AgeCare / News & Events / AgeCare Columbia COVID-19 Weekly Update for August 14, 2020: Hand Hygiene & Staying Hydrated


AgeCare Columbia COVID-19 Weekly Update for August 14, 2020: Hand Hygiene & Staying Hydrated

Dear Residents and Families,

We remain committed to providing updates to our residents, families, and staff at AgeCare. As such, we are providing weekly updates to keep you all informed on what is happening at our community and organization-wide.

  1. Information and announcements – this week, we are sharing a guide to hand hygiene and how to recognize and prevent dehydration.
  2. Recreation calendar as the need to stay active, intellectually stimulated, and socially connected never ends.
  3. A weekly shout-out to celebrate the great work and activities happening at our community.

These updates are sent Friday each week. We hope that you find them helpful. Thank you all for your continued support.


Matejah Kovacs, LPN

A Guide to Hand Hygiene

As we are moving towards communities having safe access for residents, their families and visitors, we know our residents and families accept and work with us to minimize the risk of exposure to and stop the spread of the COVID-19 virus.  It is an excellent opportunity to remind us about hand hygiene!

Hand hygiene is the best way to break the chain of infection and stop the spread of germs.

How to Wash Your Hands

There are lots of great teaching tools and reminders out there on how to perform hand hygiene. AgeCare communities all have posters and reminders on how to clean your hands, either with alcohol-based hand rubs (ABHR) or good old-fashioned soap and water.

Here are a couple of great places to go to refresh your knowledge and your skill in the proper way to perform hand hygiene.

Washing Hands with Soap & Water

Washing Hands with Sanitizer

These video resources along with our Hand Hygiene brochure are available on or website at, select Alberta, and locate under the ‘Resources for Safe Visits’ section.

When Should You Wash Your Hands?

Hand hygiene is considered a routine practice in our industry. You must use hand hygiene when you are in our communities and visiting your loved one.

These practices can (and should) be used at any time – whether you are interacting with individuals in our community or if you are out in public. Hand hygiene can and will stop the spread of infection.

Use hand hygiene practices at all times. It takes no time at all to learn the best way to prevent the spread of respiratory infections such as Influenza or COVID-19.

How to Prevent the Spread

  • Be screened each time you enter the building.
  • Wash your hands often and well.
  • Avoid touching your face, nose, or mouth with unwashed hands.
  • Maintain the appropriate physical distance when visiting with anyone.
  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  • Clean and disinfect any surfaces that are frequently touched.
  • Cover your cough and sneezes and then washing your hands.
  • Stay home when you are sick.

If you are feeling unwell at any point during your visit, notify the nursing staff, then go to the AHS website and complete the COVID-19 screening and possibly get tested.

Staying Hydrated

With the heatwave that has been upon us, we are taking extra care to ensure residents keep hydrated.  Many people, particularly older adults, don’t feel thirsty until they’re already dehydrated. They may even have a decreased thirst drive, even when dehydrated. That’s why it’s vital to increase water intake during hot weather.

The BEST drink to stay hydrated is water. Stay away from “diet” drinks, sugar-filled or caffeinated beverages.

Recognizing the Signs of Dehydration in Seniors

The signs and symptoms of dehydration differ by age.  Some indications that you or your loved one may be dehydrated are:

  • Confusion or Disorientation
  • Headache
  • Dizziness or Nausea
  • Dry Lips, Mouth or Throat
  • Decreased Tears
  • Muscle weakness
  • Fatigue, Disinterest or Boredom (Lethargic)
  • Concentrated or Decreased Urine
  • Weight Loss
  • Sunken Eyes

Hydration Tips for Seniors

  • Place water where it is easy to find and
  • Encourage and remind often to take a drink,
  • Try different kinds of cups or water bottles.
  • Sit and have a drink together,
  • Ensure there is access to the bathroom when needed
    If a person experiences urgency or incidents of incontinence, it may prevent them from wanting to drink.

Recreation Calendar

We are happy to share that our recreation calendar is back, and many of our regular recreational activities in the community have resumed. Residents can participate in a variety of engaging activities that enrich the mind, body and spirit, while maintaining appropriate physical distancing.

Visit our news & events page to download our recreation calendar (PDF)

Weekly Shout-Out

One of our ladies working on the Scandinavian Yarn doll; residents were able to choose either the girl or boy version of this classic wool doll, and some residents choose to do both. It was a good day to be inside with temperatures outside in the 30’s Celsius.

A group of University of Lethbridge students donated their time to complete benches and raised beds for AgeCare Columbia’s gardening program. The entire project was organized and funded through their efforts; how appreciative and grateful we are to Mike and his crew for thinking of us as a way to give back to the community.