April 16, 2020
Dear Families of Luther Home Residents,
I am hoping that all of our Luther Home Families were able to enjoy the Easter Celebration with their loved ones, either virtually or in small groups (being mindful of the physical distancing recommendations). I am well aware that Holidays can be emotional and difficult at the best of times, yet not being able to see a loved one can feel overwhelmingly distressing and just plain unfair.
I am happy to relay that Luther Home Residents were thrilled at both a Good Friday and an Easter Sunday Church Service, put on by our wonderful Pastor Hanny. Luther Home is strongly adhering to all physical distancing measures, and in that light we were able to have a small number attend the service in the Chapel, while the remaining were able to watch the service on television in their rooms, or in the lounges.
Following Mass, the Residents were treated to a delicious Easter lunch consisting of Bone in Ham, scalloped potatoes, carrots and Angel food cake. The smiles were in abundance, and it is clear to all of us that the spirit of our Residents, are in no way dampened.
I wanted to give you a brief overview of what we have implemented in Luther Home since my last email.
Two weeks ago, Luther Home began screening all staff at every shift start, 24 hours a day. This includes taking a temperature and asking specific questions relating to respiratory symptoms. If the staff had a recorded temp of 38 degrees or higher; and or answered “yes” to any of the questions, they were turned away from work and sent immediately for COVID testing. This system works incredibly well as a first line defense in keeping COVID out of our Home. I must note that we have had roughly 15 staff tested, and all 15 have had a negative result!!
Luther Home has also implemented Universal PPE (personal protective equipment) for our staff. This includes masks and eye protection for every staff member within a 6 foot barrier of the resident. Supply issues have been noted globally, and Long Term Care has been no exception. We began mask roll out last week, and goggles will commence tomorrow. Our Educator has spent a great deal of time coming in to teach proper donning and doffing of personal protective equipment. The staff has been relieved to start wearing PPE, and a greater sense of calm resonates both with staff and residents, as a result.
Luther Home implemented the recommended Physician Virtual Visits as of three weeks ago. Our Medical Director, Dr. Domke, has stated that she is pleased with this process and has expressed her gratitude for being able to continue visualizing and conversing with her residents. This has been a smooth transition thus far, whereby all medical needs of our residents have been attended to, and will continue in the same vain. Dr. Domke may need to come in from time to time -as a more detailed examination may be required. We continue to be immensely grateful and appreciative of Dr. Domke and her incredible commitment to the residents of Luther Home.
As our Allied Health Services (Foot Care, Dietician, Speech Language Pathology, Physiotherapy, Occupational Therapy and Foot Services) work in many different health care settings, Luther Home has agreed to have these services entering our Home on an as needed basis; or visiting virtually, until restrictions have been lifted for Long Term Care. The process and recommendations of limiting such traffic is key in preventing viral transmission into Luther Home. However, there may be times that these services require a physical presence, much like the above scenario with our MD.
Our Admin has done a consistent job in keeping the lines of communication open with both staff and residents. We meet weekly with residents and staff (separately) to give them Global/Provincial/Internal Operational updates followed by a Q and A period. This has been well received. Residents enjoy being able to contribute by communicating feelings, and or offering suggestions It is important for the residents to know that they have a voice in these uncertain times; and we will continue to foster this type of engagement.
The residents are well. They look great. They are happy. We currently have no outbreak, and in fact we don’t have one ill resident to report at this time. Recreation is working hard to keep them busy and as many of you may know, our Recreation Mgr, Eddie, is doing Face Time Visits, or facilitating Window Visits. Please contact him if you are interested in being involved in either of these.
In closing, we are confident that we have put all processes in place in a timely manner; educated our staff, are strictly following all recommendations put forth by Health Canada, and continue to actively seek out early signs of infection among our residents, so that infection control practices can be implemented early to avoid any unwanted exposure or spread. Together, as a team we continue to work and finalize our Luther Home pandemic planning for an ‘every case scenario,’ with the safety of our residents at the forefront of our decision making.
God Bless and take care
Director Resident Services
To minister, with love and compassion, to the physical, mental, spiritual, and social needs of persons within our facility and community.