COVID-19 UPDATES

COVID-19 Update #10

Letter From Our General Manager

May 21, 2020

 

Dear Residents, Families, Friends, Staff:

 

As we near completion of our 7th week of our shelter in place policy, I am presented with many inquiries wondering WHEN this will end. The flood of information on COVID-19 presented from governing agencies, the news and newspapers, social media, and every other form of media you could possibly think of is so hard to keep up with. To complicate even further, not all sources are reliable and accurate leaving us susceptible to false and misleading information. We are all seeking answers to questions like, “why does social distancing work?” and “when will this all be over?”. There really are no concrete answers yet making it utterly impossible to put a date on when the outbreak will end.

 

One thing we do know for sure is exactly how deadly the virus is. It is a new virus that has not infected people before, so no one has immunity to it. That means everyone is susceptible to infection and everyone is a potential mode of transmission of the virus to others. It spreads rapidly and widely. As the virus spreads so easily, and without social distancing to slow the rate of infection, our health care systems will be overwhelmed. Everyone is at risk; however, scientists and public health officials worry about people in high-risk groups — seniors living in a communal environment, seniors with underlying health conditions,— who appear more likely to develop severe cases of the disease. And this is serious.

 

If I may, I will draw your attention to the recent COVID-19 outbreak at a retirement home in Hamilton last weekend. The disease affected the whole home and ripped through with 83 residents and staff combined all testing positive. This is a real example of how COVID-19 can and will impact a home if we dare look the other way.

 

I truly understand the impact of our shelter in place and the affect it has on everyone at Heritage Place. We have programs in place to keep you as active and engaged as possible under these trying circumstances of the pandemic. I encourage each of you to take every opportunity possible to join in. We also understand how difficult it is to adhere to the restrictions in place. I ask you to consider that without the policy guidelines, our programs will not run smoothly, safely, or securely. It is therefore imperative that we all play by, and acknowledge, the processes in place. There is an expectation that you respect each other and comply with the policy and directives in place as they stand today. It saddens me to have to endure a difficult lifestyle caused by the devastating consequences of COVID-19, but we must understand the “why’s” of the changes. We must remain united and strong to get through this and come out on the other side…HEALTHY. Together, we hold each other’s lives in our hands.

 

I wish to assure you that we continue to review and take this crisis very seriously as we also continue to consider your health and well being daily. Please be advised, plans for retirement home testing are in the very near future. We will soon be notified by the Ministry of Health as to when this will happen at Heritage Place and further information will come your way on the details as soon as we are informed of the process.

 

In response to the many, many thank you notes received by many residents, I too want to thank you for your role in assisting us as we endeavour to maintain your health and safety within our home. I commend you for taking this crisis seriously and take my hat off to you for your understanding and cooperation. We are the best! We are COVID-19 free because of you and all our efforts.

 

 

With hope towards a healthier future,

Melody Lane

Innovative Recreation Programming during COVID-19 Pandemic

May 23rd - May 29th

FUN FRIDAY!

We had a great friday! The weather was really nice. More staff participated!

Innovative Recreation Programming during COVID-19 Pandemic

May 16th - May 22nd
COVID-19 Update #9

Letter From Our General Manager

May 12, 2020

 

Dear Residents, Families, Friends, Staff:

 

I am sure we are all thinking about what we are going to do when this lockdown is over, whenever it may be.  I have been thinking about it too and those who know me will know that I’ll be headed to a warm, sunny beach in the Caribbean.  Looking forward to feeling my feet in the sand is what keeps me going and I encourage you to look for the light at the end of the tunnel.  Find what you can look forward to and it will help you to get through this crisis.

 

We are ALL struggling with our individual stress responses — and it’s hard.  It’s hard for frontline workers. It’s hard for managers.  It’s hard for leaders who are responsible for not only the business but also the people at the heart of the business.  At Heritage Place, the impact on our residents is prioritized as we focus on our day-to-day activities.  It feels like a roller coaster as we adjust our strategies in the wake of cancelled events, wrestle with supply-chain challenges and face additional unexpected consequences.  We look to add the most value under these circumstances; whilst also maintaining a sense of cohesiveness between us.  And this is where we need your help.  We know it’s hard for you too and the outbreak of COVID-19 has many of us feeling powerless and overwhelmed.  As the days get longer and the weather gets nicer, it will grow more and more difficult to adhere to our ‘shelter in place’ efforts and as life is anything but “typical” these days, know that we are constantly thinking of ways to take care of you in the face of uncertainty.  A site inspection from Halton Public Health earlier this week commended Heritage Place on the success of the initiatives in place.  At this time, we will continue with our shelter in place policy.

 

Our city is trying to help with feelings of isolation and loneliness.  On May 1, the City of Burlington launched TelePALS, a free phone service designed to help adults stay connected as everyone practices physical distancing to help flatten the curve of COVID-19. Through TelePALS, residents can participate in free, over-the-phone programs, including:
 

  • Chat Groups: Join a host-led discussion focused on topics like books, music, hobbies and more

  • Listen and Learn: Listen to interesting topics for part of the program and participate in follow-up discussions

  • Game Shows: Join in the fun of team competitions like trivia and mystery guessing games

  • Ask the Expert: Call in to ask questions to guest subject experts

  • Listen for Enjoyment: Call in and put your phone on speaker to listen to music, stories, updates and presentations.

 

Programs run Monday to Friday and are approximately one hour long.  No special equipment is needed, any phone will do.  To register for Chat Groups, Listen and Learn, Game Shows or Ask the Expert, residents can leave a message at 905-335-7738, ext. 4662 and a staff member will return your call.  Registrations are accepted up to 24 hours before the start of the programs.  To register for Listen for Enjoyment, please call 1-866-279-1594 ten minutes before the scheduled start time and enter passcode 355760.  All programs available through TelePALS can be viewed online at Burlington.ca/telepals.

 

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced significant new measures to provide Canadian seniors with greater financial security and give them the help they need during this crisis.  Please refer to https://pm.gc.ca/en/news/news-releases/2020/05/12/prime-minister-announces-additional-support-canadian-seniors for full details.

 

It’s National Nursing Week (May 11 – 17), and we have an opportunity to pause and celebrate our nurses at Heritage Place.  It takes a special person to be a nurse.  It is a physically, mentally and emotionally demanding job, and one, I’m told, is also tremendously rewarding.  Let me take this opportunity to extend a great big “Thank You” to our nursing team at Heritage Place.  Their actions never go unnoticed and we are so grateful that they are part of our team…Team H.P.  Thank you for being you.

 

Thank you everyone for your input, your understanding and most of all, your co-operation. 
Be determined.  We will get through this together…no matter how hard it is!

 

With hope towards a healthier future,

Melody Lane

Innovative Recreation Programming during COVID-19 Pandemic

May 9th - May 15th

TUESDAY TREATS!

POGO! Corn dogs delivered straight to their suites. Pat and Veronica loved it!

FUN FRIDAY!

The sky cleared up that day  just in time for our second balcony concert.

Innovative Recreation Programming during COVID-19 Pandemic

May 2nd - May 8th

TUESDAY TREATS!

Caramel popcorn! We delivered caramel popcorn to our residents' suites. They all loved it! Proof? Here's a picture of Muriel receiving her popcorn.
COVID-19 Update #8

Letter From Our General Manager

April 28, 2020

Dear Residents, Families, Friends, Staff:

 

Another week of “shelter in place” and I am elated to report that we are still virus free and we continue to implement every possible precaution to ensure our safety. When you live in a retirement community like you do, there isn’t a heck of a lot that can be done except to stay sheltered in place. At Heritage Place, we have been sheltering in place and physically distancing for just three weeks now, but I will admit, it feels like an eternity!

 

Our Programming Team has successfully implemented new initiatives that are working very well as we settle in to a new ‘norm’ here. Our Heritage WALK program is rapidly becoming a huge success. We are getting out into the fresh air; however, residents are reminded that leaving the property of Heritage Place is not an option and when outside, remember to keep socially distanced from one another. Team HP will continue to find new ways to connect and know that we appreciate your input should you have creative ideas; keeping in mind, it is imperative that we continue to respect and follow the directives and guidelines issued by our regulatory bodies.

 

We recognize social isolation is very challenging for seniors and along with it comes the plague of loneliness and boredom. The message I want to send is a message of hope; that we are doing a great job, and that we will get through this! Our efforts are working, and we must remain strong as COVID-19 knocks on our door. This is no time to let our guard down and we will therefore continue our “shelter in place” efforts at Heritage Place until further notice. Reports indicate physical distancing in Ontario is working and the COVID-19 outbreak is peaking according to health officials. While this situation continues to evolve, I truly appreciate the commitment of everyone as we work through this time together. Let us continue to do our part and keep up our efforts to help stop the spread of the virus until this crisis passes. Let us be positive and spread positive thinking.

 

While some will experience tragedy during this pandemic, this is also a time to reflect on the good that you see emerging around you. Our greatest contribution to our community’s safety may be the role we play as agents of calm and positivity. Remember to practise kindness every day. Avoid spreading panic and unsubstantiated information. Try meditating, practise mindfulness, or pray. Pick up the phone, call or write letters to people you care about but have not recently contacted. Make connections with those around you through technology. Be grateful, smile, know that you are protected, and this crisis will eventually pass. You are not alone in this fight.

 

I would like to thank our residents, family members, friends, our nurses, and staff for your ongoing support and commitment to fighting this disease.

 

A BIG SHOUT OUT to my management and frontline heroes. I am so proud of all of you. 

 

 

With hope towards a healthier future,

Melody Lane

NEWS ARTICLE FROM INSIDEHALTON.COM

FUNDAY FRIDAY!

Our first balcony concert with Aidan Purnell! 

TUESDAY TREATS!

Joyce and Esther receiving their candy apples delivered to their suite!

Innovative Recreation Programming during COVID-19 Pandemic

April 25th - May 1st

Innovative Recreation Programming during COVID-19 Pandemic

April 18th - April 24th
COVID-19 Update #7

Letter From Our General Manager

April 16, 2020

Dear Residents, Families, Friends, Staff:

 

We are virus free and are taking every precaution to ensure that we remain the same way. Please be advised that Retirement Homes are mandated to report cases of COVID-19 to our regulatory bodies as well as to all residents in our Home.

 

I am reaching out to you to let you know that we are continually monitoring the COVID-19 pandemic. We are following our local, provincial, and national health authority’s recommendations to ensure the safety of our residents and our team. Heritage Place has made every effort to be more diligent than the prescribed measures. To this end,  Heritage Place previously restricted staff and Health Care Workers working at other facilities. Our on-site Nurse Consultants are dedicated to our home and are doing a fabulous job taking care of us all.

 

It has been a lot of work over the last week with the implementation of our ‘shelter in place’ policy. Everyone is working hard, demonstrating professionalism and dedication to residents and each other. I am incredibly proud of Team HP and what we have been able to accomplish. Amid all these changes, it has been challenging to keep families informed as our prime concern has been the safety of our seniors.

 

We offer dining service three times daily at residents' doors. Our dining room and kitchen staff are an incredible team and are doing an excellent job of providing and delivering tasty, tempting hot and cold meal selections, always with a smile. Together, our reception, housekeeping and maintenance staff continue to be diligent in maintaining strong measures to ensure our health and safety. All common areas were cleared so that congregation is no longer possible. Outside visitors are prohibited. No tours, move-ins/outs are being conducted.

 

Our Programming Team implemented new initiatives and processes to ensure the well-being of all residents while endeavouring to meet everyone’s unique needs in this time of disruption. The following schedules are currently in place:

 

  • Laundry, mail pickup, and indoor walking opportunities
                –   5 residents, per floor, per day, 2 hours each, sanitizing in between time slots.

  • Heritage Walk program      

                   -   outdoor (weather permitted), up to 5 residents per walk, 15-minute intervals.

                   -   opportunities for high-risk residents, individually assisted by Laura and Ann.

  • Party Line Bingo activity
                –   bingo over the phone, residents call in to play.

  • Hallway Fun Cart
                –   visits each floor every other day.

  • Virtual activities
                –   facetime with families and friends – over 50 residents with iphones, ipads and tablets.

 

As social isolation is very challenging for seniors, we will continue to be innovative in our offerings and will do our best to be aware of changing needs as they evolve. As we are initiating indoor and outdoor scheduled activities, strict hygiene, and public health measures will be adhered to. Frequent hand washing and physical (social) distancing is honoured in every effort to reduce the chance of being exposed to the virus. In addition to our ‘active’ screening processes, all HP Team members are wearing face masks and we continue to take temperatures of residents and staff twice per day.

 

I would like to thank our residents, family members, friends, our nurses, and staff for your ongoing commitment to fighting this disease.

 

With hope towards a healthier future,

Melody Lane

Innovative Recreation Programming during COVID-19 Pandemic

April 13th - April 17th
COVID-19 Update #6

Letter From Our General Manager

April 06, 2020

 

Dear Residents, Family, Friends, Staff:

 

As at this writing, there are no reported cases of COVID-19 in our residence and I would like to thank our residents, family members, friends and our staff for their ongoing commitment to fighting this disease. 

 

Our Premier’s address on Friday, April 3rd, once again alerts us to the devastating consequences of COVID-19 in Long Term Care and Retirement Homes.  Ontario has entered a critical juncture in it’s fights against the disease and clearly, this is no time for complacency in our communities.  As previously expressed, Heritage Place will endeavour to stay a step ahead in anticipation of next-step directives from health organizations. 

 

Therefore, due to the potential severity of illness COVID-19 causes, with seniors being more susceptible to infection, and the immediate risk to residents in retirement homes, we feel that additional measures are the most logical step.

 

Please be advised, Heritage Place will enforce additional measures for the protection of its residents and staff.  Effective Tuesday, April 7th at 9 p.m., Heritage Place will enter into our “shelter in place” policy.  

 

As a pandemic emergency, until further notice, this means:

 

  • residents will be restricted to their individual suite. 

  • outdoor walking will be prohibited.

  • residents will be provided with a new menu, weekly.  Our menus will be amended to two choices for lunch and dinner.  Breakfast will be Ala cart.  Ala cart grilled orders will be discontinued.

  • residents with special dietary needs will be served first, then floor-by-floor thereafter.

  • meals will be delivered three times per day (a server will take order at lunch for next day’s choices)

  • meal delivery times will be monitored and modified on an ongoing basis to ensure excellent customer service.

  • floor lounges will be closed.

  • a mail and laundry schedule will be organized to meet individual needs within the next two weeks you will be contacted individually.

  • housekeeping and maintenance services will be adhered to as best as possible.

  • garbage will be picked up daily after lunch

  • through suite visitations, Nurse will continue to perform active screening temperatures twice per day.

  • Innovative recreational activities will roll-out as soon as possible.

 

Let’s continue to work together to keep our community safe.

 

If you have any further questions, please feel free to contact me, or a member of our leadership team.

 

We again appreciate your utmost cooperation for the protection of all.

 

 

With hope towards a healthier future,

 

 

 

Melody Lane

General Manager

Letter From Our General Manager

March 22, 2020

To All Residents and Family Members,

 

 

Thank you for your ongoing support.  As you read this, there is the chance that it is already old news as directives can and will change at a moments notice.  We are very grateful for your understanding during this challenging time as we work together to keep our residents and our staff safe and healthy.  I know we all share a major concern over the spread of COVID-19 and, how it impacts your family living in our retirement home.  Please be assured it is our top priority to protect the health and safety of our residents and our staff.

 

Going forward, we endeavour to provide you with information on new directives we are implementing and the status of our community.  We are working with our health partners to ensure we are prepared to respond to this situation as it evolves.  We are following daily reports from ORCA (Ontario Retirement Community Association), the RHRA (Retirement Home Regulatory Authority) and the MOH (Ministry of Health) throughout this COVID-19 pandemic.

 

At this time, there are no reported cases of COVID-19 in our residence.  

 

The most recent directive dated March 23, 2020 from the Chief Medical Officer of Health states:
 

“Long-term care homes and retirement communities should immediately implement the following precaution for residents:  “Residents of long-term care homes should not be permitted to leave the home for short-stay absences to visit family and friends.  Instead, residents who wish to go outside of the home should remain on the home’s property and maintain safe social distancing from any family and friends who visit them”.“

 

In accordance with O. Reg 68/20 made under the Retirement Homes Act, retirement homes must take all reasonable steps to follow the required precautions and procedures outlined in these Directives.

 

However, Heritage Place is taking this a step further.  Given the rapidly evolving situation with COVID-19, we have closed our doors to all non-essential visitors.  The exceptions to this are: 

  • “essential visitors” defined by the Ministry of Health as someone with a resident who requires end-of-life care or are very ill”

  • A Healthcare worker, private companion or family member, medically designated as a primary care person, who is approved and actively involved in the care and care plan of a resident will also be permitted entry.

 

Visitors meeting the above criteria will be actively screened upon entry to our building based on their health and travel history.  These visitors will adhere to the strict limitations imposed by Heritage Place.

 

In addition to restricting visits from family or friends, our residents will be permitted to leave the building providing they stay on the property of Heritage Place and practice social distancing among themselves as per recommended guidelines.  Informed of this information, should a resident of Heritage Place purposely venture outside the property, other than for “essential” medical appointments, the resident will be subject to enhanced screening procedures adhering to the 14-day isolation directive and our re-admission policy.  Residents in non-compliance will then be subject to the terms of our tray policy and may be charged for the delivery of meals for the duration of isolation. 

 

If family needs to take a resident to an outside appointment which is essential to the resident’s health, they should plan to do so.  Prior to starting any outside appointment, the resident and family are encouraged to call ahead to make sure the medical professional is still taking appointments.  The resident and family must inform us in advance so our staff may assist in the active screening and make arrangements to ensure the resident can meet their family member outside of the building.  Upon return, residents will be actively screened.  Residents who fail the screening process will be placed in isolation following current Public Health protocols.   

 

On Thursday, March 25th, we implemented “social distancing” in our Dining Room.  Each table is limited to two chairs and set dining times are in effect for each floor.  Residents requiring dietary restrictions are exempt from the time guidelines.  This will decrease the number of people in the dining room at one time.  This action will be monitored daily and adjusted as needed.   We are limiting the elevators to 3 people at a time.

 

We understand that connecting with your loved ones is important.  We suggest calling or if possible, use other technology-based methods to keep in touch.  Our recreation team is currently working on an initiative to introduce an electronic communication format to our residents in the days ahead.  We are committed to keep you up to date with as much information as possible as it relates to initiatives being taken here at Heritage Place. 

 

This letter is the first of our initiatives to reach out to family members.  This form of communication is being sent to the #1 Emergency Contact on file.  Going forward, we direct you to our website at www.heritage-place.ca.

 

It is important that we all do our part, to remain calm and think positive during this unprecedented time.  I realize this is easier said than done; however, it is with a great sense of assurance that Heritage Place, first and foremost, is concerned for the safety and health of your loved ones and for our staff.  I am hopeful you will appreciate the dedication of our staff who come to work, with the same trepidation prevalent all over the world.  They truly are an amazing team.

 

We respect your cooperation in order to protect everyone at Heritage Place.

 

Sincerely,

Melody Lane

General Manager

Government Health Resources

Public Resources from the World Health Organization (WHO)

If you have any additional questions or concerns regarding your loved one, please feel free to contact us. 

Innovative Recreation Programming during COVID-19 Pandemic

May 30th - June 5th

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