Information for Families

As a family member, you are an important part of our team.

By working together, we can ensure the person you love receives the best possible care, but nothing can take the place of family. Spend some time getting to know our facility, the daily routine, and the staff. Family and friends are always welcome. We encourage you to visit often, and to participate in activities and events at Northwood. To make your visit more meaningful, check out our Community Recreation & Wellness calendar for a schedule of events that you both can enjoy.

COMMUNITY UPDATE FROM NORTHWOOD – August 9, 2021

Dear Residents and Families,

While the province remains in Phase 4 we are pleased to provide an update that additional restrictions are now being lifted in long-term care effective August 9.

Regardless of immunization status, all residents may now:

  • Visit a family home or Designated Caregiver’s home, for up to 7 days, anywhere within Atlantic Canada.
  • Visit the home of someone other than a family member or Designated Caregiver, within Atlantic Canada.
  • Visit a resident in another long-term care facility. Overnight stays are not permitted.

Please make arrangements with the RN/LPN of your home/floor in advance of a home visit to ensure medication is available to take on a pass.

  • We are pleased to welcome all visitors into our facilities. Visits in resident rooms continue to be welcomed between 10am and 8pm. Visits do not need to be scheduled in advance for two or less visitors. 
  • Visiting groups larger than two must be booked in advance for a designated visiting space by calling 902-454-4408 for the Halifax Campus and 902-407-8520 for the Bedford Campus.
  • Visitors will continue to be screened in to the facility upon arrival. Visitors who have any symptoms of COVID-19 will not be permitted into the facility. Any visitor who has travelled from outside of the Atlantic Provinces must isolate as per public health guidelines and must have a negative swab prior to entering the facility and be able to provide proof.
  • Visitors may attend social activities with a resident if physical distance is maintained from other residents/visitors. Visitors are not permitted to attend mealtimes in the dining room with a resident.
  • Election candidates are permitted to visit a single resident or hold a group session in a common area. Door to door canvassing of residents is not permitted.
  • Families/Visitors are required to wear a mask during visits to all Northwood facilities however visitors may remove their mask in order to eat or drink during an indoor or outdoor visit in a designated visitation area or a resident’s room. 

We are pleased that additional restrictions are being eased within the provincial directives. These easements are encouraging for everyone.

Vaccinations for all members of the Northwood community are strongly recommended to ensure everyone can participate in these easements safely. New residents will continue to receive their needed vaccinations within Northwood while staff, DCGs, visitors and volunteers now have access to community clinic booking. 

We would also like to remind everyone that anyone with even one symptom of COVID-19 cannot enter the facilities.

Thank you for your patience and understanding.

GUIDELINES FOR LONG-TERM CARE FACILITIES IN NOVA SCOTIA

 

COMMUNITY UPDATE FROM NORTHWOOD – JULY 14, 2021

Dear Residents and Families,

We are pleased to provide an update on the recent easement of restrictions.

  • All residents are now permitted full community access. This does not include family home visits for partially and non vaccinated residents.
  • Fully vaccinated residents may now enjoy visits in the family home (including overnight stays for no more than one night at a time). Please make arrangements with the RN/LPN of your home/floor in advance to ensure medication is available to take on pass.
  • All residents can leave the facility to visit indoor and outdoor public places (like parks, stores and restaurants).
  • Indoor visits in residents rooms will resume for all residents starting July 15th between 10am and 8pm. Visits do not need to be scheduled in advance for two or less visitors. 
  • Visitors will be screened in to the facility upon arrival. Visitors who have any symptoms of COVID-19 will not be permitted in to the facility. Any visitor who has travelled from outside of the Atlantic Provinces must isolate as per public health guidelines and must have a negative swab prior to entering the facility and be able to provide proof. 
  • Visitors will need to log in and out and will be provided an education sheet. Visiting groups larger than two must be booked in advance for a designated visiting space by calling 902-454-4408 for the Halifax Campus and 902-407-8520 for the Bedford Campus.
  • Residents may now travel on public transit such as Metro Transit, including where residents could be on the same bus as the general public.
  • Families/Visitors are still required to wear a mask during visits to all Northwood facilities.

We are pleased that additional restrictions are being eased within the provincial directives. These easements are encouraging for everyone.

Vaccinations for all members of the Northwood community are strongly recommended to ensure everyone can participate in these easements safely. New residents will continue to receive their needed vaccinations within Northwood while staff, DCGs, visitors and volunteers now have access to community clinic booking. 

We would also like to remind everyone that anyone with even one symptom of COVID-19 cannot enter the facilities.

Thank you for your patience and understanding.

COMMUNITY UPDATE FROM NORTHWOOD – JUNE 30, 2021

Dear Residents and Families,

We are pleased to provide an update on the recent easement of restrictions.

  • Fully vaccinated residents  are now permitted full community access. This includes retail stores, restaurants, banks, Adult Day programs, work and school. This does not include visits in the family home.
  • Residents and DCGs may now enjoy a meal together at Lawley’s at our Halifax Campus.
  • All residents may access outdoor public areas (parks, boardwalks, etc.) with DCG or independently – residents need to maintain physical distancing and may not come in contact with others.
  • Residents are able to enjoy refreshments during visits (visitor are not permitted to eat or drink).
  • Social distancing is no longer required for outdoor visits (including residents who are partially vaccinated or not vaccinated).
  • Indoor visits in a designated area will resume for fully vaccinated Residents and may be booked starting July 6th by calling 902-454-4408 for the Halifax Campus and 902-407-8520 for the Bedford Campus.
  • Families are still required to wear a mask during visits to all Northwood facilities.

We are pleased that additional restrictions are being eased within the provincial directives. These easements are encouraging for everyone.

Vaccinations for all members of the Northwood community are strongly recommended to ensure everyone can participate in these easements safely. New residents will continue to receive their needed vaccinations within Northwood while staff, DCGs, visitors and volunteers now have access to community clinic booking. Staff, Volunteers and Designated Caregivers’ are reminded that asymptomatic testing continues and is recommended weekly.

We would also like to remind everyone that anyone with even one symptom of COVID-19 cannot enter the facilities.

Thank you for your patience and understanding.

VISITATION GUIDELINES

CCIR 21-111.0 Attachment COVID-19 Guidelines for LTC Visits – June 30 2021

COMMUNITY UPDATE FROM NORTHWOOD – JUNE 15, 2021

Dear Residents and Families,

We are pleased to provide an update on the recent easement of restrictions.

  • Residents are able to dine together and recreation activities may resume without cohorting.
  • Residents are able to go for walks off the grounds of the facility with a DCG or independently if agreed upon by resident/staff. They are required to maintain physical distancing and may not come in contact with others.
  • Partially vaccinated and non-vaccinated residents may now book appointments at the beauty salon.
  • Social drives may now include a drive-through and no longer need to be prescheduled. Resident/DCG are asked to inform the floor/home that the resident will be going out of the facility for a drive, sign in and out on the floor/home and be screened in at the door upon their return. DCG will be responsible for picking up and dropping off the resident and communicating the departure and arrival with staff.
  • Fully vaccinated residents may access outdoor public areas (parks, boardwalks, etc.) with DCG or independently – residents need to maintain physical distancing and may not come in contact with others.
  • It is very exciting that the Volunteer program will be resuming as well. Volunteer Resources will reach out to existing volunteers to discuss next steps.

We are pleased that additional restrictions are being eased within the provincial directives. These easements are encouraging for everyone.

Vaccinations for all members of the Northwood community are strongly recommended to ensure everyone can participate in these easements safely. New residents will continue to receive their needed vaccinations within Northwood while staff, DCGs, visitors and volunteers now have access to community clinic booking. Staff, Volunteers and Designated Caregivers’ are reminded that asymptomatic testing continues and is recommended weekly.

We would also like to remind everyone that anyone with even one symptom of COVID-19 cannot enter the facilities.

Thank you for your patience and understanding.

HALIFAX DRIVES

BEDFORD DRIVES

COMMUNITY UPDATE FROM NORTHWOOD – JUNE 3, 2021

Dear Residents and Families,

We are very pleased to announce that effective June 7th, 2021 Northwood is able to resume Designated Caregivers taking loved ones for a non-stop social drive.

Please review the documents below for further details.

HALIFAX

BEDFORD

COMMUNITY UPDATE FROM NORTHWOOD – MAY 28, 2021

Dear Residents and Families,

We were very happy to hear the announcements made today by Dr. Strang and Premier Rankin regarding the easement of directives. We will be reviewing the directives and determining how we can safely implement these changes.

More information will be available on Monday.

Thank you for your patience and understanding.

COMMUNITY UPDATE FROM NORTHWOOD – MAY 11, 2021

Dear Residents and Families,

We are pleased to announce that because of the ongoing negative results from our COVID – 19 testing, Public Health has notified us that we can begin easing the increased temporary restrictions required. This means residents will be able to resume an off floor schedule that will be effective today.

The schedules ensure residents are bubbled into small groups. We will monitor the situation in the community and as cases decrease we will reassess the ability to further ease restrictions and enable residents to have more time off their floor.

We thank staff and Designated Caregivers for their amazing work to keep residents safe!

Dear Residents and Families,

 
We are happy to report that after significant testing we are not reporting any new cases of COVID-19 to date. Currently, the one staff member who tested positive for COVID-19 remains on isolation.
 
The two floors that were identified as contacts were 1 Center, and 8 Centre. The residents on 1 centre and 8 Centre have been placed on isolation with residents restricted to their rooms. Through contact tracing we have determined that residents on 4 Centre also require isolation and further testing may be required.
 
We continue diligently working with Public Health to complete contact tracing for anyone who maybe considered a contact. All 5 staff close contacts continue to be off work and in self isolation.
 
Visitation is still restricted. We have been advised by Public Health that due to this positive case in our facility, we are required to suspend the resident’s social drives into the community. Essential medical appointment will still be allowed as long as Public Health guidelines are followed.
 
Currently we have approximately 80% of staff vaccinated. Many others are waiting for their earliest opportunity to get vaccinated. We continue to encourage all staff to get vaccinated. Our vaccine campaign continues and we are pleased with our overall uptake so far. Staff continue to be able to book vaccination appointments through the Nova Scotia health care clinics. 

Currently, there is no legislation that requires health care providers in any health care setting to be vaccinated.
 
Moving forward, all DCG’s regardless of vaccination status will be required to apply additional PPE when on the care floors.

Dear Residents and Families,

In consultation with Public Health, the follow precautions are in place to enable safe DCG Program participation while we are responding to the current situation at Northwood Halifax.   

  • Screening before entry is essential
  • Diligent hand washing
  • Medical Masking and Face Shields are required for all DCG with added PPE for unvaccinated DCGs. DCGs must be able to wear the PPE at all times and cannot remove at any time. This includes when in the residents rooms.
  • Maintain social distancing from staff and other residents.
  • All DCGs must remain within the residents room, please ask staff for assistance. If needed, you can use the nurse call system.
  • There are currently over 250 DCGs vaccinated and others are encouraged to access community clinics to ensure we are able to keep our community safe. There are 94% of residents vaccinated and we continue to offer vaccine to all staff vaccination.

Please find attached a helpful FAQ document as well as instruction on proper PPE use.

Thank you for your patience and understanding.

PPE8.5X14

PPE8.5X14

Dear Residents and Families,

As a follow-up to the earlier reported presumptive staff member case at our Halifax Campus, we have been informed by Public Health that this presumptive case is now confirmed as a positive COVID-19 case.

This staff member had contacts on two floors, 1 Center, and 8 Centre. All residents on these floors have been swabbed and have been placed on isolation precautions. We are diligently working with Public Health to complete contact tracing for anyone that may have had close contact with this case. Staff identified will be individually notified. It is also important to note that this staff member while working on these floors was wearing full PPE at all times. We have over 90% of our residents vaccinated and over 80% of our staff across LTC vaccinated.

We are taking full precautionary measures as directed by Public Health and will continue all of our robust infection prevention and control practices at this time, including a heightened focus on screening, hand hygiene, physical distancing, and mandatory masking and face shields in resident living areas. Our enhanced cleaning protocols continue.

We understand the impact of isolation on our residents and are very happy to say we have been supported by Public Health to resume our Designated Care Giver Program. At this time, DCGs must continue to visit one at a time. Because we have had a positive case all DCGs must wear a face shield in addition to their medical-grade mask while on the care floors. To participate in the program DCGs must be able to comply at all times with the mandated wearing of medical masks and face shields while in the facility. DCGs must also have had their COVID-19 vaccination. Over 75% of registered DCGs attended our internal DCG clinics. If a DCG has received their vaccination somewhere other than through Northwood, they will need to provide confirmation of vaccination.

We are happy to support residents and families stay connected by continuing the DCG program. Their mental health and their safety are our highest priority.

Thank you for your patience and understanding.

COMMUNITY UPDATE FROM NORTHWOOD – TUESDAY, April 27, 2021

Dear Residents and Families,

As the COVID-19 pandemic continues we would like to ensure all of our clients, residents, staff, and families that we will continue to keep you all well informed. The safety of our clients, residents, and staff is extremely important to us.

We want to inform you at this time that we have received confirmation of one presumptive case of COVID-19 in a staff member of our Halifax Campus. This individual contracted COVID-19 in the community. The staff person is now in isolation.

In response to this development, we have notified Public Health, Nova Scotia Health, and the Department of Health and Wellness. We are following Public Health direction and moving forward with contact tracing and increased swabbing/testing of residents and staff.

We are taking full precautionary measures as directed by Public Health, and will continue all of our robust infection prevention and control practices at this time, including a heightened focus on hand hygiene, physical distancing, and wearing of personal protective equipment including  universal masking and face shields. Our enhanced environmental cleaning continues. Visitation will remain closed until further notice.  The Bedford Campus Designated Caregiver Program will continue. The Halifax Campus Designated Caregiver Program has been suspended at this time.

Thank you for your patience and understanding.

COMMUNITY UPDATE FROM NORTHWOOD – THURSDAY, April 22, 2021

Good Afternoon,

As of today we have 111 active cases within the province and as they appear to be increasing with possible community spread, we need to keep our residents and staff safe. There will be some restrictions coming into effect as of 8am. Please see below:

1 – Visitors are now restricted from LTC as per Public Health Guidelines.

2 – DCGs can continue to visit their loved one and must follow all PPE protocols. DCGs are restricted to in room visits only until the community cases are under control.

3 – All volunteers are on hold until the community cases are under control.

Reminders:

  • Continuous hand washing (for visible soiling) and frequent use of hand sanitizer.
  • Maintain social distancing
  • Everyone must wear a mask prior to entering any Northwood facilities
  • Mask must be changed and medical mask applied once screened
  • Wearing masks at all times properly
    • Masks should fit over mouth and  cover nose
    • Do not dangle mask from ear
    • Do not wear mask under chin
    • Avoid touching your face and mask
  • Universal masking with a medical grade mask is required by everyone  within the facility.
  • If Mask is soiled – sanitize hands, discard mask, sanitize hands, and apply a new mask.
  • Please use elevator etiquette- check capacity that is required for each elevator.
  • If you have any symptoms, even one, go online to do a self-assessment and book an appointment- see attached link to guide you, https://covid-self-assessment.novascotia.ca/

COMMUNITY UPDATE FROM NORTHWOOD – TUESDAY, April 13, 2021

Dear Residents and Families,

Northwood’s Halifax LTC program is fortunate to have been approached to participate in a study led by Dr. Ken Rockwood Division of Geriatric Medicine to understand whether far-UVC lights can reduce airborne viruses (disinfect) and in turn reduce respiratory and other infections in nursing homes. The COVID-19 virus has shown the devastating affects infections have on the senior population especially those in communal living environments.

Please review the attached information on the study. We encourage you to contact the research team for more information on how you can be a part of this important study to help improve the Long Term Care living environment. Contact information is available on the attached documents below.

Thank you,

Dr. Barry Clarke – Medical Director

Josie Ryan – Executive Director Long Term Care

UVA Study Info April 6

UVC Study Info April 9

COMMUNITY UPDATE FROM NORTHWOOD – THURSDAY, April 8, 2021

Dear Residents and Families,

Thank you for participating in Northwood’s COVID-19 Vaccination Campaign. We are excited to have been able to provide over 2200 vaccines at our Northwood sites.

We are awaiting approval for a last supply of vaccine to complete those Designated Caregivers currently on the wait list. We encourage everyone who has not taken advantage of our on site clinics to access their vaccine through the community distribution programs via Public Health or pharmacy clinics. We appreciate your willingness to be vaccinated to keep our community safe.

Employees will be able to access vaccinations through Nova Scotia Health by contacting Northwood’s Occupational Health Nurse. These health worker clinics will also be ending in the near future and staff will be expected to access the community clinics.

The vaccination phone line and e-mail will be closed as of Friday April 9, 2021.

Thank you for your patience and understanding.

COMMUNITY UPDATE FROM NORTHWOOD – THURSDAY, April 1, 2021

Dear Residents and Families,

We want to provide an update, as we understand there may be some confusion regarding the COVID-19 restrictions.

We were very fortunate to receive early access to the vaccine. The impact of the vaccine on the easement of restrictions will come when many people in the community are also vaccinated.

Thank you for your continued patience as we navigate these challenging times and work together to balance physical and mental health care needs while following provincial guidelines aimed at maintaining overall safety.

We are working as an organization on solutions to provide greater community engagement within Northwood’s walls while following Public Health guidelines. We are continuously reviewing the guidelines and will decide to ease restrictions as soon as possible. We also have to balance what is going on in the external community keeping in mind the risk variant strains of COVID pose to our internal community. Please see the Nova Scotia Website for these restrictions in more detail, found in ‘Alerts, news, and data’, and ‘Restrictions and guidance’ sections under the ‘Governments Respond to COVID-19’. https://novascotia.ca/CoronaVirus/restrictions-and-guidance/

We will continue to review resident and family requests whenever possible as well as ideas brought forward by staff members.

We are introducing changes to support:

  • Accessing courtyard/outdoor spaces on Northwood’s properties both independently and supervised by staff as appropriate.
  • Creating spaces where residents can engage in social and physical activities on main floors where we can ensure space for social distancing.
  • Creating groups of people who can consistently interact (bubble) while limiting exposure to residents and others.
  • With warmer weather and longer daylight, we will be increasing the times residents can access the main area and outdoors.
  • Increasing activities and spaces for residents to access without staff or DCG present.

We will continue to review changes and do our best to ease restrictions. If you have any specific concerns to bring forward regarding current or ongoing discussions related to restrictions, please approach your RN Clinical Leader, Client Relations Coordinator, Nursing Manager, Social Worker, or other support in which you feel comfortable. Residents may continue to provide feedback through the resident council; the recreation team ensures your voice is heard.

Thank you for your patience and understanding.

COMMUNITY UPDATE FROM NORTHWOOD – TUESDAY, March 23, 2021

Dear Designated Care Givers,

We are excited to have so many of the Northwood community vaccinated, remembering we are not at 100%. While the vaccination provides another preventative measure to protect us from COVID, as we reported there continue to be cases and potential contact areas in the community. We, therefore, need to continue to strictly follow the other preventative measures such as screening and signing in, hand hygiene, wearing a mask and maintaining social distancing from staff and other residents when coming into the facilities. This means as a DCG you must remain in your loved one’s room while you are here.

We are reviewing the possibility of DCGs and resident access to the outdoors during the resident’s scheduled times off the floors. Individual times continue to be scheduled by floor to maintain internal bubbles for residents. This  would provide access to the main street area and outdoors for all residents in a safe manner.

We are happy that visiting in addition to the DCG program has resumed. We are required to follow the guidelines that were in place prior to restrictions. Visits must occur off the floors, in a central location with screening and signing in, hand hygiene, wearing a mask and maintaining social distancing from staff and other residents when coming into the facilities. With the warmer weather, we are preparing to resume outdoor visits in the coming weeks as well.

We appreciate your patience with the many changes adapting to COVID has required.  We would like to thank those who have chosen to be vaccinated to help keep our community safe. 

Thank you for your patience and understanding.

COMMUNITY UPDATE FROM NORTHWOOD – FRIDAY, March 19, 2021

Dear Residents and Families,

Today the Chief Medical Officer of Health announced changes to the Public Health directives. 

Effective Monday, March 22 organized visits to Long Term Care facilities will resume.

The booking process for indoor family visits to the Halifax and Bedford Campuses has restarted. As in the past, there will be two visitors permitted at a time.

Thank you for your patience and understanding.

BookingBedford

BookingHalifax

COMMUNITY UPDATE FROM NORTHWOOD – MONDAY, March 1, 2021

Dear Residents and Families,

As the COVID-19 vaccine rollout continues throughout Nova Scotia we understand the public and the Northwood community including our tenants have questions. We would like to offer some additional information that might help explain the provincial rollout.

Nova Scotia’s COVID-19 immunization plan includes 3 phases. Each phase identifies when different groups can receive the vaccine. The plan is flexible to allow for increases or decreases in vaccine supply. Every person in Nova Scotia who wants the COVID-19 vaccine and for whom vaccine is indicated will receive it for free. An overview of Nova Scotia’s COVID-19 immunization plan is available here: 

COVID-19-immunization-plan-overview-poster-en (1)

COMMUNITY UPDATE FROM NORTHWOOD – FRIDAY, February 26, 2021

Dear Residents and Families,

Today the Chief Medical Officer of Health announced changes to the Public Health directives. Effective at 8 AM on Saturday, February 27 residents will only be able to receive visits from their Designated Caregivers. There will be no other visits permitted at this time.

Residents will only be permitted to leave the facility for medical appointments. Drives with their Designated Caregivers can continue as long as there are no other passengers, stops or drive-thru visits.

These restrictions will continue until 11:59 PM on Friday, March 26 with the possibility of an extension.

We value the importance family connection has on the wellbeing of residents and family. The required precautions e.g. screening, mandatory masking at all times, signing in, restricted movement within the facility must continue to be strictly followed.

Thank you for your patience and understanding.

COMMUNITY UPDATE FROM NORTHWOOD – THURSDAY, February 25, 2021

Dear residents and families,

Although the number of COVID cases remains low in Nova Scotia, we must all be vigilant to help keep all residents and staff healthy. As many may know, the list of exposure sites in the community has again started to rise. Please review the attached Community Exposure List.

Some points to remember from Dr. Strang.

  • Numbers are starting to creep back up, we have had 6 variant cases to date. Strang says he is worried about community spread, more people are socializing more with different groups of people. Based on this we do expect higher case numbers in the coming days.
  • Advice is to slow down social activities and keep the same small social circles consistently. “We are still in a pandemic.” Dr. Strang says we need to stick with this for 2-3 months longer.
  • People who go to social events where they don’t wear a mask, they should consider getting a test a week from that event.
  • The more you’re out, the more people you’re with, the more frequently you should get tested, said Strang.

Updated Exposure List for February 25 2021

COMMUNITY UPDATE FROM NORTHWOOD – TUESDAY, February 23, 2021

Dear residents and families,

Currently the number of COVID cases in Nova Scotia are low but we all need to stay vigilant. There is nothing more important to the Northwood community than ensuring the continued health and safety of our residents and staff. Our most important tool in the fight against COVID is the vaccine. As Northwood continues our vaccine clinics we would like to offer an update on our progress.

We are also very happy to announce that on February 22, 2021, we were advised that Home Support Workers now have access to the vaccine through the NSHA Vaccine Clinics. This is very encouraging news as we continue to keep our clients, residents, and staff safe.

COVID-19 VACCINE UPDATE:

To date, 1802 people in the Northwood community have received both the first dose and second dose of a COVID-19 vaccine.

Residents – current snap shot.

             Halifax – 324 – 95%

             Bedford – 148 – 97%

Staff– current snap shot.

            Halifax – 392 – percentages not available until the 2nd dose clinics are completed.

            Bedford – 145 – percentages not available until the 2nd dose clinics are completed.

Designated Care givers

            Halifax – 129

            Bedford – 114

COMMUNITY UPDATE FROM NORTHWOOD – THURSDAY, February 11, 2021

Dear residents and families,

Fall River, Nova Scotia –  Nova Scotia is adding hundreds of new long-term care beds and spending millions more on renovating or replacing seven long-term care homes. To accommodate more single rooms during the outbreak, Northwood was required to remove 100 beds from the Halifax campus. It has been announced that those 100 beds with an additional 44 new beds will be added to a new Northwood long-term care facility in the Fall River area.

The announcement was made on Friday, January 29, 2021, by Premier Stephen McNeil as part of the province’s commitment to make major investments in long-term care beds and facilities to better serve residents, families, and staff.

“We are thrilled with the announcement of a new Northwood long term care facility in the Fall River area. We have been working with a partner in the Fall River area for several years to bring a campus-style community together serving seniors to live as independently as possible. We are thrilled that a long term care facility will now be a part of that campus style community. The campus model has served Northwood for 50 years and we are thrilled to be able to provide this option for living in the Fall River area. This new facility will be designed to incorporate our learnings about infection control and technology to support individuals to have greater independence and control over their environment,” says President and CEO Janet Simm.

The year 2020 was the most challenging year Northwood has seen. As many Northwood staff, residents, and clients are healing, this announcement has helped bolster spirits. The Northwood community is very excited about what the future holds.

COMMUNITY UPDATE FROM NORTHWOOD – WEDNESDAY, January 27, 2021

Dear residents and families,

As the second wave of COVID-19 continues throughout Canada our small province continues to do well with only 11 active cases in the province as of January 27, 2021. It is however still very important for all of us to remain diligent and continue to follow Public Health directives to keep COVID out of our Long Term Care facilities.

Northwood’s COVID vaccine clinics have been very successful providing first dose vaccine to over 1150 people within the Northwood LTC community. Over 90% of residents have been vaccinated, with 55% percent of active and close to 40% of DCG at both locations who have chosen to be vaccinated.

Second dose vaccinations for residents, designated care givers, and staff will start on Feb 8 and continue for two weeks. Once we have additional vaccine supplies we will organize additional first dose clinics.

Vaccination is essential to ending the threat of this pandemic however the current infection prevention and control measure will continue to be required for months to come.  Precautions such as screening, universal mandatory masking, social distancing, handwashing and environmental cleaning will continue as is.  We will continue to adhere to all directives from the Office of the Chief Medical Officer of Health.

Northwood continues supporting resident and family engagement to support their mental wellbeing. Video calls, visits, and the Designated Caregiver program help us to do so.

We continuously reassess and work to offer more activities to residents based on the provincial COVID numbers and as restrictions are lifted. Designated Caregivers are able to take residents out of the facility for a drive but within the restriction of no stops or visits during the outing. Despite the provincial vaccine supply issues, Northwood continues with COVID vaccine clinics in Halifax and Bedford.

Residents

Halifax – 93% complete      Bedford – 96% complete

 

Staff

Halifax – 56% complete      Bedford – 67% complete

 

Designated Caregivers

Halifax – 40% complete      Bedford – 40% complete

 

Northwood has completed 865 on-site since January 11.

There were 302 completed at the Nova Scotia Health clinics prior to this.

 

In total, 1167 of the NW LTC community. We are offering clinics in Halifax and Bedford over the next week where we will deliver 50 more vaccines.

COMMUNITY UPDATE FROM NORTHWOOD – FRIDAY, January 15, 2021

Dear residents and families,

It has been a busy and productive week and we are excited to share that yesterday we received our first doses of the Moderna vaccine at the Bedford campus!

Over the last two days we have vaccinated the majority of residents at the Halifax Campus and are thrilled to share that we will now begin the Bedford Campus resident vaccine clinics. The team will start vaccination today, Friday January 15, 2021.

The team has worked hard to prepare for this day to ensure residents and families have been informed and are ready to accept the vaccine. Along with screening, asymptomatic swabbing, wearing masks and physical distancing this is another step to keep everyone safe and reduce the risk of COVID entering our building, triggering an outbreak.

We are excited to tell you we are able to offer staff and Designated Caregivers vaccinations on site. Clinics for staff and Designated Caregivers for the Bedford Campus will be held next week. More information will come. It is our plan to offer vaccination for Northwood employees and Designated Caregivers based on vaccine availability and according to the provincial phased approach.

This is such a milestone after all the sacrifice and diligence the Northwood community has undergone in the past year to combat COVID-19.

COMMUNITY UPDATE FROM NORTHWOOD – THURSDAY, January 14, 2021

Dear residents and families,

Nova Scotia’s COVID-19 immunization plan, directed by Public Health, includes a 3-phase approach.

Northwood is provided vaccine by Public Health and has been advised to vaccinate front-line healthcare workers who are closely involved in the COVID-19 response (more likely to be exposed to COVID-19), residents, staff, and Designated Caregivers of long-term care facilities.

Tenants who live in Northwood’s apartments and who meet Public Health’s criteria will be eligible fore the vaccine when the province rolls out the plan for the seniors living in the community who are 80 or older/seniors living in the community who are 75 to 79.

COMMUNITY UPDATE FROM NORTHWOOD – WEDNESDAY, January 13, 2021

Dear residents and families,

It has been a busy and productive week!

The Northwood vaccination campaign is well underway. As of Wednesday, January 13th, over 225 residents have had their vaccine at the Halifax Campus. The Bedford Campus resident vaccine clinic will begin this week and will be completed next week.

We are excited to tell you we are able to offer staff and Designated Caregivers vaccinations on site. In working with Nova Scotia Health, 591 names were forwarded for vaccination since December 14, 2020.

The first of these clinics will be held tomorrow at the Halifax Campus and will be restricted as per Public Health direction to LTC staff and Designated Caregivers. Appointments have been pre-booked from the list of people who requested the vaccine.

Additional clinics for staff and Designated Caregivers for the Bedford Campus will be held early next week. More information will come.

It is our plan to offer vaccination for all Northwood employees and Designated Caregivers based on vaccine availability and according to the provincial phased approach.

This is such a milestone after all the sacrifice and diligence the Northwood community has undergone in the past year to combat COVID-19.

COMMUNITY UPDATE FROM NORTHWOOD – WEDNESDAY, January 6, 2021

Dear residents and families,

The holidays are over and life is returning to our new normal. The new year is starting out with some positive news. Yesterday it was announced that three of the largest Long Term Care facilities in Nova Scotia will receive the Moderna vaccine. Unlike the Pfizer vaccine, the Moderna vaccine can be transported directly to each Long Term Care facility.

The Department of Health and Wellness has allocated 3,700 Moderna vaccine doses for the residents, staff, and caregivers of Northwood and two other Long Term Care facilities in the province. The process is now in place to start shipping the Moderna vaccine to Northwood while maintaining the appropriate temperature. These allocated doses will include the first and second shots required for each individual.

 

Northwood is extremely grateful to be receiving the Moderna vaccine. We look forward to continuing with phase one of the immunization process and hope to move into phase two in approximately April or May.

COMMUNITY UPDATE FROM NORTHWOOD – TUESDAY, January 5, 2021

Dear residents and families,

Please see the attached process for resident items to be dropped off at a Northwood Facility:

During the COVID-19 pandemic, residents may need essential or non-essential items from outside the facility or belongings from home. This process pertains to accepting gifts from family/support person(s) or designated caregivers/individuals who wish to drop off items for residents living at a Northwood facility.

Family Drop off Procedures

HOME SUPPORT DIRECTIVES – MONDAY, JANUARY 4, 2021

Dear Home Support clients and families,

The year 2020 has been extremely challenging for Long Term Care, Home Support, and the world. We would like to reach out to our Home Support clients who may have questions regarding various COVID-19 directives. Please review the documents attached below.

CCIR 107.0 Attachment 1 UPP QA Home Care

CCIR 107.0 Attachment 2 Home-and-community-Outbreak-Toolkit -for-HC-agencies

CCIR 107.0 Attachment 3 Masking HC Clients Handout

CCIR 107.0 Attachment 4 UPP For Home and Community-Cheat sheet

CCIR 107.0 UPP and HC Client Masking

COMMUNITY UPDATE FROM NORTHWOOD – THURSDAY, December 17, 2020

Dear residents and families,

 

With the announcement yesterday on the easement of visiting restrictions, we are happy to provide the following update.

We are close to the holidays and many preparations and schedules are already in place. Our team is committed to increasing the opportunities for resident and family connections. 

We will begin the process of increasing the assigned designated caregivers to two immediately with additional participation beginning on Monday, December 21. The process will be the same as previous participation in the program:

  • A maximum of two DCGs designated by the residents or substitute decision-makers. There have been over 200 participants in the DCG program.
  • It would be helpful if the additional DCG could be the one that was assigned prior to the last restrictions. If not, the new DCG will require training prior to participating in the program to ensure they are aware of the process and precautions that must be followed.
  • For Halifax Campus – Please phone 902-454-4408 for more information.
  • For Bedford Campus – Please phone 902-407-8520

Organized visiting will resume on Monday. We will balance visiting with planned events and with the residents ability to come to the main street. Residents so enjoy the ability to come to the main floors. The process will include:

  • Visits will be booked for a maximum of 2 visitors per resident at a time.  We will be prioritizing visits for residents who do not currently have a DCG to enable more residents and family to connect throughout the holidays.
  • Visits will be booked on a first-come basis and will be accommodated in spaces to provide privacy for the visit.
  • Visitors must wear masks at all times during the visit.
  • Visitors must be screened prior to visiting.
  • Non-perishable foods (sweets or treats – do not need refrigeration) for residents to take to their room are acceptable. Food can not be shared at the visit because masks must be worn at all times.
  • If you do bring parcels for Christmas please make sure staff know to ensure items are recorded and labeled as necessary.

We are excited to have people back for the holidays. Staff will continue to monitor that precautions are followed to keep residents, family, and staff safe.

Happy Holidays!

COMMUNITY UPDATE FROM NORTHWOOD – THURSDAY, December 17, 2020

Dear residents and families,

We continue to realize the importance of family and resident connection on well-being. Current visitation restrictions will remain in place until December 21.

In order to keep residents safe over the holidays, Public Health has advised residents may not leave the facility for family visits. We do understand that visiting with family over the holidays is very important. As of December 21, the visitation restriction within the facility will be loosened. Our team is reviewing the recent updates from Public Health and will share further information by the end of the week.  

Residents enjoy their time away from their living area so that will be a priority consideration as we loosen visiting restrictions. We need to stay vigilant even over the holidays as COVID remains in the community. The most important goal is to keep all of us healthy and safe.

Thank you for your patience and understanding.

COMMUNITY UPDATE FROM NORTHWOOD – WEDNESDAY, December 16, 2020

Dear Residents and Families,

We received some great news on Friday evening. Northwood’s Long Term Care Program has been included in the first round of provincial vaccines for COVID-19. The vaccination is voluntary however we are strongly encouraging staff to be vaccinated for the protection of residents and co-workers.

We will be working with the Department of Health and Wellness to organize the vaccination of those selected Northwood staff members. This process will take time and coordination with Northwood and DHW. We can’t offer confirmed dates for the first vaccinations but assure the public that the process is underway.

If you have questions or concerns regarding the COVID-19 vaccine, please refer to the attached FAQ.

COVID-19 FAQ Vaccine

COMMUNITY UPDATE FROM NORTHWOOD – THURSDAY, December 10, 2020

Dear residents and families,

Northwood and the Department of Health and Wellness acknowledge the importance of quality of life, mental health, and overall well-being of all residents. Residents of long-term care are more susceptible to acquiring COVID-19 and therefore we need to have strong safety measures in place.

As outlined in the attached Long Term Care Guidelines, in order to keep all residents and staff safe, the number of designated caregivers will continue to be reduced from two to one and all indoor visitation will continue to be suspended until December 17, 2020. Please watch for updates on the northwood.care website.

Guidelines for LTC Facilities 2020_12_1

COMMUNITY UPDATE FROM NORTHWOOD – WEDNESDAY, December 2, 2020

Dear Residents and Families,

On December 1, 2020, the Chief Medical Officer of Health announced changes to the Public Health directives. Effective today the Designated Caregiver (DCG) Program has been restricted to one DCG per resident, assigned by the resident or their substitute decision-maker. Please call 902-454-4408 (option 1) for Halifax and 902-407-8520 for Bedford to provide the name of the one DCG.

Northwood is committed to continuing this program within the Public Health directives. We value the importance family connection has on the wellbeing of residents and family. The required precautions e.g. screening, mandatory masking at all times, signing in, restricted movement within the facility must continue to be strictly followed. If a DCG is unable to follow all precautionary measures, participation in the program will not continue.

For those DCGs who have not been able to receive a flu vaccine due to limited supply in the community, please advise when you contact the above number and we will provide further information.

These changes will be in effect until further notice. The health and safety of Northwood residents, staff, and family members continue to be our number one priority.

Thank you for your patience and understanding.

FAQ Document

COMMUNICATION WITH FAMILIES – Nov. 26, 2020

Dear Residents and Families

Thank you for your patience as we reviewed the recent directive provided by Public Health and respond to the growing number of individuals testing positive for COVID -19. 

  • All general visiting has been stopped and we will monitor public health directions before any changes are made. 
  • Residents leaving the facility are currently restricted to medical appointments only. This will be reassessed based on the community transmission situation as reported by Public Health.
  • Resident movement off units has been restricted to escorted visits off living areas. We have deployed our Long Term Care Assistants to the resident living areas to support resident engagement and address social isolation. Residents are having meals in the dining room with physical distancing measures to again support socialization.
  • Everyone entering the facility continue to be screened for symptoms, universal masking continues as well, anyone entering a resident living area must sign in and out to provide contact tracing. As of Friday, November 27, 2020. Staff and DCG will participate in serial testing for COVID 19. This will be done daily within a 2-week period and then re-testing will occur. Testing clinic dates and times will be posted on the website.
  • In follow up to our communication on November 24, we have been able to review our processes and the data on the current Designated Caregivers and medical appointments. Public Health continues to support the DCG program and given the precautions that we have in place we believe we are able to continue this important program. We are however introducing additional precautions. A letter outlining the new Designated Care Program requirements will be provided to each DCG with the understanding that if the DCG is unable to adhere to the measures participation in the program is not possible. Northwood is committed to providing a safe environment for residents, staff, and visitors. We know the importance of resident and family connections and have seen the commitment of the Designated Caregivers to complying with necessary precautions when visiting. We will continuously monitor this compliance as we do for all staff in the facilities.

We understand the impact restrictions have on residents’ and families’ wellbeing and we believe in the benefits of the Designated Caregiver Program and other family connections including virtual calls. Please continue to monitor our website for additional information.

COMMUNICATION WITH FAMILIES – Nov. 19, 2020

Dear residents and families,

Given the current rise in COVID-19 cases in Nova Scotia, we would like to err on the side of caution. We continue to suspend resident outings into the community for family visits and trips until further notice.  

External Medical appointments will continue.

Indoor visits and the Designated Caregiver program will continue. Screening and PPE are mandatory for both.

We would also like to remind everyone the importance of proper mask use, hand hygiene, and social distancing. We all need to work together to keep our loved ones healthy and safe.

Please check the COVID-19 section of our website regularly for updates.

Thank you for your patience and understanding.

COMMUNICATION WITH FAMILIES – Nov. 19, 2020

Dear residents and families,

This has been a very difficult year for us all. Northwood is working very hard to be proactive, making sure we have solid plans in place as we move forward in preparation for a potential second wave/outbreak. Every little detail is extremely important to ensure our residents are safe and will continue to have all that they need.

We recommend that residents or their caregiver arrange for the installation of any new phone lines or cable service as soon as possible. If there is a need to tighten restrictions in the near future we may not be able to respond to such requests in a timely manner during an outbreak.

Residents or their caregiver can call 902-454-3367 for Halifax or 902-407-8531 for Bedford to schedule phone and cable installation.

Thank you for your patience and understanding.

COMMUNICATION WITH FAMILIES

Clear communication is paramount during a global pandemic, particularly for those who are unable to see their loved ones due to Public Health restrictions. We received feedback from families regarding Northwood’s communication during the first wave of the pandemic, which included a focus group with families to discuss a realistic plan in the event of an outbreak at either of Northwood’s campuses during a second wave of the pandemic. Care of your loved one during an outbreak is our top priority. You may not have direct access to the care team who is caring for your loved one, as your loved one’s well-being is their priority. In the event of an outbreak in either Halifax or Bedford, the following is the communication that you can expect from Northwood:

PHONE COMMUNICATION – Phone calls will be made to the Substitute Decision Maker (SDM) only. Northwood would ask that the SDM inform other family members of any updates.

  • Informing the SDM (of any change in a resident’s condition).  
  • A call to the SDM to inform them if a resident has had a positive test result.
  • A weekly call to provide a general update to the SDM. This may include a negative test result, status of the number of infections on the unit where your loved one lives, a resident room change, etc. Updates on residents receiving end of life care will be provided to the SDM daily or more often based on the resident’s condition and status.  Visiting at end of life will be available.

PHONE VISITATION BOOKING – Booking information is located on the Northwood website under Info for Families.
The website will be updated with information on resident and family engagement opportunities such as :

  • Indoor and outdoor visits
  • Designated Caregiver visits
  • Resident visits to family homes
  • Video calls
  • Medical appointments

WEBSITE UPDATES

  • Locations of new infections
  • Number of new infections
  • Number of active cases
  • Number of recovered
  • Updates on restrictions
  • Frequently asked questions, FAQ Documents
  • Links to critical Public Health Documentation

WEEKLY EMAIL UPDATES

  • Mass email message to the Long Term Care email lists for Halifax and Bedford campuses.
  • Include updates on the number of cases, restrictions, and other general COVID information.

 VIDEO MESSAGING

Weekly online press conference and or video messages. These messages will be posted on the COVID-19 Updates section of the website.

Thank you for your continued patience and understanding.

Booking Information

Connecting with your loved ones is more important than ever. To schedule a visit with your family member, inquire about becoming a designated care giver or for any questions related to booking information please click the information document.

Novel Coronavirus Updates

Stay up to date with the latest information on COVID-19.

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