Thanks to excellent planning from Providence Care’s Infection Prevention and Control and administrative teams, and some generous donor support, residents and staff at Providence Manor have had an extra layer of protection throughout the pandemic.
Government directives required any resident entering long-term care homes to be tested and quarantined for 14 days. This is difficult, especially for residents with dementia, for example, who may have tendencies to wander. To help keep staff and residents safe, Providence Manor implemented an isolation and transition unit in March 2020.
“Residents stay in the unit for their quarantine period, and certain staff only care for these residents. It’s like cohorting to stop cross-contamination,” explains Kaitlyn del Rosario, Director of Care at Providence Manor. “Therefore, the unit is another line of defense for the health and safety of staff members and residents. Not all homes can do this, so it’s very comforting to know we have it.”
One obstacle for staff when setting up the unit was equipment could not be shared with the rest of the home. Directives also required daily respiratory assessments for residents, including checking temperatures and oxygen levels, which placed further demands on staff and equipment availability.
“Thankfully, generous donors kindly purchased additional blood pressure machines we could dedicate to the isolation unit,” says Kaitlyn. “This has been invaluable because the machines include everything staff need for the assessments, and they don’t need to worry about moving machines around the home and risking contamination. We are so thankful for that!”
The donations didn’t stop there. Donors also gifted Providence Manor with lift machines to help with resident mobility and access. With staff shortages in long-term care homes due to the pandemic, something as simple as having two staff members available to help move residents with mobility challenges has become very difficult to schedule. Extra lift machines greatly help to minimize disruption in care.
“These tools have really helped to lessen the workloads and stress levels of staff by providing them with the equipment they need to care for our residents,” says Kaitlyn. “Life for staff in long-term care homes has become significantly harder during the pandemic, and Providence Manor is no exception. Donations like these are extremely helpful for both staff and residents. We are so grateful!”