Offsite Trips & Visits
 

Update: Dec. 1, 2021
Although it is recommended, family members / support persons accompanying a resident during an outing do not need to be fully vaccinated, however they cannot enter the facility to pick up the resident. Please call ahead to book the offsite visit so we can assist the resident to meet you outside of our front doors. You must book the Offsite Visit at least 24 hours in advance (or on Friday for a Sat., Sun. or Mon. visit) by calling 902-889-3474 ext. 0. To book, you must call Mondays through Fridays from 8:30 am – 4:00 pm.


Update: October 1, 2021
We continue to pay close attention to evolving restrictions being communicated by government, to ensure we are following all of the recommended steps to keep our residents safe. We want to share a few details with you this morning as a result:

Based on epidemiology in the Central Zone, long term care residents are not permitted to leave the facility and stay overnight at a family home or home of a friend at this time.



Update: August 12, 2021

We are thrilled to share a few updates based on recent communications from Public Health!

As you know, in late July we shared that fully immunized Birches residents were able to attend offsite visits in a Designated Caregiver’s home, including overnight stays, while adhering to the current Health Protection Act Order (e.g., gathering limits, etc.)

At this time, offsite visits to the family/Designated Caregiver’s home can now include overnight stays up to 7 days! The visit must take place within Atlantic Canada.

Residents are also now permitted to visit a non-family/Designated Caregiver’s home, although no overnight visits are permitted for these visits at this time.

These types of offsite visits are also now permitted for those residents who are not fully immunized (or who are partially immunized)!

It continues to be critically important that you fully understand your role in keeping your loved one – and all residents – safe. For this reason, those who are interested in taking a resident offsite must attend a short education session (if they are not already trained as a Designated Caregiver). This short education session will take place on the day of your first pre-scheduled offsite trip with the resident. Please allow 15 minutes to participate in this session before leaving the facility on your trip day. Please call 902-889-3474 ext. 0 to schedule your education session and offsite trip!
 

We have prepared the information below to support families and friends as they prepare to bring residents for an Offsite Visit, and to help you understand what is expected based on the provincial guidelines!

Offsite Visits Guidelines:
• You must book the Offsite Visit at least 24 hours in advance (or on Friday if the offsite outing will take place on Sat., Sun. or Mon.) by calling 902-889-3474 ext. 0. To book, you must call Mondays through Fridays from 8:30 am – 4:00 pm.

• You must pickup and drop off the resident between the hours of 10:30 am and 5:30 pm on the days of departure and return. This will allow us to do the screening and recording that is required of us.

• You will pick up and drop off your loved one in the designated area at the times you have booked, respecting physical distancing while doing so. You will park in the parking spots in front of our facility and come in the front door.

• You must clean and disinfect (wiping down all frequently touched surfaces) the vehicle you will be using to transport the resident before pick-up, with an appropriate hard surface disinfectant / hand sanitizer. You are encouraged to provide the resident with alcohol-based hand rub for hand hygiene within the vehicle. If the vehicle used is not driven by you, you must still ensure the vehicle is cleaned/disinfected. You must verify this at pick-up. If using Metro Transit or accessible transportation, you must ensure the resident follows all public health and municipal transit guidelines while onboard.

• You are encouraged to wear a mask while transporting your loved one to your family home.

• Others may visit the home while the resident is present, as long as gathering limits are maintained. It is recommended that all eligible persons in the home are immunized with at least one dose at the time of the visit.

• While in the home, family members and visitors are encouraged, but not required, to wear a mask when a resident is visiting, where physical distancing cannot be maintained.

• You are encouraged to maintain physical distancing (6 feet / 2 metres) in the home whenever possible.

• You must ensure you understand all Public Health practices, including proper physical distancing, gathering limits, hand hygiene, and respiratory etiquette, and follow these practices during the visit to the home.

• You must ensure everyone who will be interacting with the resident in the home is aware of these guidelines and will also follow them.

• Remember to keep general resident safety in mind throughout - think of things like safe transportation, sun safety / sunscreen, etc.!

• You must truthfully and fully answer all screening questions asked at booking; pick-up and drop-off.

• You must call and cancel your visit if you or any person who will be interacting with the resident has symptoms of COVID-19 or any requirement to self-isolate. If the resident or anyone they will interact with during the offsite visit has symptoms or any requirement to self-isolate, the offsite visit will need to be cancelled.

• Should you or anyone who interacted with the resident during the offsite visit become ill in the two (2) weeks following, the individual must contact 811 for screening and assessment for testing, and notify us immediately. Should the individual test positive for COVID-19, the individual must inform Public Health during their investigation that they had interaction with a resident of our facility.

We know this type of experience won’t work for all residents and families, but we hope it will be a lovely and welcome opportunity for those who are able to take advantage!

 

Other Types of Trips and Visits at this time:

– As per provincial guidelines, all residents are now able to travel to indoor and outdoor public places, along with offsite medical/dental appointments, and walks in the facility’s neighbourhood, subject to the restrictions in the Public Health Order and pending facility approval.

Residents must maintain physical distancing while offsite (except with a support person accompanying them), and avoid spaces where physical distancing may be difficult to maintain.

If a support person is accompanying the resident, they must be screened. The facility must be advised of the outing so it can be logged. The support person must clean and disinfect (wiping down all frequently touched surfaces) the vehicle they will be using to transport the resident before pick-up, with an appropriate hard surface disinfectant / hand sanitizer. You are encouraged to provide the resident with alcohol-based hand rub for hand hygiene within the vehicle. If the vehicle used is not driven by the support person, they should still ensure the vehicle is cleaned/disinfected.

Remember to keep general resident safety in mind throughout - think of things like safe transportation, sun safety / sunscreen, etc.!

* Just a friendly reminder that residents must follow all public health rules for physical distancing, gathering limits and other rules for the public while they are offsite, as well as specific rules of the establishments they visit!