The downtown seniors home currently houses over 120 residents. As of the end of August, the facility did not record a case. Hayne says it was accomplished by staying “a little ahead of the curve” at all times. For every regulation Alberta Health Services implemented, the OPH team took it one step further. When other facilities were allowing one to two visitors per resident, OPH only allowed one. Masks were encouraged before they became mandatory. Nobody got through the front door unless that person had a right to be there.
In place of communal dining, a delivery system was set up to ensure residents could have individually packaged daily meals supplied to their suites. Staff arranged for groceries to be delivered for independent living residents. “It was basically like a hotel delivery, everybody had room service,” says Hayne.
While effective, the no-visitor policy and weeks of isolation put residents’ mental health in focus.
“There’s only about 20 per cent of our clientele who used a computer on a regular basis, says Hayne. “There was a lot of teaching and facilitating Zoom and FaceTime calls … one by one.”
When some restrictions were lifted, staff facilitated outdoor walks with visitors, and later a whole floor was dedicated to be used for socially distant visits.