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 – 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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