Care home staff shone at Oakview Place

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Hey there, time traveller!
This article was published 11/01/2021 (626 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.

There has been a lot of media scrutiny of long-term care facilities that have been in COVID-19 outbreaks. Some of it has been positive but a lot has shone a negative light on the shortcomings within some personal care homes.

I am a registered dietitian working in two large for-profit facilities, and the pandemic has been especially hard, especially at Extendicare Oakview Place.

Oakview Place’s COVID-19 outbreak began in November. Initially, only one or two residents tested positive but it spread rapidly. Thankfully, the outbreak was contained to the north side of the building.

The quick action and team efforts of all staff made a world of difference in ensuring that all residents received proper care, nourishment, support and protection. The regional director put out daily communications to family members and staff to keep everyone abreast of what was going on. Daily cleaning schedules were ramped up, all staff had access to personal protective equipment including N95 masks and strict screening criteria were (and always had been) implemented.
Residents were immediately isolated to their rooms once they tested positive and units were closed.

All residents diagnosed with COVID-19 had their nutrition assessments updated and they were automatically placed on a nutritional supplement to maximize nutrition. Intravenous hydration therapy was provided to those in need and monitored by Winnipeg Regional Health Authority IV nurses. The physicians did routine rounds to check and monitor the affected residents. The scheduling clerk and senior administration worked tirelessly to ensure the facility was as fully staffed as possible (this was no easy effort because staff also tested positive and were off for a lengthy period). Education services worked to train and mentor new staff and educate all staff on the most up-to-date policies and procedures.

All departments, from maintenance to those in the office worked overtime and on weekends to ensure residents were assisted at meals and cared for. The dietary department moved to tray service to provide meals to residents in their rooms to limit the spread. This required much reorganization, as personal care homes are not set up for tray service but they handled it just fine. In the isolated areas, staff worked tirelessly in cumbersome and hot gear to provide care.

Unfortunately, we did lose some of our residents but their families’ warm wishes and thanks were comforting and the number of COVID-19 positive residents has dwindled substantially.

Even under the stress, the recreation department managed to release an awesome Christmas video for families.

What I saw at Extendicare Oakview Place over the last two months was exemplary teamwork and spirit. Kudos to everyone and all of our residents and families.

May 2021 bring quick vaccination and brighter days.

Lisa Lagasse is a registered dietitian and community correspondent for Charleswood. Email her at Charleswoodres@gmail.com

Lisa Lagasse

Lisa Lagasse
Charleswood community correspondent

Lisa Lagasse is a registered dietitian and community correspondent for Charleswood. Email her at Charleswoodres@gmail.com or find her on Twitter: @LisaRD42324393

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