September 14th, 2020
Dear Optima Residents, Families, and Care Partners:
As we transition from summer to fall, we hope you have had a chance to catch your breath and reflect on where we are at in this epic battle against COVID-19. It’s a battle that is far from over, yet we are continuously inspired and energized by the incredible efforts of our care partners (staff) every day at our communities.
We started this journey of the uncertainties that come with COVID-19 in March, and we continue to work hard every day to ensure the safety of our residents and those who care for them.
We appreciate everyone’s patience as we adapt to new guidelines and welcome visitors back into our communities in a safe manner through expanded visitation programs.
Please remember that the risk of infection still persists and everyone is asked to maintain their COVID-19 health practices of social distancing, wearing a mask, and hand hygiene.
For our homes, each health authority has different rules for visitation guidelines, and they are summarized below. Please reach out to your site leader if you have any questions.
We also continue to encourage families, friends, and caregivers to stay in touch virtually where in-person visits are not possible.
How To Stay Socially Connected
Thank you. Be Safe. Be Well.
Farid Damji | Co-Founder & Principal
· 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—or you will be provided with one—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 where 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 community, 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.