Update: Oct. 13, 2021
As per direction from the province, at this time, there is a 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!