Kinsmen Lodge continues to be negative for COVID-19 for both Elders and staff. We still swab Elders who exhibit even one symptom (fever, cough, stuffy/runny nose, sore throat or painful swallowing, difficulty breathing, diarrhea, nausea and/or vomiting, fatigue, muscle aches, loss of appetite, chills, headache, loss of sense of smell). We screen all staff twice per shift, including a temperature check. Staff are asked to self-assess for symptoms and if exhibiting any they must go home. The Elders are assessed twice within 24 hours daily. The protocol for visitors has changed as we now have ten family members who have been deemed essential and they can help with feeding and mobility assistance between the hours of 9:00 AM – 5:00 PM, seven days a week. Essential Visitors must be designated (only one per Elder), adhere to our visitation contract and wear a mask and eye protection at all times. Families cannot bring in any outside food.
KL has reduced the additional staffing we had in place which has been challenging as we still cannot have the added family and volunteer support that we had pre COVID-19. However, the provincial government has committed to fund three staff to assist with the Phase 3 relaxation of the Provincial Health Officer orders to allow visitors into Long-Term Care Homes and a reimbursement of $50,000 to be used for continued enhanced cleaning. Our Director of Recreation and Volunteer Services, Chris Harrison, is coordinating this initiative which opened outdoor social visitation on July 14th. The scheduled visits are seven days a week for 20-minute intervals and allow for a 20-minute sanitization of the designated areas in-between visits. To date, we have had 200 very happy visits. Chris also applied for a grant from the Vancouver Canucks who are now paying for two Visitation Monitors to facilitate these social visits for the next four months. Furthermore, he was successful in applying for a grant from SurreyCares Community Foundation to provide an additional Music Therapist (Akylina, our former practicum student) who will be here until December 31st and will work in our Special Care Neighbourhoods.
ABBY, an interactive panel, has been installed in the Crescent and Brookside neighbourhoods on the 2nd floor. This is a tactile sensory wall-mounted device for Elders to help reduce anxiety and/or aggression. The trial is complete and we have noted significant and positive change in the Elders’ behaviour and how much they enjoy accessing this tool. We are now seeking donations to help fund the installation of ABBY in our five other neighbourhoods.
Kinsmen Lodge has made the decision to move to a new pharmacy. Medical Pharmacies is a leading Canadian pharmacy service provider, with over 60 years of specialized experience in caring for people in residential care settings. The changeover to Medical will take place on September 29th. Our Director of Care, Marina Young, is coordinating this transition.
I want to thank and congratulate our amazing staff who have stayed the course throughout this four-month COVID-19 crisis in our Long-Term Care Home. I do not see the staff in person as often as I would like, but we do communicate through our Zoom meetings and email. Our appreciation also extends to the Board of Directors for the contingency allowance and their unwavering support that enabled us to staff up in case our employees could not come to work. Together we made the right decision, at the right time, at the right place and our Elders are healthier and happier for that decision.