Dear Residents and Families,
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.
These updates are sent on Friday each week. We hope that you find them helpful. Thank you all for your continued support.
Director of Care
In August, we informed you of the Health Quality Council of Alberta (HQCA) study – the COVID-19 Continuing Care Family and Resident Experience Study. The HQCA would like to provide an update on the progress of the study.
The HQCA received a large response from family members – nearly 9,000 responses from family members provincially, across over 300 designated supportive living and long-term care sites. In addition, select sites who experienced COVID-19 outbreaks were asked to distribute information to eligible residents about the interview portion of this study. As a result of this support, 27 residents were interviewed about their experiences.
Unfortunately, they did not receive a large survey response from residents. The HQCA recognizes that an online-only survey is difficult for many residents. However, they want residents who are able to participate to have the opportunity to do so. That is why they are now providing an open survey link for residents, so that family members and friends can remind and/or support them in completing the survey if possible. Family members will also be receiving an email from the HQCA asking for their help in capturing the resident perspective.
For more information and access to the survey, visit: https://www.hqca.ca/covid-19-continuing-care
About the Study
This study uses in-depth interviews and surveys to gather information from residents in congregate care (including designated supportive living and long-term care) and their family members’ about their experiences during the COVID-19 pandemic. The information gathered will assist further understanding about what has worked well and not so well during Alberta’s pandemic response, and identify opportunities to improve the delivery of congregate care and pandemic response in the months ahead. A provincial report will be publicly shared in the winter of 2020.
If you have any questions please do not hesitate to contact the project team: email@example.com
With the current global status, just about everyone is struggling to come up with creative ways to spend time with friends and family, but this can be especially challenging for those in continuing care. The following are some ideas that can help make your visits more meaningful and engaging all from the comfort of your loved one’s room or shared indoor and outdoor spaces.
Arrange Flowers in a Vase
Flower arranging is an easy activity that can help reduce stress, increase dexterity, and double as a beautiful gift for your loved one.
Bring a container to hold the flowers. It can be a traditional vase, a plastic water pitcher, or a mason jar. Purchase a variety of flowers, each with a sturdy stem. This will make it easier to maneuver the flowers into the container. With your loved one, spread your flowers out on a table, trim the stems to different lengths, then one-by-one select and place each flower together into the container, crossing the stems so they stand tall. When you are finished, add some water and put your centerpiece on display.
Watch a TV Show or Movie
Watching TV or a movie is something we often do with friends and family – why not do it with your loved one?
Ask them what they’d like to see – perhaps there are older movies or shows they’d love to watch again. Or, maybe there are current shows you know they’d love to see. No matter what you watch, it’s a great way to relax and enjoy each other’s company.
Reminisce About Happy Memories
Reminiscing about happy memories encourages the use of long-term memory, which may still be remembered with clarity. Use props like music, photos, gifts, and other keepsakes to spark memories and ask your loved one what it makes them think of.
Listen to a Guided Meditation
Mindful meditation has many potential physical and psychological benefits including better focus, calmness, decreased stress, improved sleep, and emotional well-being. Take a few minutes during your visit and follow along to a guided meditation video or use a meditation app.
Additional Suggestions – Diffuse calming scents like lavender and chamomile throughout the room to create a relaxing atmosphere. Dim the lighting and play some calming nature sounds.
Write Letters to Loved Ones
Send it back to a time before computers, and spend your visit writing handwritten letters to family and friends. All you need is paper and a pen! Help your loved one draft a letter, or each write your own. Ask the recipients to write back so you can read their responses together next time you visit.
Additional Suggestions – Did you know AgeCare has a Pen Pal program? Members of the community share uplifting words, stories, videos, and pictures with those who live and work in our communities to help brighten their spirits. Ask the recreation team to read recent letters that you can respond to. For more information, visit www.agecare.ca/PenPal
Watch Some Wildlife
Observe some wildlife live from around Canada from the comfort of your loved one’s room using your device.
Their Panda Cam lets you watch their two giant pandas, Er Shun and Da Mao, every day from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m., MT.
Sea Lions at OrcaLab
Have you ever watched a pile of sleepy sea lions hanging out and snoring loudly in real-time? It’s quite an experience, and it’s available to you via OrcaLab, a whale research station on Hanson Island, B.C.
The Beluga Boat, which attaches an underwater camera to a boat in beluga territory near Churchill, Man., is not currently operational. But you can watch some of the highlights from past beluga interactions.
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
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.
This week’s Shout Out goes out to our Laundry Service Team! Typically this team is composed of only two employees – Hazel and Merly. These staff members work with care and pride to launder our resident’s personal clothing. Before the pandemic, they managed laundry services for approximately 200 residents. Now, with additional support from the housekeeping team, we launder clothing for approximately 250 of our residents!
Thank you to this small team who manages such a large workload and always has a smile on their faces while doing it.