September 2nd, 2020
Dear Optima Residents, Families, and Care Partners:
We hope all of you have had an opportunity to get outdoors with the weather being so wonderful!
At Optima Living, we are constantly educating ourselves on the latest policies, procedures, and protocols to ensure our communities continue to thrive in this new world. This means balancing infection control with expanded visitation.
We know how hard this time has been for both residents and their loved ones to be physically separated. We are delighted to facilitate expanded visitation! As we welcome back loved ones in a safe and controlled way, we appreciate everyone’s patience.
Please remember that the risk of infection still persists, and everyone is asked to maintain their COVID-19 health practices. Alberta’s Chief Medical Officer and British Columbia’s Provincial Health Officer continue to emphasize the message of social distancing, wearing a mask, and hand hygiene as the most important actions of safe living during this time.
For our residences, each health authority has different rules for visitation guidelines. A summary of those guidelines follows. Please reach out to your site leader if you have any questions.
· Only one, single essential visitor at a time may visit residents in Long-Term Care, Supportive Living, and other Congregate Living settings.
· Each essential visitor must be verified and undergo a health screening prior to entering the facility. This may include a temperature check and/or a questionnaire.
· Visits must occur in the resident’s room unless aiding with care activities such as mealtime.
· Visitors must be feeling well and not displaying any symptoms at the time of visit.
· Visitors must comply with Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) requirements.
For all visitors:
· You will be screened for signs and symptoms of any illness, including COVID-19 and possible exposure to COVID-19, prior to every visit.
· You will need to bring a mask and wear it for the duration of your visit.
· Please practice hand and respiratory hygiene (cough/sneeze etiquette), and maintain two-metres of physical distance wherever possible.
The essential visitor policy remains in effect at Long-Term Care and Acute Care facilities. Essential visits are:
· Visits for compassionate care such as critical illness, hospice care, end-of-life, and Medical Assistance in Dying.
· Communication assistance, and supported decision-making for people with disabilities or cognitive impairment.
· Visits essential to patient/client care and well-being including assistance with feeding, mobility, and personal care, and existing registered volunteers providing services as described.
Unlike social visits, essential visits may not need to be scheduled in advance. A client can have more than one essential visitor but only one visitor is allowed at a time. (More than one visitor at a time may be allowed for palliative and end-of-life care.)
As per the provincial guidance, all visitors are required to: wear a mask, practice hand and respiratory hygiene (cough and sneeze etiquette), and maintain a two-metre physical distance where possible.
If there is no active COVID-19 outbreak at the facility, a resident may visit with one designated family member or friend. We can approve a change to the designated visitor under extenuating circumstances; for example, if the visitor moves away or becomes ill and is unable to visit.
· Book the visit in advance with staff.
· Be screened on every visit for respiratory and gastrointestinal symptoms and possible exposure to COVID-19. Visitors with symptoms are not permitted to enter the facility.
· Wear a mask, practice hand and respiratory hygiene (cough and sneeze etiquette) and maintain a two-metre physical distance where possible.
· Socialize in designated visiting areas, which may include outdoor and indoor spaces or single client rooms for those with limited mobility.
We also continue to encourage families, friends and caregivers to stay in touch virtually where in-person visits are not possible. The safe return to activities like visitation and outings depends on all of us (residents, families, care partners, visitors) working together to keep the virus from entering our homes.
Can I still get regular medical care?
Thank you. Be Safe. Be Well.
Farid Damji | Co-Founder & Principal