We are facing a trying time in history. Our nation, our world, is experiencing something that is very difficult and unpredictable. Today, we are all adapting to a ‘new normal’. And although this new normal may appear challenging, and at times scary, you are not alone. We, at Chatham-Kent Hospice, understand the importance of being present with your loved one as they embark on their end-of-life journey.
We want to support you and help you create special memories with your loved one safely. To ensure the protection of our residents, visitors, physicians, volunteers and staff, we have reviewed our precautions and safety protocols and following advice from the Chief Medical Officer of Health for Ontario, we have implemented the following guidelines to minimize exposure to respiratory illnesses, including COVID-19.
Please know that our Hospice residents continue to be our first priority and our professional care team continues to provide compassionate care. As such, the guidelines outlined below will are being updated as the situation with COVID-19 is evolving and the case numbers increasing provincially as well as at the local level. With that in mind we have updated the guidelines for visitors.
Screening and Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)
Active screening protocols for all visitors, staff, and volunteers remain in place and frequent cleaning and disinfecting of high touch objects and surfaces is being adhered to.
All visitors will continue to be actively screened with each visit this includes:
- Will be asked for proof of being fully vaccinated for COVID-19 (2cd dose at least 14 days prior to showing proof of vaccination) and government issue ID i.e. driver’s license or health card
- Those that are unvaccinated or partially vaccinated will be require to have a negative PCR COVID test prior to visiting. Once the swab comes back negative visiting will be either 9:00am -10:00am OR 7:30pm – 8:30pm daily.
- During the entire visit the person must stay in the resident’s room and if necessary use the washroom in the resident’s room.
- Gown, goggles and surgical mask must be worn for the entire visit.
- Other visitors will be asked to leave the room for this time.
- Undergo and pass the screening questions twice (upon entering and exiting)
- Perform hand hygiene
- Wear personal protective equipment which may include: mask, gown, and disposable gloves and eye protection
- Whenever exiting a resident room, please remove your soiled PPE (gown) inside of the resident room, place in the receptacle and complete hand hygiene before walking through Hospice. A new gown should be applied when returning into the resident’s room.
Any visitor who fails the screening will not be permitted to visit. Visitors who are feeling unwell at any time are encouraged to immediately report their symptoms to the nursing staff for guidance.
We understand the importance of visiting your loved one during this very difficult time and have put in place the following guidelines out of necessity for the safety of all concerned.
- Upon admission, the resident identifies one (1) Primary Caregiver/Essential Visitor upon admission to the Chatham-Kent Hospice.
- The resident or Primary Caregiver/Essential Visitor may designate up to 4 people (designated visitors) who may visit for the duration of the resident’s stay
- The Primary Caregiver/Essential Visitor may visit at any time; however, they must ensure the maximum number visitors on-site defined for their loved one does not exceed two (2) at one time
- All visitors must wear a surgical mask and any additional required personal protective equipment at all times during their visit
- The resident may have a maximum of 2 visitors in the building at a time
- Alternate exceptional plans may be implemented by the Manager of Clinical Operations, or designate, to allow more than 2 visitors at a time at imminent end of life (PPS 10%)
- If you are a designated visitor and plan to visit, we encourage you to contact your loved one or the Primary Caregiver to see what time would be best
- We ask that all visitors take precautions to limit their potential exposure to COVID-19. Please see below for further expectations of a designated visitor
Expectations of a Designated Visitor
As a designated visitor for someone who is currently residing in Chatham-Kent Hospice, we ask that you take preventative measures to reduce the transmission of and exposure to germs and viruses, including influenza, common colds, and COVID-19:
- Avoid going out into public, and take enhanced measures, as able, to reduce your exposure to COVID-19. (i.e. use curbside pickup for purchases)
- Wash hands often with soap and water, for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are not available, use a 70% alcohol-based hand sanitizer;
- Avoid touching your face with unwashed hands;
- Practice good cough etiquette (maintain distance, sneeze/cough into your elbow or a tissue, not in your hands and put used tissues in a waste receptacle and wash hands immediately after using tissues)
- Practice social distancing to avoid coming into close contact with others including:
- avoiding crowded places and non-essential gatherings
- avoiding common greetings such as handshakes
- limiting contact with people at higher risk (older adults and those in poor health)
- keeping a distance of at least 2 arms lengths (approximately 2 metres) from others, as much as possible
- Get your COVID-19 and flu vaccines
We want to help our residents and their loved ones to stay connected as much as possible keeping the safety of everyone in mind. Please encourage additional family members and friends to stay in touch by scheduling a garden window visit or Courtyard visit. The other options are to connect by phone, video chat (FaceTime, Skype) or send an email. Please let us know how we can help coordinate this for you.
Garden Window Visits
- Visitors must phone the reception desk to pre-arrange their visits in coordination with the resident & Hospice. Please note that garden window visits may only take place during reception hours
- Visitors are required to wear a face mask for the visit
- Visitors may bring a lawn chair
- Physical distancing (2 metres) applies for all visitors
- Windows may be open if the resident and any visitors in the suite are 2 metres from the window.
- Windows in the suite will remain closed and the visitor will be provided with the hospice phone number and suite extension to facilitate phone communication
Reception Desk Hours
The reception desk continues to be staffed between the core hours of 8:30am-8:30pm, 7 days a week. Please note that reception hours may be reduced based on staff or volunteer availability. We ask that any visitors arriving before or after these times, to please be patient with us as staff may be delayed in answering the door if providing care to one of our residents.
We also ask that visitors stay in the resident suite or one of the dedicated spaces for residents and visitors once in the building. We currently have our Reflection Room and Great Room open for use by residents and visitors. For enhanced cleaning, visitors must check in with the reception desk or the clinical team to access one of these spaces, and when done using the space.
If you have any questions about COVID-19, please follow-up with the Chatham-Kent Public Health Unit at 519-355-1071 ext. 1900 or visit https://www.ontario.ca/page/2019-novel-coronavirus
We want you to know that our priority is to ensure the safety of our residents, visitors, volunteers, physicians and employees while continuing to provide excellent care and services. Our staff appreciate your understanding and cooperation in helping us deliver safe care to you and your loved one. As always, thank you for entrusting us with the care of your loved one. It is truly an honour and our privilege.