Staying Connected and Prepared While Restrictions Loosen

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The latest announcements by Ontario Premier Doug Ford regarding the gradual resumption of visits to Long – Term care homes, Retirement and other residential care settings as of July 22,20 has provided the much – needed relief to seniors residing these facilities and to their families. BUT we must all remember that the health and safety of seniors and the team/staff around them should be the priority and it is a responsibility that should be taken very seriously. We should all continue to follow directions from public health officials and other clinical experts regarding the best infection prevention and control (IPAC) measures to take to avoid transmission of the COVID – 19 virus and must keep up to date about changing situations in our community at all times.

 

Premier Ford said ” I ask everyone to be cautious and act responsibly as the battle to COVID – 19 is not over and the risk to our loved ones still remains.”

 

As we resume in person visits, we must keep the alternate means (virtual) of connections and engagement open, to limit the on- site visits to futher mitigate the risk. This also prepares you and your loved one for  second wave if it must hit and we all know what to expect and can quickly adapt. Following are some suggestions to keep in mind (you are probably already practicing some of them):

  • Video Conferencing/ Group Calls in liaison with staff at the facility
  • Continuing to encourage and set up for new online Movie/TV shows streaming services to keep them entertained
  • Invest into their hobbies e.g new reading books, puzzles,cross word search books,newspaper, magazines etc.
  • Memory Books for special family moments that brings smile to their faces
  • Looking into better communication devices e.g new hearing aids, new batteries, special walkie talkies, communication baords for the special window visits
  • Organizing their room with reminders for daily activities e.g meds, walks etc.
  • Getting a phone book/list by the phone , setting up speed dials for close family members
  • Home-care Service: Setting up home-care services e.g. a caregiver who can help with assistance with daily living, companionship,meal planning, grocery shopping,taking senior for outdoor/indoor walks etc. A caregiver can also facilitate the calls and video chats with seniors if you are unable to visit duration to living out of town or not being well etc. Caregivers can be a great option to provide companionship during period of illness