*Specific Outbreak or "Early Investigation" Related Restrictions may also be in place and would supersede any listed here. Before your visit, please check https://www.thebirchesns.ca/news-and-events for any related updates.
*You may not enter our facility when you are required to self-isolate. If you have been in an outbreak / high risk zone, we ask that you don’t visit the facility for 14 days.
Updated: July, 2022
With general visitation resuming in Long Term Care with few restrictions, the need for DCG Training has slowed. DCG’s can visit even during Outbreaks, based on Public Health guidelines.
If you wish to be trained, please reach out to the Team Lead at the Birches: (902) 889-3474 Ext 4152.
Updated: March 21, 2022
Thank you for your patience as we have worked to figure out what new changes can be implemented at The Birches! Today we are pleased to announce that:
• Residents may now have up to three (3) visitors at a time at The Birches! The visitors do not need to be DCGs or consistent. Proof of vaccination and screening requirements for visitors will remain in place, per government guidance. Visitors must wear a medical mask throughout the visit and maintain 6 foot distance from others while in the building, including residents and staff. Please be flexible and move to an alternate space if it becomes difficult to maintain the 6 foot distance from residents other than your loved one in any space within our building. Please note: visitors are still not permitted to enter the facility if they are required to self-isolate or are symptomatic.
Visitation hours: 7 days a week, 10:00 am - 6:00 pm!
• With the increase in numbers of folks visiting our building, we feel it is important to remind visitors that the 6 foot distance from others must be maintained even if family members and friends are accompanying a resident to a leisure/recreation activity. Staff do their best to accommodate the involvement of loved ones in activities, however if appropriate space is not available this may not always be possible. We welcome you to speak to recreation staff to discuss attending an activity with your loved one.
• We may be able to accommodate larger group visits (3+ people) for special occasions at this time. Government guidelines require this to be pre-booked with facility. Based on our facility’s size, we have limited ability to accommodate these types of visits, so families must contact reception (902-889-3474 ext. 0) well in advance if they wish to have this type of booking.
• During any visitation, we ask families and friends to remember that all staff have a responsibility to ensure rules and restrictions are followed. Please be patient should any staff person recommend changes to your visit to ensure compliance with these rules and restrictions. We are all eager to ensure the ability of our residents to safely engage in more visitation with you!
Updated: Feb. 11, 2022
We are thrilled to share the following news with the friends and families of our residents based on the recent government announcement re: long term care restrictions.
Effective MONDAY, February 14, 2022:
• Residents can have any two visitors at a time; they no longer need to be the same two visitors, and visitors are no longer restricted to Designated Caregivers only. All visitors must continue to follow the infection prevention and control practices communicated and posted, and must be particularly vigilant about wearing their mask and shield at all times, maintaining physical distance, and performing hand hygiene often! Visitors must still be fully vaccinated as per rules posted previously. Please note that children under 12 are not required to be vaccinated to visit, but ARE counted in the 2 person limit and MUST wear a mask throughout the visit.
• Residents who are fully vaccinated, have their booster shot, and are considered "non-susceptible" can leave the facility for a drive in a DCG/visitor’s vehicle, with no stops and no contact with other people. Residents are not able to do so if they are required to isolate or on an outbreak unit. If a visitor is taking a resident for an offsite drive as per this rule:
- Outings must be booked 24 hours in advance
- The support person accompanying the resident must be screened and asymptomatic. The resident should be accompanied by a max of 2 individuals who must be fully vaccinated.
- The outing information must be logged including date and time, individual supporting the resident, and expected return.
- Residents are strongly recommended to wear a mask and maintain physical distance from others (except the person(s) accompanying them). They must not come into contact with those required to self-isolate.
- The support person and resident must review the outing with staff upon return to ensure adherence to Public Health measures.
We hope these are exciting changes for our residents and those who love them!
Updated: Dec. 27, 2021
At this time we have made the difficult decision to close The Birches to general visitors until further notice.
Designated Caregivers are still permitted in the facility, however we ask that they visit one at a time.
If there are folks who have been general visitors up until this point but would like to become Designated Caregivers (DCGs), we will be offering DCG training. If you would like to attend please call 902-889-3474 ext. 4152 and let us know your name, the resident's name, and your phone number.
Note: Please keep in mind that residents can still only have 2 consistent visitors (including DCGs).
We thank you for your patience and understanding as restrictions continue to evolve to help us keep our residents, staff and community safe.
Updated: Dec. 21, 2021
As we are sure you heard along with us today, the province is implementing some new restrictions in light of the current COVID-19 situation in Nova Scotia. At this time, residents are permitted to have ONLY two (2) consistent fully vaccinated visitors. Designated Caregivers are included in the total of two (2).
Here at our facility, we will be assuming those two individuals will be the first and second Designated Caregivers on record for each resident. If this is NOT true for yourself / your loved one, we ask that the resident or their substitute decision maker contact us to let us know the appropriate two persons to be on the consistent visitors list, at 902-889-3474 ext. 0. At this time, no other visitors/DCGs will be permitted into the facility.
Updated: Dec. 17, 2021
As we are sure you know, COVID-19 numbers are once again rising and the government is introducing new restrictions. At this time we wanted to share a few of these new restrictions as we understand them. We suspect new information will become available to us in coming days, so please keep an eye on our website for further updates.
Based on government restrictions, at this time:
- Residents are permitted to have two (2) visitors at a time. This limit includes Designated Caregivers. It does not need to be the same two (2) visitors each time.
- It is recommended but not required that visitors be rapid tested within 24 hours of the visit where possible.
- Masking is required during visits, and physical distancing should be maintained wherever possible.
Thank you for your continued patience as we navigate the complex information and restrictions needed to keep our residents safe.
Updated: Oct. 13, 2021
As per direction from the province, at this time, there is not a limit to how many Designated Caregivers each resident may have. Designated Caregivers for each resident must still only visit our facility 2 at a time. Designated Caregivers for each resident are encouraged to coordinate their visits in this manner.
Folks can become a Designated Caregiver by calling 902-889-3474 ext. 0 to schedule Designated Caregiver training. New Designated Caregivers are encouraged to review all information below regarding the role, responsibilities and rules for Designated Caregivers.
June 29, 2021
We are thrilled to let our Birches Designated Caregivers know that, starting on June 30, you will once again be able to enter our facility as a Designated Caregiver 7 days a week, 10:00 am - 6:00 pm (no appointment needed)!
As always, please remember your IPAC training and follow all posted guidelines when you come to visit! Remember to wash/sanitize your hands, respect physical distancing, and follow all of the other infection prevention and control practices, to keep our residents safe!
See you soon!
March 3, 2021
At this time, Designated Caregivers are permitted to take the resident offsite for a scenic drive during Designated Caregiver hours. However, there are some rules: during this drive, the resident must not exit the vehicle, stops should not be made (including drive-thrus), and the following guidelines must be followed.
Preparing for the Drive:
• Please alert us 24 hours in advance that you will be taking the resident for an offsite scenic drive during Designated Caregiver hours. Alerting us in advance will help us do our best to ensure your loved one is ready for your offsite scenic drive. Call 902-889-3474 ext. 0
The Day of the Drive:
• You must clean and disinfect (wiping down all frequently touched surfaces) the vehicle you will be using before picking up the resident, with an appropriate hard surface disinfectant / hand sanitizer (https://www.canada.ca/en/health-canada/services/drugs-health-products/disinfectants/covid-19/list.html).
• You must wear a mask at all times during the scenic drive. You should also remind the resident to wear their mask at all times when physical distancing (6 feet / 2 metres) cannot be maintained during your scenic drive.
• When you are ready for the drive during your Designated Caregiver visit, please alert us that you and the resident are heading out. You can pull your vehicle close to the front entrance to pick up your loved one.
• Because the resident may not exit the vehicle during the drive, the resident’s mobility aids should be left inside the facility.
• The Designated Caregiver and the resident passenger should sit as far apart as possible, and should be the only ones in the vehicle.
We hope a nice sightseeing drive will be fun for you and your loved one!
November 24, 2020
As our understanding of COVID-19 evolves, we continue to make small and big changes to increase safety for our staff, residents and community!
Moving forward, we're making a small change: all staff, visitors and family will now be required to wear a mask (non-medical or medical) to enter our doors.
Once inside the facility, you will:
1. Perform hand hygiene (use hand sanitizer)
2. Remove your personal mask and properly store or dispose of it
3. Perform hand hygiene again
4. Put on one of the medical masks supplied by us, as usual!
As you get used to these new added steps, please also remember to maintain a 6 foot distance from others while waiting to come in to the facility and while in our entry. We ask that you wait to enter until there is room to maintain the 6 foot distance.
Thank you so much for your continued support and commitment to following these new and evolving practices!
The NSHA has also shared this helpful video (link below) for Designated Caregivers. Specific processes/steps at The Birches might differ slightly and we ask you to continue following all practices communicated by us, but this video contains important and helpful information:
What to Expect for Designated Caregivers in NSH Long Term Care Facilities on Vimeo
September 15, 2020
Dear Birches families and loved ones,
We were thrilled to read that Government is further easing restrictions to long-term care and introducing the option for Designated Caregivers to join us in our facility as an added layer of support for our residents. Designated Caregivers will be welcomed at The Birches after completing the below process to become designated and trained!
Based on government directives, who can be a Designated Caregiver in long term care at this time?
• Designated Caregivers can be family members, friends or other support persons who would like to support the resident with caregiving tasks such as personal care, mobility help, communication assistance, emotional support, help with eating, or decision making.
• The Designated Caregiver must be able to visit the long term care home alone. The government directives allow each resident to have only one Designated Caregiver in the building at any one time.
How can you become a Designated Caregiver for your loved one?
• The resident and their loved ones should discuss who would be appropriate Designated Caregivers for the resident. Please keep in mind that each resident can have 2 Designated Caregivers only.
• Beginning Sept. 18th, please contact us at 902-889-3474 ext. 0 to let us know the names of the 2 Designated Caregivers. If you leave a voicemail, please wait for a callback as confirmation.
• Designated Caregivers must attend a one-hour training session to learn about public health requirements including PPE protocols, physical distancing, hand and respiratory hygiene, and other facility Infection Prevention and Control (IPAC) procedures, before entering the facility as the Designated Caregiver. Training sessions are scheduled for September 25th, with the potential for future sessions if needed.
What else do you need to know?
• At this time, visitation hours for Designated Caregivers will be 11:00 am to 2:00 pm on Thursday – Sunday.
• Designated Caregivers must be comfortable wearing a medical mask at all times while they are in the facility.
• Designated Caregivers must enter through our front entrance and participate in screening each and every time they visit the facility. A staff person assigned to the screening of Designated Caregivers will allow you entry – you must wait for them to let you into the facility. No other staff person will be permitted to allow you entry.
• Designated Caregivers will be provided with identification by the facility, which they must wear each and every time they visit the facility.
• Like all members of our team, Designated Caregivers must limit unnecessary movement throughout the facility as much as possible.
• As noted above, only one Designated Caregiver for each resident will be permitted in the building at a time. Designated Caregivers are encouraged to coordinate with one another to prevent conflicting visits.
• Although we know family members and friends have often supported residents other than their loved one while visiting in the past, at this time the Designated Caregiver is permitted to support their loved one only. Designated Caregivers must maintain physical distance (6 feet / 2 metres) with all staff and residents other than their loved one.
What do you need to know about breaches?
Breaches of Public Health requirements, IPAC practices and other practices shared in your training will put your loved one and other residents at risk, and may create unintended consequences for all members of our Birches community.
All Designated Caregivers are responsible for remaining aware of the possible impacts of COVID-19 in long term care, and following all safety practices to prevent unknowing transmission of COVID-19 to our vulnerable senior population.
A breach could lead to unintended consequences including residents becoming ill; residents needing to self-isolate; removal of visitation privileges due to repeated breaches; and/or the cancelling of facility-wide visits in the case of an outbreak. Please help keep your loved one safe by following all infection prevention practices.
If you are under a requirement to self-isolate or are unwell, you must stay home.
We are also happy to continue offering:
• Skype/Facetime/Zoom visits
• Window visits
• Indoor visits
Please reach out to us at firstname.lastname@example.org!