (2) Designated Care Providers (DCP) to visit in the resident’s room.
  • At this time, the role of the DCP is to provide social and emotional support, assist with mealtimes if you’d like to, spend time outside, etc. We do not expect DCP’s to provide personal care at this time unless this is something the DCP wishes to do or has done in the past.
  • Only one (1) DCP may visit at a time. There are currently no exceptions to this rule.
  • The Designated Care Provider (DCP) must have infection prevention and control education prior to the initial visit (provided by RK MacDonald)
  • The DCP must wear a medical mask properly for the entire visit-both inside and outside the facility.
  • Due to the volume of visitors, care areas will have designated visitation days.
  • Visiting hours will be from 11:00 am to 5:00pm.
  • The DCP can spend time in the resident’s room or can enjoy the Garden area on College Street (entrance directly across from Thistledown Cottage). As per the directive, we ask that DCP and residents limit their movement around the facility.
  • There may be circumstances in which staying in a room is not possible for some residents. Staff will work with the DCP to support a meaningful visit in the best way possible.
  • DCP and residents are not able to visit other care areas or other residents, however are able to travel through a different care area when going to and from the Garden.
  • DCP are welcome to visit at any time during visiting hours-no appointment is required, however we do ask that the DCP plan for one visit per session rather than coming in and out several times per day.
  • DCP’s must maintain physical distance from all other residents.

Visitation Schedule

Because Tanglewood and Maple Ridge have semi-private rooms, we will be offering two separate visitation days to support physical distancing. Please look carefully at the visitation days to ensure you are attending on the scheduled day. If you are unsure about which day you should visit, please call 902-870-3458.

  • Monday: Martha’s Inn. All rooms
  • Tuesday: Tanglewood. Visits for all residents in semi-private rooms whose bed is by the window and for private rooms from 127-132.
  • Wednesday: Tanglewood. Visits for all residents in semi-private rooms whose bed is by the door and for private rooms from 133-137. 
  • Thursday: Maple Ridge/Brambleberry: Visits for those residents in semi-private rooms whose bed is by the window and for private rooms from 201-215.
  • Friday: MapleRidge/Brambleberry for those residents who are in a semi-private room and whose bed is by the door and for private rooms 216-236.
  • Saturday: Thistledown and Cobblestone Cottages. All rooms.

Residents and the DCP are welcome to enjoy the garden on College Street-access is across from Thistledown Cottage entrance. Signage will assist Residents and DCPs finding their way to and from the Garden.

We ask for your patience as we begin this new visitation process. There are a number of regulations that must be met. As with anything new, we will all get better at it as the days go by and if we are able, we will do what we can to increase visitation based on our available resources.

Infection Prevention and Control Education

For those of you that have provided an email address, Infection Prevention and Control educational material will be sent to you via email on Friday, September 18, 2020. This must be reviewed prior to your first visit. On the day of your first visit, we will discuss this education with you and answer any questions you may have.

For those of you who do not have email or would prefer “in person” education sessions, we will be offering in person education every day next week. We can only host 9 people at any given time.

Education sessions will take place at 1000, 1200 and 3:00pm Monday- Saturday next week. We will also host two evening sessions- Monday and Tuesday evening at 6:30pm if necessary. You must pre-register for the sessions to ensure we do not exceed groups of nine (9). Please pre-register by calling 902-870-3458 between the hours of 9:00am and 6:00pm daily.

Click on the image above to view the Visitation Brochure

Thank you for your continued patience as we implement these new changes.

Thank you.
Michelle Thompson CEO