To Families and Residents of Whisperwood Villa
Welcome to Phase-4 of Renew PEI.
Indoor visits for long term care residents are returning. Since March, we have made changes and taking extra precautions to keep the residents and staff of our homes safe and healthy. It has been a collective effort from everyone, especially the families who have been separated from residents. While we are still a long way from our previous open-door policies, we are encouraged by this week’s announcements of new Health PEI policies and the latest Public Health Orders from the Chief Public Health Officer.
Starting today, nursing homes and community care facilities are allowed to coordinate indoor visits for residents and families. We have been doing outdoor visits for about a month, and they are going well. Those outdoor visits will continue, as will window visits and Skype calls and phone calls. Now indoor visits get added to that list.
Indoor visits will be like the outdoor visits, with the physical distancing of 6 feet, screening of visitors to ensure no high risk of Covid-19, hand washing and the use of personal protective equipment. All the same screening as outdoor visits with one extra precaution, masks must be worn by all indoor visitors. Outdoor visitors do not need to wear a mask because they must maintain a 6-foot separation for residents. Indoor visitors must wear a medical-grade mask and maintain the 6 feet of separation.
Indoor visits will take place in designated visiting areas and be scheduled for 30 minutes. A schedule is being created, and you can call the number below to set up times that work for you. Only two visitors are allowed for indoor visits, and those two names are not interchangeable, so they remain the same two people for each indoor visit. Outdoor visits are expanding to allow two visitors at one time, but up to 6 names can be on the approved visitor’s list. Residents and their families can let us know who the six outdoor visitors’ names can be. Note, the total number of visitor names is 6 for indoor and outdoor visits, 2 for inside/outside and four additional outdoor visitors.
Please know that packages should not be brought to any indoor or outdoor visits. Packages can be dropped off at the doors of our facilities where staff can sanitize them and distribute them, possibly after some quarantine time for the items. No perishable items can be accepted. No fast food, take out coffee, ice cream, homemade meals or homemade foods of any kind. Most other items can be accepted, provided they can be sanitized and quarantined for a few hours or longer. Clothing, books, DVDs and flowers are all acceptable items to drop off for residents.
Clergy visits can also expand under the new public health order. One on one clergy visits to residents can now be arranged, and this is in addition to the visits of family and friends outlined above. We are not yet allowed to resume church services, but this is a great step toward that in the future.
We continue to work closely with Health PEI, the Chief Public Health Officer and the Department of Health and Wellness. Our leadership team sits on committees with these departments and agencies. We attend regular meetings with all of these entities present. Policies are shared with us as they are developed, and our input is provided. The pandemic has caused a lot of hardship, but it has also raised the collaboration in healthcare to a new and improved level, which can only benefit residents in the future.
In the event of residents testing positive for the Covid-19 virus, we will work with these groups and the mobile response team from Health PEI for a rapid response so that any infected resident or staff member gets the immediate acute care needed. In the event of an outbreak, any residents testing positive for the Covid-19 virus will move to the QEH.
We have a healthy stockpile of personal protective equipment, and the Department of Health and Wellness has as well. We receive weekly deliveries of supplies from our regular suppliers and the government stockpile.
Testing for Covid-19 continues to improve in PEI, and now any resident or staff showing symptoms of the virus is tested within 4 hours and results are usually provided within a day. This helps us to ensure people are healthy.
Our staff continue to work in only one location. We remain fully staffed, and we thank our dedicated group of front-line workers for their commitment to the residents. Wearing masks all day in this summer heat can be difficult, but the staff remain vigilant.
Hairdressing services are returning. Currently, we have hairdressers in both nursing homes. They are very busy catching up after months without trims. We may have a short break in service at Whisperwood next week as we work through the new regulations. Residents are thrilled to have this service again in our buildings. Our foot care nurses are also back to work and looking after the resident’s needs.
Thank you for your support shown to the staff and residents. We all want the same thing, the best possible outcomes for our residents.
- To book an outdoor or indoor visit at Whisperwood Villa call 902-388-1603 and ask for Paula
CEO, PEI Seniors Homes