Staying in contact with loved ones during the COVID-19 pandemic has become even more important with self-isolation requirements and visitor restrictions put in place to help slow the spread.
That means using technology such as a video or phone call. Even a window visit or a letter to those in isolation can make a world of a difference.
“It’s not ideal, but it still means a lot to us that we can see them in the windows,” says Laura Keays, who spent Wednesday morning visiting her mother and other residents at a SerenaCare home in Moncton with her partner Corinna Rodgers. “We visit our mother every day.”
Much to the joy of several residents who gathered around the window, Keays and Rodgers also brought two dogs to help lighten the mood.
Susan Dixson, the owner of SerenaCare in Moncton, looks after two facilities; one of 18 residents and another with 13.
“These times have been especially challenging for our residents because they don’t have the contact with their family like they’re used to,” Dixon said.
While the home has ramped up safety protocols, including making gloves and disinfectant wipes more widely accessible for staff who enter the building, it’s also focusing on making sure people stay connected.
Susan Dixson, owner of SerenaCare in Moncton, says it’s important to stay connected with family members
Cecile Cassista, the executive director of the Coalition for Seniors and Nursing Home Residents’ Rights, says it’s important to check in with seniors and neighbours, and offer to help if possible.
“We’re in an unsettled situation,” she says. “We have to get the message out that you need to reach out to older adults, see if they need medication and groceries, see how they’re doing.”
She says they have a weekly check-in call list, and a volunteer program to help with those essentials. You can find more details by contacting email@example.com or 506-850-8286.
Questions about COVID-19? Here are some things you need to know:
Health officials caution against all international travel. Returning travellers are legally obligated to self-isolate for 14 days, beginning March 26, in case they develop symptoms and to prevent spreading the virus to others. Some provinces and territories have also implemented additional recommendations or enforcement measures to ensure those returning to the area self-isolate.
Symptoms can include fever, cough and difficulty breathing — very similar to a cold or flu. Some people can develop a more severe illness. People most at risk of this include older adults and people with severe chronic medical conditions like heart, lung or kidney disease. If you develop symptoms, contact public health authorities.
To prevent the virus from spreading, experts recommend frequent handwashing and coughing into your sleeve. They also recommend minimizing contact with others, staying home as much as possible and maintaining a distance of two metres from other people if you go out.
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