How Actionmarguerite is Caring for Residents and Their Families During COVID-19

August 31 2020

Daniel St-Vincent, Manager of Resident Experience, shared:

“Our priority as an organization was to implement mechanisms to allow families to communicate with residents. We invited all Actionmarguerite families to participate in virtual visits.”

“It was a relief for them to be able to see their loved ones and know that they were doing well and being well cared for. There were some very touching, emotional moments. Facilitating those visits

occupied almost all of the recreation staff’s and social workers time until Mother’s Day.”

“Window visits were also implemented at all three sites. Depending on the resident’s cognitive state, it’s sometimes a better option for them. We also encouraged families to send photos with email messages for Mother’s Day, and those were printed out, read to residents and then posted in theirrooms. It was really nice.”

“In addition, all Masses, large group activities and visits by the Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra and others had to be cancelled. It’s a lot of change for everyone.”

“For Masses, cameras had been installed in the chapel at Actionmarguerite St. Vital without knowing that the pandemic was coming. They proved very useful! The technology was also available at the St. Joseph residence, but not at St. Boniface, where spiritual workers organized small prayer groups when possible, with the necessary social distancing.”

“Since Mother’s Day, our objective has been to find a balance between virtual visits and the resumption of small group activities, with all the necessary protocols established by the Province. We’ve had to start from scratch. It’s really a team effort.”

Over the summer, as new protocols have been implemented by Shared Health, visitation has changed to allow indoor interactions, which has been helpful for some residents who have difficulty hearing, for example. The team at ActionMarguerite continue to adapt to changes as they come, hoping to be able to bring families and residents safely together as often as they can.

Charlotte Hébert, daughter of an ActionMarguerite resident, shared:

“The entire staff has been amazing from the get-go. They’ve gone out of their way to maintain a connection between residents and their families. They went around with tablets so that residents could Skype. They called all the families to set up a schedule so that every resident would have a chance to connect with loved ones.”

“Three of the four siblings in our family have tried this, but my mom doesn’t understand the medium. She doesn’t know what to do with it. We’ve also tried phoning: mom was behind a window with an attendant and a phone. We were outside, on the other side of the window, with our phone.”

“But it didn’t go very well because she doesn’t hear or see well, and she didn’t understand why I couldn’t come in to see her. It made her very anxious. It was heartbreaking for me.”

“But I very much appreciated the opportunity, and also to see that mom had been made up so beautifully by the attendant. I could see they were taking good care of her. And for Mother’s Day, Actionmarguerite offered families the opportunity to email photos and messages that they could print out and give to residents.”

“It’s really amazing and moving how much work the staff has done, in all areas, to care for the residents. And when I call, they usually call me back the same day. I feel very supported. Actionmarguerite has exceeded all my expectations.”

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