RE: COVID-19 – Update from Sunnyside

Dear Family & Friends of Sunnyside;

We continue to be well at Sunnyside with no sick residents or staff.

The biggest news of the past month was the announcement from the Saskatchewan Health Authority that they are allowing family visits to long term care residents inside the care homes.  These visits are restricted to only two people who are designated inside visitors and only one person can visit at a time.  At the present time we are scheduling inside visits on Tuesdays.

Sunnyside also made the following improvements to our outside family visits:

We have increased the # of visitors allowed from 2 to 4 as long as they are all from the same house.  Children can come and visit too.  They count as part of the maximum of 4.

If the weather is bad, family scheduled for an outside visit can be moved inside instead of cancelling IF the family visitor has been designated for inside visits and only one family member can come inside at a time.

To provide us the names of designated family members for inside visits or to arrange a visit, please contact our Recreation department at 306-653-1267 ext. 140.  If you receive their voice mail leave them a voice mail with your contact details and preferred visiting time.  We are scheduling visits 7 days a week, in the afternoons from 1:00 – 7:00pm. We will confirm with you which times we have available.  We appreciate all the great cooperation from our residents and family members during the pandemic.

We continue to offer assistance with telephone calls and video visits. You can also send us emails to deliver and read to your resident.  Emails can be sent to me at randy.kurtz@saskhealthauthority.ca.  Sending letters and parcels by Canada Post is also an option.

We continue to accept items for your loved one through our front door, where we can safely sanitize the items prior to your loved one receiving them. They cannot be handed directly to your loved one at your visit.  Acceptable items are flowers from a florist, letters, photos, books, wrapped packages and clothing.

“Re-open Saskatchewan” is almost complete, however, I am sure you are aware that new cases continue to pop up all across our province.  In light of a recent increase in COVID-19 cases, the Saskatchewan Health Authority is urging Saskatchewan residents to be more vigilant when it comes to following public health measures and personal safety precautions to prevent the spread of COVID-19. Over the past month numerous public service announcements have been issued in various areas across the province.  This reminds us that COVID-19 is everywhere and has no boundaries.  Across Saskatchewan, we need to stay vigilant when it comes to preventing the spread of the virus.”

At Sunnyside, we will continue to be careful and look for more ways to be safe.  The risk to our residents increases as society starts returning to normal activities so we have to remain on heightened awareness.

We are proactive in testing residents and staff for Covid-19 if they show any flu like symptoms.   We screen our staff at the beginning of each shift and residents are monitored continually for an extended list of new or worsening respiratory symptoms i.e. cough, shortness of breath, runny nose or sneezing, nasal congestion, hoarse voice, sore throat, difficulty swallowing and for the onset of any new atypical symptoms including chills, muscle aches, diarrhea, malaise, fatigue, loss of sense of smell, loss of sense of taste, or headache.

As we open up Saskatchewan we’d are asking for your help in ensuring all Saskatchewan residents know that medical care is open and safe to access. We should be accessing care when we need it and not waiting. Every medical concern is important, not just those related to COVID-19.  If you, or someone you know have a medical concern, please reach out to your family physician for specific details on their practice operations. And, in an emergency, call 911.

It’s important to note that Re-Open Saskatchewan does not apply to health care, it is for the general public.  The Saskatchewan Health Authority has their own Re-open plan for health care.  Implementation will vary across the province depending on outbreaks, capacity and ability to adhere to public health orders.

We continue connecting electronically with our Doctors, Physiotherapist and Occupational Therapist so they can do assessments and consult with us.  Our doctors continue to review their residents care with our nurses with same frequency as before Covid-19, however, for now it is by telephone and video.  Doctors will come onsite if needed and are on call for us 24 * 7.

We re-opened our dining room for lunch on Monday, July 27 for one seating of 25 residents.  We need to maintain physical distancing so it is not possible to go back to our usual dining routine at this time.  We will look for ways to expand dining options for our residents.

We will be resuming on-site foot care services from CBI in about a month.  We are working with CBI to assure proper infection control processes are in place.

We are arranging an out-door concert for our residents in August.  This will be held in our court yard where we can have double the required physical distancing.

We remain fully staffed, however, in July all our nursing students were unexpectedly called to the hospital to do their practicums which meant they could not work at Sunnyside.  This caused us to incur a lot of overtime and the occasional staff shortage, but we made it through and our students are back for August.

If you are coming to Sunnyside check out our community garden along Hilliard Street.    It is doing very well with all the rain we have received and we look forward to a good harvest.  We have 40 gardeners this year.

Please share the info in this memo with all your other family members or let them know they can keep updated with things at Sunnyside on our web page (www.sunnysidecare.ca) and our Facebook page (Sunnyside Adventist Care Centre). You should also keep updated via Saskatchewan’s website at:  www.saskatchewan.ca/covid19.

We appreciate your support, patience and prayers and look forward to seeing you more often as restrictions are lifted.  If there is anything we can do for your loved one or for you, please let us know.  I am available at 306-653-1267 ext 123 or randy.kurtz@saskhealthauthority.ca. Our nursing staff are available 24 * 7 at ext 124.  All other departments are listed on our phone system when you call.

Take care,

Randy Kurtz

Administrator

 

Living in the new “normal”:  Some people may be over COVID-19, but COVID-19 isn’t over for any of us.  That’s the message of caution from Dr. David Torr, a medical health officer for the Saskatchewan Health Authority, and previous co-commander of the SHA’s Public Health Incident Command Centre. “We need to remind folks that COVID-19 is very much here. The activity level may vary across different parts of the province, but that doesn’t mean it’s gone. It will be here for some time.”  Like it or not, we need to learn to live with COVID-19.  Welcome to the new “normal.”  Given our new circumstances, we need to determine “what we can do to be as normal as possible without endangering ourselves or others,” he said.  “At a personal level, you should be more meticulous in habits like frequent and thorough handwashing, physical distancing, avoiding touching your face or surfaces, remembering who your social contacts are over the past two weeks, getting tested for COVID-19 if you have symptoms and protecting others, especially the vulnerable.  “At a societal level,” he continued, “this means you’re not shaking hands or hugging people as we used to. You’re washing your hands before you enter a store and, while in the store, for example, when you’re shopping or in line up to pay, you’re staying a six-foot distance from others.”