We were delighted (and shortly after that, overwhelmed) by Dr. Henry’s announcement that residents could now have more than one designated visitor, starting April 1. With one-week notice, a flurry of Zoom meetings with Island Health, policy and procedure writing began. Forms for residents needed to be completed with the lists of family and friends who wish to visit. Emails and notices were sent out with the changes and answering all of the questions that accompanied any change.
While being concerned about the increasing COVID-19 numbers in the province and on Vancouver Island and what it could mean for our seniors’ health, it is tempered by knowing that our beloved residents can see family and friends after, in many cases, a year-long absence. Some family members of long-term residents are also a part of our Cridge family, so it’s been fantastic to see them in the building again.
Another change that came with the announcement from Dr. Henry is that residents within the building don’t have to maintain the 6-foot distance among themselves. There are still many restrictions: no entertainers, the building remains closed for meetings/deliveries and smaller group events only. However, we have opened our Dining Room a bit further so our residents can enjoy more social interactions. There are no more Plexiglas dividers on tables, and residents can sit two to four people per table. One or two floors are invited down each day, seven days a week, so there is a maximum of 28 residents eating together at a time. Every group will have at least two days per week of meals in the Dining Room.
We are still working out how the changes will affect our Recreation programming, but that team continues to do small group activities in creative and fun ways. Activities like Bocce Ball, Garden Club, Bingo, outdoor walks, giant crossword puzzles, and News Group are trendy.
Please keep us in your prayers as we navigate these changes that we would have wisdom, continue to be safe and virus-free. Pray for us so we would be bolstered amongst the exhaustion and burnout all of us in Health Care are facing, that our residents will be encouraged by seeing their family members and that there will always, above all else, be grace. Grace for mistakes, for frustrated residents, grace for our Health Authority, and grace for our burned-out colleagues.
By Sarah Smith, Manager of The Cridge Seniors’ Village