AgeCare / News & Events / AgeCare Harmony Court COVID-19 Weekly Update: Activities to Do While Visiting Your Loved One – Part 2

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AgeCare Harmony Court COVID-19 Weekly Update: Activities to Do While Visiting Your Loved One – Part 2

Dear Resident or Family Member,

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

 

  1. Information and announcements – this week, we are sharing some community announcements, information on flu season, and part two of the list of activities you can do while visiting your loved one.
  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 on Friday each week. We hope that you find them helpful. Thank you all for your continued support.

Sincerely,

Cindy Kahlon,
Administrator

 

What You Need to Know About Flu Season

Reducing the risk of influenza is particularly important this fall and winter as we simultaneously combat the resurgence of COVID-19 in the greater community. It is important that you are doing all that you can in your day-to-day, especially if you plan to visit your loved, to protect yourself. To assist you with this, we have provided some helpful information about influenza.

 

 

What is Influenza?

Influenza (flu) is a respiratory disease caused by a virus that affects the nose, throat and lungs. The flu is contagious and can easily pass from person to person through coughing, sneezing, or having face-to-face contact. The virus can also spread when a person touches tiny droplets on surfaces, from a cough or sneeze, and then touches their eyes, mouth, or nose before washing their hands.

 

What are the symptoms of influenza?

The symptoms of influenza are a fever of 38.5°C (101.3°F) or higher that starts suddenly, sore throat, runny nose, cough, headache, muscle aches, loss of appetite, and feeling tired.

 

Most people who get sick with the flu get better. However, the flu lowers the body’s ability to fight other infections, putting seniors and those with chronic conditions more at risk of serious illness and even death if they contract the virus.

 

Because some of the symptoms of flu and COVID-19 are similar, it may be hard to tell the difference based on symptoms alone, and testing may still be needed to help confirm a diagnosis.

 

How to protect against influenza?

 

  1. Getting the flu shot each year is one of the best ways to prevent influenza. This is because the influenza virus circulates and new strains can emerge and spread.
     
    In its seasonal influenza vaccine statement for 2020-2021, the National Advisory Committee on Immunization (NACI) advised that priority should be given to providing influenza vaccine to persons at high risk of influenza complications and those capable of transmitting the infection to them. This includes seniors as well as family and loved ones who visit them.
     
    The Influenza vaccine is offered, free of charge, to British Columbians who are eligible. This includes anyone at high risk of serious illness and those able to transmit or spread influenza. Find out if you are eligible for a free vaccine.
     
    Clinic dates and times for the 2020-2021 season will be available mid-October. Find an ImmunizeBC Influenza Clinic near you or call your pharmacy or physician’s office to see if they offer the flu shot.
     
    As part of our Immunization Program this year, CareRx Pharmacy will be on location to provide AgeCare residents the vaccine this season – more details to come.

 

  1. Regularly wash your hands with soap and water or clean your hands with a hand sanitizer that has alcohol in it. Refer to our hand hygiene for more information.
  2.  

  3. Cover your mouth and nose with your arm or a tissue when you cough or sneeze.
  4.  

  5. Stay home when you are sick. You can spread influenza (are contagious) the day before you have any symptoms and for 5 days after your symptoms start. Make sure you are not visiting your loved one during that time or while still displaying symptoms.

 

Information in this update is provided by the Government of Alberta and ImmunizeBC.

 

Activities to Do While Visiting Your Loved One (Part Two)

 

Enjoy music together

Music has a universal ability to boost mood, reduce agitation, and increase happiness and engagement. It’s also a wonderful activity to share with your loved one.

 

When you’re together, play their favourite songs or set up a simple music player so they can listen anytime. If you’re not sure what music they enjoy, ask relatives or bring a selection of songs that came out when they were young and ask which they like most.

 

If you’re not sure they’re enjoying the music, watch their body language for clues. If they seem agitated, switch to something more soothing, lower the sound, or switch to a different activity.

 

You could make a playlist of favourite songs and music. Playlist for Life has information about music and dementia, and advice about how and when to listen to it.

 

Read a book aloud

Reading is a great way to connect and let them know how much you care without having to make a lot of conversation. It is especially good for loved ones who are bedbound, not very responsive due to an advanced health condition, or those with vision impairments.

 

Complete an exercise

Regular exercise can help improve strength and balance and be a fun activity to do together. Ask the recreation team for an exercise routine that you can follow.

 

Additional suggestion: follow a Sit & Be Fit exercise video on YouTube

 

Catch up on current events

Read the newspaper aloud together and discuss the articles and current events. Ask for your loved one’s opinion on what you’ve read and see where the conversation takes you. This can help stimulate memories from when they were growing up that they may want to share, and can help them feel connected to the world outside the community.

 

Additional suggestions: complete the quizzes and games in the paper for some added fun, or read and discuss your daily horoscope.

 

Listen to & discuss a podcast

Podcasts, similar to radio programs, are a great way to learn something new or for just the enjoyment of listening to something you are interested in. From education to history, health and comedy, and so much more, there is a podcast for just about any topic but here are a few suggestions to get you started:

 

  • 99% Invisible is a weekly podcast that revolves around design. Educational and only 4 and a half minutes long, it teaches you something interesting every week.
  • Stuff You Missed in History Class from How Stuff Works, produces two shows every week. Each episode, of course, focuses on something you may not have learned in history class.
  • The Night Time Podcast with mysteries mostly based in Atlantic Canada this will be of special interest to Canadians.
  • Philosophy Bites is philosophy broken down into small understandable pieces. It’s organized by topics such as art, great thinkers and more.

 

Observe the birds

Birdwatching stimulates memory, cognitive alertness, and awareness. Bird-watching can also relieve stress and soothe anxiety for seniors. Spend some time birdwatching from the window or courtyard, trying to identify the different species of birds.

 

Tour a Canadian museum exhibit

Discover history, art, science, nature and more through virtual exhibits from Canada’s museums and heritage organizations.

Visit www.virtualmuseum.ca/virtual-exhibits/type/virtual-exhibits/

 

Take part in a spiritual or religious practice

For some individuals, spiritual or religious practices can profoundly influence their sense of well-being. Perhaps this is doing a prayer together or taking part in spiritual reflection, reading, or prayer.

 

For a complete list of suggested activities, you can do with your loved one, check out our Activities to Do While Visiting Your Loved One Handout

 

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.

 

Harmony Court Recreation Calendar – October 2020

 

Weekly Shout-Out

Our Maintenance Manager Evan is all over the building tackling various jobs to keep our community in good shape. It’s hard work, but Evan is always up for the task. Thank you for all your hard work.